Bucs “Stayed Up All Night”

February 8th, 2016
jay hayes

Bucs won an old fashioned recruiting battle for DL coach Jay Hayes.

When fiery former defensive line coach Joe Cullen leapt to the Crows, Joe was a bit sad. Cullen was one of the few bright spots on the defensive coaching staff.

That sadness turned to joy when Joe nearly hit the floor learning the Bucs somehow, some way lured Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes to Tampa Bay.

Hayes is arguably the best defensive line coach in the business.

And given how the Bucs’ pass rush, even with stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, is the weakest link on the team, the hiring of Hayes can only mean good things.

To hear the words of NFL Network uber-insider Ian Rapoport, the Bucs won an old fashioned recruiting battle for Hayes — sort of like an NFL precursor to college football signing day that happened just days after Hayes came to the Bucs.

Joe had a chance to chat with Rapoport in San Francisco, where Rapoport gave Joe a window into the hiring of Hayes.

“Jay Hayes was a guy, [the Bucs] stayed up all night to get him,” Rapoport said. “I didn’t think he would every leave Cincy. He is one of the top defensive line coaches in the NFL. And, I think it is [a] great [hire].

“I said something that made some headlines and I didn’t mean to get headlines, about how hard life is going to be for Gerald McCoy. But it is true. He will have to work as hard as he has ever worked before. But he will benefit this guy is a great, great teacher.

“They stayed up just to get the deal done. Just to make sure if he there, they weren’t going to [let Hayes] leave.”

In short, the Bucs got Hayes into One Buc Palace for an interview and all but held him hostage until they could hammer out a deal and get his John Hancock on a contract.

This reinforces what Joe learned about the cherry-picking of Hayes. Joe heard from a trusted source before traveling to the west coast that the Bucs are thanking their lucky stars they were able to land Hayes. The Bucs are happy with their other new assistants, but locking up Hayes was icing on the beautiful, delicious cake.

42 Responses to “Bucs “Stayed Up All Night””

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Jason Licht knows talent. The man also knows where the big voids are on his team. Getting one of the best coaches to help with that need was awesome. This staff is full of quality coaches now. Some friends yes, but friends with a track record. No family, just quality teachers. 2016 is going to be tasty for us Bucs fans.

  2. dreambig Says:

    How cool would it be if Hayes could get our exixting group of d-linemen to play at a much higher level! We have some talent on our defense with LVD, Kwon, Verner, Banks, McCoy, Gholston, Spence, McDonnald to name a few. Maybe with a coaching staff that adjusts scheme to existing talent, our D can improve like our O-line did last year.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “When fiery former defensive line coach Joe Cullen leapt to the Crows, Joe was a bit sad. Cullen was one of the few bright spots on the defensive coaching staff.” – Joe

    Really???! He was an underperforming staff member!

  4. OneBucPerson Says:

    I read a point on a sport website, maybe Bucsnation, that made a lot of sense to me how we secured Jay Hayes. We all know that Mike Smith wants to be a head coach again, and I think the sooner he turns this defense around the quicker that is going to happen. A possible reason that Hayes chose Tampa was that he was told that when, not if, Mike Smith leaves to become a head coach somewhere that Hayes would be promoted to defensive coordinator. That seems pretty logical to me as it seems Paul Guenther is pretty entrenched as Cincy’s DC and I’m sure Hayes didn’t want to work at a place he had no chance of getting promoted at, plus leaving a consistently good team for a consistently bad team coaching the same position would just be a lateral move.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This will likely mean that we will get him the players he wants and needs……we need 2 DEs….perhaps one FA & one from the Draft. We have some depth and a couple of good young players……I am starting to like what I see from Gholston & Spence.

