“Best Available” Crowd Is Euphoric

May 10th, 2014

lovie and lichtDon’t you dare accuse Lovie Smith and Jason Licht of coming to the NFL Draft expressly to try and fill needs.

These guys don’t roll that way.The age old debate question at draft time is, “Should a team draft to fill needs or to choose the best available players and sort them out afterwards?” Of course, there is no magic formula, despite the drum-pounding of fans who pick an allegiance to one approach.

But Lovie and Licht clearly leaned heavily toward “best available.”

They could have scored impact receivers later in the draft, but snatched one at No. 7. They didn’t need a tight end, but pounced on one in the second round. A running back in the third round? That’s one hell of a big investment at that position — a position that nobody across Tampa Bay considered a need 24 hours ago.

Joe’s not bashing or diminishing the talent of the new rookie Buccaneers. All three of the new draft picks could pan out big time. Hopefully, they will.

But Joe definitely yearned to see the Bucs address the offensive line in a big way. Joe watched enough Falcons football last year — and Lovie Smith’s Bears — to see how things can implode when your O-line is weak.

A good O-line is also a big plus for, um, all those running backs and a 35-year-old quarterback whose durability has not been tested.

74 Responses to ““Best Available” Crowd Is Euphoric”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    Other than Lewan….the best OT & OG in the areas the Bucs picked were just taken……I am OK with how the draft has gone….fingers crossed for a trade of a rostered player for a early 4th round pick today….

  2. Macabee Says:

    Before the draft gets started today, I would like to remind everyone that was so concerned about our draft choices in rounds 2 and 3 relative to our other needs, specifically offensive guard, to be patient.

    Do we need help at OG? Yes! But the sky isn’t falling as some of our comments suggest. First, we already have a competent RG. In 2012, Doug Martin rushed for 11 TDs and 1464 yards and 472 yards receiving. Anybody want guess who the ROG was? Jamon Meredith – a terrible tackle, but a damn good OG. In 2013, our pro bowl coaching staff saw fit to return him to back-up LOG and OT and insert Davin Joseph at ROG and they both performed terribly. L&L quickly moved to re-sign Meredith (one of only 2 UFAs resigned), not to a 1 year prove-it contract, but to a 2 year contract with a bonus and appropriate incentives.

    Give Schiano credit where credit is due – he and Dominik plucked young Patrick Omameh from the 49ers PS last year and he is going to compete for the starting job too. Believe it or not, we are developing people too.

    Anybody notice how Seattle and the Patriots (always) keep trading back in the draft. Belichick has discovered something which Seattle has adopted – your skill positions come early in the draft, but the later rounds are where the D-line and O-line gems come from. Licht studied under this man. We have picks left in the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds. Let Licht do his job. This is a very deep draft, UDFAs this year would have been 5th and 6th round picks last year.

    Finally, there will be a second FA that starts immediately after the draft as some overpaid veterans are released in favor of lower-priced draftees. We have 13mil in cap space and some 10mil in additional cuts coming. We will be well-positioned to fill any gaps after the draft. Patience my friends, patience is virtue. If today was opening day, I would join all of you in a national grieving day, but not yet. Way too early! Go Lovie! Go Licht!

  3. deminion Says:

    hopin for a trade up in the forth for OLineman

  4. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Love the picks. Along with McCown our offense has been seriously upgraded. All you arm chair GM’s STFU and go back under the rocks you crawled out from. Come back next year around draft time so we can hear your feminine bitching for a day or two then disappear again. F-ck you.

  5. deminion Says:

    so far impressed with the draft glad we have some weapons considering how bad the O was last year with no playmakers

    @Macabee crazy how buc fans complain about everything would they rather have schiano still around or raheem?

  6. deminion Says:

    i still want Martavis Bryant 6’4 dunkaneers

  7. Walter Says:

    If Lovie and Frazier can coach up this defense, I believe we have the weapons now to create a pretty good offense as well, assuming we find some o-line help with our next two picks. I personally really like the pickup of Sims, he could be lethal in the slot and also spell Martin for some reps during games. Licht and Lovie are doing a great job!

  8. Drew Says:

    Don’t forget, alot of lineman will be cut at roster cuts in training camp.

  9. anotherbucsfan Says:


    You are awesome keep up the great work.
    Thank you for this great website.

  10. donkc Says:

    Sign Richie Incognito. Bring back Davin Joseph on a cut-rate salary.

  11. gonoles Says:

    To FLBoyindallas: Amen!!!

