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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, 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. The Case For Licht As The Bucs’ G.M.

In this week’s edition of SR’s Fab 5, I am going to lay out the case for and against the Buccaneers keeping general manager Jason Licht. With Tampa Bay now 5-7 after successive wins over the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers, his departure seems far less assured than it did when the Bucs were 3-7 and mired in a four-game losing streak.

For those of you that are close-minded and want Licht gone no matter what, skip this section and go straight to Fab 2 where I lay out the case for his departure. Otherwise, keep reading.

First things are first, and there is a chance that Licht could stick around with a one-year contract extension for two reasons. It is not a foregone conclusion that the Glazers fire Licht.

The first reason Licht could remain in Tampa Bay is the Glazers themselves. They have a very good relationship with Licht. It’s certainly better than they had with former general managers Rich McKay and Bruce Allen, and probably Mark Dominik, too. That does nothing but help Licht, although that alone won’t be the reason he would stay in Tampa Bay for 2019.

The Glazer brothers have to be questioning their decision-making ability when it comes to coaches. Ever since their father, the late Malcolm Glazer, hired Tony Dungy to be the team’s head coach in 1996 and then spectacularly traded for Jon Gruden in 2002, Bryan, Ed and Joel Glazer, who serve as the co-chairmen of the team, have struck out royally in picking head coaches and general managers.

The Glazer brothers assumed control of the team in 2006 after their father suffered two strokes and proceeded to fire Gruden and Allen after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, hire Raheem Morris as the head coach and Mark Dominik as the general manager, replace Morris with Greg Schiano three years later in 2012, replace Schiano with Lovie Smith two years after that in 2014, replace Dominik with Licht, who was served up by Smith, and then replace Smith with Dirk Koetter two years later in 2016.

If Koetter gets fired after this season – his chances of staying onboard increase with every Bucs victory in December – the Glazers will be looking for their fifth head coach in a decade. They’re not very good at this, although to be fair, Dominik aided in the Schiano hiring, and Licht served up Koetter, which was kind of a foregone conclusion after he performed extremely well as the team’s offensive coordinator under Smith in 2015.

Bryan and Joel Glazer - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bryan and Joel Glazer – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Only twice have the Glazers had to go it alone and hire both a head coach and a general manager at the same time. The first time was rather easy for them, as they simply promoted in-house candidates Domink and Morris. In 2014, the Glazers hired Smith first and then he turned around and hired Licht, who had previously interviewed with Chicago when Smith was the Bears head coach.

If I were the Glazers and I had their track record, I would be scared to death about the prospects of hiring both a general manager and a head coach at the same time.

Who are the truly great general manager candidates? Grabbing personnel executives from winning teams doesn’t always equal success, as Tim Ruskell, Jerry Angelo and Ruston Webster found out once they left Tampa Bay. The same could be said of Scott Pioli when he left New England for Kansas City in 2009.

Hiring a general manager first can be a gamble because he has to pick the right head coach and coaching staff, and then pick the right players for a staff he might have never worked with before.

And should the Glazers hire a head coach first and then let him pick his general manager? Gruden did that with Allen and the results were disastrous from a personnel standpoint. So far, Licht has proven to be a far better general manager in Tampa Bay than Smith was as a head coach.

Could the Glazers taking a “grass is greener” approach and thinking they can do better than Licht actually backfire? Yes, it could.

Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer and GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

There are far worse general managers out there than Licht, that draft worse players, that hire worse head coaches, that mismanage the salary cap. Just look at the Cleveland Browns or the Oakland Raiders over the last decade.

Knowing their luck, the Glazers will find such a replacement.

Remember, they thought Smith, a former Super Bowl head coach with a proven track record in Chicago and previous ties to the Bucs, was going to be better than Schiano. Instead, Tampa Bay went from 4-12 to 2-14.

Yes, I believe the Glazers can pick a worse general manager than Licht.

The second reason Licht could stay on in Tampa Bay is of course, his accomplishments. Licht has his share of mistakes, which I’m not going to gloss over or avoid. They will comprise much of Fab 2 – so keep reading. But in this section I’m going to highlight the positives.

In his five drafts with the Buccaneers, Licht has selected three Pro Bowlers in wide receiver Mike Evans, quarterback Jameis Winston and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. I believe that Ali Marpet might develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber guard in time. He’s playing his third position in three years.

Licht has extended the contracts of Evans, Marpet and tight end Cameron Brate this year, and had previously extended the contracts of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David and starting right tackle Demar Dotson. He hasn’t allowed any of the Bucs’ better players to leave via free agency.

Because he was the first overall pick in 2015, Winston’s success – or lack thereof – will be tied to Licht. While Winston owns a career 21-30 record as Tampa Bay’s starter, he has been the most successful quarterback statistically speaking in franchise history.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In Sunday’s win over Carolina, Winston threw his 81st touchdown pass, which is the most in Bucs history, and his 13,577 career passing yards are the second-most in franchise history. Winston, who was the 2015 Pepsi Rookie of the Year, has 14 games with 300-plus passing yards, which is the most in team annals, as are his nine career games with at least three passing touchdowns and his 18 career games with a passer rating of 100 or higher.

Winston established a franchise single-season record with the most touchdown passes in a single season with 28 in 2016, and his 4,090 passing yards that year were the most by a Bucs QB in a single season. Winston’s 69 touchdown passes in his first three seasons are tied for the seventh-most ever by a quarterback and his 11,636 passing yards are the third-most ever by a quarterback in their first three seasons, trailing only Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning.

While Winston, who is set to earn $20.92 million next year in a fifth-year option, has his share of faults, including a penchant for turnovers, he has emerged from the first benching of his football life to have back-to-back turnover-free games in wins against San Francisco and Carolina. He’s also only 24 years old after leaving Florida State as a redshirt sophomore. Many believe that despite his accomplishments, Winston’s best football lies ahead of him if he can continue to limit his turnovers.

On the defensive side of the ball, Licht deserves plenty of credit for stealing defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul away from the New York Giants for a third-rounder in a trade this offseason, and for putting in a waiver claim on Carl Nassib prior to the start of the season. Pierre-Paul has clearly been the Bucs’ best defensive player with 11.5 sacks, and is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Nassib has a career-high 5.5 sacks and a bright future in Tampa Bay as a starting defensive end opposite JPP. Plus, Nassib has one more year left on his rookie deal, which will be a salary cap coup next year.

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

While his free agent signings this offseason – cornerback Brent Grimes, defensive linemen Beau Allen, Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein – have not had the impact many hoped for, Licht has constructed an offense that is among the best in the league. Signing center Ryan Jensen was a big offseason coup for Licht.

Evans is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season with 1,121 yards and five touchdowns on 66 catches. His 17-yard avg. is a career-best. DeSean Jackson was on pace to hit 1,000 yards with 40 catches for 750 yards and four touchdowns before a thumb injury caused him to miss last week’s game against Carolina and put the rest of his season in jeopardy.

The Bucs offense also features two gems from Licht’s 2017 draft class in tight end O.J. Howard, who had 565 yards and five touchdowns on 34 receptions before going on injured reserve, and 676 yards and five scores on 49 catches from wide receiver Chris Godwin. Howard is a future Pro Bowler and Godwin is a future 1,000-yard receiver.

Licht’s ability to find some undrafted free agent gems has also greatly aided Tampa Bay’s offense. Brate has lost playing time to Howard, but is a starting-caliber tight end in his own right with 23 catches for 221 yards and four touchdowns, while slot receiver Adam Humphries has had a breakout year with 53 catches for 606 yards and a career-high five TDs.

