What If?

April 2nd, 2015
Could Lovie Smith still shock Bucs fans and draft "The Big Cat," Leonard Williams of USC?

Could Lovie Smith still shock Bucs fans and draft Leonard Williams of USC?

What if, God forbid, someone plunges a blade into Jameis Winston’s thigh in his own home this month and the Bucs are so spooked they go after USC defensive Leonard Williams?

In a way, Williams would sort of be the Johnthan Banks of defensive ends. Banks, this coming season, will finally have the same defensive coordinator and play under the same system in two consecutive seasons for the first time since high school.

Like Banks, Williams is used to change. He’s had three different defensive coordinators and three different line coaches in college. Later this month, he’ll be on his fourth group.

Williams said that was an advantage.

“One of the biggest things that made me so versatile in my career is I played for three different D-line coaches while I’ve been at USC — Pete Jenkins, Ed Orgeron and Chris Wilson – and three defensive coordinators as well,” Williams said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I’ve played in a lot of defensive schemes. With that came moving around a lot. The versatility came.”

Williams found the annual changes, well, mentally stimulating.

“I’d rather move around the whole D-line than stay in one spot the whole time,” Williams said. “It was more fun to create matchups and be able to go against some weaker opponents every once in a while and getting to the quarterback. When the coaches switched it up for me, I liked it.”

So, let’s say Father Dungy coerces Lovie Smith to go draft Williams, how would “The Big Cat” react?

“It would mean a lot for me,” Williams said. “I expect myself to go as high as possible. I have high expectations for myself. So do my coaches. That’s just the way I’ve been coached for a long time. It would mean a lot to me and my family to go as high as possible. If No. 1 is the spot, I would love to be there.”

71 Responses to “What If?”

  1. buc4lyfe Says:

    if say Father Dungy coerces Lovie Smith to go draft Williams then I say father dungy needs to be coaching the tampa bay buccaneers. theres nothing dungy can say about trading down or drafting this guy that lovie or anyone in the building hasn’t thought of…..he’s dungy not bill polian and lovie is not the sole decision maker

  2. bucrightoff Says:

    He is without question the top player available in the draft. And if you put him and GMC together you could have a dynamic duo for 8-10 years. People might hate it because they so desperately want to draft a QB, but Lovie’s defense doesn’t work or anything close without pass rush. Having two dominant interior lineman is as good a way as any of generating a top level pass rush. And Williams is indeed versatile and can line up anywhere on the line. Nothing wrong with taking Leonard.

  3. twizzylax Says:

    Williams is a better fit as a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT. I’d rather have Fowler, Beasley, or Ray if we’re not taking Winston.

  4. MadMax Says:

    As many here know, I wanted Williams bad, more than a QB….until I watched his combine and 40 speed. If we didnt have GMC, then I’d still rather have him. But he’s not going to be that speedy edge rusher that could benefit us more. And of course watching Winston’s combine sold me (and just so happens to be more of a need than a DT).

    He’s going to be a beast and I hope we get some O line that can try to contain him when we face him.

  5. Brandon Says:

    Twizzy is right. Williams COULD be a good LDE…but even in college he was no dynamo at getting QBs on the ground. He’s a very good all around player but the Bucs need an edge presence, one that relies on speed more than power. Williams’ game is a lot like McCoy’s…which is great on the interior but not mush of advantage outside.

  6. Luther Says:

    I remember the Bucs winning a few games but without a QB, you are just spinning your wheels.

  7. thedon Says:

    Ticket sales would still suck

  8. buc4lyfe Says:

    lol defensive end 1st overall with GMC would be a dynamic defensive line but what does that really mean. a defensive end and D tackle winning a championship lol who talks about that? J.J. Watt will win plenty of awards but theres no one in their right mind that think he’ll be winning championships with that offense. come on people

  9. Tom Edrington Says:

    Naaawwwwww……they’re gonna take Joe(s) new bromance: Porky!!!!!

    Remember, Porky Moses will lead the Bucs out of Egypt and into the Promised Land!!

    Welcome to Tampa, Porky!!

  10. meh Says:

    Williams is a 3-4 DE in the NFL. He is not a scheme fit here. Could he play 4-3 DE? Yes, but he won’t be nearly as effective there. He would not be worth a high pick unless you’re playing him in the correct position.