  12. Dean Says:

    It is clear that this is a “win now” operation in progress. Consider, tremendous upgrade @ WR, another top TE and a shifty ballhawk on 3rd down. As far as OL, this can be had later in the draft, undrafted players and Free agents let go by other teams in the coming weeks. You can’t completely remake the entire team overnight. It’s done piece by piece and I sure like the pieces added, as compared to where we were last January. Have some faith guys!

  13. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Team Licht.

    Dom won the offseason every year on these boards, and it resulted in Jack D…aniels. Considering Dom went 28-52 and still gets some support around here, it’s puzzling these guys don’t even get one game, much less one season.

  14. INDYbucsfan Says:

    3 receivers that are 6’5 or taller plus Myers and wright, then Doug and our new RB who looks absolutely killer. If we do get some Oline help we’re will be an offense you truly have to watch out for. We’re going to have so much talent that we can’t fit them all on the field at the same time!!!!!

  15. Harry Says:

    After sleeping on it, I am excited about the ASJ pick. And I love the one constant I am reading on all the picks – great hands, get the ball close to them and its a catch.

    However, I hate this the Sims pick. Nothing against Sims, but we absolutely did not need him. The Bucs needed a freaking OG. THAT is the position that makes the run game work. Marcus Martin was picked right behind Sims by SF and he is said to be a “to be a steal at No. 70”.

    Yea, we can pick up another teams cast offs when they are cut to make room for new draft picks, but to take a RB in the top 70 picks is crazy when we need a OG to open the holes. Are some of you forgetting this was a weakness of Lovie’s in CHI? Are you telling me we could not have done better with another OG? WR? DE? DT? This is a bad pick. If you don’t think so, go drink more Kool-Aid

  16. Walter Says:


    At least wait and see how the Bucs plan to use Sims first, he could really help the offense. If he can catch 30-40 passes while also give Martin dome rest in games, that’s not a bad pick up. Let’s not act like James and Demps are great RB’s. Both of them are average.

  17. Walter Says:


  18. bucrightoff Says:

    I’m fine with the BPA approach, I much prefer it and the Seahawks/Patriots trade back approach to the filling “needs” approach. Take the Sims pick. Sure they could have filled the “need” of OLine, but what if at that point they’re choosing between the 11th and 12th best lineman on their board, and Sims is their 2nd or 3rd ranked running back? At a certain point value has to trump need. I do think 2 of the last 3 picks will be OLine today however.

  19. Cody Says:

    Im loving this draft…Mike Evans is a big fiery receiver that never says die, Jenkins is a Big fast TE that can actually block; he should be a nightmare for opposing DB’s/LB’s to cover, and Sims gives us a versatile play-maker that can line up at any skill position…he’s our speed in space guy and probably will be used a lot like the Seattle Seahawks use Harvin…
    the plan seems to be to stock pile guys that can get in the endzone and I’m all for that…If Lovies defense is paired with a offense that can consistently put up 21+ points a game we should be tuff to beat…

    with that said I do think we need to find a OLineman or 2 on day 3…remember guys we’ll be running a zone blocking scheme up front and those type of lineman traditionally are available in later rounds…

  20. BucsQcCity Says:

    Well said Maccabe!

  21. Harry Says:

    Dakota Dozier, G, Furman

  22. Nybucsfan Says:

    I like the picks besides the rb I think that was a waisted 3 rd pick and we don’t have a 4

  23. Harry Says:

    @Walter Says:
    “…At least wait and see how the Bucs plan to use Sims first, he could really help the offense…”

    I don’t disagree. But my argument would be that if we had great OG, like Nicks, you can plug in any RB and he looks like a star. But without a good O-line, even a star RB will look average at best. That part of the game is won in the trenches, as they say

    I still love L&L, and we can and will beef up the O-line. And WOW, we might actually have an offense we can be proud of. How nice would that be?!

  24. BucfaninMO Says:

    It looks like Licht is taking after Ozzie Newsome. The Ravens always draft the best player on their board no matter the team needs.

  25. Chef Paul Says:

    I hate this years draft and it has nothing to with our picks. It’s the Rams. I think they’ve had the best draft so far. These guys are going to be really good. It’s getting to the point where the NFC West is going to get both wild cards. That means, basically, the only way we see the playoffs is by winning this division. That is no easy task. With any luck, the 9ers will start going downhill. Them f*cking Rams!!

