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FAB 1. Licht’s Bucs Heading To Playoffs

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht knows he has his detractors. He can’t run from or argue the fact that Tampa Bay has a 34-62 record with him at the helm of the franchise over the past six years.

Heck, Bruce Allen – a far worse general manager than Licht – had a record of 38-42 and presided over three winning seasons in Tampa Bay out of his five years with the Bucs from 2004-08, including a pair of NFC South division championships in 2005 and ’07. Of course Allen had one head coach during his tenure – Jon Gruden, the winningest coach in Bucs history – in addition to some real star power on the team in legends Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber.

Licht inherited a 4-12 Bucs team that didn’t have much talent at all in 2014 and unfortunately it got worse before it got better in Tampa Bay.

Licht’s record when it comes to the NFL Draft hasn’t been perfect, either. No NFL general manager’s is.

There were some high-profile swings and misses in a pair of second-round picks in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, edge rusher Noah Spence and kicker Roberto Aguayo, who was Licht’s worst pick in Tampa Bay. Licht’s entire 2016 draft class has been wiped out in five years, save for fourth-round pick Ryan Smith, who plays mostly on special teams.

There have been some free agent blunders, too.

Licht signed defensive end Michael Johnson and quarterback Josh McCown at the behest of the man that hired him, former head coach Lovie Smith, but Licht owns the fact that signing left tackle Anthony Collins, was his bad idea. All three high-profile free agents contributed to a 2-14 season in 2014 and were promptly cut the next year.

Licht also signed lazy defensive tackle Chris Baker, who was a locker room cancer, and added DeSean Jackson, who became disgruntled in Tampa Bay despite signing a three-year, $33.5 million contract in 2017. His signing of defensive end Vinny Curry the next year didn’t pan out.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Even Licht’s handpicked head coach, Dirk Koetter, who replaced Smith, didn’t work out either, finishing with a pair of disappointing 5-11 seasons after a 9-7 record in his first year.

Yet Licht doesn’t give up. That’s not in his DNA.

His father, the late Ron Licht – the hardest-working man Licht has known – wouldn’t approve of that.

Make a mistake? Hanging on to it only makes it work.

Get rid of the mistake and then try again.

Licht’s dad used to say that he didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t willing to get dirt under his fingernails.

Do the dirty work, keep working and get the job done.

His dad was a worker and not a quitter. Licht is very much the same way.

It’s rare that a modern day NFL general manager can survive missing on a head coaching hire, or missing on drafting a quarterback in the first round, especially with the first overall pick.

Licht has actually survived both in back-to-back seasons, and there is a good reason why he’s still at the helm of the Bucs franchise heading into his seventh season.

Licht has built a playoff-caliber roster in Tampa Bay.

Finally.

Bucs QB Tom Brady - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images

It took some time – longer than he, the Glazers and the team’s fans around the world – wanted, but the 2020 Buccaneers are playoff-ready. Perhaps even Super Bowl-ready with the acquisition of Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all-time, in addition to being a six-time champion, this offseason.

Even at 42, Brady is viewed as an upgrade over Jameis Winston, whose league-high 30 interceptions last year not only caused the Bucs to turn away from him, but also have him unsigned by any other NFL team over two weeks into free agency. The fact that Licht was able to lure Bruce Arians out of retirement last year played a huge role in landing Brady, as did the offensive arsenal that Licht has assembled in Tampa Bay.

Licht’s first-ever draft pick, Mike Evans, is a three-time Pro Bowler and the most prolific receiver in Tampa Bay history. Licht also drafted three other Pro Bowlers over the years in wide receiver Chris Godwin, Winston, former middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. Licht also bolstered the offensive weaponry with an undrafted free agent find in tight end Cameron Brate, tight end O.J. Howard, a former first-round pick, and running back Ronald Jones II, a second-round pick.

That arsenal helped attract Brady to Tampa Bay this offseason.

Licht’s offensive line is a work in progress with a pair of second-round picks in left tackle Donovan Smith and left guard Ali Marpet, and a third-rounder in right guard Alex Cappa. Three years ago, Licht also signed center Ryan Jensen, who was Tampa Bay’s highest-graded offensive lineman last year, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s expected to spend a premium pick to address the right tackle position in the upcoming draft.

On the defensive side of the ball, which has been an issues for over a decade in Tampa Bay, Licht has assembled the league’s top rushing defense, led by Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David and a pair of recent first-round picks in nose tackle Vita Vea and inside linebacker Devin White – both have Pro Bowl potential. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has proven to be an upgrade in run defense over six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul and GM Jason Licht / Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul and GM Jason Licht / Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay’s stellar run defense on early downs set up sacks aplenty on third down last year, as the Bucs’ 47 sacks were the second-most in franchise history behind the 55 the Bucs recorded in 2000. Pro Bowl outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, Licht’s top free agent acquisition of all time and the league’s best free agent signing last year, led the NFL with 19.5 sacks, which broke Warren Sapp’s franchise record of 16.5 set in 2000.

