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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.

FAB 1. Bucs OLBs Ready To Make Some Noise

There’s no doubt that Jason Pierre-Paul and his 12.5 sacks will be missed in Tampa Bay this year.

The Bucs are hopeful that Pierre-Paul will be able to return from his neck injury – he suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck from a car crash in May – by October or November at the latest.

Tampa Bay is also hopeful that a quartet of edge rushers can step up in his absence. Actually, the Bucs really need that quartet of Carl Nassib, Noah Spence, Shaquil Barrett and rookie Anthony Nelson, the team’s fourth-round pick, to step up in his absence.

On paper, it’s a tall order as Pierre-Paul’s freakish athleticism allowed him to record 71 sacks during his NFL career – winning Super Bowls and making Pro Bowls along the way – and ending the double-digit sack drought that had occurred since Simeon Rice had 14 sacks in 2005. Barrett has recorded 14 sacks in his five-year career in Denver, while Nassib came to Tampa Bay with 5.5 career sacks from his two years in Cleveland before racking up a career-high 6.5 last year. Spence has just 6.5 career sacks, but 5.5 of them came as a rookie three years ago.

Nelson’s sack totals climbed each year he was at Iowa where he recorded 23, including 9.5 last year as a senior, but he’s yet to play a down in the NFL.

Playing as a stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker will be a new position for everyone but Barrett, who played in a 3-4 scheme in Denver opposite Von Miller. Even Pierre-Paul has never played in a 3-4 defense before, but due to his athleticism and pass rushing experience one has to think he would still find a way to lead the Bucs in sacks this season if he were healthy for 16 games.

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay will be lucky to have JPP for six to eight games this year if he can fully recover from his neck injury, and the team is counting on Nassib, Spence and Barrett, who are all in contract years, to provide a steady pass rush outside to compliment the pressure inside from defensive tackles Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh and interior blitzes from linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David.

“You’re going to miss a guy like JPP because he’s a good football player,” said Bucs right tackle Demar Dotson. “You can’t replace him. There’s nobody on our line that can do what he can do, but you can’t underestimate guys like Carl and Noah, who get an opportunity because that’s what this game is built on – opportunity. Those guys practice hard. Noah is going balls to the wall, and even Carl and the young rookie are playing hard. The whole defensive line as a whole is playing hard and relentless. Anytime you have that good things can happen for you. I’m really interested to see this defense. These OTAs and the mini-camp, guys are going hard and hitting – it’s almost like training camp. I’m interested to see how it’s going to be when the pads come on.”

Nassib, a player I dubbed “Carl Nasty” last year due to his physical style of play, has been the stand out this spring. Team officials quietly believe he can become a double-digit sacker this year with a new contract coming around the corner, while Spence has also looked much more comfortable as a 3-4 outside linebacker than he ever did as an undersized 4-3 defensive end.

“[Noah] is an outside backer and he’s doing a good job,” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. “He’s applying pressure. Carl is probably doing the best job out of that whole group because he’s a high effort guy all the time and a guy you want to set the tempo.”

Bucs DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Nassib had a career year last season playing opposite Pierre-Paul after coming to Tampa Bay as a waiver wire pick up before the season opener at New Orleans. He took advantage of an early season injury to Vinny Curry and staked his claim to the strongside defensive end spot last year, but how will Nassib fare this year as a marked man with JPP’s help from the other side?

“You’re going to know more once the pads come on, but Carl’s game is playing hard and physical,” Dotson said. “When you are in OTAs you can’t really get the full dimension of it, but Carl goes hard. He plays hard and sticks his head in there and he doesn’t quit. When he gets the pads on – he’s a different guy. He’s a balls-to-the-wall kind of player.”

The 6-foot-7, 275-pound Nassib rushed as a stand up pass rusher at times last year in some blitz packages and is a very smart and aggressive player on the left side of the line that might prove capable of getting 10 sacks or more this season if he can get help from the right side of the line. That’s where Spence and Barrett – a pair of 6-foot-2, 250-pound speed rushers – come in.

Barrett was just a role player last year in Denver, recording just three sacks, as the Broncos spent their first-round pick on Bradley Chubb, who had 12 sacks as a rookie playing opposite Miller, who led the team with 14.5 sacks.

