Being a BIG TIME New York Mets fan, I'm used to thinking and expecting the worse (If you made it through the Art Howe days, you are a warrior!!!). Add the fact that I'm a Tampa Bay Bucs fan and can attest to the Trent Dilfer days, let's just say I've been through a couple rough patches (so I'm a glutton for loser franchises, moving on) .....
I was really concerned with the Bucs potential to Draft DE Gaines Adams with the 4th Pick in the NFL Draft this off-season, especially when the team didn't even attempt once to move up and Draft "He-Who-is-Nameless aka #21." You would think I would have been completely enamored with Gaines being a FSU fan and witnessing him terrorize my QB's for several years, but the truth is, under Jeff Bowden's leadership and offensive lines, a ton of D-Lineman had their way with our QB's. So I checked out Gaines' workouts at Nike's Rookie Class Website, to say the least, I wasn't impressed. To me, Gaines looked smaller than "He-Who-is-Nameless aka #21" and that guys a Wide Receiver.
Gaines has a had a few shining moments in the Pre-Season: Two batted passes, a Forced Fumble, and fairly stout Run Defense, but his only QB sack came via a break-down in coverage (a Coverage Sack, how novel). So I've started to wonder, was this guy worth the 4th Pick in the NFL Draft? In order to move on with my suspensions, I decided to question one of the guys in the "Know" about his former Defensive End, none other than Willy from DannyFordisGod.com, an excellent Clemson Tigers Blog. Here's his responses to my uncertainties:
Does Gaines typically get man-handled in practice and then become a freak on Saturdays (hopefully Sundays)?
I know for a fact that the coaches let him go easy during practices his senior year due to the amount of freak injuries we had on our team to a lot of high profile guys. On Game Days, He was running on high octane all day, "Literally, he would come back to the sidelines and eat babies during offensive drives." The guy is a man child and will be a great addition to Tampa Bay, especially now that he'll be paired back up with Charles Bennett some. The two played together during Gaines' Junior campaign and they were nearly unstoppable.
Do you think he was worth the 4th Pick in the NFL Draft?
I definitely think Gaines is going to go places and do big things. Hopefully we'll be talking about him 10-12 years from now. He was absolutely worth the fourth pick in the draft. He was by far the most talented DE in the country coming out of college last year and I think he proved that time and time again.
Is he a guy that plays for four downs or is he more of a specialist?
He's definitely a guy that goes all four downs. He's also a playmaker (Search "Gaines Adams Wake Forest" on YouTube. Not only is he both of those things, he did them while being double, sometimes triple teamed last year.
Were you sad to see him go?
We were definitely sad to see him go, but we're happier that he stuck around and got his degree. It's a really stand up thing for him to do and just shows that he was raised in a good family to have a good head on his shoulders. He stuck it out his senior year, got a degree, and got paid. I'm personally really happy that Gaines made it to the big time in the fashion he did. He deserves it. He's also a great person who never let his teammates, coaches, or classmates down.
Do you know if he puts a spin on his bowling ball approach?
I don't think Gaines is much of a bowler. Okay, I'm kind of hesitant to tell you this... but... okay. Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz need to watch out because I heard he's an absolute baller in the underground badminton circles. From what I hear, he has an incredible knack for aces. I heard he even won himself a pet tiger in an underground high stakes game back in June of 2006.
Thanks for the re-assurance man. You can tell the guy has the instincts on the field to become one of the greats. I think he probably brings to the Defense what "He-Who-is-Nameless aka #21" would have brought to the Offense: a quiet presence backed by performance and a relentless drive to be successful. The coaches have publicly stated that Gaines needs to step it up in Practice in order to become the Starter he desires to be on the field. I'm gonna go ahead and predict that DE Gaines Adams will be the starting Right Defensive End come the opener against the Seattle Seahawks (and the winning lotto numbers for Pinellas County are: just kidding). I say this because DE Patrick Chukwurah, who has been starting ahead of Gaines in the preseason, has a re-occurring knee injury and mainly because the Bucs P.R. Department keeps pushing Gaines Adams jerseys down our throats every chance they get and who would buy a reserves jersey other than his parents, friends, and stalkers? Exactly, Big GAINES WILL be starting. Not that, that surprises anyone.
Thanks again Willy Mac!!!!! If you're a Clemson Tigers Fan, do yourself a favor and checkout: DannyFordisGod.com ....