Licht really began improving the pass rush in 2018 when he traded a third-round draft pick for Jason Pierre-Paul, who recorded 12.5 sacks in his first year in Tampa Bay and another 8.5 last year after missing the first six games of the year with a neck injury from an offseason car crash. He’s also drafted a trio of young, talented cornerbacks in Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean over the past two years to help shut down the pass.

Not only has Licht been able to acquire a lot of talent over the past couple of years, but he and his right-hand man, Mike Greenberg, the team’s director of football administration, have been able to keep it. Evans, Brate and Marpet were re-signed in 2018 and Pierre-Paul, Barrett and Suh were re-signed this offseason.

Yet the two most important moves Licht has made since becoming Tampa Bay’s general manager in 2014 are hiring Arians and signing Brady.

Leadership starts at the top, and the three most important positions any NFL team can have are the general manager, the head coach and the quarterback.

Those positions seem to be in a really good place right now with Licht, Arians and Brady in 2020 – a much better place than the Bucs have experienced over the last decade. And with the draft coming up later this month, Tampa Bay’s roster will acquire even more talent.

The arrow is definitely pointing up for this Buccaneers franchise.

The late Ron Licht and Bucs LB Lavonte David
The late Ron Licht and Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo courtesy of Jason Licht

And the arrow is pointing up because of Licht and his front office, which includes some aces in Greenberg, director of player personnel John Spytek and director of college scouting Mike Biehl, as well as a talented coaching staff and roster he has assembled.

Ron Licht would be very proud.

After the expected outcome of the 2020 season, which is a return to the playoffs for the Bucs, the guess here is that Jason Licht will have far fewer detractors in Tampa Bay.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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seat26
1 month ago

This is a waste of time. NFL knows it is very unlikely there will be a Season. Brady is going to sit at home, there will be no mini-camps, or Training Camp, or Pre-season or regular season. The NFL (tax-exempt) cannot afford a PR nightmare where NFL players and Fans are put at risk. The peak of the Virus in America will probably play out right before the Season is to start.

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Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Actually experts are saying the virus will peak late April/May for most of the country. What you are talking about is the 2nd wave that could start up in the Fall.

I think what the NFL will do is extensive testing and play the games without fans while pushing back the start of the season IMO.

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BigSombrero
1 month ago
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0

I’m cautiously optimistic like you @Alldaway2.0.

I think the time between now and the start of the season will afford factories, labs, and clinicians the opportunity to better handle a fall outbreak while developing a vaccine and better treatments.

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0

Actually, the experts are saying for the most part that they don’t know when the peak will occur, and that if and when the peak occurs, it won’t be all simultaneously across the nation, and the passing of the peak by no means is the end of the virus effects and the social distancing and other efforts to combat the spread. The peak may occur in New York City later this month, but lots of other places, like Florida, are weeks behind NYC. In fact, if you pay attention the curves in those analyses of what happens if we “flatten… Read more »

seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0

That is what WH experts are saying which basically means Jarred Kushner. I have not heard CDC or John Hopkins say that. And on top of it, unless every state and every person observes social distancing the numbers could be much much worse. Do you think that is happening now? It’s definitely is not happening in Florida.

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76Buc
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

The Marxist press has over blown the whole thing. Just wait and see the results.

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  76Buc

You’re a stupid idiot. As is anyone who claims stupidly that the media is marxist. But you are quite obviously Trumpist, which makes you a member of a particularly stupid and self destructive political-religious cult.

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cgmaster27
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

Your lack of self awareness is typical of your type Naples. You immediately go to the childish name calling. Then assuming his political affiliation based off of what he thinks of the media, which has been proven time and time again, they are a joke. You reak of that “tolerant left” we all see everywhere now.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Stop it dude. Do we really need anymore negative posts. Keep it to yourself. Things are already scary and depressing enough without the constant negative, pessimistic comments. The season is 5 months away. Relax

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

We’ve disagreed before Dave, but I’m 100% with you on this one. The “nattering nabobs of negativism”(Spiro T. Agnew, 1970) just bring people down.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  AlbJack65

@Albjack. One thing with me dude, nothing is personal. Ever. I can hate one of your football views, and another day love what you have to say. Outside BAB, I don’t hit the thumbs down or thumbs up based on who said it. I read the comment and if I agree I hit like, If I don’t I hit thumbs down. I probably agree and hit thumbs up more than I disagree or hit thumbs down. But yeah to echo your reply, we need more positive comments. I love that the NFL isn’t following other sports. Having the draft, and… Read more »

dotASC
1 month ago
Reply to  AlbJack65

Hey! I’d always attributed that phrase to the late great Chris Thomas.