Undrafted free agent running back Peyton Barber is in his first full season as a starter and has rushed for a career-high 635 yards and four touchdowns to lead the team, with another score coming on a reception.

Through 12 weeks, Tampa Bay’s offense is the top-ranked offense in the league, averaging 442.7 yards per game, slightly ahead of the Los Angeles Rams (439.9 ypg.), Kansas City (437.2 ypg.) and Pittsburgh (413.8 ypg.). The Bucs have the NFL’s best passing attack in terms of yards, averaging 344.5 yards per game, which is way ahead of Pittsburgh (320.7 ypg.), Kansas City (316.5 ypg.), the Los Angeles Rams (300.5 ypg.) and Atlanta (298.6 ypg.). Tampa Bay is averaging 26.5 points per game, which ranks 10th in the league, and is scoring nearly a touchdown more per game this season over last year (20.9 ppg.).

Bucs GM Jason Licht and the Glazers - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs GM Jason Licht and the Glazers – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Do the Glazers want to risk someone else coming in and having a new G.M. decide that Tampa Bay can get by with just Evans, Howard, Godwin and Justin Watson next year, and deal away Brate, let Humphries go in free agency, and cut or trade Jackson? Do the Glazers want a new regime coming in and deciding to move on from Winston? No, they need to keep this potent, high-powered offense together.

If you don’t believe that new general managers and head coaches come in and dismantle teams, look no further than what Jon Gruden did in Oakland in trading away former first-round picks Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, or what Giants G.M. did by dealing away New York’s best defender, Pierre-Paul, for a third-round pick.

There is no doubt that the Bucs are a more talented team now than when Licht arrived on the scene in 2014. He has had his share of gambles – the biggest of which was trading up in the second round for kicker Roberto Aguayo – that haven’t worked out. But one thing I have always admired is how Licht has a very small ego and doesn’t hold on to mistakes.

Licht isn’t afraid to admit a screw-up and quickly move on. He cut quarterback Josh McCown, left tackle Anthony Collins and defensive end Michael Johnson in 2014, cut linebacker Bruce Carter in 2015 and defensive tackle Chris Baker in 2017 after just one season. McCown and Johnson were Smith’s calls, while Licht owned the signings of Collins, Carter and Baker. If he were to stay on in 2019, I would expect some of the players he recently added would be hitting the road. Making mistakes is one thing. Holding on to mistakes only compounds them.

Bucs DBs Andrew Adams, De'Vante Harris, Javien Elliott and Jordan Whitehead - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DBs Andrew Adams, De’Vante Harris, Javien Elliott and Jordan Whitehead – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

It should also be noted that Licht has done a great job of filling some big needs during this season, especially on defense, which has been hit ridiculously hard with injuries. The most helpless feeling for most general managers happens in September when the final 53-man roster is set. Outside of a rare in-season trade, teams rarely find impact players after Week 1, as there are very few saviors on the street.

Yet after claiming Nassib on waivers, Licht signed safety Andrew Adams, who has a team-high six pass breakups and had a career-high three interceptions in Sunday’s win against the Panthers, and cornerback De’Vante Harris, who had three pass breakups versus Carolina. Licht also signed linebacker Kevin Minter, who had a sack and a tackle for loss in just four snaps on Sunday, which is an incredibly productive ratio.

“At one point we were without our top five DBs, and Andrew Adams came up big and Kevin Minter had a sack and some tackles,” Koetter said. “Coach Buckner and Jason had Minter in Arizona, so they had some knowledge of him. We got a good report on Andrew Adams. We’re fortunate to have those guys.”

The term “player’s coach” gets thrown around a lot, but Licht is a “player’s G.M.” in that he really gets to know the Buccaneers individually. Licht had a private talk with Vea before the 49ers game and Vea credited Licht’s pep talk for helping him have a career day with three tackles for loss and a sack.

Licht and Jensen, who are Midwest natives, really bonded during the free agency recruitment period and that led the center to sign with Tampa Bay. The same could be said for his recruitment of Allen and Jackson in free agency over the last two years, in addition to other players, including Minter, who was one of Licht’s most recent acquisitions.

“He and I have a history together and I always felt like he was a good guy,” Minter said. “He has an eye for talent. Some G.M.s got it, and some G.M.s don’t. I feel like he’s got it. It’s a blessing to have a guy like that pick me off the street, knowing I could help this team. I am very appreciative of it. He gave me a chance, and I’m going to fight for him. I’m trying to prove him right, that he made the right decision for me.”

Yet Licht’s biggest in-season acquisition has been kicker Cairo Santos, who has been absolutely perfect in three games. Perhaps Santos ends the kicking woes that have befuddled Licht and Bucs fans everywhere in the past. Santos made all 11 of his extra points and all three of his field goals. I can’t remember the last time a Bucs kicker was perfect for three games in a row. I also can’t remember a kicker that splits the uprights the way Santos does, either.

Then there is Licht’s hiring of head coach Dirk Koetter. Of the NFL head coaching hires in 2016, Koetter (19-25) ranks as the third-best behind Philadelphia’s Super Bowl winner in Doug Pederson and Miami’s Adam Gase, who is 22-22. San Francisco fired Chip Kelly after one season. Mike Mularkey was fired by Tennessee after two years, while Ben McAdoo didn’t make it through a full second season in New York. Hue Jackson didn’t make it to the midway point of his third season in Cleveland.

Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs GM Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Koetter seemed like the right hire at the time, given the development of the Bucs offense and Winston making the Pro Bowl after his rookie season and having back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons. Koetter’s 9-7 record in 2016 was the only winning season for a first-year coach in Tampa Bay history outside of Gruden’s 12-4 mark in 2002. But the Bucs haven’t lived up to expectations since then and have struggled to win close games under his leadership, evidenced by a record of 5-11 in games decided by a touchdown or less, including a 2-7 mark in games decided by a field goal or less.

These last four games will go a long way to determining the fate of Licht and Koetter. Both men made a bold change in firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith and replacing him with linebackers coach Mark Duffner, which was totally the right move as the Bucs have only allowed an average of 16.25 points per game at home under Duffner. If Tampa Bay runs the table it gets to 9-7 and would have a chance at the playoffs. Doing so would mean going on a six-game winning streak, which would be tied for the longest in franchise history.

In reality, an argument could be made to keep Licht and Koetter if the Bucs finished 7-9 and didn’t suffer a blowout down the stretch. That would be a two-win improvement over last year’s 5-11 record in a season in which Winston was suspended for three games and benched for two more, and a year in which the defense had a change in coordinators and an unbelievable rash of injuries that affected the linebacker corps and secondary the most.

Even if the Bucs stumble and finish 5-11 or 6-10, the case could be made to keep Licht if the Glazers wanted to fire Koetter. At the end of the season they will ask Licht what he thinks of Koetter, just like they did with Smith – the man who hired him – after the 2015 season. If I’m the Glazers and I’m deciding whether or not to keep Licht for one more season in 2019 and considering letting him assist in finding Koetter’s replacement – if that’s the path they choose on December 31 – I’m at least listening to his offseason plan.

If I’m the Glazers, I would want to know who Licht’s head coach and defensive coordinator candidates are, which personnel moves he would make with the existing Bucs roster, who he would target in free agency and the trade market, and which handful of potential first-round prospects he’s looking at. I would get his thoughts on Winston’s future in Tampa Bay. Is he still sold on his long-term potential, or does he want to move on and find a new starting QB?