  11. tval Says:

    Id suspect tom:)

  12. buc4lyfe Says:

    @Tom Edrington

    I cant believe some of you retards looked at Winston pro day and said he’s fat….really really beyond pathetic at this point

  13. dmatt Says:

    “What if” a frog had a glass butt everytime he jumps it’ll break. Get real… Over the past 10 years other than Mario Willians in 06 n the awesome draft of 2011 for DE in first round which included The great JJ Watts history proves that as of late DE in the first round r ur average Joe. Lovie will b fired behind the what if factor.

  14. Patrick in VA Says:

    I don’t see them clearing out any defensive linemen (save for the one that didn’t bother to play since he got here) to make room for Williams. Definitely see a purging of QBs going on.

  15. Eric Says:

    Even the Gator fans here at my office, for which there are many, want Jameis.

    The more people see him the harder he is to hate.

    If they did take Williams, good luck selling that one.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Not a chance….not even with Lovie….the Glazers are all-in with a QB….

  17. Jody Says:


    I get that you love Winston but he sucks and is very slow. For you comment the other day he threw 10 int’s his first year and 18 his second year. How many will he throw against really good DB’s in NFL. Its not the ACC you moron. Very fair to say YOU don’t know anything about football.

  18. Tom Edrington Says:


    Hey man, I am “embracing the blubber” and welcoming him with open arms.

    Everyone’s been saying he is our “Muhammad Ali” but Ali was an incredible physical specimen and if Porky’s going to take the beating of 16 NFL games, he better be more like Ali than just talking……

    Hey, I’m giving love to Porky and if you don’t like it, lump it!

    Hey, if Porky doesn’t fit, we’ll call him Lumpy, Mrs. Cleaver!

  19. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Hey, if Tom wants to rag on the new starting QB of the team he roots for, then, I say go for it. But it seems like pizzing into the wind to me.

  20. BrianDorry55 Says:

    An almost 300 lb defensive end for a 4-3 with the 1st overall pick? There was never a chance this would happen. IF we didn’t need a quarterback, Dante Fowler would likely be the pick.

  21. UF Alum that likes a few Noles here. Says:

    good morning guys

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I actually agree with you on that. Winston looked in excellent shape, and I, being a “hater”, was hoping that wasn’t the case.

    He scored many, many points with me at his pro day.

    Which, btw, regardless of what the media claims, was the best Pro Day I have ever seen. Not because of the mistakes Winston did or did not make, but because he faced those challenges head on. To me, that showed tons of character.

    That character may swing my vote his way (very possible).

    What bugged me is the media saying he should have played it safe at his Pro Day. Screw that. The guy knows his weaknesses and he put them on display instead of trying to mislead people with a “safer” display.

    How can anyone not respect that?

    He’s still got issues with the way he plays, but he showed a willingness to confront those things. I liked it.

  23. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Joe – Off topic of the article, I really like the in-post link to other post feature that’s started popping up. Makes it much less cumbersome to navigate the site. Thanks for looking out.

  24. UF Alum that likes a few Noles here. Says:

    Ive missed you guys and Joe too of course but Ive been snowmobiling in Yellowstone. It was a blast. Did we sign a QB while Ive been gone.

  25. BoltIsle Says:

    The way some posters are on here, it would appear Lovie is incapable of thinking for himself. Dungy was fired here because he could not hire an average OC to get an average offense. He has zero offensive credibility. I’d give Lovie more for simply making the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman. Tony inherited Peyton and Tom Moore, so let’s not pretend he built that O. He built the D there that allowed them to finally win it. Playing against Grossman didn’t hurt in winning it. Dungy would have never won the Super Bowl here because of his inability to develop an average offense.
    Gruden won his here because he could address the offense and inherited Monte and that D. Playing his old team didn’t hut either.
    I’ll always be greatful for how Dungy changed the culture, but he had maxed out what he could do here when he was fired (How that was handled is another topic).