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett
Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Photo by: Getty Images

“He’s a very athletic and a very hard working guy,” Nassib said of Barrett. “He’s a good leader and I’m excited he’s on our team.”

Despite being completely healthy for the first time since his right shoulder was surgically repaired, Spence rarely played last year because defensive line coach Brentson Buckner favored bigger, longer edge rushers in Tampa Bay last year. Spence is transitioning back to a two-point stance as a stand-up edge rusher like he played at Eastern Kentucky in 2015, racking up 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles en route to becoming the Bucs’ second-round pick in 2016.

“It feels so natural for me to be back in this two-point stance,” Spence said. “I feel like I can get so much more leverage and see better playing like this. It’s been a blessing being able to play in this scheme with this team. The shoulder injury is all behind me and I’m 100 percent healthy this year.

“This feels more natural. I don’t have to get down every play. I can stand up and look down at the ball. Instead of trying to fix my stance every play I can get my get-off set instead of trying to worry about how comfortable I feel in my three-point stance. It feels good. Every day we’re trying to get to the ball and make plays. This group is looking great – I love it.”

Dotson has been a fan of Spence’s for years and sees a different, hungry, more confident pass rusher this offseason.

“He looks like he’s home now – 1,000 percent,” Dotson said. “That’s what I told him the other day, ‘You look like you’re more natural because you’re standing up.’ He’s quick and he’s twitchy. If he can start turning that speed to power he’s going to be an even better football player. A lot of guys are going to be down with his speed, but if he can turn that to power it’s going to bring another dimension to his game that is going to make him better. The guy is good, and he’s getting better. You have to watch him. He got me today with a little inside move and he’s got a little more speed with him. As long as he keeps his confidence up I think he has the chance to be a good player for us.”

Bucs OLB Noah Spence
Bucs OLB Noah Spence – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

While Nassib and Spence have been the starters, Barrett and Nelson have flashed off the edge, too. Newcomer David Kenney, another 6-foot-2, 250-pounder who won a roster spot after a try out during the rookie mini-camp, has also shown the ability to rush the passer with his quick get-off. It will take a collaborative group effort for the Bucs’ new outside linebackers to try to make up for the production lost with JPP’s absence, but they are up for the challenge.

“I’m excited,” Nassib said. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work and I’m looking forward to it. Everybody has got to contribute this year – it doesn’t matter if you are a rookie or a 10-year vet. Missing Jason hurts and we’ll get him back whenever he possibly can return, but he’s a great leader and a great person. We’re all going to step up and help our team win.”

Bucs inside linebacker Kevin Minter, who played in Todd Bowles’ defense back in Arizona, feels confident in this group of talented edge rushers at outside linebacker despite their lack of experience and collective career sacks.

“Don’t get me wrong – it’s hard to replace JPP, but those guys are trying to make some noise this year,” Minter said. “They’re trying to make some noise and make some cash this year. You have three hungry guys sitting right there in contract years. Noah has obviously been biding his time waiting to play in a scheme that actually fits him. Shaq Barrett came here to make some noise, and Carl, I know he wants to be the guy he was drafted to be. All three of those guys are hungry.

Bucs OLB Carl Nassib
Bucs OLB Carl Nassib – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“We actually have a pretty dangerous outside linebacker room right now. The rookie (Nelson) is looking pretty good, too. It’s a real confident group – even without JPP. Hopefully we’ll get him back at some point. He would be a huge piece for us later. I think they’ll hold it down for us right now. If we’re rolling and JPP comes back midseason, it can’t do anything but help. At the same token, I promise you that those guys are coming to get it this year.”

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

54 COMMENTS

  1. Saw that GM story and in this case agree with Scott Reynolds completely. I don’t think Licht is the worst in the league and he has done some things well, other things not so well. This year it is all on the table – either all the coaches are wrong and this team has no talent, or the coaches are right and they are far more competitive this year despite the 5 games in a row away schedule that is a killer. Anything showing .500 or above would be a win.