And finally, it should be noted that one of Licht’s best moves was keeping director of football administration Mike Greenberg on the staff. Greenberg was originally hired by Dominik, and has done a fantastic job of managing the Bucs’ salary cap. The Glazers know first hand what bad salary cap management looks like.

Bucs GM Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs GM Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

They saw McKay send this franchise into salary cap hell after the Super Bowl with some really bad contract extensions that were unwarranted and unnecessary, and then saw Allen part ways with Bucs legends like John Lynch and Warren Sapp due to cap reasons in favor of washed up offensive tackles Todd Steussie and Derrick Deese and a running back on the decline in Charlie Garner. Regardless of who is running the show next year, if I’m the Glazers, I’m making sure Greenberg stays at One Buccaneer Place. Licht was quick to recognize Greenberg’s astute cap management skills and those two have teamed up to do some really great extensions over the years.

Is all of this enough to keep Licht, or do the Glazers want to gamble that someone can do a better job?

Sometimes things look bleak for a year before they turn around. Tampa Bay’s offense struggled mightily in the red zone last year and the Bucs had trouble scoring, only reaching the 30-point mark three times in 2017. Thanks to their prolific offense, the Bucs have already topped the 30-point mark three times with four games remaining and they’re averaging almost a touchdown more this year than they did last year.

Jackson’s signing looked like a waste a year ago when he caught 50 passes for 668 yards and four scores. Now he’s already 82 yards and two touchdowns ahead of where he was last year with four games left. The Bucs are the only team in the league with five players with 500 yards receiving or more and six players with four touchdowns or more this season.

Tampa Bay doesn’t have an offense – Licht has built an arsenal.

Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer and GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

What could be done to improve the Bucs defense in a year? If it can reduce its allowed scoring average of 29.6 points per game by at least a touchdown next year to 22 points per game and maintain a scoring average of close to 28 points per game, a quick turnaround could be in order with the right additions.

Do the Glazers trust Licht to make those calls?

Perhaps more importantly, do they trust themselves to find a general manager that is significantly better than Licht?

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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 Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for 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]


  1. Licht’s good far outweighs his bad. And it’s not like he’s a guy that sits back and waits, he’s been aggressive with free agents while using common sense and not breaking the bank or cap situation because he also knows it’s all a crap shoot sometimes when dealing with humans and money, nothing is guaranteed. I’m glad you did the comparison with other GMs on the draft, I have been looking for something like this for a while and it confirmed my suspicions. Yes, he had some high profile misses drafting a kicker and not drafting James, but what he has done is far more impressive IMO. I hope the Glazers keep him.

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    • Vea might end up being very good to great, so in hind sight a few years from now judgement might not be so harsh. I remember criticism for drafting Godwin over Hunt! How does that look now?!

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    • The comparison with other GM’s was either (a) intentionally deceptive or (b) unintentionally stupid.

      Comparing other GM’s starters from 2010 to Licht’s is so bizarre I don’t know what to say other than WTF?! Of course there are going to be almost no starters left form those drafts – its 8 years ago! TJ Ward is a great example: a very good pick who’s not in the league anymore.

      Further, the work of the respective GMs includes both players they’ve traded for and signed in FA. I understand SR isn’t do a full comparison so skipped FA, but both Roseman and Snead have made a BUNCH of trades that have brought starters to their teams.

      It’s Fabs like this that tell me SR is either a Licht shill like he was for Dominik or just doesn’t understand the draft so shouldn’t be writing articles like this.

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  2. Scott, This is one of the best Fab 5s that I’ve read. Excellent breakdown on both sides of the fence for Licht. I know there are a lot of fans that want to burn the house down and start over, but when you look at the overall trajectory of the team’s talent since the Superbowl, I believe that the team is has more talented from top to bottom. The offense is finally settling in, although I still believe that it needs to be more pass/run balanced to be successful in the long term. The defense has yet to to fleshed out, but it’s getting there. Admittedly, I was a Smitty fan, but he was straight up garbage as a DC. Duffner has the D on a rapid rebound and I can’t recall a defense that had lost all of its starters in the back seven and then lost backups after that. It’s been a really shitty injury year for the D as well. But, injuries aren’t going to happen like that every year. To blow it all up now, would mean more of readjustment and schemes and the endless cycle that we have seen for the last 10 years. I give credit to the Glazers for trying continuity over the last couple of years. I would hold steady for one more year to see if all of these pieces do come together. I’m still not 100% on board with Koetter, but the players are still playing hard for him…

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  3. If Licht stays, I’m thinking we need to draft heavy on the defensive side of the ball and for the love of all can we draft a right guard that can actually block? Benenoch can be cut tomorrow and will not be missed.

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    • RG and tackle! Dotson isn’t lasting much longer and if Smith wants a big LT contract that could be a huge problem. That’s the problem, so many holes to plug it takes years of drafting to have a solid & deep roster.

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      • Draft and free agency should be focused on the OL at LT, RT and RG. If necessary, use the DJax money, but try to keep him.

        If healthy, with the new coach and another year of experience, the defense could be adequate without lots of revision. With this offense with a better OL, an adequate defense is all that is needed.

        Balance the wheel and true it; do not try to reinvent it again.

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        • I’m confused. Use the DJax money or keep him? You can’t do both. I’m all for sitting Jackson the rest of the season and helping him pack his bags at the end of the year so we have that cap space to make an attempt at signing some road-graters on the offensive line. Curry, Allen and Unrein can go, too

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  4. Nice article & objective look at Licht.

    I agree more with FAB #1. My other thoughts not in that article are:
    -What did this team & roster look like when Licht was hired? IT was BAD, and I mean real BAD. Name the players that have carried over pre-Licht that are starters (I can think of 3: L David, McCoy, and Dotson) Licht has had to build a team/roster from mostly scratch.
    -The BUCS roster is much better and younger than when he started. Yes there are holes to fix (RG, DE, CB, and S), but when you start with nothing it just takes time to build a roster.
    -Building a roster with rookies takes time. Rookies typically don’t blossom until years 2 or 3. Scott has laid that out over & over talking about other BUC greats.
    -A lot of moves Licht has made that haven’t panned out were praised by PR and fans on this post. Sometimes the best moves just don’t work out. (that would be a long list of moves & players)
    -I believe stability at the top of an organization is very important. If an organization is constantly going through change, and feel like the top organization is just the “flavor of the year” there is less buy in. That is true for every organization. (see Browns)

    Also McKay spanned coaches: Wyche to Dungy to Gruden
    Was moving on from Lovie the right move…yes. Has Koetter been an upgrade to Lovie…yes. Is Koetter going to take the team to the next level…?

    So I believe Licht should get MORE than 1 year, but another “term”. I believe the next coach Whether it’s Koetter or someone else defines Licht’s reign.

    Lastly, if Koetter is moved out I would root for the HC to be Rod Marinelli. Hear me out. Keep Monken as OC and Duffner as DC with Rob helping there. He’ll bring toughness & accountability to the team, and bring position coaches that drive improvement.

    Go BUCS

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  5. Licht has drafted 1 quality offensive lineman and and ZERO quality defensive players in 5 years. Oh yea and he’s blown our cap situation. Get the hell out of here.

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    • I can’t argue with your opinion of his drafting of defense but your credibility is just shot with your comment about the cap situation. That is factually incorrect.

