The Future Is Now

January 16th, 2017
Time to channel George Allen.

Time to channel George Allen.

As Joe wrote Friday, the move by Team Glazer and Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to lock up defensive coordinator Mike Smith for the next “couple of years” suggests one thing: the Bucs are no longer fooling around.

Nor should they.

Joe was a big fan of former NFL coach George Allen. Didn’t think he was Hall of Fame–worthy, but that doesn’t mean he was bad. Allen was a damned good coach, just not elite. But he made up for his not-so-elite status with manic hatred of all things Cowboys.

The one thing Joe both admired about Allen but was equally disturbed by was his motto “The Future is Now.” Allen had no use for rookies or young players. He gutted his franchise of draft picks, trading as many as he could in order to land veterans. Allen was not interested in any way in developing players. It was a win-at-all-costs mentality.

In the short-term, that is awesome. In the long-term, it is devastating to a team.

When those old players get older (think the Bucs in 2008), then what are you left with?

That is why Allen’s Redskins teams were known as the “Over the Hill Gang.” They were good for just a short period of time before they really were over the hill.

In the 21st-century NFL, teams have short windows for Super Bowl runs, unless you have a football genius coaching with one of the all-time great quarterbacks.

When young, talented stars get to their second (third?) contracts, they need to be paid and often are. This comes at a price: other positions suffer and depth dries up when OK- and average-player contracts can’t be renewed because of salary cap restraints.

So here come the Bucs. They missed on a playoff berth this season by one win, largely due to horrid depth at a critical position, perhaps two.

The Bucs have a young, franchise quarterback and several good young players at other important positions who have yet to see their second contract.

The Bucs also have vaults of Team Glazer loot under the 2017 salary cap. It’s probably the last time in a decade that the Bucs will be in a position to win bids for top players in free agency and obtain key depth, and then plug them in without any concern of hitting the salary cap ceiling.

This offseason very well could turn the Bucs from playoff hopeful to conference power.

This is the window of opportunity for a Super Bowl run. Go buy the two or three key starters, add inexpensive depth, and this team should be set to do damage for the next two or three years.

The Bucs have their quarterback, have their winning head coach, have their defensive coordinator, have a strong core of young players. Now go get those missing pieces to the puzzle!

The re-signing of Smith suggests Team Glazer and Licht understand this and plan to take full advantage.

As Allen famously said, “The future is now.”

16 Responses to “The Future Is Now”

  1. Kalind Says:

    Agreed. Players to target: Jeffrey (cheap due to injury/PED concerns), Eric Berry (just let him fill in the blank on the check), Dontari Poe, Dre Kirkpatrick, JPP.

    Then the draft. Best available WR, followed by best available RB, followed but second WR. Then best defenders the res of the way.

  2. Dreambig Says:

    Yep, we have officially arrived as far as being able to complete. Jason and Koetter will have to have a great offseason to take us to the next level though. We also have to look at Ayers and Grimes and be prepared for when their performance drops off, because they are our over the hill gang. They have a tough job, not only filling current holes but getting enough quality depth that we can project and be ready to plug tomorrow’s holes. That’s why superbowls are so hard to get to. And how lucky are the Cowboys to have scored an exceptional rookie QB and an exceptional rookie running back in the same draft? That is just crazy!

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    I hope Licht can use this golden opportunity to improve his unfortunate free agency track record. If he pulls another McCown, Anthony Collins, Michael Johnson, Toast Jennings, George Johnson, IR Sneezy, etc windfall then we can expect a disappointing next few years and huge waste of the quality talent we do have. I hope he wins FA because that will translate to meaningful win in Tampa.

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    The oline play must improve. I don’t care how it gets accomplished but they better find a way because they couldn’t run or pass block for sht this year and if it wasn’t for Winston’s wizardry avoiding dlinemen that lived in the backfield all year it would have been so much worse. Fix it Licht.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Watching the playoffs thus far, the 2 things that struck me about the winning teams were (1) how well the guys in the trenches performed; and (2) how well the QBs performed. There were some big-time battles going on and some key players stepped up big-time. Bucs are getting closer to being in that category, but have to agree with Dreambig that (the Bucs) “will have to have a great offseason to take us to the next level”. Fortunately we’ve got the resources to make that happen. Now we just have to use those wisely.

  6. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Alshon Way too inconsistent, and Dre Kirpatrick is trash. Consistently grades out as one of the worst corners in the league.

  7. PaBucsfan Says:

    If Eric Berry doesn’t get tagged, he NEEDS to be a Buc!!! I’ve seen rumors where Atlanta would be interested in him. That would be absolutely terrible if he’s available and Licht allows him to go to Atlanta. Please please please bring Berry to Tampa

  8. R.O. Says:

    I don’t think we are going to overpay any of what people think are Tier 1 FAs. If we can dig a another TE who can run routes to team with Brate. We will be signing mostly Tier 2 and Tier 3. We have to fill out the top 53 on the roster we only have have something like 38 players under contract.

  9. Tom Edrington Says:

    Teams don’t let good productive players get away very often unless there is little tread left on the tire and the asking price is astronomical…..

  10. jb Says:

    Fan of George Allen, uh? You must just LOVE the late Tricky Dick Nixon. He and Allen were great pals…to the point Allen allowed Tricky Dick to suggest a play for use in Super Bowl VII….only to leave the White House in disgrace. GREAT Hero Joe, did you get your personal invite to the Donald’s inauguration?

    Allen was a terrible coach! The only ones I’ve ever seen refer to him even as damned good, is by ultra right wing D.C. politicians.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    jb … I remember a bumper sticker on Nixon in ’72, “don’t change dicks in the middle of a screw, vote for Nixon in 72.”

  12. USFBUC Says:

    I think what I just read is that the Bucs should sell off the next two years drafts to get the players they need this year along with a few FA. Thank you Joe for affirming my personal held belief that I could be one of the all time great GMs in the NFL

  13. ME13 Says:

    What’s your thoughts on Nick fairly? He signed 1yr deal with the saints!! Ya think he could be a piece to the puzzle? Resign Big Will Jac Smith!! Add Fairley JPP to our D-Line then shore up the Back end with E BERRY!! That would be fun to watch!! Then maybe Chance Walmack to to O-line kick 64 out to right Tackle add Pryor WR C Patterson K/R 4thWR !!! Then draft OJ Howard in the 1st then 2nd BPA Would be great if he was a Center!! 3rd LB 4th Mean Joe MixsonRB then trade 5 6 7 & Roberto an some $ maybe some more $ for a good Kicker!! Talking Bout now!! Let’s do it!! Go Bucs

  14. ME13 Says:

    I’m thinking ( Hoping ) they promis ole Smitty some big new toys on D to get him to stay!!! I’m thinking JPP is ready to come home!!!

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Yes the Bucs need to be in “win now” mode. Its a golden opportunity for a SB run the next 2 years with Winston and Kwon and Marpet and Smith still on their rookie contracts.

    The problem is that we have all this $ to spend in 2017 – but there will not be very much high end free agency talent available. Very few teams have cap issues right now and most will be signing or franchising their own best players.

    Yes we can pick up some help and have plenty of $ to do so. But the key to sustained success will be continuing to find young talented players in the draft.

  16. Jared DePiro Says:

    We still need a right tackle