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  2. The Bucs are taking their offseason break and will return late July to begin Training Camp. Bruce Arians continues to say he is looking for that “missing piece” and they’re not done yet. He suggests that the 53 Roster will change considerably before week one. He went on to recall his experience at Arizona when last minute additions of DEs John Abraham and Dwight Freeny resulted in a winning season.

    This brings me to JPP. I want to be upset with JPP, but I can’t because nobody tries to have an accident or miss out on a 14mil/yr contract. But what is the prognosis for his return to make a difference in 2019 and will he be the same player when he returns? Those are questions I can’t answer and have heard no good answers to.

    JPP has 1 year left on a 14mil contract in 2020 but no guarantees. The Bucs are still in need of cap space and have every intention of Winston having a good year. A decision has to be made. Until I hear more positive news about his injury, I’m for putting him on Reserve/NFI and using the cap space to add the “missing piece” Arians believes is out there.

    Before I spend big dollars on a defensive replacement, I would try to trade for DE/OLB Tanoh Kpassagnon of the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid will trade anybody. lol. Tanoh is a 2nd round 2017 draftee that stands 6-7 280. He is 24 years old, a high motor guy that has 2 years left on his rookie contract at 1.8mil/yr. Bring him in before TC and develop him along with DE/OLB Anthony Nelson to play opposite Carl Nassib. Go Bucs!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sS0OnaF6Tk

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    • I continue to be perplexed on the confidence this site and others say about JPP not playing for sure until only 6 or 8 games are left. I think everyone is relying on the 1st report that he might need surgery to come up with a time line.

      I am not saying that he will be available game 1 but I believe he will be available closer to game 1 then the 11.

      Apparently he has a non displaced fracture with no need of surgery and no disc involvement. The healing of the fracture itself should happen well before the 1st game. Again, if there is no disc involvement than there should be little neurological concern – Right? Please correct me if I am wrong.

      My biggest concern with JPP is that he does not want to play in the 3-4. We all know the source of JPP being out for the season or most of the season was JPP’s close circle. The Buc’s had not even had their doctor look at him at the time the 1st reports came out.

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      • geno711, I’m going to defer to your medical knowledge. I can only share with you what Arians has said.

        That broken neck he suffered one month ago in a car accident was a topic for Bucco Bruce Arians during his Friday appearance on ESPN. It didn’t sound promising.

        “He’s doing good; His spirits are good,” Arians said of JPP. “You know, it’s just one of those things, you just wait and wait and wait, and make sure the thing doesn’t displace and not have to have an operation. We got our fingers crossed and are praying for him all the time.”

        Asked for a timetable on JPP’s recovery, Arians replied, “I would think it’s at least five months, maybe six.”

        Six months from last Friday is Dec. 1.

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        • I really don’t have any significant medical knowledge. Arians has been all over the place. As you mentioned, Arians said last week 5 to 6 months. Then this week, Arians told Stroud, sometime in October for JPP but did not want to rush him but also knew that JPP was a fast healer as well.

          Again, not sure about all the reports. One initial report said that he would be 1st re-evaluated in 11 weeks. That is somewhere around July 20th. Even that does not make sense to me. Seems like he will have updated x-rays/Ct scans at least 2 times before July 20th. They might not report after those repeat diagnostic studies but I actually wonder if one of those already happened; That is why there is a rosier outlook with the comment to Stroud this week.

          I am clearly guessing but still I would go against the flow on this one and says he is playing closer to week 1 then 11.

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  3. Same conclusion as always. Licht sucks because the teams he puts together suck despite numerous HC’s, even when he gets to pick the HC (i.e. Koetter).

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  4. Great article, Scott. When the Bucs are a basement team you usually would expect Free Agents looking for big bucks and a team with low expectations where they can coast, so any GM would get a lot of Free Agent busts so it is a wonder Licht got so many Good Ones. When we are a playoff team he will automatically do better in Free Agency. Licht started out a newbie GM and has matured as he has developed. With BA at his side he will get players that fit BA’s needs and no more BPA from just Licht’s Board. I expect a minimum of five starters out of this year’s draft who will all play great: White, Edwards, Dean, Bunting, and our new powerful placekicker. So this will be viewed as a great draft in time for us. The Development of players from our old roster will also prove poor coaching has been our major problem! BA doing so much tackling in practice will make us a much more physical team, and BA’s accountability will make us much more disciplined team and giving maximum effort. You will actually enjoy watching the huge difference on the field!