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matador
1 month ago
Reply to  dotASC

Big fan thanks for the mention

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seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  AlbJack65

Well, then explain to me how the locker room will work with 90 guys in Training Camp? Explain to me how a huddle will work. And tell me what the NFL will do when the first NFL Player gets sick or dies? Nearly 300K Americans are infected. What do you think it will be in 2 months?

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Dude – playing ostrich and hiding your head in the sand does not make the problem go away, as our fecklessly incompetent and negligent President proved with his approach to managing the coronavirus pandemic in the US – his approach being to ignore it and denounce it as a political hoax, repeatedly, for months on end, though he now denies the undeniable. All the other sports in America are already kaput. The future progress of the arrest of the coronavirus pandemic is completely unknown. After all, it was only a month ago that Trump, in a political rally, proclaimed that… Read more »

dotASC
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

Who’s this Trump guy? Must play in the AFC.

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matador
1 month ago
Reply to  dotASC

XFL

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

Nope it doesn’t make the problem go away. But people like you that continue to try and instill fear in the American public is just as big a problem as the virus itself. I talk football on this forum. I do NOT talk politics. Take that crap elsewhere. Don’t pretend to be a medical expert in a football forum. You know as much as me, and everyone else, nothing. You want to go around and tell the entire country to be spend every single day of their life in fear of this virus, go right ahead. I’ll continue to live… Read more »

Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

No – people like me try to educate morons who refuse to accept reality, not promote fear. Fear is an emotion, and does nobody any good at all. Just as hubris and gross overconfidence are emotions that do nobody any good at all.

I deal in facts and reality and engineering and science and what seems to be uncommon sense, since the common kind seems to be absent in way too many yahoos today.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

Reality and facts are you know absolutely nothing, and anyone that says they know when this will end is lying. Despite all the really cute words you use. Those are the “facts and reality”

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seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Just follow the guidelines. Wash your hands like you have a fetish, wear masks, (will protect others if you are infected and do no know) wear gloves and social distance from everyone. Only go out to shop for food.

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

I know vastly more facts and reality than you do, quite obviously.

Facts and reality are kryptonite to Trumpist fools like you.

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BucHarbour
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

You deal in facts? My ass you do. The “models” that have been predicting this doom, specifically the IMEH model being used by the CDC and other “experts” keeps exaggerating predictions by orders of magnitude. The model put out earlier in the week, said we’d have 121,000 hospitalizations on Wednesday. Actual number? 31,142. Right now, the vast majority of new deaths are occurring in the New York City area and New Orleans. Most of the country isn’t really seeing an acceleration. This whole “my God, we’re all gonna die!!!” mentality is ridiculous. Quite frankly, the social distancing is decreasing the… Read more »

seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  BucHarbour

Who said that? There are over 7000 infections in Florida and you can be sure it is much worse than that. The governor just issued a limited stay at home order after he allowed the beaches to be filled and Spring Break to continue. The worst has not happened yet.

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BucHarbour
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

I just can’t abide idiocy. There are 22 million people in Florida now. There are 10,098 current active cases, or 0.0459% of the population. There are currently 170 deaths (mostly old people with other underlying health issues), or 0.00077% of the population. Stop spreading panic over something with these kinds of numbers. According to Florida’s stats, nearly 300 people died last week due to flu caused pneumonia. We’ve lost 170 to COVID in a month. Please stop with the nonsense. Is this a serious disease? Yes. Is it something you need to be freaking out about? Not in the slightest.… Read more »

Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  BucHarbour

If you cannot abide idiocy, then by all means, off yourself, as you threaten will be the result of truth and reality instead of lies and abject fantasy that you traffic in.

You are bleating like a sheep – really, get some meds.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  BucHarbour

BucHarbour you couldn’t have said it better if you tried. 1000% agree!

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Both of you are utter idiots, pretending reality does not exist. Josef Goebbles would be proud of you, as would Bagdad Bob, and your idiot destructive lying leader, Trump.

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  BucHarbour

You are a blithering Trumplican idiot, quite obviously, who is as familiar with facts and reality as you are with truth and sciences, which is to say, not at all. You bloviate and pretend to apply science, in much the same way that sophists always pretend they deal in truth when of course you all are dealing solely in propaganda and misdirection. But if there is going to be a mass increase in suicides, it will be folks like you come the aftermath of November 3 when you and your kind are ejected from the seat of power. Rate this… Read more »

seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

It’s not about instilling fear. It is about being responsible for the sake of everyone else.

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Naplesfan
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Seat 26 – these two buffoons are abject idiot trolls. They think that by repeating the lie often enough that it becomes the truth, same as their Dear Leader Trump, who says that whatever he feels in his (massive) gut must be the truth.

