FAB 2. The Case Against Licht As The Bucs’ G.M.

While the Buccaneers are undoubtedly better from a talent perspective today than they were in 2014 when former Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith and the Glazers hired Jason Licht, the team has a frustrating 27-49 record under his watch. In Licht’s five years with the team, the Bucs have failed to make the playoffs and will have one winning record – a 9-7 season in 2016.

Licht recommended Smith’s firing and the promotion of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to head coach in 2016. Both were the right moves at the time, but the Koetter era just hasn’t panned out with the Bucs falling to 5-11 last year and are only 5-7 this year with four games to go.

Buccaneers GMJason Licht and Head Coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Buccaneers GMJason Licht and Head Coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The jury is still out on Koetter, whose teams haven’t shown the ability to consistently win close games, evidenced by a 5-11 mark in games decided by a touchdown or less, including a 2-7 record in games decided by a field goal or less. Part of that record can be attributed to poor kicking, which is on Licht.

Licht’s biggest fault as Tampa Bay’s general manager has not been finding a reliable kicker. The Bucs have gone through 10 kickers in 10 years, including Shane Andrus, Connor Barth, Lawrence Tynes, Rian Lindell, Patrick Murray, Kyle Brindza, Roberto Aguayo, Nick Folk, Chandler Catanzaro and now Cairo Santos. Licht has been involved with seven of those kickers.

Perhaps Santos is a keeper and ends the Bucs’ kicking curse. If he is and remains perfect it only helps Licht’s cause – and perhaps Koetter’s down the stretch. But Licht will forever be remembered for trading up in the second round to draft kicker Roberto Aguayo in 2016. Aguayo was the league’s worst kicker as a rookie and couldn’t handle the pressure in Tampa Bay, lasting just one season before getting cut.

While Licht has helped build one of the league’s great arsenals of offensive talent, the Bucs defense hasn’t measured up. Licht all but ignored the defense in his first two drafts – selecting just one defensive player, middle linebacker Kwon Alexander in the fourth round in 2015.

Of the defensive players that Licht has drafted – Alexander, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, defensive end Noah Spence, cornerback Ryan Smith, linebacker Devante Bond, linebacker Kendell Beckwith, defensive tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, defensive tackle Vita Vea, cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, safety Jordan Whitehead and linebacker Jack Cichy, only Alexander and Beckwith have truly distinguished themselves at this point, and Beckwith has missed this entire season with a slow recovery from a broken ankle. Hargreaves was showing promise until a Week 1 shoulder injury sidelined him for the season.

The Bucs announced on Friday they have signed first round pick Vernon Hargreaves – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III, GM Jason Licht and HC Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch

To be fair, Alexander, Hargreaves, Spence, Smith, Bond, Beckwith, Vea, Stewart, Davis, Whitehead and Cichy are still with the team. It’s not like they are busts that can’t play in the league. If healthy, Alexander and Hargreaves would be starters, along with Vea, Davis and Whitehead. And Smith and Bond are currently starting due to injuries at cornerback and linebacker. For the most part, many of these defensive drafted players have yet to reach their full potential, but that’s not helping Licht’s cause right now.

While the re-signings of players like linebacker Lavonte David, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, wide receiver Mike Evans, tight end Cameron Brate and guard Ali Marpet are feathers in Licht’s cap, not all of his re-signings have gone according to plan. The Bucs re-signed Doug Martin, who rushed for over 1,400 yards and made the Pro Bowl during a contract year in 2015, and then didn’t rush for more than 500 yards, was suspended for substance abuse, and was cut two years later.

Run-stuffing defensive end Will Gholston was re-signed after the 2016 season and given $13.5 million in guaranteed money instead of pursuing a more expensive option like Calais Campbell. Gholston had a terrible year, which prompted Licht to sign Vinny Curry this year to replace him as a starter, while Campbell made the Pro Bowl with a career-high 14.5 sacks. Gholston has one sack this year, while Campbell has seven.

While he has had his share of draft hits, including Evans, Alexander, Marpet, tight end O.J. Howard, receiver Chris Godwin and others, Licht has also had his share of misses. Licht’s critics point to his questionable selections in the second round, beginning with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2014. While Marpet was a great second round find in 2015, fellow second-round pick left tackle Donovan Smith has been good, but not great.

The 2016 draft class for Licht hasn’t been a good one with the oft-injured Hargreaves being the first selection, followed by Spence, who has been a disappointment, and Aguayo, who was a bust, in the second round. While free safety Justin Evans, Licht’s second-round pick in 2017, has shown promise, running back Ronald Jones, one of this year’s second-rounders, hasn’t shown anything yet with 23 carries for 44 yards (1.9 avg.) and one touchdown.

Cornerback M.J. Stewart isn’t an elite athlete and was overdrafted by Licht in the second round. He’s struggled mightily at nickel cornerback and might be better competing at strong safety. However, the Bucs are high on cornerback Calton Davis, who was drafted after Stewart, and he looks like a long-term starter on the outside.

While Licht has been successful in finding some free agent gems like running back Peyton Barber, wide receiver Adam Humphries and tight end Cameron Brate, there have been plenty of misses with premium draft picks.