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  5. “As I detailed in a previous SR’s Fab 5 last December, Licht’s draft record when it comes to the draft is actually on par with some of his peers, most notably Rams general manager Les Snead, who ranked 10th on Ruiz’s list, and Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman, who ranked first.”

    This is completely wrong. I appreciated the attempt to bring data into it, but Career Average Value (CAV) inherently values draft picks that play because that’s what it analyzes. Using it to evaluate drafts inflates bad teams, because on bad teams players start that would not on good teams (thus increasing CAV). For example, most draft picks on the Rams will play sparingly (either bench or rotational) because they have a strong roster. On the Bucs, they’ll regularly start rookies and young players because the roster stinks. This inflates CAV significantly. But not just rookies – bad or mediocre draft picks will stick because of lack of talent and competition.

    For example in 2018 the Rams draft had a combined CAV score of 7. The Bucs had 13.

    On top of which, Licht has drafted in the top 10 what, 5/6 drafts? If the Rams or Eagles are drafting late, the Bucs have a much higher chance to nab starters with their higher picks.

    There is no world in which you can compare the drafting of Licht to Snead or Roseman. You can just look at the drafts to see the difference.

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  6. @ Macabee, Tonah Kpassagnon has nearly no stats to look at in two years at KC.

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    • skipper, this is true. Kpassagnon is a 3-4 OLB. Kansas City changed it’s defense to a 4-3. They traded Dee Ford who had 13 sacks last year to the 49ers. He is raw but talented which means we should be able to get him for a late round conditional pick. We got Nassib after he was cut from the Browns. What were his stats? Just looking for ways to get competitive with little or no cap space. Go Bucs!

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  7. I’d rather save our picks and just pick up players that teams will end up cutting…Bruce will find some gem somewhere before the season starts. Some players just ends up not fitting a scheme but can do well in others..As for Kpassagnon, If he really isn’t a fit a as a 4-3 end, I’m sure Reid would cut him allowing us to possibly pick him up.

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    • BucRy, I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. But be aware. Last week the Browns cut OT Desmond Harrison. The Bucs could have used a little depth at OT, but they are fifth in line on the waiver wire. He went to the Cardinals who are first in waiver priority. The Bucs are not likely to get good players that may be waived. They may get veteran players that are cut, but we’re going to need cap space for that. We haven’t signed our 1st and 3rd round picks yet.

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  8. Like I have been saying all among this year will make or break Licht. I personally hope this draft is a home run and Bucs are in wildcard contention and he gets extended. Too much turn over at head coach and Gm last decade. There is a learning curve for GMs and I think this years draft and record at end of season will tell it all in if he gets extended or is toast. I agree he has not been great though.

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  9. Is I get it there hope is they can coach this team up last year’s team had more talent but was not organized well the plan is BA Will Coach up a team with less Talent for better results nevermind no jpp no McCoy no Kwon on defense but the game face on Bowles will make up for that. I understand the plan and if it works they’ll be heroes but that’s a very big if. The other teams in the league are full of big Talent

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  10. Do you think Suh had any offers other than the Bucs that were close to 9M? I am going to guess no since he waited so long to sign as an FA.
    We will see who has the better season, and I think the Bucs made the right move because it saved them some money, but to compare their contracts and act as if that proves a point as to who is better or more well thought of around the league is very disingenuous

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  11. Kudos Scott: Your most honest assessment of Licht on PR.

    “I’m not suggesting Licht is a Top 10 general manager – or even that he belongs in the top half of the league”.

    “they better fix their right guard spot because there is a decent chance that McCoy will tear up Alex Cappa twice this year if they don’t.”

    On-point with both!

