Preparing For Traditional Rookie Roles

March 18th, 2016
Old school setup for Dirk Koetter

Old school setup for Dirk Koetter

Last year, your Tampa Bay Buccaneers played a successful game of throw-the-rookie-in-the-fire.

It produced the grand slam, something every last damn Bucs fan should celebrate daily.

But general manager Jason Licht is not some sort of rigid franchise-builder, the intelligent GMs are flexible, just like “the intelligent coaches.”

Look at what the Bucs have done on defense in free agency, adding veteran cornerback Brent Grimes, do-it-all veteran linebacker Daryl Smith and versatile defensive end Robert Ayers.

These guys are paving the way for rookies to be drafted at those positions while the Bucs maintain the freedom to develop them at their own pace — the way Monte Kiffin did it back in the glory years.

There’s no question the Bucs will draft plenty of defensive players next month — after selecting just one in 2014 and 2015, Kwon Alexander.

Ayers is the perfect example of the Bucs’ ability to play rookies when — and where — they’re ready. Ayers’ is known for his versatility — inside, outside, left and right. When the Bucs draft a defensive end (you bet your ass they will) Ayers can play either side opposite the rookie, who might be more ready for one side than the other.

The Bucs won’t be stuck plugging the strongside linebacker hole with a rookie. Smith, who has excelled at every linebacker position in his career, would be there to ease the guy in.

Grimes not only brings competition to the current cornerbacks crop,and will be a great learning resource in practice for America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, he potentially would keep the pressure off a first-round pick from being “the guy” on Day 1.

Joe loves how Licht has set the table here for the defense in 2016.

Now Bucs fans have to pray defensive coordinator Mike Smith doesn’t leave town for a head coaching gig after one season.

14 Responses to “Preparing For Traditional Rookie Roles”

  1. BucFanForever Says:

    Maybe they already “drafted” a defensive coordinator, and are leaning on a short-term vet to hold down the fort for awhile.

  2. scott fitzgerald Says:

    Ogbah plays on both sides as well

  3. R.O Says:

    My thinking is Jay Hayes wants to be a D- Coord and we said we would promote him if/when M. Smith leaves. That’s how we were able to lure him away from not resigning with Cincy.

  4. tdtb2015 Says:

    @ BFF – That would be sweeet!

    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here. But I’m ready for us to be a DiNASTY! I’m skipping wanting the 2nd Lombardi….. With Jameis “THE MESSIAH”(trumpets please) here that is a given.

    Koetter and Licht are already cutting into the darkness of the past 5 years.

    What’s the date today? Dammmn! We still have a month and 10 days….

    Go Bucs!!!!!!

  5. thegregwitul Says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic, but only because I don’t want to set any unrealistic expectations for this coming season. I love the moves made so far this offseason. I like adding experienced veterans who actually won playoff games to help elevate the young players and incoming rookies.

    I’m really hoping Roddy White is next to be signed, especially after reading Dirk’s comments about his passion and intensity. Paired with Vincent Jackson, the Bucs will have two experienced veterans to help Jameis and Mike Evans grow, and they’ll have more depth, so hopefully the team isn’t faced with having to start Dontae Dye anytime in the near future.

  6. tdtb2015 Says:

    RO and BFF you just made my day!!!!!

    Licht for President!

  7. Howard Cosell Says:

    Jay Hayes could move seamlessly to DC after 1 year.
    Another testament to how well this team is run since the Glazers hired the Belicheat protege named Jason Licht.

  8. MonsGM Says:

    I’m very happy with free agency this year. We now have no major holes to fill. Granted there’s room for improvement up and down the roster.

    I’m just happy we aren’t pigeon holed into taking one position. I am hoping for Josh Doctson personally. Really like Rankins and Lawson as well.

  9. mac Says:

    I wonder what last years draft would have looked like if Mark Dominik was still GM?

    And with the first overall pick… Marcus Mariota!!!

    Then Randy Gregory with pick #2…

    He refused to draft offensive lineman, so no Smith and no Marpet…

    I’m just glad he is picking players for ESPN and not us anymore…

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    please no roddy white…that’s another band aid…hopefully we draft well and those rookies have a similar impact as last years rookies…GO BUCS!!!

  11. CrustyCrab Says:

    So basically you are saying that these guys are given starter roles and there is no competition. C’mon guys you blamed the last coach for this keep it real

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Wow I think this is the best blast you have ever written.
    While I was reading this I’m like I can’t think the switch is fully on cause of the Dominick love but, again good analyst

  13. Howard Cosell Says:

    If Dominick was a rock star then Licht is Eric Clapton

  14. Owlykat Says:

    With all these outstanding free agents, if Licht gives us another great draft, there is no team we can’t keep up with including the Panthers and New Orleans. And now we can develop rookies like we did Dotson years ago and there will be great veteran leadership for examples, as well as smarter coaches and no nepotism.