“Didn’t Want To Be The Crappy Veteran Guy”

January 5th, 2017

Beasting Robert Ayers is a serious man

Naturally pissed off” defensive end Robert Ayers was probably Joe’s favorite new Buccaneer in 2016.

The man routinely uses the word “beast” as a verb and raised the intensity of the entire defense — even the entire team.

What a signing by general manager Jason Licht! Shame on Joe for pining for Mario Williams.

As the season wound to a close, Ayers appeared on the Buccaneers Radio Network and was asked to talk about his value and his approach in terms of being a veteran.

Ayers gave a heartfelt, A+ answer.

“It’s hard to really say what I think my value is; you would have to ask someone else. But I know the things that I’ve tried to do since I’ve been here,”Ayers said. “One of the thing I feel like, when I was a younger guy I didn’t necessarily have veteran guys that really, I had one or two like Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil, but I feel like I had some crappy veterans when I was a rookie.

“So I always was felt that when I became an older guy I didn’t want to be that guy. I didn’t want to be the crappy veteran guy. So I tried to help the younger [Bucs] to give them advice I wish I had gotten. … Try to steer them in the right direction sort of speak.

“As far as everything else, I wish I could have did a lot more. I think I have more to give. I missed four games. Man, I’m at the point now where I’m like, ‘I don’t want to do that no more. I don’t want to be in that situation.’ …

“What could I do better? That’s just what I’m thinking and how I feel, and the approach that I try to take as far as being a veteran.”

Great, great stuff.

If the Bucs find another couple of free agents like Ayers and Brent Grimes, they’ll well beyond Week 17 next season.

31 Responses to ““Didn’t Want To Be The Crappy Veteran Guy””

  1. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Free agents always make me nervous. Only about half show up and are worth the money. He showed up in a big way.

  2. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    But…but…Joe TL drafted a Kicker and so he sucks!

    It’s amazing how people overlook the positive in Licht’s legacy.

    Again the Zen saying…where do you place your attention..on the positive or the negative. Doesn’t mean you ignore the negative…but focusing on it doesn’t really help either.

    Is there anybody out there who is perfect? When I look at this team heading into 2017 I’m excited…really excited. But then I believe we have found our franchise QB…I do not think GMC is mediocre…I do not want to fire either Koetter or Licht….I just wanna keep on keeping on what we’re doing at all levels of this organization. I think we may have finally reached a tipping point and about to go on a good run.

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s hard to be critical of Ayers. I’d like to see him stay healthy though. It was noticeable when he was out.

  4. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Agree StPete..what an exciting time to see our team just go up and up..and as far as Ayers goes, this signing back in the beginning was what got me so dang happy.

    Love Robert Ayers..what a presense he is in the locker room and field..favourite player for me..

  5. ChanEpic Says:

    “Robert Ayers was probably Joe’s favorite new Buccaneer in 2016.” same here Joe(s). Now that young Buck Spence will be my fav new-ish player next season.

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Stpete- Well said. We’re headed in the right direction. It’s not perfect and it’s not going to be perfect and that is OK.
    I think we can all agree that the product on the field was improved. That makes me happy!

  7. DB55 Says:

    Our schedule for 2017 is tougher than our 2016 schedule. We have a lot of work to do. And if you think we going to face playoff teams with Peyton barber and hasborough in the backfield you’re just kidding yourself. We have tons of work to do to get ready for 2017.

  8. 813bucboi Says:

    @db55…who’s the packers rb right now?…GO BUCS!!!!

  9. DB55 Says:


    Good point but at least they have WRs. We going intom17 with no RB or WRs?

  10. Bucsfanman Says:

    No question DB55! We’re only a year removed from that 6-10 season. We have “bridge” players all over the place and no depth. We’re headed there but will need some reinforcements.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    DB55 I’m confident we’re adding 1 RB and 2 WRs by 2017 at a minimum.

    Just depends on who and when and where they come from. Probably the most excited i’ve been for FA in a while.

    I’m not as high on the RBs in FA. Would rather just draft some guy in the mid rounds than sign any of the available guys. Jordan Howard went in like the 5th last year and had a higher YPC than Zeke Elliot while running behind a worse line and worse offense.

    David Johnson was a round 2 back which seems insane now given how amazing his skill set is.