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  12. I would argue 31 out of 32 might be too high. Licht is awful and those who don’t have any personal ties to him like the PR staff can easily see how bad he has been. You look at a player like Spence who was drafted 3 years ago for a scheme he never fit into, now 3 years later we get Bowles who might be able to salvage him and somehow Licht isn’t to blame? Whether Mike Smith could or couldn’t use him its Lichts job to get players that fit whatever that awful scheme was he signed off on. Our record in the last 5 years is because of Licht not in spite of him. If Mike Smith was running a scheme that doesn’t fit the players you draft why hire/re-sign him? If George Warhop was the problem why let him stay here for 5 years if you didn’t think he was doing a good job? Of the top 5 re-signings 3 were ALREADY HERE lol. Anybody that looks at our DL and says that GMC was the problem last year is an obvious fool. MAybe Bowles will make it work but he will surely be doing so with less talent bc GMC will always be better than Nacho, Beau and Willy G who were brought back with no question.

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  13. First things first – McCoy is only on a 1 year deal in Carolina. Even still, his roster spot isn’t guaranteed there. There are 2 bonuses attached to making the camp roster and then the 45 man game day roster totaling $1m. Why structure those bonuses if it’s a certainty he will be there? Clearly its a concern and Carolina holds the cards. Also, he won’t face the Bucs for years to come. He will face them twice next year if he can make that team and remain healthy. Moving on…

    Losing JPP would really, really stink if the Bucs were still in a 4-3. In a 3-4, Im not sure I see his value in a 2 point stance and dropping into coverage. Don’t get me wrong, his pass rushing ability from a 3 point stance was the best on the roster and I think any team is better with JPP than without, but he is replaceable in the new scheme. Barrett and Spence are younger, better in coverage and have more experience in a 3-4.

    The fact that JPP wasn’t traded on draft day surprised me. He was worth a 3rd a year ago and doubled his production to a dozen sacks with a cap friendly premiere 4-3 DE contract. He could have gathered a 3rd and 5th in my estimation. That was a fail by Licht in my opinion.

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  14. Licht not the 31 of 32 GM’s. He has done a lot better than a lot of other GM’s in the NFL. Yes he has not hit 1000 in the draft but not one other GM has ever done that. Free agency is a bigger crap shoot than the draft its why EVERY GM is a better drafter than they are at signing free agents. Enough of this kicker crap already, yes he shouldn’t have drafted a kicker in the 2nd round but taking one in the 5th round is where you start to look at them. 5th rounders will RARELY and I mean RARELY make the team unless that team has 0 depth and more holes in the roster than swiss cheese. I am honestly glad he took a kicker in the 5th its not like any in free agency were truly worth bringing in and Santos has the weakest leg of all the kickers i have seen play in Tampa. So selecting Gay was a good use of a 5th round pick. There was a PUNTER taken before Gay in the 4th round and a punter taken after Gay later in the 5th round and yet no one has said a word about the GM’s that took them but oh Licht took a kicker and he gets trashed and thrown under the bus. Thats like saying because Trent Dilfer didnt really work out for the Bucs so they should never ever draft another QB, or because Gaines Adams didn’t work out they should never draft another DE. People do realize that the kicker on every team scores the most points (usually) every season right? Ever since Matt Bryant was released this team has had a turnstile at kicker, I just hope Matt Gay stops that turnstile for at least a few seasons. I like that Matt Gay has had some struggles in his life because it shows he is a fighter and not one to give up which should help him in the NFL.

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  15. Really pulling for Noah Spence. Guy was tough his rookie year, played injured and had a solid season. Since then whether injury, scheme, fit, whatever, he hasn’t been able to get on track. I’ve watched him in training camp over the years and he’s been impressive, have always expected him to break out.

    Hope this is the year, we need him!

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  16. If really disturbs me that the New England Patriots thought Adam Humphries was worth a hell of a lot more than the Bucs did I at the time thought they were crazy for dumping him because he saved Winston’s ass several times. Even the pewter boys Justified their move it’ll be very interesting to see Humphries numbers this year

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  17. PR says McCoy has always admired Cam, maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t like to hit or pressure him into a mistake.
    Either that or he is just busy admiring him.
    I would guess he always admired him when he would do hos little Superman act in the end zone or his dab on the field after running for a first down against the defense he captained.
    A lot of defenders would get fighting mad about those antics but apparently not our great big teddy bear, the always affable McCoy.
    Good riddance, Gerald. You were a major cog in the losing culture of this team.

