“Compete Now”

July 2nd, 2014
"Win now" is the philosophy of Bucs GM Jason Licht.

“Win now” is the philosophy of Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Joe remembers all to well what would happen when someone would tell Lovie Smith in the offsesaon that (name a Bucs player) did a good job, and Lovie would agree with whoever offered their two cents. Then Lovie would always add, “But we were 4-12 last year.”

Just the thought of winning but four games made Lovie cringe. No, Lovie isn’t just worried about being relevant or competing. It’s as if he won’t accept anything less than double-digit wins.

We’re not talking about the future. Joe is referring to this season.

So too does Bucs general manager Jason Licht believe this win-now mentality. The proof is in how busy Licht was when the free agent dinner bell rang, notes Mike Garafolo of FoxSports.com.

This isn’t a rebuilding process. This is a compete-now process, as the anointing of McCown as the starter over Mike Glennon announced. Licht said he’s convinced McCown’s 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns to only one interception in eight games with the Bears last year wasn’t a fluke, in part because of a conversation with McCown before signing him. McCown told Licht the “light just came on” for him a few years ago.

The Bucs’ entire free-agent class will have to click like that, starting in training camp, because many times, the team that’s most active in March isn’t playing the following January. But Licht believes the Bucs kept chemistry in mind while making their moves.

“Everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s having fun,” he said. “Throughout the whole building, there’s a new energy here.”

Of course, talking about winning and actually winning are two wholly different things.

Believing Josh McCown can repeat his magic in Chicago is all well and good. McCown actually getting results on the field is another matter, and no, Joe saw nothing from underwear football to conclude McCown is a bad signing. But it’s a big, big, big difference from underwear football to when the bullets are flying on Sunday afternoons in the fall.

12 Responses to ““Compete Now””

  1. SAMCRO Says:

    Yep, it’s all a mystery until we start playing some meaningful games. Until we can see how they play together, and how the OC manages the offense, then all we have are last years results to go by. L&L are confident they will turn the corner this season but in reality, what do we expect them to say. A lot still remains to be seen, and we are now officially 23 days from training camp.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “McCown told Licht the “light just came on” for him a few years ago.”

    I love the article…I’ll say why after I address McCown’s comment. I have to wonder when this light came on for him. Was it during 2010, when he spent the entire year out of football?

    Did the year off help him? He returned in 2011 and played in three games, in which he had 414 yards, 2 TDs, 4 interceptions, 7 sacks and 2 fumbles.

    So it must have been 2012 then right? Oh wait, he did not play in 2012.

    So much for the light coming on a few years ago. Even in 2013, just last year, he is getting too much credit. He held onto the ball too long.

    Yes, he had 1,829 yards, 13 TDs and only 1 INT. But what people keep browsing over is that he lost 4 games in the 8 he played. That because he held onto the ball too long he was sacked 11 times…9 of them in games he started. And that he fumbled 3 times, 2 in games he started.

    No light came on for this guy at all.

    That said…

    I think over most recent years, dating back to Gruden’s second year, we’ve been programmed to always look to the future. The team just was never good enough in the first year. As a result, we’ve taken the opinion that we’re always only a couple years away from greatness.

    I’m speaking of myself as much as anyone else.

    Lovie’s attitude is refreshing and I like it a lot. BUT. It’s hard to change our programming without proof. I do feel that the team got better under Schiano. He improved the roster through the draft and it takes a few years for those players to develop. Lovie is coming into the years when those players should start producing.

    But it is hard to change our programming. It will take visual evidence in games played. I still love my team, but I’m wary of being too optimistic in the short term. Maybe that’s the programing or maybe it’s common sense.

    I don’t know. But what I do know is that Josh McCown, even if the “light came on” is not the answer. Best case scenario…if a miracle occurs and the Bucs go to the superbowl…McCown is going to decide that he cannot have a better time to retire.

    Then, we have Glennon starting (or a rookie) and we are right back to that “in a few years” attitude. The excuse will be Glennon (or whoever) improved. Another year or two and he will be great.

    The defense will be great. But unless we go after an established veteran, we’ll be back to square one at offense.

    And people are deluding themselves if they think only defense will get the job done. Point to the Seahawks and their 24 points scored per game average that got them into the playoffs. Go ahead. Point to the 101.2 QB rating of their quarterback. Or to his 243.5 yrds per game (average). Or to the 3.37 Touchdowns Wilson averaged per game. Opposed to 1.75 that Josh McCown had.

    Huge difference.

  3. biff barker Says:

    Glad everybody is having fun. For now. Best we get off to a good start because 8 straight losses to open the season last year sure wasn’t.

  4. Eric Says:

    13 tds and one INT are very bright lights. I don’t think any under-wear football was being played then.

    Go Josh.

    “team got better under Schiano”

    Please, please please no more such “improvement”.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Bonzai

    “I don’t know. But what I do know is that Josh McCown, even if the “light came on” is not the answer. Best case scenario…if a miracle occurs and the Bucs go to the superbowl…McCown is going to decide that he cannot have a better time to retire.”

    That would be a very acceptable scenario for me…..Superbowl appearance….McCown retires….we start all over with Glennon or a rookie.

  6. Jim Walker Says:

    The problem with the Bucs is they have been chasing their tails with players. 10+ years of bad drafts and free agents where you can count the successes on one hand is never going to win a championship. Lets hope Lovie can right the ship.

  7. Broy Says:

    Well said TBBucFan, Bonzai you’re overthinking things too much. Btw Raheem won 10 games with nothing but a hungry Freeman and Schiano’s win total went down 3 games from year one to year two so I dare you to find the improvement. They won more games in the first 7 of Schiano’s career than they won in his next 19 games. Huuuuge improvement right. For the record Bonzai what would you have done about QB because the further i get away from the draft the more I realize next year when everybody has drafted their qbs we’ll strike if Glennon doesn’t meet Lovies or Tedfords bar set

  8. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    @ Bonzai – You are right the deprogramming took McCown a while. The Light went on a couple of years ago. The deprogramming that took place from the new awareness was finished in Chicago. I hope this brings clarity…

  9. ATLBucsFan Says:

    Seems to me we are putting alot of faith in Lovie for upcoming success. Seems to me he stands on the sidelines during the game. Don’t have alot of faith in free agents signed after coming off contract yrs. Too often they are subpar with Rice being the exception. I want to see consistent play throughout the game and from game to game.

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    So, Raheem was a better coach?! OK, whatever!
    I think there are a lot of lofty expectations for a team with a new HC, a new OC, and a lot of journeyman free agents. For the reasons listed in the article, I would temper your enthusiasm. There’s a lot of gelling that needs to happen. I believe we are an improved team for sure, but some of these positions scare the crap out of me, O-line for instance!

  11. chef paul misses 1987 Says:

    Great post Bonzai!!
    I don’t agree with every word, but you managed to type a big ass post without calling someone an idiot. I thought you were headed there towards the end but you didn’t. Good job buddy

  12. Lovie_Me_Some_Bucs Says:

    I don’t think McCown would retire after a solid or great year for 2 reasons:

    1. He has barely played his entire career and appears hungry to play football. He is not outrageously old yet by successful QB standards either.

    2. He stands to make a LOT more money should he re-sign in a couple of years.

    Both are pretty strong motivators. Also, I think he is going to defy the doubters and have an excellent season.