    I’d be happy with Dalvin round 1 as an FSU homer; but I bet we could score a decent back in the later rounds if the draft fell that way.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    @db55…I hear you but what was tougher to watch….defenders sticking to our wr’s or dlineman in the lap of jameis and the rb as soon as the ball was hiked….jameis took a beating this year and so did the rb’s….no doubt we need a quality rb but if we get more talent and strength along the oline, that could help mask the rb deficiencies…..

    I hope our offseason goes something like this:

    dede westbrook or corey davis-1st round
    donte forman-rb-2nd round
    demarcus walker-de-3rd round(licht may have to trade up to the 2nd)
    bucky hodges-te-4th round
    BPA-5th round
    BPA-6th round
    BPA-7th round


    all of our holes would be filled….GO BUCS!!!!

  13. DB55 Says:

    Licht just signed a WR from the cfl. #fml

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    did a little digging and found out that d.foreman is projected as a 3rd round pick and walker a mid to late pick in the second….great news…..GO BUCS!!!

  15. Guzzie Says:

    Dave Johnson was a 4th, Joe Mixon should be a target, he’s got baggage but it’s 3 years old, horrible act for sure, but his talks equal to a better pass catching AP, 4-5th rounder based on the offfield concerns, but 1st round the talent

  16. Guzzie Says:

    Talent not talks

  17. feelthepewterpower Says:

    we need a couple more robert ayers’ types, Joe!

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “did a little digging and found out that d.foreman is projected as a 3rd round pick and walker a mid to late pick in the second….great news…..GO BUCS!!!”

    I love Walker and not sure why he’s not projected as a 1st rounder. He flashed all over the field constantly in like every FSU game. Consistent pressure and a physical force.

    He’s listed at 6’2 270 which is fine size for a 4-3 DE; yet I’m reading they say his body type is better for a 3-4 OLB and that he’s a “tweener” which I am not seeing at all. Dude played with his hand in the dirt I thought all season and is coming off 2 years of great production. He’s bigger than NOah Spence.

    He’s a guy that could test well in the combine and be picked in the top 15-20 imo. Hopefully he tests mediocre and we can get him round 2.

  19. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    We did get WR from Texas A and M and played with Evans..another guy too, can’t remember what position but also an Aggie..both played with Mike..

  20. 813bucboi Says:

    @lord…im with you….even tho I hate florida state that kid is nasty….I thought for sure he would be a early to mid 1st round pick….I hope is slips to the second and we grab him after corey or dede….he’s built thick like k.mack and has a crazy motor like watt….

    I hope he has a combine similar the noah spence….coaches weren’t sold on his height, quickness and speed….some wanted to see what his measurable were before they took him off the board….when he didn’t blow the scouts out of the water with his performance, combined with his history it was a no brainer for some to drop him….licht is smarter than that….just watch the film and pick him….GO BUCS!!!!

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @StPete … “I think we may have finally reached a tipping point and about to go on a good run.” Pretty much feel the same way St Pete, but it all depends on these next few months. And yes, on Jason Licht. I’m convinced we’ll lost Smitty as DC, so critical decision #1 will be ‘Who becomes our new DC?’ (From my perspective, Bucs won 5 games this year because of the defense, and if it slips, we’d be back to a 6-10 record … or worse). Critical decision #2 will be ‘Who’ll be the REAL OC next year?’ (From my perspective once again, Dirk Koetter got the HC gig because of his play-calling expertise & relationship with Jameis … a lot of uncertainty enters in if that changes).

    Beyond those 2 factors, how well Bucs do in improving our talent on BOTH sides of the ball is critical. Job 1 is to re-sign our own FAs (half the team falls in that category I believe). Job 2 is adding FAs to improve our roster. We’ve got the bucks (no pun intended) but our GM will need to be very aggressive in grabbing the right players to improve our starting talent and our depth. Job 3 obviously is the draft, but it seems to be unusual to get more than 2 (max 3) starters out of the draft (the rest being mostly special teams & developmental?). I might be wrong, but I suspect that if we’re going to be a playoff team next year, we’ll need to add somewhere in the vicinity of 12-15 starters & key rotational players who aren’t presently under contract (includes our own guys). Daunting task, and not a whole bunch of room for error.