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  18. Knowing the way BA has been since he got here, I would be surprised if JPP is on the final roster.
    Right now I think the Bucs are just biding their time to see if anything better comes along.
    No reason to act rashly, just bide your time and keep a careful eye on his healing process.
    You can bet if something better appears like a John Abraham or Dwight Feeney,, JPP will be gone without a thought.
    It’s a business folks.

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  19. Why is Scott going back defending his boy Licht? I’m not getting into this old argument, Licht’s won, loss record speaks for itself. Five years of drafting in the top ten of the draft, how many pro bowlers did he draft compared to our rival Saints, how many rookie of the year, how many division titles, playoff games? Crickets. When you point to JPP as the second best F.A. pick up, proves more of what a bad GM Licht is. Paid him 14 million last year, he got his sacks, was never a difference maker, still finished with the worst D in the league. Gave up a high 3rd round pick in a loaded draft, for an aging overpaid vet, that now has a fractured neck. Yeah he was in a car wreck, instead of being with his team at OTA’s. He may never play again, but Licht is riding hope till November, since 7.5 million is invested, might as well give him the other 7 for shits, and giggles. Wouldn’t be the first time Licht overpaid for nothing, see Brent Grimes last year. Yeah Licht’s a real success story Scott.

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  20. As far as Licht’s resignings, I would just narrow it down to Brett Crimes.
    Sorry but signing an experienced OL that can play multiple positions for $2 million is a bargain.
    Chris Conte was also a very serviceable safety who was put in bad situations by Mike Smith’s flaky scheme that forced him into covering the other teams fastest and best WR at times.

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  21. Mac, you probably don’t remember but Tonah Kpassagnon was one of my favorites in the 2017 draft. While he hasn’t stood out thus far I think he might excel in Todd Bowls 34 defense. To your point however I would definitely put JPP on the Non football related IR and and let BA use the Cap savings in an area of need. I forgot KC switched back to 43 which in effect neutralized Kpassagnon.

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  22. Regarding someones comment about Suh having no other offers this year and thus finally signing with the red-headed-step-sister of NFL teams, not so fast.

    Last year Suh was paid $14M by LA, but had verifiably LARGER contract offers from N.O. and Tennessee.

    HE chose to play for LA.

    Donald’s sack numbers doubled and even though Wade Phillips secondary was swiss cheese, Suh and Donald were arguably the best interior tandem in the NFL. He wasn’t re-signed because Dante Fowler flashed in the playoffs like Suh but is 7 years younger. No one in LA talked shit about Suh being a bad team mate. He was only there for 1 year and they went to the Super Bowl after all. Can’t keep everyone.

    This offseason started with him focusing on his future with his fiance after losing the superbowl in a defensive battle. He says he had offers but waited for the right offer and I believe that.

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  23. Something happened in LA with Suh they did not want him back at any price,my guess they keep there reason quiet.
    However not 1 team other than bucs offered him a dime. That causes me to pause and wonder!
    What do the teams know and did bucs decide to take him anyway.

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  24. Yes martini, I do remember and thought about you when I was penning the post. lol. The Bucs are in win now mode and would probably not take on any player to develop. They will look for someone with experience who can step in and hopefully make a difference right away. Experienced players cost money, the one thing the Bucs don’t have now. I simply offered an alternative. But in BA I trust, we’ll get there one way or another. Have a good day my friend. Go Bucs!

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  25. PR just wasted 2 full pages breaking down Jason Licht’s accomplishments. I could have summarized it in one line: 27-53 with no playoff appearances.

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  26. @BAB Seattle, Indianapolis, Tennessee, and Cleveland were front running teams that were interesting in acquiring Suh this offseason according to a March report from CBS Sports.

    I think you need to stop drinking your own bathwater Boneheaded Ass Bob. You yourself said a premium talent like Suh would never choose to play in Tampa. As usual your trolling analysis was wrong.

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  27. @tog Opening day roster in 2018 vs. the Saints featured one rookie starter last year. Carlton Davis III played for Grimes who was doubtful with a groin injury. That’s it. MJ Stewart ended up playing because VHIII broke his arm in the game. The Bucs injuries forced rookies to start sooner than expected, not the skill level of the veteran players ahead of them on the depth chart. Every team in the NFL started at least 1 rookie during week 1 last year.

