“As Clean As A White Tablecloth Straight Out Of The Washing Machine”

June 12th, 2017

GM Jason Licht

The director of the Senior Bowl, a former Ravens personnel chief and an ex-Browns general manager (Cleveland actually went 10-6 under his watch in 2007) was talking Buccaneers this weekend.

Of course, Joe was listening.

Joe is talking about Phil Savage, who occasionally co-hosts on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Savage is Mr. NFL Draft in many ways, devoting a full-time effort to all things Senior Bowl, the draft showcase in late January that features the nation’s best college seniors (if they attend).

The likable Savage has all kinds of sources.

On rookie Bucs tight end O.J. Howard, Savage said he may have been a perfect prospect. Savage emphasized that Howard had zero mental or physical red flags, and a pure all-around game.

“He was a clean as a white tablecloth straight out of the washing machine,” Savage said of what he was hearing of Howard.

Remember, scouts at this year’s Senior Bowl voted Howard as the top practice player. Think about that. All these players trying to impress taking every practice snap seriously, and Howard takes home that honor.

Savage seemed as stunned as anyone that the Bucs scored Howard at No. 19 overall in the draft.

For those who aren’t listening to the Ira Kaufman Podcast on iTunes or right here every Tuesday and Thursday, Ira shared last week that Howard was a top-5 overall player on the Buccaneers draft board. That’s overall.

It’s easy to say general manager Jason Licht got lucky and didn’t accomplish anything by drafting Howard. Sure, there’s luck in the draft, but Licht got his opportunity at Howard because he stayed patient and didn’t do anything stupid.

That’s often a lost art among GMs.

25 Responses to ““As Clean As A White Tablecloth Straight Out Of The Washing Machine””

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    In my opinion, the rest of Licht’s picks aren’t too shabby either. A superb draft.

  2. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Again he was a complete an utter shock to the entire organization. To gloat about having called this one is sorta comical if you ask me. I’ve never seen a card handed inn so fast at the draft before.

  3. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    When things like this happen to me it signifies your team becoming in good graces with the football Gods.

  4. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Preface: This is purely speculation.

    On paper it looks to be one of his best drafts. You can’t beat the grand-slam of 2015 with a Franchise player at each of QB, LT, MLB, and C (Marpet).

    That being said, while this draft might not have the splash talent that 2015 netted, Licht appears to have nailed some of the later picks making this an extremely solid draft that could see impact (even if its solid depth and relief play) from rd 1 to rd 7. and still with the potential to have a few splash picks as well (Godwin, Howard)

  5. tnew Says:

    18 teams out thought themselves on draft night, including many’s on this boards secret team the Titans. Licht could’ve out thought it and traded down and still get Njoku or said, I’m good at TE. He didn’t. I’m saying right now, kid, without injuries will be a pro bowler for us for a long time. Hopefully, with some championships, Jameis will connect a pass to him in Canton, a long time from now.

  6. ImJustHereForJameisNews Says:

    Tnew, 17 teams* Titans passed on Howard 2 times! Twice!

  7. Wausa Says:

    If he is what we all think and/or hope he is then the Bucs will have the best TE’s in the NFL since Gronkowski was playing along with the Murderer.

  8. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Who else thought the headline was about Doug Martin?

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    OJ Howard was a top 5 player on a lot of NFL big boards. He was top 10 on just about EVERYONE’S board.

    Jon Robinson is going to seriously regret drafting for “need” at #18 for quite some time to come. Adore Jackson is a nice prospect, but he’s nowhere near a top 10 talent – whereas Howard is the best, most complete TE prospect in many, many years and has top 5/top 10 level talent by most all knowledgeable accounts.

  10. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Jon Robinson made the right choice by passing on O.J.Howard twice. Tennessee drafted Corey Davis with the 5th pick, that was a pick of need and also the BPA on their board. He went with Adoree Jackson over Howard because they have a Pro Bowl TE in Delanie Walker, who still has a few years left. Also last season they was 30th in pass defense. He knew that this draft was one of the deepest ever for TEs. And he drafted Jonnu Smith in the 3rd round. Adoree Jackson is a solid, speedy, cover CB, who also can return punts, kickoffs and play offense. I say that Jon Robinson made the right decision, without a doubt.

  11. LakeLandBuc Says:

    It’s hard to pass on a CB, who runs a 4.38. Made 55 tackles, 11 PD, 5 INT. Averaged 29.5 yards on kickoffs with 2 TDs, Averaged 15.8 yards on punt returns with another 2 TDs. I’m not passing on this guy for a TE, I’m with Jon Robinson on this. Adoree Jackson will be a superstar in the NFL, mock my words.

  12. Jim Says:

    I can’t remember the last time I remembered the name of a 7th round pick.

  13. OneBuc55 Says:

    Lakeland Buc

    We’re you aware that Mr. Adore Jackson got lite up like a Christmas tree by Chris Godwin in the USC Penn ST bowl game…we made to right choice; complete TEs are very very rare…Thank you to all 17 teams that drafted for need…BPA is always the best way to go…Finally! we got a GM that gets it…

  14. Kstoges Says:

    Jason licht is a beast at the draft man

  15. big serious Says:

    the real question is WHO would have they have selected if OJ did not bunji drop to 19

  16. Brian Says:

    Im just curious Lake.. do you have ANYTHING good to see about the Bucs?

  17. Brian Says:


  18. SOEbuc Says:

    And not even just Howard. A lot of people projected Godwin, who the Bucs really liked, to go in the middle of the second and we got him in the middle of the third! He is ballin out in OTAs possibly taking a very good WR in Humpries job.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    LakeLandBuc Says:
    “mock my words.”

    That unintentional invitation is very tempting the majority of times that you post a comment…..

  20. webster Says:

    We dont know how other teams had howard ranked. Just because the “experts” had him ranked in the top ten doesnt mean other teams didnt have the players they picked rated higher. The bucs top 5 is different than other team’s top 5. Scouting departments vary. Kudos to the bucs for valuing oj higher than most players and most teams. Many of us on this site wanted howard at the begining of the draft process which prompted the joes to writ articles not understanding why fans want to get rid of brate. Nobody wanted to get rid of brate, they wanted to add to brate ie weapons for winston. I wouldnt say shocked but i am glad the bucs didnt trade up for cook as the joes was advocating.

  21. biff barker Says:


    Godwin’s going to torch quite a few NFL corners and safeties soon enough.

    They will learn to hate Howard too.

  22. Shing Says:

    Tom Brady

  23. alamba78 Says:


    Brady was drafted in the 6th.

    Jason Licht couldn’t have thought in his wildest dreams that OJ would fall to #19 so I honestly don’t think they even thought that was a reality outside of one person in the war room that said TEs don’t usually get drafted high and may be available. And how do we know that Licht DIDN’t try to move up but couldn’t find a suitor? If that wasn’t the case, then kudos to him for not doing anything wild after seeing OJ still available from picks 15-19. I thought the Titans would have taken him at #18. I had a feeling Adoree would get picked up in the first, but not at #18. Lucky us.

  24. JonBuc Says:

    Yet another fortuitous bit of timing…..Ravens TE Dennis Pitta re-injuring himself after the draft ( I feel bad for Pitta….timing was just lucky for the Bucs ). I believe they picked 16th this year. I thought for sure the Titans were going to draft him as well.

  25. Bill Byrne Says:

    Jon Robinson (Titans GM0 and Jason Licht (Bucs GM) are going to be battling for years to come and one day soon they will meet in the Super Bowl. Wouldn’t that be interesting if that happens in Tampa!!!