  26. Harry Says:

    @Nybucsfan Says:
    “…I like the picks besides the rb I think that was a waisted 3 rd pick and we don’t have a 4…”

    Totally agree. And I forgot we don’t have a 4th, crap, no OG for us in this draft unless we get ridiculously lucky

  27. Harry Says:

    @Chef, yea, the Rams have really stock piled draft picks, as have the 49ers. We have had so many years of total ineptitude its going to take a while to catch up. But, I think we at least have the right ppl in place to do that now.

  28. bucrightoff Says:

    The NFC West is such a badass division. Old school football with absolutely punishing defenses (thankfully we just had them as a division opponent so won’t see them all for 3 more years). But if Lovie does his thing the NFC South, the Bucs, Panthers and Saints (weird saying that) will all have very good defenses too. Atlanta is crap still of course.

  29. Architek Says:

    I absolutely love what we have done!

  30. Bee Says:

    I had to do a double take when I saw we picked Sims. But then I thought about it, Martin is coming off a non contact season ending injury. After him, the drop off in talent is steep. James and Rainey are good, but too carry the load for the whole offense and catch the ball? I don’t see it. They needed someone they could plug in to run, catch and block. This is exciting. We’ve upgraded our skill positions with tall, big, and fast men. I’m sure they’ll address the oline at some point. So relax, the draft isn’t over. The offense was hurting and needed better players all the way around. Especially QB, but I guess that’s a topic for another thread.

  31. James Says:

    I want to qualify what I say next by saying the picks Friday surprised me. (But I did love the Evans over Manziel pick…sorry Joe). I am optimistic Sims can be the next Darren Sproles. Me, I take Gabe Jackson, G from Miss. But, I trust the pros. They watch the film, their jobs are on the line, they get paid the big bucks to know more than I do. I’ll save any rants till the season suggest incompetence. RB is kind of a head scratcher. But, the guy looks like a great talent. As for tagging the BPA (best player available crowd), does this mean we can give another drum pounding acronym a break (MGM)? Personally, I too find disdain for the DTLM crowd (Don’t think like me). Get the torches and arm band! Down with the DTLM bunch. Sound silly? It is.

  32. Tony Says:


    great post, hit the nail(s) on the head

  33. Ernest T. Bass Says:

    Thumbs up to Macabee, you always give good posts!! I love Evans and ASJ, saw them a lot both studs! Sims if we use him like Seattle uses Percy Harvin this could work out well. Maybe Sims is the dangerous returner we’ve been seeking for a long time.

  34. ctord Says:

    We talk about building depth well, this is how it is done. What I see is a very big physical football team being build. Lovie will have an oline don’t worry. This team is looking very promising. Remember last year boring nothing to look forward to offense. Who last year really was worth watching. Now we got some sex appeal and I like it. That is a big reason why I agreed with joe on the Johnny football idea. We need positive buzz. The line will get fixed. Maybe some cuts coming from other teams.

  35. ctord Says:

    Remember lovie has not had great success drafting linemen.

  36. Couch Fan Says:

    I had an interesting thought pop into my head earlier this morning. Aaron Murray is called the King of the back shoulder fade. The way they are putting out offense together, it suits that style perfectly. Just saying, I wouldn’t be surprised if Murray is there in the 5th, that he’d be our pick.

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Well Said again brotha. It was a great draft

  38. Couch Fan Says:

    our offense together*

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    No QB will be taken in this draft!

  40. stanglassman Says:

    Great points Macabee. The O-line will be addressed before it’s all said and done.
    I too think Simms was a great pick after giving it some thought. He brings a totally different skillset than are other backs. Great hands, speed, size and can block. He has Tedford written all over him.
    That’s a bold move Harry to say you ‘hate’ the pick now everyone on here will be thinking of you every time Simms gets the ball. “This is the guy Harry hates he wanted to get that back up guard the Titans (or whoever) got in the 3rd rd instead.”

  41. Couch Fan Says:

    ’87, you need to open your mind up. Just because you think it doesn’t make it so. We are going BPA and in the later rounds a QB might just be that. Lol

  42. ManzielMadness Says:

    Cyril Richardson, Antonio Richardson, David Yankey, Anthony Steen,
    Dekota Dozier, and Cameron Fleming remain. I’m sure a couple of these players could drop to us!!

  43. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and I’m back up to a B+ grade after watching a few highlight reels. If they address the guard position in FA or later in the draft. I have no complaints at all.

    Damn it people. I’m starting to smile again. I have positive thoughts again about this team that I love for life. It feels good.

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:



  45. Buc1987 Says:

    Couch….I’ve been saying it for about 2 weeks now. So why stop now.