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  28. I like Licht, and hope the Bucs can put it together this season.

    However, there’s too much analysis in the article. I don’t care what players Licht has acquired, he hasn’t built a winning team. And he picked the last coach.

    5-11 for the last 2 years.
    Cap is maxed.

    Pretty big difference from where the Rams are.

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  29. The Glazers, fans and the media picked the last coach. Do you think Jason Licht wanted to fire Lovie and promote Koetter? That was a forced decision and I call mulligan.

    The owners must have had a MASSIVE voice in promoting Dirk Koetter. He was awesome with the media. Fans loved him. He was the only good coach that year and developing #1 pick Winston in the same system was paramount. DC Frazier was stripped of his duties by Lovie during that 2-14 season so it wasn’t gonna be him. I remember Lovie constantly saying, “While I was in my basement the last year…” Lovie was hired by owners. Lovie hired his coaches including his son to coach the secondary. His tenure was a fucking joke from jump. Remember OC Jeff Tedfords offense? Yeah, me either because he was a no-show! All before Licht!

    I’m defending Jason Licht but if shit goes sideways this season, regardless of schedule excuses, division excuses, injuries, etc. I’m on board with a change.

    This is the first time he’s truly ran the show, and he’s responsible for LANDING Bruce Arians who is a proven winner who embraces fundamentals that have been sorely missing on this football team.

    Go Bucs! Playoffs or BUST!

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  30. “Great players can’t overcome bad coaching.” -Bill Bellichick

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  31. I think it is time for predictions. Does anyone want to venture there? I give Bucs 3 wins due to BA. That would make them 8-8. But I take away two wins for all the losses we took in free-agency, trades, and Injuries before the Season. 6-10 is my Prediction with this Schedule. We will be improved but it will take more than one year for BA to turn this around.

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  32. When teams have poor won-loss records for as long as our favorite team has suffered, there is plenty of blame to go around. Is it the Glazers, Jason Licht, the parade of coaches or even us fans? For me, it’s a little of everything, but I do think “Meathead” has to be the bullseye on the target of the “Flying Fickle Finger of Fate.”

    It’s not that he hasn’t tried. It’s not that he hasn’t cared. What I believe is that he has perhaps been too influenced by others in the personnel department and the coaching staffs. As a GM, one must listen to those voices, but in the end, take responsibility for making the ultimate decision on draft choices, trades, re-signings and free agents.

    The mistakes have been magnified because of the poor results on the field, for which I think coaching, injuries and a lousy PK have played a part. If the team was competing for a championship with a mediocre free agent PK, we might actually laugh about the Arquayo choice.

    What I know is that this season is going to go one of two ways for Jason Licht’s Buccaneer career. It will either be his second wind or his last gasp.

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  33. Big stupid looking hat ,what was name of any team that other than Bucs that offered Suh any amount over a penny for 2019 ???????
    March came and went until Bucs he was offered nata nothing zilch. WHY IS THAT Big stupid looking hat ?

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  34. DumbAssSlob………….I don’t know what makes you so stupid, but it really works. Calling you an idiot would be an insult to all the stupid people..

    It’s better to let someone think you are an Idiot than to open your mouth and prove it. Troll away!

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  35. @Bucassbob Suh didn’t sign with a team in March for the same reason Tampa didn’t cut Gerald in March: they both wanted to be patient and didn’t have to make a move immediately.

    When your the one holding the cards, you get to play them however you want.

