“We’re Not The Rays”

December 17th, 2013

Anthony Becht talks about learning from the Michael Bennett “mistake.”

You groom and develop talent, and then you re-sign that talent. It’s a simple formula that works in football where there’s a level spending playing field among teams, unlike in baseball.

Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht, who works for ESPN and the Buccaneers Radio Network, remains flummoxed by the Bucs’ deviation from that plan.Speaking passionately about the future of the Bucs last night on WDAE-AM 620, Becht talked a lot about a plan for the Bucs to land a strong edge pash rusher next season. He also wanted to remind Bucs fans that quest didn’t have to be a priority for 2014.

“Whether there was head-knocking [between Bucs management and Michael Bennett] or whatever it was, he came out and fought for this team last year every single week. He got us 10 sacks; he was our best run stopper at the defensive line position. And to me that warranted a way to work it out and keep him here. You’re talking about growing a line,” Becht said. “And I know it’s last year and we don’t want to talk about that stuff, but where are you going to find guys like that? That’s how you do it. You groom them. You get them ready. They have the huge year when it counts at contract time, and then they have one, and then you go push them away. I mean, we’re not the Rays, right? We’re not pushing talent away; we can afford some of these guys. We made a mistake there.”

Becht agreed with host Tom Krasniqi that the Bucs are an edge rusher away from being a top-5 defense, saying the presence of that player would open things up more for Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David. DaQuan Bowers isn’t that guy, but Becht isn’t sure No. 91 is the failure in his third season that many believe him to be.

“I don’t know necessarily that he’s failed. I haven’t seen enough. I don’t know if they used him as much to find out whether he would fail or not,” Becht said. “You know when you get in there in just third down situations or you come in as limited a time as he has, I’ve got to see a bigger set of plays from him.”

“To say that he’s been a colossal failure, I’m not quite sure.”

Joe can’t agree completely with Becht on Bowers. The guy came into the NFL hurt and the Bucs went easy on his knee in 2011. Last spring, he blew his Achilles and returned with limited success. This summer, Bowers admitted to being out of shape because he didn’t fully understand the rigors of training camp. Then Greg Schiano tried to play him into shape in preseason, which left Bowers exposed on the field struggling to beat second- and third-team offensive linemen. And then Bowers has been banged up this season and can’t beat out Daniel Te’-O Nesheim or Will Gholston.

If that doesn’t add up to the “B” word for a second-round pick, Joe’s not sure what would.

However, Bowers is 23 years old with a big body and a good attitude. He’s entering a contract year, and Joe sees no reason not to bring him back next summer. Perhaps the light will go on.

On Bennett, Joe agrees with Becht. Bennett seemed like a simple call. He was wildy successful within Schiano’s defense and didn’t command a lot of cash on a one-year deal — an apparent no-brainer, regardless of his questionable shoulder.

Joe’s confident that if the Bucs plan to challenge for the NFC South crown next season, then they need to buy a top pass rusher. When you miss in the draft at a position, that’s what you have to do. And there’s no evidence that the Bucs hit a homerun with Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, and combined with the loss of Bennett, they’ve got to go shopping.

27 Responses to ““We’re Not The Rays””

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Wow….how many times are we going to rehash letting Bennett go….yes it was a mistake…but only because Bowers hasn’t performed….so, it was one mistake…not two. We didn’t think we needed them both.
    I remember when Bowers played near the end of 2012….he was dominant. What happened.
    We seem to have bad luck with Clemson players. It makes me wonder if we should go after Sammy Watkins…

  2. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Agree 23 is still very young in Bowers development. He may never reach his perceived potential, most likely knee and leg problems are continuing to hamper his effectiveness.

  3. Mulligan Says:

    I look for William Gholson to become a beast next year. He is starting to show he can play and another off season will be all he needs.

  4. Tackleblockwin Says:

    This offseason (via Twitter) Bowers was more concerned about what shoes he should buy rather than being ready to win football games. The Bucs drafted him, took a chance on him, and he has yet to prove he really cares about proving everyone wrong. Dumb this guy and go get a DE who cares about winning. Oh wait, we had the guy…his name was Michael Bennett.

  5. Mulligan Says:

    Bad luck with Clemson players…can you say Gaines Adams (hate to speak ill of the dead).