  26. buc4lyfe Says:

    @Tom Edrington

    dude your comparing boxing training to that of a quarterback? sorry man lol im just laughing because your just kind of pathetic and bitter and it’s I was confused at first and now I got it figured out. slimmer than big ben who no one calls fat but ok. I’m kinda assuming your just a tad bit younger than moses with these names your coming up with for JW but ill just say something im sure you know a lot about

    with five active KKK organizations existing in the state, Florida is ninth in our top ten of most racist states. kinda figured out why you guys make an argument against what is clearly the best quarterback talent in the draft…..Winston is cool with it and it doesn’t bother him at all, he grew up in Alabama

  27. Eric Says:

    Winston’s family does look a bit on the plus side. Having been to Bessemer, Alabama the cuisine isn’t fitness oriented.

    I’m guess his family is not above tearing up some biscuits and corn bread.

    I was going to say fried chicken but that wouldn’t be politically correct. Ah, screw it, I love that stuff myself.

    He will need to watch that. Interestingly, I understand he was almost 250 in the 2013 National Title game. He did rather well that day.

  28. Jolly Bucs fan Says:

    obviously getting a top tier DE is enticing, but do you know whats really enticing? getting a game changer in a franchise QB, something we have never had and an opportunity we cant miss, if winston gets leg-stabbed than go for mariota, more development will be needed but he should have a good career in the NFL

  29. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    It would be worth it just to experience the caterwauling here….except it would probably crash JBF website….

  30. you can't fix it Says:


  31. Beezer Twelve Washingbeard Says:

    Dante Fowler > Leonard Williams

  32. buc4lyfe Says:


    exactly….everyone knows that every quarterback and or player comes into the draft needing improvement and to work on their game, if your the best quarterback in the draft then put it all out there and say this is me, trying to do what you do best to make yourself look better is pointless if you have tape and scouts already know. put it out there and what you’ve learned since your last college game and what you need to get better at. he should be the pick just for displaying his bad footwork saying this is me

  33. Patrick in VA Says:

    @you can’t fix it – I feel like your handle is an apology for the things you write

  34. buc4lyfe Says:

    hahahaha im worried about some of our fans

  35. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Somebody’s grumpy!

  36. Skyline Crew Says:

    thedon Says:
    April 2nd, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Ticket sales would still suck

    That isn’t going to change.

  37. Tom Edrington Says:


    I’m all on board with Porky, I covered and spent a lot of time with Doug Williams and Doug was the target of racial bias back in the 70s.

    You’re not old enough to remember that but during my Tribune days, I had callers complaining because my Players of the Week for six straight straight weeks were African-American or black, whichever you prefer……so don’t even try to play that card on me, I also integrated our sports staff with the first African-American or black writer, whichever you prefer, hired to help our weekly coverage.

    So before you start giving me lessons in racial equality and opportunity, better know what the hell you’re talking about, which you don’t.

  38. Skyline Crew Says:

    As the great Lucius once said: “Don’t you put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby! Don’t you put that on us!”

  39. passthebuc Says:

    No problem, Hockey is great in tampa

  40. ufcguy Says:

    Calling the kid fat is ridiculous. I seriously see the racial bias you have because he doesn’t sound like a white news anchor guy on fox. Get over yourself. Hes a hard worker and not one coach or person has ever question his iq or drive. Every single one of you are lazy in your stereotypes and should actually listen to him dissect plays. The kid gets it. Im happy hes coming here. He wants to play for us. Mariota could care less.

  41. Bucsfan4lyf Says:


  42. Skyline Crew Says:

    Hey Eric,

    You know how loves fried chicken? EVERYONE, that sh** is delicious.

  43. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    Once Winston is safely ensconced in One Buc Palace under the care of the nutritionists, he’ll forget all about the unhealthy stuff (except for the holidays)!

    Those nutritionists can cook up some tasty healthy stuff!

  44. buc4lyfe Says:

    @Tom Edrington

    there are lots of biggets who mask how they really feel about certain people behind what they do for work. if you were any kind of writer you’d have some type of objectivity to your opinions but you don’t just negativity. don’t care what you did at work your not working right now but thanks….the fact that you have to state what you did for blacks bothers me even more…..lol you could have simply disagreed with what I said

  45. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Thing with Williams is a 4-3 team like the Bucs can move him around on the D line. He projects to be close to elite on the interior and can be a good DE too. Seems like an offensive line coach’s worst nightmare having to scheme against this guy and McCoy. Still part of the trade down for a shipload of picks, but drafting Williams is my #2 scenario…yes I realize I am in the JBF minority.