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BucHarbour
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

You talk about facts. What facts? I actually gave you facts. Numbers. All verifiable. But you’re the one that keeps dragging politics into it and blithering on without anything to back you up. News flash: I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. Now why don’t you crawl into your little safe space, devoid of facts, and curl up and hope the end comes soon. The simple fact is you just listen to the media and don’t do any research on your own. Otherwise, you’d know everything I’ve brought up in these threads is true. You just can’t handle any truth… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  BucHarbour

BucsHarbour. The dude is a clown. I deal with facts and reality. Wow interesting seeing as there is absolutely NOTHING about this that can possibly predict facts 3 or 4 months from now. Idiots like you are everything wrong with this world. Well I’ll be looking for you in 3 or 4 months when this all passes and the death toll doesn’t come anywhere near the vicinity of 200K deaths. Dealing with facts and reality lol it’s like me saying Brady will tear his ACL by week 5. Well I’m just dealing with facts and reality. Jesus what a halfwit… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

And I’m not a Trump guy smart a$$. Maybe you should get your “facts and reality straight” before making more blind predictions and calling them facts

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cgmaster27
1 month ago
Reply to  Naplesfan

I’m laughing my ass off watching you make an utter fool of yourself Naples. Your trump derangement syndrome is shining its pretty head. All name calling and hard talk behind a keyboard. As those gentleman mentioned below, neither voted for Trump, yet you scream your delusion for the president in every post ,only showing your alt left derangement. Your literally proving most of Trumps claims in your very words you clown. Maybe you’re the troll? Maybe you’re the idiot? Now stick to football, stop dragging politics into your every wasteful post. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

Johnny Cannons
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

I’m not buying this, and here’s why: Money. Tax exempt or not, the NFL is a enormous cash cow for a wide swath of industries – far bigger than the other three major sports who stand to be very negatively affected by a major spring event such as COVID-19. It’ll be all hands on deck to get the season underway, but the entire league will be on a level playing field from that regard. We may see shortened OTAs/training camp, and we may see some bad football in September as a result. But I don’t think the NFL season will… Read more »

76Buc
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Training camp will open on time.

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Leaving politics aside, all I know is that the timing of this pandemic could not be worse for me. I accepted an offer to return to my former company for significantly more money and benefits than I was currently making and gave two weeks notice at my current job. A week later I get a call that they have a 2 week hiring freeze which was later extended to 1 month. So now I am……unemployed for at least a month. 54 years old, never filed for unemployment my entire life. Now that I’ve decided to do so, the state website… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  AlbJack65

AlbJack65. Sorry to hear man. To me, that’s where this pandemic is hurting people the most is financially. 6.6 MIL new unemployment claims have been filed in the US. Just in MA alone where we live, we’ve had 182,000 unemployment claims in the last 2 weeks. This is where the pandemic is killing people. Financially. Between the record number of unemployment claims, and enormous rise in suicide rate, doesn’t compare to the 2% death rate of the .00009 % of people that have contracted the cv

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Thanks. Sounds like you and I probably agree more than we disagree. On a brighter note, I got up at 3 AM and the Florida unemployment website worked just fine. I figured 3 AM on a Sunday morning would have much less people attempting to use the website and I was correct. How did you end up a Bucs fan living in MA?

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  AlbJack65

For sure man! Lol. And In the early 90’s I loved those creamsicles. Thought they were cool. So the Bucs peaked my interest. And my dad was a pretty big Hardy Nickerson fan, so the 2 combined got me to start following the Bucs. I also liked Lynch, and when they drafted Alstott, I really became a true diehard fan because he was my favorite player of the mid to late 90’s. And the rest is history as they say

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Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago

Allen was signed by the Patriots so drafting a DT as depth and future starter in a DT class that will have enough talent would be a good plan for the Bucs. It is a deep WR class and I am eager to see what type of WR the Bucs go after to replace the departed Perriman. And on a final note yes to drafting two young OL to compete for starting playing time/depth. I am sure the staff likes the young guys they are developing but at the end of the day this team doesn’t have much success developing… Read more »

BigSombrero
1 month ago
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0

I have commented on multiple articles to that Beau Allen signed with New England in March. I also keep mentioning to another poster that Jalen Richard is not a free agent.

This class has great depth at WR, OL, RB. I feel confident the Bucs will grab one or more of each.

They would be smart to get an OLB too.

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sunshineben
1 month ago

Licht has been a complete failure as bucs gm … look at the record !!

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  sunshineben

You should change the name to cloudyben.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  sunshineben

Sorry dude but I think he gets way too much criticism. I’m not gonna pretend he’s been a slam dunk by any means. But between some really solid FA pickups and some HR draft picks, to go along with getting BA and Bowles, he could have been worse. He’s probably middle of the pack in the league as far as hits versus misses. Everyone looks at the Pats as the model franchise, and BB as a genius. But here are Bills league average, or above league average draft picks since 2014(Lichts 1st year) J.White, Garroppolo, S.Mason, T.Flowers, J.Thuney, J.Brissett, and… Read more »

matador
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Winston? Smith? Howard? On what planet? If you could do it over again you wouldn’t have drafted any of them.