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      • Yeah with like 6 cuts, that would add about an additional 30+ million to the bucs cap situation. And it could be even more than that. The cap is the last problem of this team.

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  6. This is the best article I have ever read – and a very thorough analysis of Jason Licht. I have pretty much defended Licht on the boards for the reasons you give, but never compared him to other GMs which is great of you to do (and very time consuming). It just seems to strengthen the case to keep him another year.

    There is one “criticism” I have issue with. The following: “Because he was the first overall pick in 2015, Winston’s success – or lack thereof – will be tied to Licht.”

    This is a true statement, but I do find it a little unfair. Why? Because of the choices available in that draft. The two choices are what everyone knows – Jamis Winston and Marcus Mariotta. There were no other true options that year.

    In year four, who is playing better?
    Winston – started 5 games, played in 7, 12 TDs, 11 INTs, 1941 yards, 67.7% completion rate, 157 of 232, 8.4 yards per catch, Rating of 87.7
    Mariotta – started 13 games played in 14, 11 TDs, 8 INTs, 2330 yards, 69.1% completion rate, 206 of 298, 7.8 yards per catch, Rating of 93.4

    So even throwing in Winston’s melt down before getting benched, Mariotta has thrown one less TD playing in twice the number of games as Winston, 3 less INTs, not quite 400 yards more, a 2% better completion rate, less yards per pass, and an overall QB rating of 5 points more.

    Someone please tell me the Bucs are much better off if they drafted Mariotta. The answer is, not much difference and despite playing 7 fewer games than Mariotta, Winston has thrown for nearly the same yards, for more TDs, and more yards per throw. That is with a three game suspension which messed him up as well as Fitzpatrick playing a number of games. So while everyone may judge Licht for drafting Winston, it really comes down to that year there were not a lot of choices for a starting QB – just two. In this case, while the jury is still out, there is no evidence that picking Mariotta would have resulted in better QB play.

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    • The argument for drafting Mariota over Winston was never that Mariota was going to blow Winston’s stats out of the water. It was that Mariota was going to keep his nose clean and maintain the credibility to be the leader and face of the franchise that this team needed, and that argument has proven to be 100% correct. So far, Winston’s statistical advantage has not been worth the negative light he’s attracted to the team by the trouble he’s gotten into off the field. If the Bucs keep him past this season and he sustains the progress he’s made and avoids further trouble, then maybe that changes, but in the meantime, I and many others will continue to believe Mariota is the one we should have drafted.

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      • You may disagree with this but part of the draw with Winston was AND still is, he has a much bigger upside than Mariota. Mariota has hit his ceiling. Winston can still be great.

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      • So, by this logic, Licht should go out and sign Tim Tebow then?

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        • Apparently you don’t know what the word “logic” means.

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  7. Can’t agree with you more on the Mariotta – Winston comparison. Mariotta is far more fragile/brittle, but Winston has had is personality issues so they washout.

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    • Great logic there – you are right on those two points as well!

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    • You are spotung pure BS here. Washout? You kiddin me? Marotta’s team is winning. Ours? is not!
      As the Great Lombardi often said, Nothing maters but Winning. By any means necessary. That been the problem with this sorry A.. Bucs franchise. Always makin excuses. Coulda’s/Woulda’s and Shoulda’s.
      I say fire the lot of them/ Both Licht and Koetter. Lets get some real football now how in here! I’d keep Jameis only because he is Finally..beginning to see the light in his play. But for now..Mariotta is the better QB because his team is winning. Koetter must pay for hurting us fans. His delay in firing his road-dog pressbox Smitty caused us to miss the playoffs again this year. Screw him!

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      • Mariotas team is winning because he has a better DEFENSE and running game. Take last nights game for instance. 30-9 and mariota was 18-24 with 164 yards and a int. You really think he won that game for them? Wins is the most ridiculous measurement for a qb as its the most team oriented sport you can play. Give Jameis that Tennessee Defense and we don’t lose. Like I said last week. Jameis is now 20-7 in his career when the defense gives up less than 24 point.

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        • Weird, the majority of top QB’s play on winning football teams every year. Sure Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have had a losing year here and there but the majority of each of their careers they have gone to the playoffs and won their division. Tom Brady has literally never had a losing season as a starter. Not one time in 18 years. I guess that’s just a coincidence. Peyton Manning had two losing seasons as a starter out of 17 and one of them was his rookie year when he threw 28 interceptions.

          Alex Smith gets traded from KC to Washington and the Redskins were 6-4 and were leading the division when he went down to injury. The Redskins were 7-9 the year before while Smith has had 8 straight seasons over three different teams (SF, KC, Was) where he won more games as a starter than lost.

          You can be a good QB on a bad team (Warren Moon) or a bad QB on a good team (Blake Bortles, Trent Dilfer) but in the end, good QB’s win games, bad QB’s lose them in large part because the QB touches the ball on every offensive snap. Jameis does need a better defense but he’s also the second most turnover prone QB in the league since 2015 to Bortles. Turnovers lose you games and Jameis hasn’t proven that he has turned the corner yet.

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        • And Winston’s team is losing despite having a far better offensive team around him.

          What does that say?

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          • To me it says the placekicking has been horrific, the defense one of the worst in the league and the running game less than mediocre.

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  8. You’ve convinced me. I wasn’t exactly on the fence before, but seeing his draft results compared to other GMs shows that we should not let our GM go.

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    • I like Licht. I hope he stays. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Long time Buc fans have witnessed that.

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  9. As this article pointed out, the Bucs are 27-49 and have not made the playoffs since he has been the Bucs GM. Nothing else matters. He should go. Nothing sickens me more than learning over the past few years that the majority (based on online fan polls) of Bucs fans and local media are prioritizing other things over the Bucs winning the Super Bowl. Winning is the “Big Joker” that should beat every other card in the deck. Winning is the “Big Joker” that should beat the Licht card, the Winston card, the Koetter card, the PR card, the ego card, the pride card, the “I don’t want to admit I was wrong” card, the anything said in this articles Fab 1, 2 or 3 card…all of them. The reasons for or against Licht should all be summed up in three sentences, not three Fab sections: “The Bucs are 27-49 and have not made the playoffs since he has been the Bucs GM. Nothing else matters. He should go.”

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    • And then what? Any guarantees? Folks always think change is going to bring better results. All too often it ends up more of the same or worse. Guess that’s why so many divorces and career moves don’t quite work out so well.

      I, like you, certainly have not been happy with the won-loss record and lack of play-off appearances since Jon Gruden ran off Richie McKay; but I’m wise enough to be careful when calling for the nuclear option many desire.

      I like that the 2018 team is showing some spunk. I’m willing to see how they finish out the season before I conclude what I would do at season’s end if I were Scubog Glazer.

      Consistency may be more beneficial in the long run instead of starting over. Guess it’s the old turtle vs the hare and grass on the other side of the fence fables.

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      • And then what? A chance to win the Super Bowl, that’s what. We don’t need guarantees. If we have more of the same or worse then we’ve gone from losing to still losing. That’s the basis of me wanting to get rid of Licht, Winston, Koetter and have the Glazers hire a firm or a board to restructure this team with a VP of FO and rebuild this team from the ground up. It’s because we have nothing to lose but losing. If we were an annual playoff team like the Steelers but not winning the Super Bowl I could agree with you. They could change GM and HC and end up….well, like us. However we haven’t even made the playoffs under Licht in 5 seasons. Who cares if we go from 5-11, or 6-10 or 7-9 to 2-14 under a new regime? Losing is losing and none of those records will get us to the Super Bowl and winning the Super Bowl is all that matters. Again, we have nothing to lose by changing the GM except losing!