  6. Bucs Fan Since '76 Says:

    The #1 defense in the NFL won the Super Bowl last night, beating the #2 D. We need a top D to win a championship. Period.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Von Miller (LB) (Broncos) Going to be tagged if deal isn’t worked out. SELL

    Josh Norman (CB) (Panthers) No way he’ll leave his team. If he did, he would be worth going after, but not going to happen. SELL

    Muhammad Wilkerson (DE) (Jets) Will get the tag if a deal is not done. No way the Jets let their best DL leave. SELL

    Jason Pierre-Paul (DE) (Giants) Good chance he’ll hit the market. Giants have a coaching change and his stats are down. He’ll want dollars, but won’t get as many as he hopes. Chances are good he’ll sign a one year deal. The risk here is his hand. Only 1 sack in 8 games. He’s having trouble wrapping players up. Still, if he can overcome the limitations, he could be a steal. Sign him to a good sized one year deal. If he proves himself, have the option of a three year extension if done so by a certain date. This, to me, is a great idea. Still have to draft DE with our first pick, but man, if he works out it would be amazing. BUY

    Eric Berry (FS) (Chiefs) He’ll hit the market. Not worth signing. He has a name. He has a mythical reputation. But look at his stats. His tackles are always low. His Passes defended are always low. His sacks are always low. Forced fumbles are always low. His reputation is based off a couple good games, nothing more. SELL

    Malik Jackson (DT) (Broncos) He might be permitted to test the market, but I doubt he’ll even wish to try. He’s sort of the Broncos version of Bennett (except DT instead of DE). He could be good…but he might not be. Right now, he’s so-so…and only a big contract would lure him away from the Superbowl winning Broncos. He doesn’t deserve such a contract elsewhere. SELL

    Olivier Vernon (DE) Dolphins) He will leave his team. No doubt. The question is, how expensive will he be? No doubt, he could turn out to be the next Simeon Rice for the Bucs. He’s only 25. He averages 7.25 sacks per year right now…and had 11.5 2 years ago. Under Hayes, he could be a beast. Question is can he work in whatever scheme the Bucs will use? One other advantage…Miami is a worse climate than Tampa to work in. He’s already conditioned for Tampa climate. Might even be better for him. BUY

    Eric Weddle (S) (Chargers) Too old. SELL

    Janoris Jenkins (CB) (Rams) Not an upgrade to what we have already. SELL


    Adrian Clayborn (DE) (Falcons) LOL…just kidding! Why would the Bucs steal him from our division rival? Let them keep that liability! SELL!!

  8. tmaxcon Says:

    Great time to be a bucs fan Future is bright. If Hayes can’t get the best of the player replace the player. Hayes is proven our players are not. I like Licht’s philosophy not to hang on to players too long bucs are famous for holding onto the under performers and running guys with passion or for spilling milk in the lunch room out of town. Character is important but so is working with talented players not all players are going to be choirboys so the staff must be able to manage all types of personalities and not run from guys that need a little extra help if the talent is there.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hayes is going to be a happy man this year. If they sign one of Jason Pierre-Paul or Olivier Vernon…and use their first pick on Noah Spence. Wow. Just wow.

  10. tmaxcon Says:


    Olivier Vernon is very intriguing. As far as fitting the scheme remember that is not as important now that we have coaches who realize it’s their number one job to get the best out of a player not force a square peg into a round hole. Rigid schemes don’t work. The bottom line is, if licht and smith think they can use a player they will get him. no more of this go get a guy and change what made if successful just to fit a rigid scheme.

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I understand your point, but it goes both ways. Not all choir boys will suck. In our case, we have more suck than most. But that will change this year.

    I’m VERY happy with the Hayes hire. And the Mike Smith hire. And I like Koetter very much (even if I didn’t want Lovie fired, if I owned the team and had to chose one or the other, I would have chosen Koetter too).

    Dedicate to fixing the DL and we’ll be rocking. Our CBs are not as bad as some fans think. If we had real pressure on the QB, the CBs would look better. Add a safety.

    The defense is not that far off. 2-3 key spots, and then depth. Hayes can turn some of our existing players into good depth. After all…if they are still on rookie contracts, why pay more for new players (unless drafted).

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    tmaxcon Says
    “…As far as fitting the scheme remember that is not as important now that we have coaches who realize it’s their number one job to get the best out of a player not force a square peg into a round hole…”

    Oh, I agree! That’s why I brought him up! Besides…Simeon Rice was not in the same scheme as Tampa originally either (I think?)

  13. tmaxcon Says:


    I agree the defense is not as bad as last year and a few key pieces could do wonders. To be honest with you I am worried about the oline again.