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  36. Another Good Fab 5, Steve don’t you think we’ve run out of excuses for Jason Licht? I mean I have defended Licht on here for years but there’s really no more excuses for him at this point right. Yet I read in fab 3 this quote from you “hitting on free agents around the league is harder than hitting on draft picks”. In what universe is this true on.
    First off every player that has become a FA in the league has at least played in the league. Besides health every GM in the league has the advantage of NFL game film,stats and interviews to make an educated signing. So bust like A.Collins,C. Baker,M. Johnson,Grimes etc are avoidable. Yet Licht willfully & knowingly signed these players to huge contracts hoping that they would pan out.
    Second: Drafting a young kid out of college moving them to a different city and giving them generational money is a recipe for disaster. Most of these kids can’t handle that responsibility along with playing against NFL competition hence why the bust rate of draft picks are so high.
    #NoMoreExcuses: like position coaches, D coordinators,Head Coaches,Schemes or any other thing we can make up. To me Licht had this offseason to fix the obvious problems on this team O line & D line and decided to draft a bunch of DB’s with the “hopes” of Nassib,Barrett,Spence and Cappa,Benenoch,Jensen stepping up and doing something that they’ve never done before. Which is be anything other than backups. Sorry, I will be a Bucs fan until I Die but I ain’t buying that.

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  37. Maybe I’m out of date, but if Nassib is 275 pounds, while I can see that for a defensive lineman, isn’t that a big heavy for a outside linebacker. How do you cover a running back at that weight? Truthfully that is one thing that I have not understood about this whole transition to a 3-4 Defense. Defense of end an outside linebacker are very different positions.

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  38. I say this as a Nassib fan. It just seems to make sense to me to keep him at defensive end

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  39. Rather than call me stupid please give me the name of the team that made hard
    offer to Suh in writing other than Bucs.
    When you ask hard questions to the trolls they answer with insults only.

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  40. I’m not suggesting Licht is a Top 10 general manager – or even that he belongs in the top half of the league – but in terms of acquiring talent, especially through the draft, I think he’s done a good job of stockpiling talent, specifically on the offensive side of the ball.”

    As usual missing the point completely. Yes BL can’t stop chasing the shiny penny and so we’ve over-drafted the skill positions. But we’ve failed to use high picks on the lines which undermines those very same skill players.

    Evans was a no brainer and Marpet has been good. But unless Winston stops being a turnover machine (ie, one for every TD) and improves his accuracy drafting him will have been a mistake, the opinion of Kwon varies widely (ie, very active vs missed tackles) and unless OJH becomes a multi season all pro he will have been a clear mistake from a resource allocation perspective (ie using a first rounder for luxury pick on a roster in desperate need of quality starters at numerous positions).

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  41. Guys this is off subject but I have read that LT Trent Williams of the Skins has asked to be traded or released by Washington, I’m wondering if we would be interested at all if this becomes more of a story.

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  42. Trent Williams wants a new deal and one of the problem we have is our Salary Cap. We still have to find money to sign our top pick D White. Someone brought up the idea of releasing JPP to free up 7.5 mil which to me makes a lot of sense because it’ll allow us to at least explore this as an option.

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  43. IRONY ALERT! If only the Bucs had some cap space, they could immediately spend it on a hold out left tackle who’s demanding to be traded and causing issues at his current organization. Makes total sense Bucs fans.

    Please Bucs, no more free agent offensive tackles who are wanting top dollar. I would like to see what Bruce Arians staff can do with the guys that are on the roster or guys that are under the radar and become camp cuts.

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  44. Owner ship are not football fans. I truly believe a few of the people on this site could do better than Jason. Unless he was hired to fail.

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  45. This one is for all the doubters of SUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!

    He was mic’d up at Bucs practice. It’s only 3 minutes long but DAMN, there is something different happening in Tampa. Take a listen…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy0PNOvpn2c

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  46. These OLB’s are going to surprise people. Don’t need elite talent for this scheme to work just need guys that buy in and understand their roles.

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  47. Wasn’t Michael Johnson a FA pick-up of Lichts? And isn’t Will Gholston a resigning?? they both sucked for the Bucs. Difference is Licht signed and released one who had shown it in the past at least and the other he REsigned when he had done absolutely nothing ever. Got what he paid for because he’s continued to do absolutely nothing every year since.. How is he on the team still?? Scares me hearing these coaches saying they like what they’ve seen of him at DT..

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  48. I am NOT saying we should’ve kept Johnson.I’m saying him and Gholston should be listed in his top 50 bad signings.. I mean, 5.

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  49. Man, it sure is Buc luck that JPP isn’t gonna be playing this year. To see what he could do in this defense with this talent around him would have been something special.

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