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        • Though hiring or retaining a GM is something that should be judged on only from a long term term perspective, sometimes a snapshot is also useful measure of where an organization really stands.

          What we know now from nearly five full seasons of Jason’ Licht’s tenure is best illustrated by the following snapshot:

          At the first home game in the last month of the 2018 season, the Bucs were forced to literally give away tickets to the game, and the result was a stadium that on TV looked no more than about half full, if that .. despite it being a bitterly fought division game, in December, when at least theoretically the Bucs still had a chance to make the playoffs if they won the game.

          That picture worth a thousand words said it all.

          The fans have given up.

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          • Totally agree about the fans Naples. It’s certainly a big factor that the Glazers have to consider as part of their evaluation. Not only are there a lot of empty seats. way too many are occupied by the opponent.

            I also agree that four years long enough to see what the regime accomplishes. I’m just willing to wait until season’s end. Seems to me we’ve gone full circle and are still in the bottom of the league.

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      • Scubog, I wouldn’t call this a nuclear option; 4 years is enough to see what’s going on.

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    • very good points. the bucs win loss record with licht as gm is bad, that being said, I’m on the fence as of today. a couple more losses this season and I would agree.

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  10. This article is a step in the right direction but still let’s Licht off the hook. The Bucs roster was not terrible when he inherited the team, we had a LT in Donald Penn that is still better than our current LT and probably would’ve allowed him to play G or RT had Licht done a proper evaluation of the roster. Darrelle Revis was the best CB in the division yet he traded him away and still has yet to have anything that resembles a lock down corner. I believe he also sent Barron packing who could’ve easily been transitioned to LB like the Rams ultimately did when they got him but instead we drafted Kwon who outside of the red hair is very similar to him and could’ve been used on another player that could’ve helped us. So the names might be different but lets not kid ourselves only 1 of the “3” Pro Bowl players he drafted are currently playing like it and that’s Mike Evans. He drafted a QB that needed a running game and strong OL to excel and has assembled neither in over 4 years on the job. Adding weapons was great but Jameis did just fine when he was throwing to Freddy Martino and others because the threat of run was legit not just a word they toss around now. If we had Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady then yes this plan would work but assembling talent that doesn’t fit the makeup of your QB is asinine and is solely on the shoulders of Licht. In Fab 3 where he is being compared to Snead and Roseman are to me useless because those guys have actually won and turned things around whereas Jason has not. Those guys might miss in the draft but Roseman uses FA as a tool to bolster his roster, Im sure if you showed a FA tracker for the two you would begin to see the reason the Eagles contend and the Bucs pretend. Same for the Rams, Snead could’ve resigned Ogletree who like Kwon is decent but not worth the contract. The difference is we reward mediocrity (see Will G’s deal for proof) where as these guys push the envelope and spend money where its warranted. Snead didn’t sit with his LT that clearly wasn’t a LT and tell people that piss was lemonade he instead signed Whitworth and got a reliable LT for his young QB and RB. Licht getting the kicker right after 4 years isn’t a feather in his cap it should be yet another alarming sign he’s clueless. Santos was unemployed for almost a month before he replaced Chandler Bing when everyone saw he was mediocre. Licht takes no risk in drafts when with our roster he absolutely should, is largely bad in the free agency but has a decent eye for waiver and undrafted players. If the Bucs want to turn their fortunes around we see it must start in the trenches, the pass rush stepped up and like magic the defense is playing better. The Bucs lead the league in yards but not points, that’s because throwing can get you so far and eventually you will have to run the ball which we cant after 4 years. He has drafted ZERO impact DL and 1 impact OL which he’s managed to move around the OL 3 seasons in a row. Jason has assembled a team that when you sit it in the window and read all the reports from Tampa shines and looks nice but when real football games are played has yet to advance to the postseason. Last year we kept Koetter bc we were told there were no better options after Gruden, now watching what Gruden is doing we probably dodged another bullet Licht was lining us up for. Then we see Nagy take over the Bears team, inherit Mitch who most ppl thought was terrible and they appear to be off and running, so obviously there was a good HC option out there but we never knew bc eagle eyed Licht was zeroed in on Gruden vs doing his job and evaluating all options. Jason may be a nice guy but this article did nothing to change the fact that he needs to be gone asap.

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    • If you want to do a better comparison try Mark Dominik the former Bucs GM. He too drafted 3 Pro Bowl players in his 5 year time in Lavonte, GMC and Doug and ended his 5 year span with a record of 28-52. Licht is currently 27-49, seems like they are on par with each and we see how that ended, no playoffs under either GM and Dom at least mustered a 10 win season with a team that had even less talent than this current roster. Dom is gone and Licht should follow.

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  11. Sneed’s best “draft pick” was Sean McVay.

    Licht’s worst non-draft pick was Aaron Donald.

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  12. SR, I completely disagree with Fab 3 for one reason. You are just looking at who is starting on the team right now. The problem with that approach is that you are missing the big picture. The rams drafted both Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson who are both high paid, top 15 starting corners in the league. Snead let go of them not because they are bad players, but because he upgraded to Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. What you are not taking into account is if the guys drafted by the GM are good pros and go on to play well elsewhere. So many of Lichts draft picks that have been cut by the Bucs don’t go on to have success elsewhere, and a lot of the time they are out of the league. That is a bad eye for talent, where the other GMs saw talent, but had to let go of players for CAP reasons, not because of talent. Aguayo? Out of the league. ASJ? Below average tight end. Also, of the players you counted on Lichts list, Ryan Smith, Benenoch, Bond, and Spence will all be gone as soon as next year. Other GMs let good players walk cause they dont want to overpay, Licht over pays all the time. Look at Will Gholstons contract, Cam Brates contract, heck I like Jensen but you cant tell me with a straight face he should be the top paid center in the league. Actually, we would have been better off signing Mike Pouncey instead of Jensen, who is higher talent and has been to a pro bowl (see the chargers running game and how their coaches speak of the impact he has made on that o line).

    The main reason I want Licht to go is look at his history in the 2nd round of the draft, Marpet is his only good second round pick. Look at all the others guys we picked and the players we could have had instead. Thats where you cripple your team is missing on 2nd rounders.

    Last thing is, which I can really not wrap my head around is this. Koetters job is to coach the offense (we have the #1 passing offense in the league and move the ball on almost every team with ease) and Lichts job is to acquire talent (we are currently starting players like Beau Allen, Ryan Smith, Isiah Johson, Devonte Bond, Riley Bullough) which I know some are due to injury but they are not pro quality players. For example, why when Bond and Bullough get cut, do no other teams pick them up? The same would happen with Isiah Johnson.

    Lichts free agency track record is another reason I think he needs to go, along with beyond stupid draft picks this year like taking MJ Stewart over Donte Jackson, and of course Vea over Derwin. I could keep going on all the mistakes he has made in the draft (Charles Sims over Devonta Freeman) but every GM makes mistakes in the draft, so I wont harp on that too much. His free agency track record is horrible, and has only made one great trade in his time JPP. Trade more third and second rounders for proven pros Licht because I dont have any faith in him drafting guys in those rounds!

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    • Well said.

      Unfortunately for us, fans are looking for winning teams. Writers like Scott have other things to consider when writing their opinions. A fan can write whatever they see and not have worry about the repercussions, a fan isn’t going to get blocked from team facilities after writing a scathing piece about the ownership or general manager because they never had the access in the first place, but Scott could.