  6. Big Marlon B Says:

    I agree that this team could be a great edge rusher away from being an elite D. One name I have been thinking of is current Bengals DE Michael Johnson. He’s young, coming off the franchise tag in a contract year, and a double digit sacker. He is about 6’6″ 270 lbs, freakish athleticism, and still developing. He also has experience in Mike Zimmer’s aggressive D, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bengals let him walk as they have some quality depth along the D line. I think a rotation of Johnson, Gholston, Clayborn, Bowers, and Means could provide some versatility and be very productive.

  7. al121976 Says:

    maybe we will re-sign Bennett in the off season, if he can pass a physical.

  8. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Normally I would agree with Becht here, but I have to take the side of Schiano & Dominik here because it looks as if both Gholston and Bowers have higher ceilings than Bennett, are far far cheaper and are much younger too. Yes it may have cost us a little this year by letting him go but our sack production as a whole has increased, not decreased. And once Freeman was kicked to the curb we weren’t gonna have a winning season this year anyway, so why not let these young guys develop? Gholston will prove to be a better DE than Bennett…you can take that to the bank.

  9. Dan Says:

    Your absolutely right,,, The Bucs are not the Rays!!!! The Rays are WINNERS!!!

  10. biff barker Says:

    You can’t have the Bowers conversation without Bennett. No one saw the Bowers situation coming either.

  11. thegregwitul Says:

    Maybe Michael Bennett didn’t want to return to the Bucs. Clearly the fact that he was still injured while being a free agent resulted in the one year offers from the Bucs and other teams, and perhaps he felt that the Bucs should have given him more money and/or years to his contract since he proved to be a productive player for the team. When they didn’t meet those requirements, Bennett looked elsewhere.

    Sometimes a player feels slighted if he’s receiving a lowball contract offer (i.e. only one year contract) and chooses to go somewhere else, even if it’s for the same terms. The Seahawks are a better team at this point in time, so if you have to choose to play out your one year contract, why not go with the Super Bowl contending squad?

    At the end of the day, I’m not directing much blame toward Mark Dominik. He took a chance offering Bennett one year and in the end he was burned, however, the Seahawks took the same chance, offering only a one year contract and it apparently was the best opportunity for Bennett. That’s it. There isn’t a conspiracy and I strongly doubt the Bucs just let Bennett walk away without at least making a contract offer, even if said offer was below market value.

  12. Jordan Says:

    Many analysts are forgetting one critical component: The Buc’s were going to have to resign Josh Freeman if he played well. Obviously we know what happened with JF5, but at the time Dominik had to leave enough roll over money to apply to our 2014 salary cap. If we signed Bennett or Abraham, we would have only had 12-13 million dollars to resign our “franchise QB”.

  13. BFFL Says:

    It’s obvious that Bowers was pushed onto Schiano just like Freeman was. Way to go Dominick.

  14. Jordan Says:

    Because we didn’t spend 4.7 mil on Bennett or Abraham, we now have at least 17 million in space (plus more if we cut Penn and draft Mathews). 17 Million buys us the top DE on the market, and their are some good ones this year: Greg Hardy, Michael Johnson, and Jared Allen.

  15. Clowney Says:

    Luckily, the fact that the Little General sucks so bad that there will be a bona fide pass rusher from S Carolina available in the 1st round of the next draft.

    As long as Schiano is in Tampa, the best day of the year for football will be draft day.

    We’re #1! We’re #1!!

  16. zam Says:

    Given Bennett’s sour grapes comments about Schiano in the press, I can’t help but wonder how much of his failure to get a chunky contract from the Bucs was because of character issues.

    That’s the way Dungy used to do it: you weed out the bad apples by not re-signing them. It takes a couple years.

    Seattle is successful, but they seem to have no scruples with hiring players of questionable character. I don’t know much about Bennett, but philosophically I want to be proud of the team and the moral fiber of its players. Seems Schiano does too, so if it helped move the team to that direction, fine.

  17. Jerry Says:

    Hey Dan, the “Rays are winners.” Really? How many World Series have they won? In fact, they haven’t won a post-season series since 2008.

  18. WalkdaPlank Says:

    @Jerry – At least they finish with over 90 wins (PLENTY of games above .500 if you wanna compare it to football) every year and have success despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. They are much more entertaining than the Bucs, who haven’t even managed a postseason berth in 7 years, and haven’t won a postseason games since their SB win 10 YEARS AGO.