  22. Eric Says:

    I’m looking at the 2017 schedule and I honestly don’t agree that next year is that much more difficult than this year.

    Strength of schedule is complete BS to me but judging from the quality of teams that were good this year, these are/were our difficult opponents (other than the division, of course) vs our bad opponents:

    2016 Good- Broncos Raiders Chiefs Seahawks Cowboys
    2016 Bad- Rams Niners Bears
    2017 Good- Patriots Giants Packers Lions Dolphins
    2017 Bad- Bears Jets Bills

    Ya I see that Pats, Giants(overrated), Packers(or should I say aaron Rodgers) trio and that is intimidating but not much more than hawks, boys, chiefs. Not to mention we’re going to be better next season. The other teams are average to below average for both seasons.

  23. Pat Says:


    You said the following

    It’s amazing how people overlook the positive in Licht’s legacy.

    I agree with you on this ;however, that same thing can be said in reverse which is exactly why I don’t judge GM’s based on whether the good decisions merely outweigh the bad decisions.Don’t get me wrong… That has a place. What I do is also ask has the GM done anything that is particularly bad in the decisions that they have made. Simply put… This is true for everyone who works at any job. Everybody has good days and bad days. We have days We make great decisions and days we make not so great decisions. We don’t get fired for the bad decisions. HOWEVER, if the bad decision is indeed bad enough we absolutely do you get fired no matter how much good we have done. So… When it comes to GM’s for teams I ask have you made any decisions or not made some decisions that you absolutely should’ve made and if you continue it you are definitely fired no matter how many good decisions you made. For example the Joe’s did a fantastic job coming out at the end of the 2014 season and even more so coming out of the 2015 season showing how the Bucs needed to get better at wide receiver. The Bucs GM did nothing in free agency or in the draft to bring in even one wide receiver coming into the 2016 season. The Joe’s pointed out that this is very risky because of the injury history with Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy and that the unproven guys were very shaky at best. Sure enough we get to the end of the 2016 season and we now have the same problem. The GM did not even attempt to improve the position through free agency or the draft. If I owned the Bucs then I am definitely going to have a talk with him and say you better never let that happen again or you will be fired I don’t care how well you have done at your other draft picks.

  24. R.O. Says:

    Mixon hasn’t even declared and there is no way the Bucs spend a draft pick on him.. nice try. But not a very good one.

  25. Trubucfan22 Says:

    This last free agent class was different from others. Licht didnt target the best on paper and sign them to huge money. He did his research and found veteran LEADERSHIP. Ayers was dogged by the joes for being a one year wonder (on paper) but in reality, more than just his on field production he has the right attitude and leadership skills. Grimes is the same but different. He isnt rah rah like Ayers. But he did help guide hargreaves through his rookie year.

    Did anyone else notice the trend? Grimes/hargreaves, Ayers/spence. Licht did an excellent job matching up veteran leadership with his prized rookies. I wonder if he uses that same strategy this year.

  26. BringBucsBack Says:

    Well done Pat.

  27. DB55 Says:


    Nixon is now declared.

  28. TarzanTheBucsFan Says:

    I like joe mixon in 4-5 round because of his off the field issues. He could very well be a huge steal and yes he did declare

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    Turned out to be a nice signing after getting off to a rough start. I wasn’t really sold on the pickup at the time we did it as it looked like of like a one year wonder, but as I read more I started to see why I thought the Bucs got him – it wasn’t so much that he was a DE, but on passing downs he was a pass rushing DT, which is where the Bucs played him and where he was most effective. Obviously leadership, off the field stuff, those things we don’t see, but in the way he talks and acts he almost has a Michael Bennett fell to him – not that at his age I expect that production, but hey he didn’t play that much when younger so perhaps aging won’t affect him as much as it does others.

  30. Pelbuc Says:

    No to Mixon! Enough with the character issues. Bucs should have learned their lesson by now but unfortunately talent trumps integrity. There’s always good RBs in the later rounds. Get a fast WR in 1st round and BPA thereafter.

  31. Longbuc84 Says:

    I hope they get dalvin cook or corey davis with the 19th pick. and then hopefully they can get carlos watkins in the second round. That would be a phenominal start to the draft.