    I think Hawley, Smith and Marpet will be fine but we have concerns at RT and LG. Pamphile is unproven at guard for a full season and counting on Mankins and his knee is a gamble. He made it this year but odds are he will miss games if he returns. My gut says he returns but my gut has been wrong a lot recently. Also, starting Pamphile takes a way nice depth at swing tackle as well. I would not be surprised at all if they went fairly high in the draft for another olineman.

  14. bucs4life86 Says:

    We definitely need to get another guard wether it be FA or the draft and draft Noah Spence if he’s not there I say grab Hargreaves, there will be DL talent in the mid rounds.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    So far as WR, Rishard Matthews is the only interesting Free Agent…and he has a mouth on him. Might be a locker room issue when he doesn’t get thrown to. On the other hand, when he complained with the Dolphins, and they finally targeted him more…he produced.

    43 receptions for 662 yards in only 11 games. Averaging out over 16 games, that would put him at about 962 yards per season. Combined with his 15+ yard per catch average and our new WR coach…he could get better quickly. This was the first year he was actually used. He has a mouth…but could be on the verge of a breakout. And he would come reasonably priced (and having Winston is a great incentive).

    He does have a little injury history. He has a rib injury that kept him out from game 13 on…eventually placed on IR (for the last game; obviously to free up a roster spot).

    He feels underused in Miami. And he is. They have WRs they like to start. He’ll certainly move on. BUY CHEAP

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Even more to be concerned with the OL if Mankins retires.

    I’ve been watching Pamphile from afar. He’s a hard worker and might just work out, but you are right…its a gamble.

    Still…wonders were worked with the OL this year.

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If Mankins stays one more year…even if he eventually is injured…his leadership is key. I believe he played a huge role in the improvement of the players around him on the line.

    So far as Guards…Mike Harris of the Vikings may be available when the bell rings. He did very well at guard this year after three years at tackle. Plays both positions. Age 27…so could last a few years. Could get a decent deal for him.

  18. tmaxcon Says:


    i agree bucs need mankins but they also need to be careful loading up on too many older / injury prone players just for leadership with the roster limit you still need players. I’d like to see the coaches take sa bigger leadership / mentor role too.

    Off topic but I am convinced if Evans had a decent coach last year versus lovie’s personal assistant from Chicago he would have had less drops and less mental midget moments.

    Mike Harris would be interesting too but not sure Vikes let him walk.

  19. Brandon Says:

    Yeah, whatever will happen to Joe’s rants that defense doesn’t win championships anymore? BS! Denver D won that game. All the bandwagon fans jumped to Carolina when they looked dominant in the playoffs. but you can never count out a great D.

    You guys remember the Gruden speech after they drubbed the Falcons? “Everybody wanted to talked about how were we going to stop #7, but nobody ever asked how they were gonna stop this defense!” Great speech, very true. Great defenses will prevail. Peyton Manning was a shadow of Brad Johnson last night. If the Broncos had even an average D, that team doesn’t win 5 games this season.

  20. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    I’ll probably regret this, but I haven’t been this optimistic going into a new Buc’s season since end of 2012 riding into 2013 after a 7-9 season. We all know how 2013 went down, so I probably should temper expectations. Between the coaching hires, the emergence of Licht as a solid GM, and the promising future of Winston, 2016 feels like the year that might be the turning point where the Bucs actually become relevant to playoff conversations in late December.

  21. AC Says:

    Thank God Buccaneer Bonzai isn’t our GM!! Eric Berry just a name? The man freaking beat CANCER not even a full year ago and is back in the pro bowl but he is just a name? and since when do Free Safety’s get sacks? You struck out on Malik Jackson too you obviously didn’t see the havoc he was creating last night helping his teammates sack Newton 7 times..oh and his fumble recovery for the TD. He is probably one of the better DTs in the league but you don’t hear much about him because of star “names” like DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. I appreciate your comment but I think you are far off on this one. Look into more of the actual tape on these players and not stats.. numbers can be misleading.

  22. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    tmax, I’m glad you brought up Evans…because there’s something I wanted to mention.

    In the recent article about Jackson jumping Evans case about behavior, Jackson said this:

    “And it hasn’t just been myself. I mean, we talked to him as a team,” Jackson said.

    “Our coaches, obviously, make it known, not directly at Mike. But more about, ‘What do we want to represent ourselves as an organization? How do we want to look as players? How do we want to play the game?”