      A fan doesn’t build relationships with the players or front offices like Scott has. Scott has Jason on speed dial. Do you think Scott is looking at Jason from a standpoint of objectivity? Do you think Scott would trade access to the team for a few Bucs playoffs appearances?

      You or I can write that the Glazer Babies are trash owners with horrible instincts and a horrible record since their father was no longer able to take the lead when he had his stroke. This is the second longest streak of missed playoffs in the history of the franchise. Only the depth of the 80’s during the Culverhouse era where Culverhouse was allowed to be as cheap as he wanted was it any worse. The Glazers literally have to fund the team similar to others due to the CBA. And they have, they are just so bad at who they hire that the team hasn’t found a way in the playoffs since the first iPhone was sold. If Scott pointed those things out in an article he likely wouldn’t be allowed through the front or back door of One Buc Place again.

      There is a famous catchphrase from the movie All the President’s Men which dramatized the Watergate scandal that could explain why some people have opinions that may not align with objective numbers yet persist in those opinions despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary: “Follow the money.”

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  13. I did enjoy the article but it still truly screamed of “I am taking it easy on Licht”. Even in the portion that showed his indiscetions, it was peppered throughout still highlighting the positives. A lot more additional negatives lie there uncovered by Scott. I am sure that is due to the chance of Licht staying and Scott not wanting to lose his inside track. Though I understand that line of thinking, I think it leaves one questioning the journalistic mentality of calling out the facts and leaving the reader to decide without underlying impressions of the writer.

    Just my opinion….

    Unfortunately, I think Licht has made too many errors and should be replaced. I like the Man but I do not respect the decision making ability.

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  14. In my opinion Licht has done enough. The odds of us replacing him with a better GM are very long indeed. I say keep him.
    The fact that Jameis has taken on weekly and daily meditation practices as a new habit tells the story for me He has finally realized that he had to get his emotions and wild impulses under control. I expect no more off field incidents in the future. He is also now ready for fatherhood. He seems to have grasped some of the implications himself as shown in comments he made this week at his latest press conference.

    I believe that the recent benching of Winston will prove to be the turning point in a stellar career. His growth in character joined with all of his God given talents and his first-rate intelligence have him ready for great success. Fan and owner patience will pay off for the next ten years or more.
    Go Bucs!!! Take down the Saints!

    P.S. Scott, thanks for finally clearing up that it was McKay’s decisions that led to the premature loss of John Lynch and Warren Sapp after our only Super Bowl win. I have been blaming Gruden for that for many years, now. … I apologize, Jon!

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  15. You all are smoking crack. This is not a legal brief you are preparing arguing the pros and cons, this is sports entertainment and 40000 fans at a game is a total failure. Licht is awful. He has single handedly ruined multiple seasons with the kicking debacle among other things. A stopped clock is right twice a day. You could play pin the tail on the donkey and do the same as he’s done. He is always playing catch up with Free Agency and the Draft making the wrong moves wasting millions of dollars. If he stays the Glazers do not care about winning and they won’t sell tickets next year.

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  16. Lets face it; this team hasn’t been good for 13 years. Oh we’ve had a couple 9-7 seasons, but mostly the excuses has been the “injuries got us, we were robbed by the ref’s, game scheme’s whether offense or defense, poor coaching and time management, and finally could of/ should of/would of; means jack!

    Pinkstob and Stlbucsfan said it right; we have lost too much and not won enough. If we keep the Coach and GM are we really going to get to the playoffs? My opinion is NO; they have had the time and have failed! Time to move on. The biggest blunder I have seen from Koetter, he isn’t learning fast enough as a Head Coach. Licht is a risk taker when something safer would have been better. His risk taking has caused the owners tens of millions and have caused a fair amount of ticket holders to leave the pool, thus very little gained other than COLA’s. Owner’s, your success in the future with this team is getting younger ticket holders; how are you doing with that task?

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    • Bruce Allen actually had a far better record as GM than Licht, though his detractors were constantly screaming for his head. Even Dominik had a better record, though his detractors were constantly screaming for his head. The very best GM we had, the only one with a winning record, was Rich McKay. He not only got us a lot of wins, he got us a lot of Hall of Fame talent. Nobody was screaming for Rich McKay’s head.

      We need another Rich McKay kind of GM.

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  17. “For those of you that are close-minded and want Licht gone no matter what, skip this section and go straight to Fab 2 where I lay out the case for his departure. ”

    Licht’s record currently stands at 27-49. So Scott naturally posits that if someone sees this lack of success during Licht’s tenure, a 5 year period of missed playoffs and one of the worst records in the NFL during that time and believes the GM has earned himself a pink slip that such a fan is “close-minded.” Apparently fans should be open to GM’s who lose 2 games for every game they win. Fans need to be open to more seasons missing the playoffs. 5 years? That’s nothing. The Bucs are embarking on a 11 season run of missed playoffs, so why stop now. If the Glazers like him personally shouldn’t that count for something? Scott, you’re so “open minded” that you wrote your evaluation of Licht on the heels of a 2 game winning streak, presumably before a few upcoming losses that will ding his record further. I’m shocked.

    So since Scott is worried the Bucs could pick a GM that is actually worse than Licht, let’s just compare him with his protege Jon Robinson who was employed by the Bucs only a few years ago and under which the team had it’s most successful draft with Winston, Smith, Marpet and Kwon Alexander.

    Jason Licht: (2014) 2-14 (2015) 6-10 (2016) 9-7 (2017) 5-11 (2018) 5-7 – .355 Winning Percentage
    Jon Robinson: (2016) 9-7 (2017) 9-7* (2018) 7-6 – .556 Winning Percentage, 1-1 Playoff Record
    *Made Playoffs

    Now, I know Scott is deeply concerned about another GM coming in. And he should be, because that GM may not be as open to him as the current one. A future GM may not be as friendly to Pewter Report and give as much access as the current placeholder. And really what could be worse than a GM who doesn’t give PR access? Certainly not one with a 27-49 record.

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  18. Can’t we just disagree with an article without questioning the professional integrity of the writer? If I wanted that I’d visit a political website.

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    • When you read an article of any kind do you check who wrote it? Does it matter where the source of the article is from?

      Anyone is welcome to firmly support people regardless of their success or failure, but it’s a question worth asking if a reporter consistently vouches for a GM with a track record of failure while simultaneously having a history of calling for the firing or replacement of coaches who do the same.

      Scott’s a smart guy he can defend himself if he feels the need to correct something I’ve written. I’m all ears.

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      • I was not replying to you specifically. I think it’s much better to debate issues than question someone’s motives. But I know I’m a bit naive to expect civility here.

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        • Going to a cable news outlet that is known for its partisanship and expecting them to honestly “debate issues” is no different than going to a writer who has a track record of spinning a GM’s record and expecting him to be unbiased as well.

          Scott has just as much a chance of leading a charge to fire Jason Licht for his incompetence as Fox News has of giving support to the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.

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  19. I gave Licht the benefit of the doubt for the first few years, saying that judging a GM takes at least four seasons, because the GM either produces long term success or long term failure and thus must be judged on his long term record, not a single game, or couple of games, or a single season or even two or three seasons.

    Licht has has had five seasons, and he has produced long term failure. Not good enough. Time to move on.