  46. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I don’t know why this would be a shock. Lovie is a defensive minded coach who feel comfortable winning 13-6 games with a strong running game and a Rex Grossman/Josh McCown type QB! I could see Williams as his guy….doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with it…but I could certain see it unfolding that way!

  47. Bucfan4life Says:

    @ youcantfixit: that was great. I’m with you because you’re clearly a very smart guy. Your command of the English language was impressive in your post above. Of course the Bucs are gonna take Mariota!!! All signs point to that right!!!!! I mean every mock draft, expert, and NFL insider I saying Mariota is the guy. They had basically every employee from OBP at Winston’s pro day while Lovie didn’t even bother to attend Mariota’s. That is a clear sign that they know it’s Mariota.

    Thanks for the laugh this morning!

  48. Skyline Crew Says:

    Come on Bucfan, Mariota’s pro day was during free agency. You really believe that they would have flown everyone out to OREGON, all the way across the US? I think it is much easier to drive a few miles north to see a QB then fly across the country. Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  49. Tom Edrington Says:


    It is perfectly obvious on this site that you don’t let folks disagree with you or have fun with new nicknames because you then insult them and start using childish beratings…..

    Your style speaks to what you are………

  50. Bucs fan 76 Says:

    The Glazers fired Gruden and Allen because they didn’t draft a franchise QB when they had a chance. Morris first move was to draft Freeman but that failed. The Glazers will force the drafting of one of the two QB. I hope it’s Winston.

  51. Skyline Crew Says:

    Bucs fan,

    What franchise QB did Gruden not draft that he would have been able to?

    From what I can tell by draft history is that we never drafted high enough to take a franchise QB that year or when we did draft high there weren’t any in the draft. So unless you expected them to trade up to grab Matt Ryan, Flacco, or Rivers, I’m not see a franchise QB in the drafts that they could have grabbed.

  52. bucrightoff Says:

    Why do people think drafting a QB is gonna lead to some spike in ticket sales? So what, if they draft a QB and go 4-12, 6-10, that’s gonna have more fans in the seats than if they draft Williams and go 8-8, 10-6? Yeah I seriously doubt it.

  53. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Actually draft the best player in the draft. we would never do that. it would make way too much sense. this guy is gonna be better than suh. take this kid and make the playoffs even w glennon as our qb

  54. Underdog Says:

    Leonard Williams would be an outstanding pick. He had his best year as a Freshman playing in Monte’s Tampa 2 as a LDE. Was just dominating. He’s the most sure-fire pick in this draft and will go to many Pro Bowls. With the #1 pick in the draft you should take the #1 player in the draft and that is Williams

  55. WS99 Says:

    Danny Shelton, I know he’s prob a 3-4 NT but put him next to McCoy and we may have something special.

  56. rayjay1122 Says:

    While I would love to see Williams and GMC as a tandem, the fact is that we need a QB too bad to have the luxury of picking Williams. You can get a stud DE or DT in free agency when you are willing to pay or maybe a 1st round talent drops a little and we can still get a top rated DE as well as Winston or Mariota. QB is a bigger need than DE at this point albeit DE is a close second.

  57. Hawk Says:

    It appears that the NFL has made ‘ticket sales’, irrelevant. With revenue sharing, teams can show a profit if just a few diehards show up. Did I hear that the NFL has discontinued blackouts? If so, that, alone, should show you the importance of ticket sales.

  58. LargoBuc Says:

    He dosent have that speedy, Tampa 2 defensive end athletic freak that Gregory or Ray has. And defensive tackle is already our deepest position followed by running back. So I would think Leonard Williams does not fit what we are trying to do here. Although him and Mccoy would be a nice pair on third and long.

  59. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m sure Lovie would love him some Williams. Too bad Lovie, they went over your head to take the QB. You were just hired as a figurehead.