    Cam Newton (I think) said in an interview recently that the big turn around with his team is because if a guy screws up, the entire team gets on his case…sort of “Look man, we’re trying to do something big here. Get it right!”

    Sound similar to what Jackson said. Team leadership…as in groups of players holding individuals accountable. A good sign.

  23. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    AC Says
    “Thank God Buccaneer Bonzai isn’t our GM!! Eric Berry just a name? The man freaking beat CANCER not even a full year ago and is back in the pro bowl but he is just a name?”

    Um, yeah. The Pro Bowl is a popularity vote, nothing more. The Cancer is a great story, and I’m happy for him…but it doesn’t make him good at football. Take a look at his PRE-CANCER stats and tell me he’s good.

  24. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Oh…and DT is not a position of need. And Jackson won’t be leaving his team. Get real, fella.

  25. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Jackson might have done well last night, but everyone has good games. Take the time to actually look at the seasons he’s put together. It’s a gamble…at too high of a price.

    I know guys like you watch a game, see a player do well in it, and suddenly think he’s all of that and a bag of chips. But Jackson is a huge gamble, whether you see it or not. And…of course…we do not need him.

  26. Rrsrq Says:

    You gotta take a look at Travis Benjamin at WR also, he is small, but can take the top off and a good PR/KR. Reunite the University of Miami boys in Tampa (Benjamin and Vernon), get two needs met. Draft Noah Spence and a safety, Oline depth, and then best players available, maybe get a good FB if Lane can’t return.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The spend, spend, spend people got their way the last 2 years in free agency. Where did it get us? Nowhere.

    You can blame Lovie all you want, but the truth is Licht played a huge role in those signings. More of a role considering scouts report to him, he negotiates contracts and all of that.

    You see, the theory around here that Lovie had complete control doesn’t jive.

    If that were the case, Lovie would have made the draft picks. If Jason Light had the power to prevent that, then he certainly had the power to make his own free agent signings.

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Travis Benjamin had a drops issue though. We already have enough of that.

    Love the idea of a good FB. 5th round or later is good enough. I’ve been wanting a true FB for years here.

  29. Pick6 Says:

    you get the sense that mike smith is going to be a short-timer in Tampa, i think that might have been a motivating factor after being passed over for the d coordinator gig in cincy once again.

  30. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    That was one of the worst Super Bowls in awhile…commercials didn’t stand out..a few funny ones but over all a lame lineup.

    I certainly respect Denver’s defense..they are good…but so was Carolina’s. And two players today with a Super Bowl ring headed their way…Peyton and Talib did nothing to earn them.

    Cam played like a dog…yeah he was rushed and hurried but if he had hit some of those wide open receivers early he might have forced some Bronco adjusments.

    Basically Wade Phillips totally outcoached Mike Shula!!!

    And the number of turnovers by BOTH teams made this game a stinker!!

    Yeah the defense was great but not that great. Manning could have been easily picked several more times…the ball that got batted away in their first drive could have been a pick six. Josh Norman missed two int opportunities.

    Congrats to the Broncos…but that was just a sorry assss mistake filled, turnover ridden rotten game. Cam picked the worst game of the year to suckk didn’t he!

  31. Ray Rice Says:

    As I have said before…… Now go out and get Von Miller! Pay him whatever he wants.

  32. tmaxcon Says:

    Ray Rice

    I think I read broncos are going to tag him if they can’t get a deal done.

  33. godzilla13 Says:

    Do not expect the Buccaneers to be big participants and heavy spenders in free agency, as the front office’s philosophy remains to build through the draft. “It’s the draft,” Jason Licht has said. “Absolutely the draft. Now, we’re going to use free agency to supplement, but it’s absolutely the draft. Dirk is a huge believer in the draft.” With that said I doubt we go after players like DE Mario Williams, DE JPP and CB Josh Norman, due to their high expense. I agree that we need a DE, CB and Safety. If those needs are filled in FA it will be with mid-range or short term contracts similar to what was done last year. A lot also depends on who we re-sign out of our 14 FA this year? Most Dolphin fans think DE Olivier Vernon, has a decent pass rush but was out of position a lot against the run and had to many penalties. To expensive to sign if a bidding war starts with other teams. He could end up getting between $7M and $9M a year. With that being said look for us to fill those needs in the draft. Here is my latest 4-round mock draft (DraftSite).

