Surviving one coaching change as a general manager isn’t easy to do in today’s NFL. Getting a chance to work with three head coaches is almost unheard of.
But Bucs’ general manager Jason Licht is on his third head coach in Tampa Bay, despite just one winning season (9-7 in 2016) and two back-to-back 5-11 disappointments. Licht’s record 27-53 since he was hired by the Glazers and former head coach Lovie Smith in 2014.
PewterReport.com asked Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer on Tuesday why Licht is still in charge.
“One thing we do know in the NFL, too much instability doesn’t lead to success,” Glazer said in an exclusive with PewterReport.com in the courtyard outside of the Arizona Biltmore on Tuesday afternoon. “And we have had our share of instability over the last several years. And with Jason – obviously Jason is not happy with what our record has been the last few years – but when you look at our team and you look at our drafts, there have been positives. We have had a lot of players we drafted, re-sign, and we have a good nucleus of players. So at the end of the day we felt the consistency in that was important and will ultimately lead to success.”
Part of what might have saved Licht’s job is his prior relationship with new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians from their days back in Arizona in 2013. Licht recommended the hiring of Arians to the Glazers and was able to lure him out of retirement and come to Tampa Bay. Glazer talked about some of the attributes Licht possesses, and relationship with coaches was one of them.
“He has put together a good personnel staff, he is good at articulating to everybody of what we are trying to accomplish,” Glazer said of Licht. “He has good perspective when it comes to the team. And I think the key has been working with the head coach. I think he has had excellent ability to work with our coaching staffs – it is partnership ultimately – and if those two people aren’t on the same page working well together than it is always flawed. So he is also a good people person.”
PewterReport.com asked Glazer if Licht is under contract beyond the 2019 season.
“We have always left our contract discussions between the two of us,” Glazer said.
Licht’s future is ultimately tied to winning football games this season, and while everyone talks about the importance of 2019 for quarterback Jameis Winston, who was Licht’s first-round pick at the top of the 2015 NFL Draft and is in his fifth-year option, is just as important for the Bucs general manager.