    Of course, people and fans are usually short term thinkers, and are crying to fire this guy this week, then after a couple of wins, change their minds and say, hey, he’s a winner.

    The final tally should come after the final game of this season, the end of this month. With four more games, the final toll for the fifth season of Jason Licht as Bucs GM will be the final tale. If the Bucs manage to win the next four games, he will be retained. And if the Bucs lose all four games, he will be fired. Because of short term thinking. But he should be fired now because of five years of sustained failure.

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  20. Looks like most fans on this site agree with Scott in at least keeping Licht. I have to side with those who think it’s time for regime change. Scott touting Licht’s success in drafting Evans with his first ever pick is laughable. Thank god he didn’t miss with Evans, he was the 6th overall pick that year for Pete’s sake. Still you can find a talented receiver, so shouldn’t the pick have been A.Donald who has 16.5 sacks as a D.T. this season alone? Evans is a top five receiver, Donald to me is the best defensive player in the league. Look at the Saints, they picked Kamara, and Lattimore. We have Hargreaves, and Rojo, they picked after us. I’d take Donald, Kamara, and Lattimore over our three any day. Putting that aside, you are what your record says you are. If the season ended today Licht, and Koetter should be fired. It doesn’t, and the Glazers like the rest of us have four more games of evaluation. If they finish 5-11, or 6-10 they deserve the boot. One other factor is the have empty stadium the last two weeks. So aside from some real homers on this site, most Buc fans have moved on from this sorry franchise. Even if you think they can get to 7-9 that won’t be enough to fill those seats, if you bring the crew back.

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  21. dont fire anyone, please dont draft a kicker in the second round and dont draft a defensive end from any other place than Alabama. I thought that this was a good article. build up the offensive line, the defensive secondary and linebackers and this team is in the playoffs. If you fire the coach, the whole coaching staff most likely leaves and that would be a major mistake. If you bring in a new GM, most likely that GM will make many mistakes and mess up the offensive chemistry. I am strongly in favor of keeping all and not making any bonehead moves like drafting a kicker in the second round and making sure that FA’s that are signed that they are healthy enough to play instead of drawing a paycheck and never seeing the field. GO BUCS!!!

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  22. I still say Vita over James alone disqualifies Jason, esp since he had a losing record before that, but the most important thing this franchise has to do is cancel the training staff (the injuries!) and keep Todd Monken.

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  23. Scott, you can’t excuse Licht like this “Defensive end Michael Johnson and quarterback Josh McCown were signed in 2014 at Lovie Smith’s request”, without also noting that Kwon Alexander (one of those 3 draft picks that seem to be his saving grace) was selected only because the very same Lovie Smith (who had personally scouted Kwon at LSU) demanded it amidst Licht’s attempt to do a 100% offense draft.

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    • Funny how Scott tends to attribute successes to people he likes (Licht) and attribute the failures to those he doesn’t (Lovie).

      You’d almost think Scott’s personal opinions about these people have clouded his judgment. But nah, no one who actively roots for the extension of a GM who has one of the worst records in the league over the past 5 years with no meaningful team success could ever be accused of bias, that would be silly. 🙄

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  24. I think Licht sticks. His Draft History is above average, and although many of his free agent picks have been busts, he has had some success this year.
    Let’s focus on a Head Coach. I hate to lose Todd Monken, and I have no doubt he will be offered a Head Coaching position somewhere. I think Bucs would be wise to at least interview him for the position. I think we are starting to see success on Defense, and if it continues, we have to keep our present coordinator. I am not too sure about next year’s draft quality, and unfortunately, we need lots of players on Offensive line, Running back, Secondary, and maybe another DE. Licht will have his work cut out for him. I wish they would have thought about trading Jackson before the free agency break, even a 2nd rounder would have helped. McCoy too. Now both of them will likely be gone for nothing.

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  25. Nice article Scott, I am in the middle when it comes to Jason cause he hasn’t done terribly nor has he done great..I think maybe another year to really see if the team he has built comes through but I do worry about his approach to free agency and the draft at times..I am ok for him being here, but if we do not continue winning like now I still think a coaching change should be made at least..Warhop for sure has to go.

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  26. First off Licht is gone no matter what. You can not survive two head coaching changes. Further, Winston being number one pick and constantly getting turnovers and having precision and accuracy issues four years into the game; off field issues continue; over 20 million dollars for year hanging in the balance will assist in finishing off the front office and coaching staff. I do not think Winston will really listen to anyone; Koetter or anyone else. He will be what he will be; an athletic QB with turnover and accuracy issues that will never break into the top ten QBs (there will always need to be a 50/50 run/pass play calling split with a Winston run team). Whether he does better than Mariota? Who knows who cares. Some of the failures of Licht are pretty high. The failed kicker and trading up to do it and it being spot lighted all over the reality NFL TV show does not help. He has not done well in FA. FA has two parts; who to keep and who to let go. He has not done well in either area. He holds some strength in his drafting. He has made a lot of mistakes, but he has successes. The two late round LB picks of Beckwith and Kwon were successful. Keep in mind compounding interest. As it stands at this time the entire 2018 draft 1st through 7th picks could be busts. He could not have had his worst draft at the worst possible time. He and Koetter both knew going into this year they were in a prove it or get fired scenario. A key thing I want to focus on is from his first year as GM. I have always felt he has been digging himself out of a hole from his first year in office, specifically in regards to the OL and the DL. I have always believed as early as JAN of 2014 he and the organization knew that OG Carl Hicks was done with football all together. Foot injuries mounted, but he was one of the three that contacted MSRA in that whole disaster. The way the organization responded to the kicker Lawrence Tynes was a disaster and lawsuits, investigations, and union situations were on going at the time. They wanted to handle Hicks more discretely. Point being they knew as early as JAN 2014 Hicks was done with the NFL all together. No replacement planning was executed. A few months later Licht cut two other linemen one was done (Joseph) and one was not (Penn). Don Penn was not done. I was not a big fan of his. Hind sight can be 20/20 but over the last few years I would have kept him over Donovan Smith. Point being now you have two new holes on the line; one being LT and another OG position. Licht did two FA blunders around this time both involving Bengals players. He brought in a LT and DE that had at least three years under their belt, but did not really prove anything. He paid them like they were proven veterans; they were not. The LT Collins was benched about a 3rd of the way into the season. Lovie Smith openly admitted that the LT Collins was no good. The DE Johnson was paid like he was Leroy Selmon and could not get a sack to save his life; he got cut after one year. Then before Licht’s first draft he thought it was brilliant move to trade C/OG Zuttah to the Ravens for a fourth-round pick. He went on to be a significant contributor to the Ravens for a few more years. Zuttah had one year left on his contract. Licht did not have to create a fourth hole on the line before his first draft. Zuttah was under contract for another year. If you did not like what you saw then do not re-sign him next year. By that point Licht already had three holes on the line, Nick, Penn, and Joseph. With Zuttah he was making a forth one. Licht thought the free agent from GB Dietrich-Smith was a better answer. He even bragged about saving around 4 million dollars with the Zuttah trade and picking up a fourth-round pick. A few months after the draft only a few weeks before the season opener, old Bill and the Patriots came calling to a desperate BUCs team gave us Logan Mankins. With Mankins came around a 10-million-dollar price tag, we lost a fourth-round pick, and we lost a TE/WR. So much for the 4 million we saved and the fourth round pick we got in the Zuttah move just four months prior. Further, we went into the 2018 draft knowing we had major line issues. Licht did nothing about it. Look at Gabe Jackson to Raiders in the third round and Sims who we drafted who had a decent first year and nothing more. After the draft around JUN 2014 in desperation we bring in a player from the Browns (all the browns fans where like, “What?!! Cousins?!? The guy does not even belong in the NFL) Oniel Cousins OG. Cousins was not even worth a bench position. Yet he ended up starting off and on in 2014. Another player that Lovie Smith came to a realization that was no good about a third into the season. Buy the time it was all done and said. At least 4 of the 5 OL positions were open. Mankins came in to cover down on one of them. RT Dotson was there and they were moving him back and forth between both tackle positions due to desperation. The first year of Lichts was an utter failure in regards to the OL. It was one of the critical ingredients to having the first over all pick in 2015 and being the worst team in the NFL that year. He tried to recover next year with the two second round picks Marpet and Donovan Smith. Smith has never cut it at OT. Too big, too fat, too slow. He will be gone this offseason. Licht has tried again and again with the OL and failed. He tried another FA maneuver that blew up in his face, J.R. Sweezy. He threw down around a 35-million-dollar contract on that guy and about two weeks after signing Sweezy was like, “I have to get season ending back surgery.” He did not participate in offseason, preseason, or the season for that year. We can go back to the DL where Licht stole a DT away from Washington by completely over paying him, Chris Baker; another DL line failure. McCoy has been on that line for years getting double teamed with no support. A few run stoppers and that’s it. Until JPP (a credit to Licht, he gets some) no one has been up there helping with sacks. A Licht credit would be Grimes in the beginning, not now. I feel he is done. I feel he needs to be done. We can always get worse or better, but this Licht era has run its course. He was not good at putting it together at once. Some success in the drafts (except the 2018 failure), but really screwed the pouch in the FA department. Much more failures at “who to retain” and “who to let go.” During the entire period of his leadership he could never recover from his first year of failures with the OL and DL. His time has come and it has gone.