    R1) DE Noah Spence Eastern Kentucky (6′ 3″ 255)
    R2) CB Eli Apple Ohio State (6′ 0″ 205)
    R3) SS Miles Killebrew Southern Utah (6′ 2″ 225)
    R4) DT Chris Jones Mississippi State (6′ 5″ 305)
    R5) DE Bronson Kaufusi BYU (6′ 6″ 285)

  34. grafikdetail Says:

    saw an interview with label exec L.A. Reid of LaFace records (Outkast, TLC, Usher, Lady GaGa Pink, Toni Braxton) and holding artist “hostage” until a deal was done was his thing as well… great minds think alike!!!

  35. tmaxcon Says:


    I like the mock but Oline is a need too and should be addressed 3rd, 4th or 5th rd. Protecting Winston has to be top priority. Even if Mankins comes back they need his replacement or if Pamphile replaces him they need his replacement for depth. RT is also a huge question mark. Gos is not getting any younger and Dotson is average at best.

  36. jeff Says:

    It all starts up front. Can’t have a no fly zone without a good pass rush. Light realizes this. Lovie, laughably, did not understand this basic dundamental of football. Now we just need some talent to coach up. They have one piece of the puzzle in Mccoy. Need to add a stud or two from the draft. Denver just won a SB with their D-Line. Just like the Giants did a few years back. Light will find the talent. Remember, he does not have to find “system” talent for Lovie anymore. The “more intelligent” coaches work with the talent thay have.

  37. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Coaching is one of the most overlooked aspects of football. It doesn’t matter how good of players you have, you need good coaches to get the most out of them. Some players are good enough one on one to overcome bad coaches. But the majority need coaches to get them to the next level. The coaches we had on defense last season were terrible. They couldn’t get great production out of anyone but the linebackers. And gmc. Everyone else with all things considered, underperformed to what you expect from them. Coaching can fix this defense, I have no doubt about that. Adding a quality pass rusher would also help.

  38. Mike Johnson Says:

    PLEASE!!! Just win Bucs. All this talk about..this coach this and this coach that. Get the team to above 500 first. Then we can say, Great Job. Until then? These coaches are just that..coaches . I’m not giving any of them props until we win. You guys are full of it!! All these ohhh and ahhhs over Jameis and Koetter. They still were on losing teams right? We’d better turn this Defense around in a hurry. Did you see Denvers Defense Sunday? Manning looked like crap. It didn’t matter one iota though, Denvers Defense balled out. Batter up Coach Koetter. You sir are on the clock for the whole..enchaladda.

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    There goes Mike being a Johnson again….

    Cullen was a good position coach but Hayes is almost certainly an upgrade.

    Bucs done good on that one. Still hated to see Nickerson go – but that’s probably just the nostalgic homer in me – although the level he had Kwon playing at as a rookie was impressive. Or maybe Kwon is just that good. We know LD54 is just that good. I’m thinking the new LB coach has some pretty good job security with those 2 fast and talented LBers roaming the middle of the defense.
    Hardy just got caught up in the clean sweep of a defensive change-over – which was pretty obviously needed to wipe away the stench of Lovie’s Defensive efforts the last 2 years…

  40. Bob in Valrico Says:

    my take is that linebackers or linebackers/DE’s were some
    of the best players on either team’s defense .we need to use the ones we got to disguise the defense and rush the passer.We need one more to replace Lansannah who had a so so year.

  41. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ bonsai
    if you go back and read the contracts you will see Lovie had full control of roster.So lovie could knix any free agent Licht wanted to sign. Jason Licht had control of draft.The scouting dept is set up to evaluate college talent not free agents.
    Now the jettisoning of players and replacing them with lesser players in the first year may have been on both of them.Jason Licht came from Kansas city and he and andy reid had success doing it.But some like Mike Jenkins were Lovie picks.
    Now in year two Henry Melton,Chris conte,Major Wright,Tim Jennings,and the resigning of mike Jenkins were all picks that Lovie wanted.The proof is in how much he let them play eventhough most struggled.
    I believe Verner ,banks,and even keith Tandy weren’t given a fair chance
    because Lovie favored what he thought were his cover two players.

  42. PRBucFan Says:

    Cullen didn’t leap anywhere, he was not retained.