Licht Talks About Quest For “The Right 53”

November 25th, 2016


There’s been a notable fearlessness to the Jason Licht regime since it got off the ground.

It’s been obvious. Just look at the collective array of bold moves.

Joe only wishes Licht was more fearless the first time Lovie Smith advised Licht that career loser Josh McCown would be the hand-picked quarterback to lead the franchise to the promised land, and that Darrelle Revis was getting the boot.

But those mind-numbing calls aside, Joe loves how Licht has been daring in free agency and in the draft — and how he is unafraid to stick to gutsy plans.

The mere fact Licht didn’t pull the trigger in free agency on one offensive lineman after the dreadful 2014 season was stunning. But there was Licht, patient and confident he would land Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet in the draft, the team’s top pre-draft targets at O-line. Those picks were followed up by summer, off-the-street signings of Joe Hawley and Gosder Cherilus.

Now look at the Bucs’ O-line.

Licht discussed building the Bucs this week with Albert Breer of in advance of Tampa Bay facing what could be a franchise-crossroads game Sunday against Seattle.

“Seattle’s a team we try to emulate,” Licht said from his office on Tuesday morning. “They pull every lever. And during their rebuild, they were still focused on winning, like we are now. … They realize you can’t bat 1.000 but they’re not afraid to take chances.”

NFL fans paying attention know that not every team is “focused on winning,” as it looks to climb out of the NFL cellar. Even when they say they are, they aren’t.

Licht is — and was.

Ideal Blend

Joe thinks this is why Team Glazer, Dirk Koetter and Licht are a great trio. All three have a healthy level of impatience.

Team Glazer has operated since 2012 with a win-now mentality, and Team Glazer has possessed a fearlessness unique in NFL circles since the day it bid to buy the Bucs.

Dirk Koetter took the head coaching gig telling everyone who would listen that he was an old guy getting his one shot and the only no-excuses plan was to win in a hurry with the players Licht gives him.

Licht was the guy who, in 2014, told Bucs fans it wasn’t fair to ask them to be patient while the team was rebuilding.

Old Message, New Prophet

Licht explained to Breer that it’s all about the quest for “the right 53,” a theme he saw pulsing through the Patriots when he was Bill Belicheat’s right-hand man in personnel matters.

“A lot of it is the quarterback, his message and what he’s put out there—it’s family,” said Licht. “He breaks down every huddle in practice, it’s ‘family on 3.’ And those teams in Philly and Arizona—New England’s just a machine—they had that togetherness, all fighting for the same thing. The quarterback says it a lot, if one of us is failing, you have 10 brothers to pick you up. In the locker room, you feel it.

“I know it’s cliché, but unity is a powerful thing. They said this in New England all the time, it was engrained by Belichick—it’s not the best 53, it’s the right 53. We’re starting to figure out what the right 53 is. It’s evolving that way.”

Joe gets the family stuff, and that’s a critical mentality to foster NFL over-achievement. Hopefully, it’s legitimate on these Buccaneers. With America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, as the lead prophet, and candid Koetter being honest with players, the Bucs have a shot at building something lasting.

We all remember what happened the last time Buccaneers all wore “F.A.M.I.L.Y” bracelets and broke huddles with “family on 3” chants.

18 Responses to “Licht Talks About Quest For “The Right 53””

  1. DB55 Says:

    it’s not the best 53, it’s the right 53. We’re starting to figure out what the right 53 is.
    Very interesting.

  2. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Would not the Best 53 be the Right 53! IJS!

  3. JonBuc Says:

    This message brought to you by the makers of Jason Licht Ale…;)

  4. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    @BigHogHaynes Not Necessarily: a very talented guy, sometimes, is unable to fit on your system and an “ordinary” player can suddenly become a star in another team due to a system where his capacity are more exploited.
    In EA Madden, yes, the best 53 is the right 53, in real life the best is not always the right. You have to take in account every thing about the difference of salary between players, their personnality, their experience, and so on and so on and so on….

  5. R.O. Says:

    Would you rather have a VHIII an old Revis?

  6. canadianbucsfan Says:

    Not necessarily, the Pat’s just traded away their best defensive player (Collins) cause he wasn’t the right player

  7. Jameisbucsfan Says:

    In pale ale we trust.

  8. Louis Friend Says:

    It’s absolutely true with the Patriots. Some of their starters have hit hard times when they’re allowed to go elsewhere in free agency. They were perfect fits for N.E.’s system, and that’s what made them successful.

    Never ever make a trade for one of Belichick’s players. Unless his name is Brady or Gronk or a few others.

  9. Louis Friend Says:

    One exception to the above being Logan Mankins, who I think gave a hell of a lot of wisdom to our young linemen during his time on the team.

  10. Lou. Says:


    is that he has not shown the “one year early” mentality drilled down in New Wngland. The Patriots discard or trade away players before they really decline — see Logan Mankins. The Bucs try to hang on to older players for a last great year — see Logan Mankins. See also Vincent Jackson.

    On a side note, I don’t see the Bucs stockpiling draft picks. WUWT?

  11. DB55 Says:

    Megatron and Suh leave Det then they start winning. Andre Johnson leaves Texas then they start winning. Last yr Steve smith leaves Carolina and they go 15-1. Romo leaves Dallas. Tom Coughlin leaves NY.

    maybe we get rid of one “superstar” and start winning or dominating our division. I’m down with that.

  12. tmaxcon Says:


    But Winston and Evans are the bucs only superstars. Both keepers. Maybe you are referring to a couple of frauds on defense

  13. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m happy with the Bucs GM and coaches in general. It’s getting better all the time. Can’t you feel the Bucs turning the tide? It’ a shame the temp will not be 93 and high humidity for the Seasquawks Sunday.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    LOL @ DB and Tmax.

    I just can’t figure out who you’re referring too 😀

  15. DB55 Says:


    I’d add dougie fresh to the untouchable list but what do I know?

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    One of the numerous expensive failed decisions by the ego-in-chief Licht.
    But all anyone wants to do is focus their tunnel vision on the 2or 3 decisions that may have been good. Expectations for base competence in this town is so low it’s depressing.

  17. Issic Haggins Says:

    Let’s just say if McCoy doesn’t have a better game than M Bennett it’s time to move on. The guy is all show and no stats , he constantly penetrates away from the play and gives up a gap. How many games did Sapp , Chidi, Rice, Culpepper, Spires or M Jones have one or no tackles? I think McCoy should watch some Selmon clips all day for a week because Selmons least effort plays would be McCoys best effort plays. Selmon didn’t over run plays to look good , he ran through double teams to win. McCoy you are so talented but you are a Movie star fraud on the field, if you were promised a commercial for every tackle you would lead the league for d tackles hands down.I truly think McCoy thinks he is a baller but GMC you are not a baller at all, please GMC drop the Hollywood , take off the glasses , take off the gold ,quite trying to be the popular nice guy to the other team and just dominate the fking game you sissy ass money stealer !!! Gerald show some fight not just your sissy ass get off , fight Gerald !!! , you may be amazed at the attention you get !!! Yes Gerald ATTENTION , we all know you love it !!!

  18. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    licht thinks hes smartest dude around being all crafty, trade GMC for a #1 pick