Evans was so obvious and WR a need that a chimp would have drafted him. If you have to fluff up your argument by including J. Evans and C. Davis it shows you have no argument.

Licht’s drafts have been atrocious and he has been drafting near the top of every round not the bottom like Billicheat.

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  matador

Read my comment again genius. I said league average to above league average picks. And seeing as you like to play the hindsight game, who should they have taken at #1 in 2015 instead of Jameis? I’m all ears. And actually if I had to do it over 100 times out of 100 I would have taken all 3. Jameis was the clear obvious #1 or 2. In the worst QB draft in recent memory. That 2015 draft sucked. We needed a QB. If we didn’t take Winston or Mariota, that would have been completely foolish in every sense of… Read more »

matador
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Sorry but I have to disagree about OJH. Licht thought he was lucky but every GM who passed on him knew better. Plus we already had Brate so not only did he overdraft the player he misallocated draft capital, using a #1 on a position we didn’t have any need for. If we had drafted a lineman on either side of the ball we would be far better off today. On top of the poor allocation decision, which is a hallmark of Licht’s consistently undisciplined draft day decision making, OJH’s output has sucked for a first round draft pick, averaging… Read more »

BigSombrero
1 month ago
Reply to  sunshineben

If the Bucs can’t win with:
1. Arians at HC, Bowles at DC
2. Tom Brady
3. 2019 NFL Sack leader
4. 2019 #1 rush defense
5. Best tandem at WR
6. Best tandem at ILB
7. 10th highest paid OL

Then Licht/Arians will be fired.

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76Buc
1 month ago
Reply to  BigSombrero

And the Glaser’s should be fired and the entire Tampa Bay area should be fired.

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DrT1066
1 month ago

Scott. Loved your article.

Paul Gruber was I think the best offense of lineman the Bucs have ever had. He didn’t make the pro bowl because he played for really lousy buccaneer teams.

I vote for Mike Alstott He played faster than his speed. And he was a one man wrecking ball as a running back.

Love your idea Nick Harris. Like Jason Eason.

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DrT1066
1 month ago

Seat26
I am a physician. I don’t have a crystal ball though. I do expect things to be much better in September. There’s too much money involved with the NFL. If they have to they’ll play to an empty stadium. And maybe they can give me back my season-ticket money with interest. LOL. Even if they have to delay or shorten the start of the season the show must go on.

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seat26
1 month ago
Reply to  DrT1066

Well, I hope you are right. I think mini camp and Training Camp get canceled and then after that, who knows? I see a lot of heartbreak coming.

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stlbucsfan
1 month ago

The spin used to cover up Licht as an awful GM is hilarious. We were sold that the Josh McCown and Anthony Collins experiment was great until it wasn’t. We were sold that the Dunkaneers with Evans, VJax and ASJ would be the new wave until it wasn’t. We have a defense that improved Bc Bowles is bright enough to identify talent that will work in his scheme not some brilliant scounting job by Licht. Suh was available on 1 year contracts for seasons before DimLicht eventually pulled the trigger. Shaq was luck or he would’ve been signed to more… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

I do agree that Arians, Bowles and his staff heavily influenced the 2019 pickups and draft selections. Another strong draft in 2020 by Arians and Bowles will have this team positioned long term.

The Bucs were the 2nd youngest team in the NFL last season and with another 2020 draft they are going to be even younger.

Greenberg deserves credit for keeping the young nucleus together while having the Bucs positioned to have cap space for future use as well.

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drdneast
1 month ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

I will say Licht has gotten a little better at his job but after that 2016 draft how could you get any worse. But he still makes blunders like MJ Stewart in the second round who doesn’t have the speed and maybe even the quickness to play CB in the NFL. I don’t blame him for the mistake of drafting ASJ. The guy has all the talent in the world but unfortunately has a chronic illness that many American’s suffer from and appears to refuse he has a problem. But there have been so many other blunders and disappointments. How… Read more »

drdneast
1 month ago
Reply to  drdneast

Albjack65, is that the best quote you could come up with?
A quote from a disgraced criminally convicted VP who was associated with the most corrupt administration this country had ever seen until the current one.
Geeeesh.

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  drdneast

I wasn’t trying to be political. Never will on a football forum. It’s just a funny one-liner from history. Relax daddio!

