Locker Room, Licht Talk Fan Impact

November 28th, 2016



You should have been there. Maybe next time.

From GM Jason Licht to center Joe Hawley, the Tampa Bay locker room was overflowing with love for the fans who turned out Sunday to witness a humbling of the powerful Seahawks.

Anyone sitting in the stands in a Seattle jersey had little to cheer about as the Bucs continued a second-half surge that has produced three consecutive wins after a 3-5 start.

The defense did its part with a dynamic effort that had Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks beaming after a 14-5 triumph. Mike Evans shredded a proud secondary and Jameis Winston enjoyed stellar protection for the second straight week against an elite defense.



But don’t forget about the critical role played by Buc supporters.

“Our fans were amazing today,” said veteran tight end Luke Stocker. “That’s the loudest I’ve heard this stadium since I’ve been here. They deserve a game ball.”

Jumping to a 14-0 lead after the opening quarter fed the fire.

“From the start, this place was jumping,” said defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. “Buc fans have been through a lot. Nobody left early today.”

McDonald knows what home-field advantage looks like at the NFL level. He spent three seasons in Seattle before joining the Bucs in 2014 and he saw how the “12th man” helped the Seahawks establish home dominance.

Now, it’s Tampa Bay’s turn.

“I told coach Koetter after the game that he is bringing something here that I’ve never seen,” said Demar Dotson, the longest-tenured Buccaneer. “This is a fun place to play … it used to be dead. You’d never hear the crowd, but now we’re giving these people something to cheer about.”

Crowd noise surely contributed to Seattle’s offensive woes. The crescendo peaked on third down, when the Seahawks were 0-for-10 before finally converting once in the final moments to avoid a third-down bagel.

“Our fans definitely came to play today,” said defensive end William Gholston. “They were awesome.”

Sapp said it felt like old times, harking back to the glory days when the Bucs were perennial playoff contenders behind a majestic defense and a stoked crowd.

When Gerald McCoy buried Russell Wilson for a key sack late in the game, he acknowledged the crazies in the south end zone with a spin move that resembled a prolonged curtain call.

Quite appropriate.

“Can’t say enough about our crowd,” said safety Keith Tandy. “It was a big-time feeling. I want to tell our fans that I appreciate you, I love you and let’s do it again.”

Tampa Bay’s home struggles have been well documented. As recently as 2014, Lovie Smith went 0-8 at Raymond James Stadium, prompting others on this all-encompassing Buc website to dub RayJay the Den of Depression.

Yes, The Times They Are A-Changin.’

“If you start winning, people are going to support you,” Hawley said. “Just look at the Tampa Bay Lightning. We’re starting to do our part as a team. I haven’t heard it that loud since I’ve been in Tampa.”

The GM gives an official assist

The GM gives an official assist

After a trip to San Diego, the Bucs will return home to face the Saints. This race to 10 wins is getting very interesting and you should have seen the smile on the face of Bucs COO Brian Ford after the game.

He’s already thinking about a packed house and a raucous atmosphere to welcome Drew Brees to town.

“To see those stands filled and that energy was incredible,” said Licht. “There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that our fans helped us win this football game.”

6 Responses to “Locker Room, Licht Talk Fan Impact”

  1. DB55 Says:

    The crescendo peaked on third down, when the Seahawks were 0-for-10 before finally converting once in the final moments to avoid a third-down bagel.
    By far the most impressive stat of the day. They did convert a 4th and long if I’m not mistaken before converting on 3rd down. But super impressive to say the least. The dline really brought the noise and Spawn is playing like a man possessed against the run and the pass.

    so I guess the commish couldn’t get the war-chant going? Great crowd nonetheless!!

  2. Nole&aBuc Says:

    RayJay, now the Den of Depression for opposing teams.

  3. Chris Armstrong Says:

    Yep!!!* My voice is completely gone!!!* That was so loud and awesome!!!* Best game experience EVER!!!!!!* I’ll be there in 107 for the Aints and I’ll be losing my voice like it’s nobody’s business!!!* LETS GO BUCS!!!!*

    *Exclamations were used in lieu of actual voice

  4. Philip Says:

    If the Bucs can beat the chargers this weekend, then I bet it will be even crazier when the saints come to town

  5. America's Commenter Says:

    The Bucs have the buzz around town and around the country. I was just in the Cincinnati airport today with my Bucs polo shirt and several people commented about the resurgence. A friend of mine in Dallas said he’s worried about the Bucs coming to town. The Cowboys are 10-1 and their fans are worried about the Bucs? What?!?!?!!?

  6. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    It seems that the locker room has come up with its own name for Spence. YOUNG BULL, I have seen it in a few player post in reference to N.Spence. and truth be told I kinda like it more than Spawn