  46. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Okay the TE pick is making a little more sense but the RB still looks like the wrong call IMO. Yeah he could be the best receiving RB in the draft, and they could be hoping for him to be the next Darren Sproles, but it won’t matter without an O-line to protect McCown. Carl Nicks hasn’t been healthy since he first became a Buc and Jamon Meredith is the best after him when it comes to guards. I guess Lovie raving about Demps’ speed was a smokescreen.

  47. tonybuc Says:

    Joe, if I recall you wrote an article about doug Martin not to long ago about how in your opinion it was no lock he would remain with tampa because hes not L&L’s guy, drafting simms is a curious one for me maybe you knew something all along, unless they are planning on switching him to slot receiver. Maybe I read that somewhere else I’m not sure

    Yes, you read that here twice, and Joe was roundly called a ludicrous moron for the suggestion.–Joe

  48. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Cyril Richardson is still on the board.Wow-That just shows you how deep this draft is

  49. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Aaron Murray is the best sleeper in this draft IMO. He showed no signs of his knee holding him back during his pro day and workout for Gruden. The SEC’s all-time passing leader would be great in the 5th, but I doubt the Bucs take him having not addressed the O-line at all. Also Jackson Jeffcoat would not be a bad pick if they trade into the 4th.

  50. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I agree that Licht stayed true to his board. Might be a while before we figure out Oline depth, but we have a ways to go before the season.

  51. Buc1987 Says:

    I think they are going to use Sims in all different ways. I’m sure they know that the line still needs to addressed too just as much as we do, if not more than we do.

    Give them a break and let’s see how it all falls together after the 2nd free agency. Koenan could be let go for all I care and then they can go on another mini spending spree after the draft.

  52. Tackleblockwin Says:

    We must remember it is not like we drafted garbage players in rd 1,2,3. These are good football players.

  53. Chef Paul Says:

    They sure have shown us that they cant be predicted. That is what will make today so damn fun!! Who knows what these guys pull out their hats today.

    Cant wait for the picks and the plethora of articles coming from Joe the rest of the day.

  54. Buc1987 Says:

    This was posted on another thread it belongs on this one and he makes great points.

    James Says:
    May 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    FYI for everyone ready to jump off the skyway because we didn’t pick O-line in third. Some guy named Carl Nicks was originally a 5th round pick. Donald Penn – undrafted free agent, Evan Dietrich-Smith – undrafted free agent, Demar Dotson, – undrafted free agent, Anthony Collins-fourth round.

  55. Westsidebucsfan Says:

    Great post macabee. My thoughs exactly!

  56. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Buc1987 Says:
    May 10th, 2014 at 11:30 am
    No QB will be taken in this draft!

    I think you may be correct, unless the unlikely scenerio that one of the SEC kids falls to 7th rd and is best available on Licht’s board.

  57. Kalind Says:

    Horse mess, Joe. When the Bucs choked in the third roud, Louis Nix was available!!!! Are you kidding me?! And so was Gabe Jackson, David Yankey, Cyril Richardson (ehhhh) and all the third tier QBs.

  58. Couch Fan Says:

    DT is not a need either so why is that ok but not a RB?

  59. Back, from Davie Jones Locker Says:

    Love this draft. Sims is a pure out Reciever out of the Backfield- which we did not have

    I posted this late on another post, but what do Roman Oben, Kerry Jenkins, and Jeff Christy all have in common?
    They were all Aquired via Free agency or Trade.
    And all three were starters in the Super Bowl- on our offensive line.
    With O-linemen, signing a vet is often a better option than drafting a Rookie.

    I know we are all worried about the Oline. The Bucs have signed a LT, 2 Guards, and a great Center already. We have money, can get millions more with a roster move.
    And the Second wave of free agency hasn’t started.
    And finally, this management team signs Free agents.

    We are doing it right. And we will be much improved this year.

  60. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Take a look at the Sims pick this way:

    Compare what he brighs vs. Leonard…..because its likely in Tedford’s offense that he will be the additional back & the third down back.
    Don’t compare him to James & Rainey….one of them will likely be traded and between the two of them…we have a 6tn round pick invested.
    Also…..its possible he replaces Demps (have no idea if that’s the plan)
    If you haven’t watched Sims’ highlights….do itl….if you watched it….watch it again….I think you will be very comfortable with the pick.