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  drdneast

His 2014 draft was a success because he nabbed a perennial pro bowler and future HOF’er in Evans. His 15’ draft was a success getting Winston(regardless if he was worthy of the #1 pick) D.Smith, Marpet, and Kwon. His 16 draft was a complete bust top to bottom. That’s the one draft that hangs over him. 17’ draft was a succes, and in time could be a Grand Slam with OJ Howard, J.Evans, and Godwin. 18’ draft was an average draft with the potential to be a great draft with Vea, RJ, C.Davis, and Cappa. And 19’ draft will either… Read more »

The Wall
1 month ago
Reply to  stlbucsfan

Assuming Scott’s facts are correct, Licht’s tenure has been awful. Somehow Scott put a positive spin on it. Nothing against Licht personally, but I doubt, given his performance, he would still have a job anywhere else. I truly hope the Glazer’s loyalty will pay off and the Bucs will be a playoff team.

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twspin
1 month ago

Great article here Scott. I’m just not sold on all of the HYPE everybody else is. Why? Our Buc team has been there endless..countless times before. Put it all together and add, Licht is maybe average GM at best. And I’m being polite. Look at his record. It does not lie. I am also disappointed we are not trying to get a very good backup for Brady. I have this feeling, based on a buclife..we will need one. Gabbert is no way proven. I do know this for a fact..We had better shore up out protection. Brady can move in… Read more »

FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  twspin

Funny that just last year around this time SR and crew were saying they’d never again ride the hype train of the Bucs and that the team would have to prove itself on the field in order for them to believe. Guess that was SO 2019… lol Agreed though twspin, most of the pieces are there but there are still a few holes and our depth isn’t really comparable to our 2002 squad by any means. Adding Tom is a big get, but believe it’s going to take staying healthy and adding a few more impact players for us to… Read more »

dotASC
1 month ago
Reply to  twspin

Fair enough. I optimistically disagree, but you said it yourself you were polite about it. Have a thumbs up.

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BigSombrero
1 month ago

Outside linebacker should be sky high on the Bucs draft priority list. JPP or Barrett are both signed short term and are going to be expensive, this year and next year. Not a lot of depth for rotation and if either player goes down with injury, who knows what 4th round pick Nelson will do. It is hard to find a great OLB late in the draft. The Bucs passed on Josh Allen last year, but should take Chaisson, Gross-Matos, or Uche early over any offensive guard/tackle. Without a pass rush, the young secondary will get exposed by Ryan, Brees,… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  BigSombrero

We have a pass rush. That was not our issue on defense last year. Our problem was young inexperienced corners that took half the season to adjust to the speed of the NFL, and horrible safety play basically the entire season

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AlbJack65
1 month ago
Reply to  BigSombrero

Jason Licht would be considered a GENIE if ANTHONY NELSON turns into a star. I DREAM of a 4th round pick having a great career. It would be a MAJOR success story. We would begin to see Bucs fans all the way to COCOA BEACH. ASTRONAUTS would be watching Bucs games in space. …..See what I did there?

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dotASC
1 month ago

When reading Harris’s quotes, one can tell he’s got a good brain and a good attitude and a true passion for his craft. This game of inches often includes guys being too short, too light or t-rex armed. Brains haven’t really been measured in inches since the heyday of phrenology, and I have to believe the way a man thinks about the game, how he works with his fellow linemen and on his individual routine, matters more than one can easily measure. He’s a self professed “self-scouter” which is something one doesn’t usually say unless it’s true. Intriguing prospect Scott;… Read more »

FLBoy84
1 month ago

Having both Gabbert and Griffin as 30 year-old back-ups seems a bit redundant, as neither can really be viewed as long-term replacements to TB12 once he retires. Would seem wiser to grab a developmental prospect to groom as the heir-apparent, though if we’re not in love with any of the later round prospects this year, can see us waiting until the 2021 draft depending on what that QB class looks like.

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dotASC
1 month ago
Reply to  FLBoy84

Also somewhat perplexed that Quarterback is not really being addressed in these articles. True, it’s more fun, especially with so much downtime, to focus on sexier picks, but we really need to do something to prepare for the reality that TB12 is the ultimate stopgap. Not wise to kick that particular can down the road until next year.

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FLBoy84
1 month ago

Much like rehashing JW’s issues, saying Gay making kicks wins us two more games without accounting for how the misses from our opponents kicker’s affected games, is just another futile exercise. Will leave it to someone else to analyze, but imagine we finish with a similar 7-9 record (or worse) if every kick is made by both kickers in each game last year. Even then, impossible to predict how the game is managed, as the change in score would directly affect the play-calling mindset as well. As mentioned, a futile exercise. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

revfish
1 month ago
Reply to  FLBoy84

Don’t always agree with your Florida boy but you always make your points in a clear manner and you try not to get personal. I respect that. You are dead on about the kicker however. We need to bring somebody in to compete as he is not a sure thing

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FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  revfish