  19. BUCTROOPER Says:

    “We’re not the Rays.”

    Kind of a cheap shot there.

  20. Dave Says:

    The Bucs were the same way in 2003 to 2008. They’d post winning records and make the post-season a few times and then be one-and-done. People didn’t like it, so Gruden was fired and the Glazers blew up the team and started over. Now we are desperately trying to get back to that 2008 level, and it seems like a steep climb yet to get there. Firing Gruden was obviously a massive mistake.

    (And it’s why the Rays firing Maddon would be a huge mistake)

    That’s why teams like the Raiders and Bills and Browns end up stuck at the bottom of the league. They change head coaches and QBs more often than their underwear. We are starting to fall into that same trap. This team needs to pick a QB and a head coach and stick with it. If it’s Schiano and Glennon…so be it. If not, they need to make the move and solidify it now. But we can’t keep playing around with the coaching. It will screw up everything this team has been building for.

  21. Shane Marco Says:

    @Jerry

    Look man, I a Bucs fan from way back…that being said we aren’t even close to being in the same league as the Rays. The Rays have one of the best front offices of any professional sports franchise, we have the “popstar” Dominick, one of the worst GM’s in the NFL. The Rays consistently develop talent and revive careers, that is because they have a great scouting department and great coaching to go along with it. The Bucs have neither of those things.

    This Bucs team has some talented players, but it needs an overhaul starting from the very top. The GM has to go. This team needs a proven NFL Head Coach, like Lovie Smith or someone comparable. Offensively, we need to figure out whether or not we are going to roll with Glennon and then begin to retool our aging and/or marginally talented offensive linemen; that still leaves us at least one skill player short on that side of the ball. Defensively we need to keep adding pieces along the defensive line; the edge rusher everyone has been talking about here, along with adding and upgrading depth along the line.

    Only after these changes have been made, and the results begin to show up on the field, will you be able to mention these to franchises in the same breath. And that is a day I anxiously await.

  22. [THE HANGOVER] Discussing A David Price Rumor And How It Went From Speculation To ‘Fact’ | Rays Index Says:

    [...] Former Bucs tight end Anthony Becht to a bit of a shot at the Rays: “They have the huge year when it counts at contract time, and then they have one, and then you go push them away. I mean, we’re not the Rays, right? We’re not pushing talent away; we can afford some of these guys.” [JoeBucsFan] [...]

  23. Patrick Says:

    Bennett probably chose not to come back. I mean it’s kind of a no brainer……what team would you rather play for? the Seahawks or Bucs? Russell Wilson or Josh Freeman?

  24. Patrick Says:

    The fact that Freeman was a bust should be enough reasoning for Dominick to be fired. Everything was “all about #5″ for how along. 5 seasons! And look what we got out of it. Nothing. Everything revolved around Josh Freeman.

  25. Joe Says:

    Bennett probably chose not to come back. I mean it’s kind of a no brainer

    He wanted to stay with the Bucs.

  26. buc4lyfe Says:

    It’s the coaches failure, last thing Schiano said at the web’s of last season was he wanted to create competition but you let Bennett walk, Roy Miller and gift Bowers a starting job. That’s not on dominick if you look at the roster in the off-season we had a serious veteran presence. I keep hearing say Freeman is a busy but why is it was did more with less, why is Raheem Morris a better coach than Schiano? His last season he lost 10 straight only after losing McCoy…AGAIN

    Other than quarterback and across the defensive front line were better than Carolina which means we suck because we’re waiting for a damn Head coach to develop, he should be fired after going 0-8 with this roster

  27. buc4lyfe Says:

    It’s the coaches failure, last thing Schiano said at the web’s of last season was he wanted to create competition but you let Bennett walk, Roy Miller and gift Bowers a starting job. That’s not on dominick if you look at the roster in the off-season we had a serious veteran presence. I keep hearing say Freeman is a busy but why is it was did more with less, why is Raheem Morris a better coach than Schiano? His last season he lost 10 straight only after losing McCoy…AGAIN

    Other than quarterback and across the defensive front line were better than Carolina which means we suck because we’re waiting for a damn Head coach to develop, he should be fired after going 0-8 with this roster

 
 

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