Bucs DT Chris Baker, GM Jason Licht & WR DeSean Jackson - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DT Chris Baker, GM Jason Licht & WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

While the draft is typically a 50-50 arena when it comes to picking players, free agency is even hit-or-miss for general managers. Licht has had some success over the years with defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, punter Bryan Anger and wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a degree, but there have been plenty of busts, too. Defensive end Michael Johnson and quarterback Josh McCown were signed in 2014 at Lovie Smith’s request, but left tackle Anthony Collins and cornerback Alterraun Verner had Licht’s fingerprints all over them. Collins, Johnson and McCown lasted just one year in Tampa Bay.

Linebacker Bruce Carter was the notable free agent signing in 2015, but he was quickly beaten out by Alexander during his rookie year. Defensive end Robert Ayers and cornerback Brent Grimes were worthwhile signings in 2016 and helped the Bucs to a 9-7 record, but Ayers’ play fell off in 2017 and he’s currently out of the league.

Grimes underperformed last year and had to be talked into playing this year instead of retiring, and at $8 million, he’s had virtually no impact this season. Defensive tackles Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein were signed to help the run defense. Unrein has spent the entire year on injured reserve due to a severe concussion, and that’s not Licht’s fault. Allen has 14 tackles and hasn’t made any splash plays despite making $5 million per season.

Licht signed free agent defensive end Vinny Curry, who is making $6.5 million this year, and he has produced just 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks while missing four games with a high ankle sprain. Curry is due $8 million next year at age 31 and it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will return in 2019.

Licht also bolstered the defensive line with the first-round selection of defensive tackle Vita Vea. While it wasn’t Licht’s fault that Vea missed virtually all of training camp, the entire preseason and the first three games with a calf injury, the fact is that the first-rounder has just eight tackles and two sacks this year, although it should be noted that Gerald McCoy and Warren Sapp each had three sacks during their rookie years as they adjusted to life in the NFL.

What fuels Licht’s critics is that he passed on Florida State strong safety Derwin James in favor of Vea. James has made a huge impact for the San Diego Chargers during his rookie season with 81 tackles, 12 pass breakups, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston & GM Jason Licht – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers
Bucs QB Jameis Winston & GM Jason Licht – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

And finally, Licht’s success in Tampa Bay is tied to not only Koetter, but also to Winston, who was the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston has a losing record as a starter and he has 71 turnovers, which are the second-most in the league over the last four years. Winston is only 24 years old and has gone through an awful lot in his time in Tampa Bay – most of which has, including been attributed to his own poor decision-making that has led to him being suspended for three games this season and benched for two others.

None of the aforementioned facts should come as a shock to Bucs fans. If the Glazers end up replacing Licht this offseason there are some legitimate reasons why that would occur.

But NFL seasons are 16 games long and there is another quarter to be played in the 2018 campaign. If Winston stays away from turnovers, if defensive coordinator Mark Duffner continues to turn the defense around, if players like Vea, defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib and defensive back Andrew Adams continue to make plays, if Santos continues to make field goals and extra points, and if Koetter wins a few more games the Glazers may be focused more on what Licht has done in Fab 1 as opposed to Fab 2 and be  inclined to keep him around.

Now that both sides of the argument have been presented, what do you think, Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers? Should Licht stay or go? Or do you need one more thing to consider? If so, read on and click the next page for a very revealing Fab 3.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Bucco63

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… Read more »

MudManVA

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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tog

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… Read more »

e

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… Read more »

TheBaron70

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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MudManVA

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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Freeman Strickland

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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GrayBalls

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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MudManVA

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… Read more »

JC5100

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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Buc-n-Philly Fan

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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cgmaster27

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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Buc stops here

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… Read more »

tpeluso

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… Read more »

Buc-n-Philly Fan

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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e

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

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FLBoyInDallas

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

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MudManVA

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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Buc stops here

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

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Mike Wright

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… Read more »

cgmaster27

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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Devasher

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… Read more »

Naplesfan

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

What does that say?

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scubog

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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Pete Wood

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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BucWonder

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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pinkstob

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… Read more »

scubog

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… Read more »

pinkstob

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… Read more »

Naplesfan

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… Read more »

scubog

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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Horse

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

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sidetrack

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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stlbucsfan

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… Read more »

stlbucsfan

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. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00… Read more »

DrT1066

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

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

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athans5

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… Read more »

Devasher

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… Read more »

Buc-n-Philly Fan

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… Read more »

SenileSenior

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… Read more »

Buc76

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… Read more »

Horse

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… Read more »

Naplesfan

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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Devasher

“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… Read more »

BucWonder

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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Devasher

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. Rate this item:Thumb… Read more »

BucWonder

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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Devasher

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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Naplesfan

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… Read more »

surferdudes

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… Read more »

yohohoandabottleofrum

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… Read more »

liquidmuse3

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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EastEndBoy

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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Devasher

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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seat26

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… Read more »

BucRy

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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SelmonRules1000

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… Read more »

SenileSenior

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… Read more »

Devasher

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… Read more »

GrayBalls

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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scubog

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… Read more »

fredster

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… Read more »

SenileSenior

“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… Read more »

Devasher

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… Read more »

GrayBalls

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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scubog

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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GrayBalls

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

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