Bad Guys, Not Immature Guys, Upset Jason Licht

April 30th, 2016

The reality is red flags surround defensive end Noah Spence, drafted by the Bucs last night after getting booted from Ohio State with a drug problem, and an alcohol-related arrest less than a year ago while at Eastern Kentucky.

His off-field history adds to the risk associated with any draft pick. Especially a guy like Spence who is not a freak athlete.

Spence is a gamble. Joe’s not going to pretend otherwise.

However, a good percentage of defensive ends are out of the normal personality/character boundaries. It’s sort of the nature of the position. So Joe is not too concerned.

General manager Jason Licht has said often that he’s not looking for a bunch of angels and Boy Scouts on the Tampa Bay roster. And Licht has said he can excuse immaturity in a college player as long as the guy isn’t a “bad guy.” That was the company line on America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, last year.

Back at the NFL Scouting Combine, Joe had private time with Licht and talked about the investment Team Glazer and he made into digging into every last potential prospect for the 2016 draft. So much was made about exhaustive research into Jameis. But what about this year?

Licht said Team Glazer made every resource available and Licht was confident background checks into this year’s potential picks would be a bigger investment, in part because there was a larger pool to study. Licht and his staff knew either Jameis or Marcus Mariota was their guy last year, versus this year’s larger field in the first round.

On the upside, Spence will not enter the NFL in the league’s drug program, as many rookies do. That’s illustrates how for in the past Spence’s troubles are. He’s been clean a long time.

Joe expects no heroics from Spence. That’s why Robert Ayers was signed. This isn’t a situation like in 2011, when the Bucs played plug-and-play with Adrian Clayborn after parting with Stylez White.

Spence will get to ease in nicely under the wing of what Licht calls a “bridge” free agent, in addition to fourth-year man Will Gholston and Jacquies Smith, the Bucs’ leading DE sack collector of the past two seasons.

34 Responses to “Bad Guys, Not Immature Guys, Upset Jason Licht”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Anyone should be “concerned” or at least eyebrow’s raised when some is ACTUALLY punished and not covered up for from an Urban Meyer Team!!!!!!

  2. Bird Says:


  3. Wombat Says:

    I still think he was the best player available, and they spent a lot of time with him prior to the draft. The kid ran with the wrong crowd, it happens.
    Same as Jameis, these kids are here with god given talent, and if they have half a brain they can make a very good living.
    We are building a team, a family of brothers. I love what they are doing. I know our defence needs more players, but we can do that next year as well. This process is gonna take a while. So all you fans whining, sit back and enjoy the ride…
    I have a great punch line “It’s a new day in Tampa Bay, no really this time”

  4. Supersam Says:

    Great draft by Licht so far.

  5. Dewey Selmon Says:

    This is Licht’s 3rd draft. you have to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.

  6. Jimmy T Says:

    Wombat, u can’t compare Spence to Jameis. You never heard any evidence that associates Jameis with drugs, partying, etc. to get kicked off the team coached by Urban Myer when Aaron Hernandez slipped through the cracks raises big concerns

  7. Cash Money Says:

    Well at least Urban Meyer refused to suspend the kid, it was the ncaa and big ten who punished him.

    If bosa actually takes and fails the drug test he refused to take, he would’ve gotten kicked out too. Essentially kids party in college, it’s a given.

    I think gronk knows a thing or two about partying. Idc how wasted the guy gets when he goes out. As long as the dude can ball.

  8. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    At worst he’s another Bowers, at best he’s Dwight Freeney. He’s not an amazing athlete and he doesn’t have prototypical size, but he gives tackles fits. He rarely exposes his chest to blockers on passing downs and has very quick hands. Jay Hayes is in the building guys… ALL of our D linemen should be getting better.

  9. McClorasMaddenDaddy210 Says:

    Again i say, lol

    yea I’m trusting this defense will be a problem for the league for years to come. This is #93s defense and I’m cool with that, love KWON and his passion but he’s not ready to lead these monsters…yet. Damn this is very exciting. Let’s go

  10. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    He seems like a good kid in interviews… And he doesn’t shy away from talking about his mistakes. He’ll have other young and hungry players like JW and Kwon around him to help him stay focused on the goal, which is to turn Tampa Bay into a consistent contender again.

  11. McClorasMaddenDaddy210 Says:

    Gonna have to trademark #BANGGANG
    SO…we moved up to get a kicker? I cool with it. We gave up our 4th, from the bears and our 3rd. I like the move.
    Top 5 offense
    Top 5 defense

  12. Warren Says:

    @wombat: “It’s a new day in Tampa Bay; the most newest one yet!”

  13. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I believe Noah has proven he won’t rock the boat. He and Jameis will support each other and make a career here. Both of these guys love the game. They’re serious. They want to be here and they want to build a winning tradition. They don’t worry me at all.

  14. Kevin Says:

    Let him mature physically and mentally, get a little playing time and pack on another 20 pounds of muscle he will be a machine!!!

  15. Ed Says:

    A kicker, i guess the team is back to being the material for late night talk show jokes.

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Spence is far less of a gamble to me both on and off the field than Bosa!!!

    AGAIN…Buckeye faithful thought Spence was the better player when he was with Bosa. Bosa’s production fell off the table…he went from 7.5 sacks to 13.5 sacks and then dropped to 5!!!! Admittedly his 13.5 year he had three extra games because of the title run but that doesn’t explain a drop that large.

    My son lives in Columbus and they all believe Bosa partied just as hard as Spence but never got caught.