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  27. If we can bring in a new GM who is a proven success and wants to take on the challenge of elevating this franchise to the highest level by all means replace Licht.

    My question is are there two or three people out there that fit that criteria? Is there even one guy? Otherwise Licht stays.

    A similar kind of thinking applies to whether we should replace Koetter. Who can we bring in to do the job? We can’t bring in someone we “think” will do. We can’t bring in someone unproven at the NFL level because we “want to believe” they can bring us the Super Bowl wins. We need to find the person that we know can do it.

    In the past the Glazers tried to get Bill Parcels to come to Tampa Bay and take charge. He “played us” for whatever reason and then rebuffed us. He did that twice. Anyway, that is how I saw it.

    You have to find the right guy(s) who relishes the challenge. The Glazers can’t be faulted for lack of trying.
    Go Bucs!!!!!

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    • OK @xpfcwintergreen, so I ran the records of NFL GM’s and I’ll show you the ones that are below Jason Licht and how he compares to the bottom of the leagues GM’s by record:

      32. John Lynch (2 seasons): 8-20 .285 Winning Percentage
      31. David Caldwell (6 seasons): 29-64 .311 Winning Percentage
      30. Reggie McKenzie (7 seasons): 38-70 .351 Winning Percentage
      29. Jason Licht (5 seasons): 27-59 .355 Winning Percentage
      28. Chris Ballard (2 seasons): 10-18 .357 Winning Percentage

      So as it currently stands it appears our own beautiful meathead scout Jason Licht has the 29th worst record of the 32 active GM’s in the NFL. You’ve got John Lynch and Chris Ballard who are only in their second seasons of rebuilding projects then you’ve got Reggie McKenzie of the Raiders and David Caldwell of the Jaguars. If you look at the three worst GM’s by record that have 5 or more seasons accrued you’d note that absolutely none of them have performed well this year for their teams. The Raiders and Jaguars are two of the worst teams in the league and the Bucs haven’t been far behind. Obviously you can blame Gruden on some of the current Raiders failures but Gruden was hired only because the Raiders were 6-10 last year and they fired Jack Del Rio.

      The idea that the Bucs couldn’t possibly get someone better than the 29th best GM in the league by record after 5 years on the job is like saying “Well I know Kyle Brindza/Roberto Aguayo/Nick Folk/Chandler Cantanzaro keep missing kicks but what if we can’t get anyone better? Do you see how stupid that sounds?

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    • If Koetter goes, IF, I think elevating Buckner to HC might be the right move. Keep Monken and Duffner calling plays. Bring in George Whitfield to replace Bajakian. Bring in a paper grocery bag to replace Warhop. Or….. Keep Koetter but still replace Warhop with the bag

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  28. My goodness there sure were a lot of wordy comments bringing up good points. We can all cite both positives and negatives of Jason Licht’s tenure. As Pink and others have said, the results have not been good. Mediocre at best.

    I wish there was a way I could shake my Magic 8 Ball to predict the fate of our favorite team if there is a regime change. My guess is that, unless the team on the field finishes strong and the fan base is energized a bit, the Glazers will have little choice than to sing, “Turn out the Licht, the party’s over.”

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  29. This is above my pay grade lol. Not going to make some long winded rant about if they should keep him or not. Been on fence with Licht for long time. Tough decision when coach and GM have both been mediocre.

    I’ve been Bucs fan long enough to know grass isn’t always greener. You could do worse than Licht for sure. I guess depends who is available too. Not sure how they finish the season really matters or factors when whole secondary is back ups.

    Koetter did me in with his stubbornness and keeping Smith so long. Single biggest issue that’s held this team back. We had nice little win streak end 2016 because we played defense!

    Love to see just an average defense and run game coupled with this offense. Would help the QB play immmensly.

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  30. “If we can bring in a new GM who is a proven success and wants to take on the challenge of elevating this franchise to the highest level by all means replace Licht.

    My question is are there two or three people out there that fit that criteria? Is there even one guy? Otherwise Licht stays.”

    There is nothing in the first sentence that says anything about Licht out performing any other of the current GMs in the NFL. It is just a stated preface to the second sentence which is in the form of a question.

    Rephrased, I was asking can we we find or is their any pool of people that are qualified by the criteria given in the first sentence? Or maybe, who is better qualified and also truly wants to come to Tampa bay and take over? Is there any known person or persons who meet these qualifications? Please give one, two or more names if you know of any. Thanks much.


    I don’t think of myself as stupid because someone will answer an entirely different question or set of questions than I was trying to ask. My failure is an inability to articulate in a manner that is guaranteed to be universally understood in the exact way I want to be understood by all who might read what I write.
    Go Bucs!!!!!

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    • The idea that you would look at someone who is at the back end of the league in performance and worry that there may not be anyone better to replace them would be like giving Josh McCown a 5 year extension after his one year starting here because someone could conceivably be worse. It’s the antithesis of how we look at players or coaches and is only an argument made by writers who have reasons beyond winning to consider whether they defend the GM in question.

      Your intelligence or lack thereof is irrelevant. It’s the premise of your argument that is poor. You work to replace poor perfomers in any industry where you have a choice. You don’t freeze due to worry that someone could do worse than 29 out of 32.

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  31. I might be crazy, it may just be a terrible memory….. But, SR listed Kenny Bell being drafted as a LB. Was he not a WR/KR? I know he was terrible, basically nothing but speed. But definitely not a LB, right?

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    • Kenny Bell was a WR who was recommended by Jason Licht’s father. He was terrible and soon out of the league.

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  32. That’s what I thought. More evidence PR needs a proofreader.

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