Clinton McDonald already paying dividends for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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A lot of ink has been spilled over the changes that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made this offseason. Most of it has been focused on new head coach Lovie Smith and his hand-picked quarterback Josh McCown.

One guy who has mostly flown under the radar is defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who the Bucs signed away from the Seattle Seahawks in March to a four-year, $12 million deal.

Seattle of course rode the toughest defense in the NFL to the Super bowl last season and McDonald was a major component, if an underrated one. McDonald racked up 5.5 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery last season. He excels in both stuffing the run and rushing the passer, as we saw yesterday in droves in the Bucs’ preseason matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

The biggest play of the day came when E.J. Manuel was stripped. McDonald picked the ball up and ran it in for a touchdown:

It was McDonald’s first touchdown since high school. He also hit Manuel once as he was throwing which almost resulted in an interception. He likely won’t garner many headlines, but McDonald’s presence will have a major impact on Tampa’s defensive line.

I think that the move to bring him in will prove to be Jason Licht’s true stroke of genius.

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