Thanks revfish, appreciate that. just think the whole coulda, woulda,shoulda thing is pointless, no matter the situation or player. To be clear, I actually do like Gay and think he’ll be our kicker for awhile. Like every other position though, do agree we definitely need to bring in competition to push him and keep him motivated and sharp. One of the (many) pitfalls in the Aguayo situation was Licht’s decision to not even give him legit competition in camp. Both Roberto and Jason admitted it was a mistake that likely had a lasting impact. Competition breeds fire and confidence. Rate… Read more »

Naplesfan
1 month ago

I am certainly not ready to give Licht a reprieve. Yes, getting Tom Brady was a big plus for the team and for his performance as GM, and sending Winston, Licht’s personal pick over the objections of the head coach and offensive coordinator at the time, who both wanted Mariota, on down the road is also a big plus. But that doesn’t erase five years of fecklessness either. The proof will be in the pudding. If this team does indeed advance to the playoffs and makes a decent run in the playoffs – i.e., winning at least one playoff game… Read more »

revfish
1 month ago

Scott, Paul Gruber is on par with Mike Evans as a draft pick. Pro bowls or no, he was the best or one of the top two or three tackles in the league for six years until his health began to go down. Doug Williams cannot be number five in my opinion. I am a fan of his, but we gave up a shot at Earl Campbell to get him, and Campbell would’ve been number one or number two on this list. Doug Williams is a good quarterback and deserves more respect from ownership than he got. Campbell however it… Read more »

liquidmuse3
1 month ago

Um, Scott? You know Beau Allen signed with the Patriots, yes?

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FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  liquidmuse3

No… evidently 🙂

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WhatTheBuc
1 month ago

I disagree about Marcus Jones. He played well for a while. I’m pretty sure he posted double digit sacks. Also Allen signed with the Pats I believe.

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scubog
1 month ago
Reply to  WhatTheBuc

Marcus Jones did very little at first, had a 13 sack season, got a big payday and faded again.

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FLBoy84
1 month ago

Would be really shocked if Harris is still on the board when we pick @ #117 in the 4th on Day 3. After teams have had a chance to review their boards overnight, if he’s still unpicked by the start of Day 3, have to imagine he’s one of the first guys gone. Can easily see him going in the 3rd, regardless if he’s a little undersized. Personally like a lot of the IOL prospects this year, and Harris is definitely one of them. Besides the many expert out there that like him, both Shaun O’Hara and John Thomas raved… Read more »

Dman
1 month ago

Good Fab 5, Scott. Interesting roster analysis, but not sure I’d waste a late draft pick on a QB. Griff and Gabbert know this system, can help TB and provide a back stop if TB gets injured. After the two year stint for TB and BA is finished, we’ll be in rebuild mode so a new QB will be sorted out then.

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FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  Dman

Understand your point, but believe there’s a massive benefit to having a young understudy sit and absorb as much knowledge as possible from TB12, BA and Tom Moore while they’re still here. Would be crazy not to have a rookie around to glean as much as he can from 3 of the best minds in football. Can’t see BA just saying “peace out” and leaving the QB cupboard empty as he heads to his boat in Georgia.

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Johnny Cannons
1 month ago

Sign me up for Paul Blart, IOL. I’m absolutely terrible at evaluating interior OL play despite knowing a couple of guys who’ve done it at a high level, so I trust the SR evaluation here. But the kid seems like a tough dude who fits the Arians mold for ‘grit.’ MJ Stewart is an odd case. I think his best role could be as a slot dime back for a team that uses a lot of dime looks (Chargers, for example). He needs to show a lot on special teams to not be a wash in Tampa. One quibble: I… Read more »

FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  Johnny Cannons

Have to think you mean Ben Bartch instead of Paul Blart, correct? One of the first things you want to do when evaluating IOL prospects (or mall cops) is to learn their names… 😉 lol

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Johnny Cannons
1 month ago
Reply to  FLBoy84

Think you’re missing the security guard reference in the original article, there, fella.

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FLBoy84
1 month ago
Reply to  Johnny Cannons

LOL, absolutely was. Too funny. 🙂

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Architek79
1 month ago

Jon and Scott KILLED THE BUCS DRAFT PREVIEW! They should breakout into a separate pod and be more about the draft and each week those of us that don’t care for the corny joke and interruptions. I have listened to this episode 3 times already! Taylor and Matt you guys are great (no disrespect) – the content and meat of this episode was outstanding.

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magoobee
1 month ago

My problem with Licht is he wastes draft picks. When he came here, I heard he was bring the Patriot way. Well the Patriot way is to trade down and collect picks.

Once again another Patriot way is understanding the value of players. Licht always seems to overpay. If he would collect more draft picks, he could save move for depth.

Also a few years ago he said he was happy with the OL when everyone knew the it was a weak group with little depth.