  60. Johnny Dejay Says:

    This is a red herring to get Jax to trade up to the first spot, which would be fine with me… If the Bucs trade back to #3 and Philly is somehow able to get from #20 to #4, #5, or #6, then the Bucs could trade back again and still get Jameis along with a boatload of premium draft picks…

  61. salish_seamonster Says:

    Skyline Crew Says:
    April 2nd, 2015 at 11:18 am

    What franchise QB did Gruden not draft that he would have been able to?

    Nobody all that good really… Just this guy named Aaron Rodgers.

    Gruden drafted Carnell Williams that year. Nice job Chucky.

  62. 87LikesFreeJerseys Says:

    Tom Edrington <~~~this man says Warren Sapp was only good because he was surrounded by future hall of famers that made him good.

    In other words don't ever take what this man says as credible.

  63. Buctebow Says:

    If you win the Superbowl then you can choose the Best Player Available regardless of position, because you have no gaping holes to fill, but we were the worst team in the league. Our biggest need is QB, we have to go with need, period. BPA is really a myth anyway, it’s at best the BPA at a position of need that actually happens. How do they come up with these mock drafts anyway, by determining the teams biggest needs vs. the draft class’ strengths and weaknesses.

  64. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Williams is a better fit as a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT. I’d rather have Fowler, Beasley, or Ray if we’re not taking Winston.

    I’m with Twizzy and the others. IF we took a DE first I’d rather have Fowler and his non stop motor. Besides he already knows what it’s like to play on a good defense with a sucko offense!

    But neither Williams nor Fowler are generational DE’s. Not sure Winston is a generational QB but he does tantalize with at least that possibility.

    If the BPA is close between a QB and a DE it becomes a no brainer. QB’s are simply harder to find than DE’s although DE’s and LT’s are not far behind.

    I would take Fameis or MM before any of the DE’s in this draft.

  65. Bucfan4life Says:

    You may be right Skyline. The number 1 pick in the draft is no big deal and Lovie cannot be hassled with a long flight over such an unimportant pick.

  66. Matt Says:

    We either draft Winston or trade back. If Winston is on the board Whisenhunt will take him. It would be great to be able to trade back and get our guy but it ain’t gonna happen. No sir.

    What if Philly trades Bradford to CLE for a 1st and they send us 2 1s this year and a 2nd and 1 and 2 next year (When Cardale Jones will be top QB). I could live another year with a retooled o line, edge rusher and MG8 holding it down until Cardale Jones comes in.
    If we cant get kings ransom, we take Winston no question.

  67. delson Says:

    We just got henry melton. We still have akeem spence. We don’t need a big ass de/dt. We have william gholston at one de n jaquis smith at the other neither have starting experience neither are knownfor speed but williams can’t be our pick. Look at our qb depth.

  68. BoJim Says:

    Jody Says:

    Very fair to say YOU don’t know anything about football.

    Pot? Meet Kettle. lol

  69. Skyline Crew Says:

    salish_seamonster Says:
    April 2nd, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Skyline Crew Says:
    April 2nd, 2015 at 11:18 am

    What franchise QB did Gruden not draft that he would have been able to?

    Nobody all that good really… Just this guy named Aaron Rodgers.

    Gruden drafted Carnell Williams that year. Nice job Chucky.

    So he should have taken Aaron Rogers 19 picks before he actually went? A QB who sat for 3 years behind Brett Favre. And who would have Rogers sat behind? Or did you expect him to start right away. Nobody knows if he could have because he didn’t have to.

  70. Skyline Crew Says:

    Cardale Jones may not even be starting next year. Let’s curb our expectation on that one.

  71. CalBucsFan Says:

    @buc4lyfe vs. Tom Edrington

    B4L, you need to lighten up on Tom, if he’s not already he should be in the Tampa journalist’s Hall of Fame.

    As a former Tampa resident who moved west in the late 70’s, I thirsted for any piece of news about the Bucs. It wasn’t easy finding articles in Arizona back in the 80’s & 90’s, long before the internet existed, but when I could no one wrote better pieces about the Bucs, NO ONE!

    Try reading his sports related insights and comments when he’s not deflecting crap from bloggers who have nothing else to do but criticize other bloggers, he’s actually quite intelligent, has more insight, and certainly understands the Bucs and sports in general better than 90% of the bloggers here on Joe’s site, and that’s for Buccaneer sure!