    And so who do you want…a guy who almost had the thing he loves the most…football taken away from him because of his youthful mistakes…a guy who sucked it up and went to freaking EKU..buckled down on the field in the classroom and provided drug tests to teams…or….

    A guy who got away with molly and production that dropped abysmally his last year…a guy who like most young dudes still feels bulletproof.

    I like Spence better than Bosa straight up…we’ll see who has the better career.
    I don’t expect either of them to get in any more trouble.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Yeah ED…..really great insight…get back to us after Aguayo starts winning games for us with his leg.

  18. cometowin2 Says:

    Will Gholston and Jacquies Smith together make one very good left DE. Will on projected running downs and Jacquies when likely to pass. Spence is perfect to sub in on passing downs to start on the right. He has the moves and the coach to be great.

    Go Noah!!!

  19. That Guy Says:

    So when the Bucs finish last in the division again this year, how many years in a row will that make it?

  20. Wombat Says:

    @JimmyT – just saying he deserves a second chance. It was ecstasy, a drug found at many campus parties… I think he has matured past that.

    “Our kids saw kids roll down from the FBS level all the time. They don’t care if he’s black, white, green or orange or necessarily what they did. They just want to know: Is he going to work, and is he a guy that’s going to put team above self? Noah answered those two questions almost immediately when he was on our campus. He was the hardest-working guy in the weight room, the hardest-working guy on the field, encouraging the other guys, not a ‘look at me’ or ‘you’ve gotta treat me different’ mentality. We started him on the bottom of the depth chart. He came in and was the last guy as a defensive end, had to work his way up. He earned the respect of our guys very quickly.”

  21. Tnew Says:

    great article about him on bleacher report. Might be more of a freak than Joe is giving him credit for. Also, check out game vs Penn State when he played at OSU. I can promise, Donovan Smith and Jameis are very happy that matchup will be happening in training camp.

  22. rayjay1122 Says:

    Alluding to the X factor of much better coaching with Jay Hayes and a better Defensive Coordinator will have a big impact on Spence along with the veterans. We will have a much improved defense but they will be a little behind the offense due to the new defensive terminology and playbook but defense is typically easier to pick up than offense, so I think both units will be pretty equal in the preseason. Again, if Hayes could get production out of Ghost Johnson, then imagine what our current DL can do under his direction.

  23. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I don’t know if you guys take the time to think about it but sportscasters are beholden to the entities they are covering. They are NOT objective. They have to mind their P’s&Q’s lest an organization like the NFL stop dealing with them.

    This means NFL reporters are slow to say anything that may tarnish the league’s image. And so I watched a reporter on the first night with the Tunsil story being the story of this draft.

    He bravely tried to put some perspective about drug use….he simply pointed out that over half of the guys drafted had failed drug tests at some point in their college careers. The NFL doesn’t like us to know that.

    The NFL is just as schizophrenic about drugs as our society at large. So a guy smokes weed and he’s the devil…a guy loads up on NFL prescribed opiods among the most addictive drugs and he’s following the company line.

    Our country is clueless when it comes to how to handle our drug issues. I have no respect for our group think in this area. The DEA is moronic and the NFL is no better.

  24. Cash Money Says:

    Solid article on Noah.

  25. rayjay1122 Says:

    @SPBF….very true sir!!! This country with the exception of a few states, needs to get a clue. Then a new absurd law is that in the city of Tampa if you are caught with a small quantity of weed, you could just get a fine. COULD…that means tit is up to the cop who can arrest you just as easily as issue a fine. Now that is absurd. Decriminalize it or not but the gray area is bull spit.

  26. Maze Says:

    Great Draft do far but the kicker pick makes a guy a little uneasy. Absolutely love the Spence pick, kid could be a hell of a player. In Licht we trust

  27. Iron Man Power Washers Says:

    I predict double digit sacks for Will Gholston. I think he is going to have a breakout year. As for the kicker, its a great pickup, Instead of havind to put on 4th and 11 from the opponents 37 yardline, we can get three valuable points.

  28. Buccfan37 Says:

    I like Spence too. No victim no crime.

  29. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Great draft now was not a fan of VH3 but getting spence was perfect and then an ice water in the veins kicker was great by Licht!!! Cant wait for today

  30. Guzzie Says:

    4th DT Hassan Ridgeway (Billings will be gone)
    5th WR Mike Thomas S Tyvis Powell or FB Dan Vitale
    6th DE Matt Judon
    6th FB Glenn Gronkowski (If Vitale is gone) WR Keyarris Garrett

  31. SB with Jameis Says:

    Well……….with the addition of Agyoyo to the Bucs and Eddie Pinero to the Gators, I can safely say both may pro and college teams have the best kickers in their leagues! 🙂

  32. ColoradoBuc Says:

    I was warm after the first pick, felt vindicated with the second one, and excited with the third when I realized we had drafted three starters! Great draft Jason Licht!

  33. Brent bull/buc Says:

    I’ll give licht the benefit of the doubt but he’s losing ground if this draft fails cause 2014 only gives you 2 guys for sure Evans Simms. Pamphile? So that would only be 1 good draft out of 3. I’m More pissed about the kicker move. Noah is a gamble I think the kicker was just a bad move no doubt no way to spin it. We could have had jarron reed or bell or Boyd. Kickers can be had in round 6 or off the waiver wire. Reed is a stud. We need a dt.

  34. Brent bull/buc Says:

    This kickers stats outside 40 yards is very average.