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Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago
Reply to  magoobee

I have to agree with this. Value is something Licht has struggled with in the draft. Even the Patriots that love players tend to trade down and still pick up the players that they love while other NFL teams think they over drafted that player. Understanding value is not just about how your scouts and coaches build the draft board. But also how the rest of the NFL perceives the value of players. Licht has done this with Vea and VH3 when they were drafted. But it doesn’t happen that often if we look beyond the first round under Licht’s… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  magoobee

So you say the Patriots way is to trade down, collect picks, and never overpay for a pick, or understand the value of a pick. But the Patriot was is constantly trading down, and then they end up with a bunch of 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks. And Bills track record on late round picks is horrendous. You realize the Patriots draft lousy right? Since 2014, they’ve drafted a total of 7 league average or better players. Including zero elite players, zero pro bowlers, and zero all pros. Yet Licht drafted Evans, Godwin, Marpet, Kwon Alexander, and Vea.… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

The success rate of late round picks is lower. But to counter that you have to have more chances at having players stick and be the glue and depth of a roster. The Patriots strategy along with the Seahawks is not new. Jimmy Johnson used it to build teams and that is that even if you are an average drafting team more draft picks means you are increasing your odds to your favor.

Licht’s failures in the 2nd round is because he reaches for needs.

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seat26
1 month ago

This is not about negativity. This is about Safety and Social Distancing. Even the WH is saying to expect 200K deaths. Try to imagine how teams will operate with Locker rooms and the huddle. Not to mention, is there more of a contact sport than Football? The PR nightmare for the NFL will be impossible to manage if a player gets infected or dies. How do they conduct mini-camps in a few weeks?

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  seat26

Forget what the WH says. Be an independent mind and form your own conclusion based on the evidence you have at your disposal. I think 200K deaths in the US isn’t even remotely reasonable. The season will play in its entirety

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matador
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

200k is unlikely. Fauci as much as says so but they don’t have enough data to calculate a more accurate number because we have so few tests (still <1% of US tested after spending six weeks pretending it wasn’t a crisis. Fantastic job?) to base modeling on. A big unknown is whether it will be seasonal. No matter how many succumb the President playing political games instead of protecting our citizens will have caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. If you don’t believe that you should go relook at what he was doing/saying in February. If you can’t be… Read more »

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  matador

Do yourself a favor and don’t presume my views on trump. I didn’t post anything mentioning a word about how many deaths were unnecessary. I said be an independent thinker and that 200K deaths isn’t reasonable to expect. No more no less. I don’t get into politics on football sites. Never have never will. Sorry I’m just not going there

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athans5
1 month ago

Scott, I used to look forward to reading your fab 5 every Friday. However, this is just poor journalism. Clearly you have some type of relationship with Jason Licht where you get inside information or something, because the lack of accountability this guy is held to is just unacceptable. Isn’t it your job to be objective? His record proves he is a horrible gm, not even average. His winning percentage is lower than Mark Dominik, who still hasn’t gotten another job in any other NFL front office. Yes he has made a couple of good picks, mainly Mike Evans, Godwin,… Read more »

scubog
1 month ago

Each Saturday morning I get up early to have a cup of coffee and read Scott Reynolds’ Fab 4 plus 1. I look forward to Scott’s insight, opinions and predictions. For the most part, I enjoy, and often find humor, in the comments. My Saturday sunrise routine is a great way to wind down from the hectic work week and purge my mind with football talk. Sadly the Covid-19 issue has affected us all. As Ronde would say, “It is what it is”. None of the experts truly know how this will ultimately play out. They can only make educated… Read more »

Captain Sly
1 month ago
Reply to  scubog

Amen Brother!

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Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  scubog

Well according to Naples we’re dealing with facts and reality. He has a crystal ball and knows exactly what’s gonna happen. But yes, NOBODY knows what will happen 3 or 4 months down the road. Not even the great Dr.Fauci. This is a football forum. Leave the politics and doom and gloom predictions for somewhere else.

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Ringer
1 month ago

Loved the Sapp and Brooks highlights!! Love Brooks and have his jersey. But Sapp was the reason we had such an awesome defense and won the SB. Relentless physically and got into quarterbacks heads with his trash talk. Would not accept losing. He LOVED football and beating his opponents. Epitomizes the term chip on his shoulder. I love watching defense play where the defenders like DB who when tackling and hitting don’t give the player any cheap fall forward yardage. Don’t give an inch! So stout. DB a man among men! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

owlykat
1 month ago

My comment from yesterday is missing. What gives?

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ABuccsFan
1 month ago

Anyone talking politics and not football is here, just pathetic.

Now, I came to the comments section to see what FireLicht2020 had to say about this article? I don’t see him here. Odd though, Naplesfan sounds an awful lot like him.

Good read Scott

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