  61. tonybuc Says:

    “Yes, you read that here twice, and Joe was roundly called a ludicrous moron for the suggestion.–Joe”

    Well I wouldn’t call you a moron, it’s your opinion, not to mention it’s a new regime, new coach, gm, whole new staff, every player Dominick drafted or brought in better be on notice, it’s part of the business of the NFL changes are made when a new staff comes in, they want their own guys. Although I wouldn’t be happy with parting with Martin, these things happen, and drafting sims might be the early process of them doing that.

  62. Michael Says:

    Love the picks! Offense will be much better and maybe even explosive for once in my life. Looks like nicks health is not a concern. We need a big year from him.

  63. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I realize that the pass O in the NFL has changed. I understand that rules have changed in favor of the WRs and QBs. But I will always believe that if a team does not have a couple threats out of the backfield, they will struggle. In this game you still need a respectable threat or two at the RB position. When leading in the 4th quarter it sure is nice to have a clock-milking bell cow to close games.

  64. 1bucfan88 Says:

    I’m not sure how you can call TE not a need. Neither of the guys on our roster has shown an ability to catch AND block at a high level…ASJ has at least demonstrated that ability, which frees up Wright to be exclusively a “receiving TE” and makes Myers what he should be…depth. ASJ is a definite upgrade and that’s all you can ask for from a 2nd rounder. As far as the Sims selection goes….don’t even get me started…..smh….

  65. dmatt Says:

    We still have a chance to bring in an available qb who I consider sleepers that will compete n surprise many. three that comes to mind are …1. Connor Shaw (South Carolina) 2. Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), 3. Zach Mettenberger (LSU). Lovie n crew must c something special n Demps after passing on speedsters Paul Richardson n Dri Archer. They are creating a dynasty. How would u defend an offense in the red zone with triple towers VJ, M.Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, n let’s not forget that we have 6’7 tightend Steve Maneri on the roster also. Some one has to b open. My hope is that Tedford has a plan to create mismatches n nitemares for defensive coordinators.

  66. Harry Says:

    I like Sims as a player. Right now I would list him as our #2 RB, at the very least. But, what good does that do if we have a porous Oline? I am not even a big fan of drafting big uglies high – I had this debate with ODB. But for crying out loud, its a GLARING VOID right now.

    Now if you believe we are going to be drafting the next Carl Nicks in the 5th or 6th, then drink some more Kool-Aid and enjoy your delusional day! LOL

  67. Trubucfan22 Says:

    All off season everyone wanted us to draft bpa. We had too many needs that boa was the best solution. Now heres the draft and the bucs aren’t targeting players instead picking players that fit their scheme and are the bpa. Why are you complaining? 3 new pass catchers when every fan in the Bay Area was beating the drum that we had no weapons last season. We have 3 new weapons and you still complain. Some of these bucs fans are idiots. Go be a browns fan if you don’t like what the bucs are doing.

  68. Greg Says:

    Did any of you guys pining for an OL not read Macabee’s (great post man!) or what Bucs1987 posted from James? Re-read those posts, the sky’s not falling, and you have to remember that Meredith crushed people he started at OG, his failure was when Schiano and Co moved him to RT where he didn’t fit. BPA all the way, lets see where this draft goes!

  69. Greg Says:

    @ Trubucfan, I wouldn’t call some of these fans idiots, they are more like low information voters!

  70. Thegregwitul Says:

    Just wanted to hop on to acknowledge Macabee’s post; great stuff and EXACTLY how I feel about the Bucs and the draft. So far this offseason has been a refreshing change of pace from Raheem/Schiano. I can’t wait to see who else the Bucs select.

  71. Harry Says:

    Something I don’t understand. Why some of you feel the need to be so nasty in your posts? This blog is for opinions. It doesn’t mean everyone is supposed to agree or acknowledge how smart you are with your post. I doubt most of you would have the balls to say that to a persons face. Is it bc you are not smart enough to express yourselves without the insults? For example…

    “…All you arm chair GM’s STFU and go back under the rocks you crawled out from. Come back next year around draft time so we can hear your feminine bitching for a day or two then disappear again. F-ck you…”

    Now that took a lot of intelligence, didn’t it? I picture this guy to be the kid we all picked on in school, nerdy, thick glasses. He can only be aggressive in the internet bc you would pound his a$$ in person…

    Lets see if we can be a little smarter then this

  72. tonybuc Says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more harry, everyone is entitled to their own opinion

  73. Harry Says:

    Thanks Tony. I know these ppl would not have the guts to say such things to a person’s face. So why can’t they use the same premise in here?

  74. Westsidebucsfan Says:

    Look at Harry calling people Internet tough guys as he’s doing the same exact thing. And it’s “let’s see if we can be a little smarter THAN this” not then