One Signing Too Few

July 7th, 2017

Good, not perfect, offseason.

Their offseason is one reason so many national NFL media outlets — in addition to “Meet the Press,” very much a non-NFL media outlet but a giant in the mainstream news realm — are raving about the Bucs.

Adding DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin to the mix, along with veteran kicker Nick Folk, and re-signing run-stuffer William Gholston, makes it difficult not to like what Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht did.

But Jenna Laine of has one qualm. Licht missed adding one defensive puzzle piece.

Move I didn’t like: With two of their best pure pass-rushers — Jacquies Smith and Noah Spence — coming off injuries and George Johnson recovering from a fractured hip, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to sign another edge rusher as insurance. The downside to that would have been cost, however. Good pass-rushers don’t come cheap, and the Bucs needed to position themselves to sign Mike Evans to a long-term and well-deserved contract extension pretty soon.

Hard to disagree with Laine on the pass rusher. As Joe types this, Joe’s stomach is turning while think of how irresponsible this franchise has been over the past 11 years in finding and/or developing (or keeping) a double-digit edge rusher. It truly is shameful.

While Joe loves Noah Spence’s motor and heart, that shoulder injury is worrisome. Jacquies Smith? Who knows what to expect from him after major knee surgery?

Laine is right: It would have been nice if Licht could have found another edge rusher in free agency, even an average one just for depth.

38 Responses to “One Signing Too Few”

  1. Supersam Says:

    Well Mario Williams is still out there

  2. Kobe Faker Says:

    Jenna L is always right!

    “Jenna’s red lipstick makes Kobe weak in the knees”

    Kobe Faker

  3. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Ryan Russell will be a pleasant surprise this season. Sometimes the so called need is already on the roster. We lured the D line zar away from cincy,I wanna see these young one’s look like the move was worth it this season. Don’t always have bring something inn,goodies can be found already in the building.

  4. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Mofo talkin bout Karma. You have no idea the amount of people I’ve taken care of in my life. Yea I got some karma coming, the kind in which some mofos take care and bless me some jit.

  5. K2 Says:

    Barring injury the Bucs will be cutting one of those edge rushers (most likely Johnson or Russell). But, I guess we could sign a dozen more just to make sure…maybe she would write the check?

  6. Wausa Says:

    The Bucs roster is much improved over last years roster. However, I would not have been upset with another DE, but the Bucs have Spence, Smith, Ayers and Gholston at the position.

    I would say DE is a position the Bucs could take a calculated risk on and wait until next years draft.

    Depth at OT and CB is more concerning to me and of course our running backs as a group are not good.

  7. K2 Says:

    Ayers, Baker, Johnson, McCoy, McDonald, Panfil, Russell, Siliga, Smith, Spence, Tu’ikolovatu, Bailey, Barnes…we probably keep 9

  8. K2 Says:


  9. No_Bucs_Given Says:

    Joe you banged the drum for receiver for a few years and finally shored that up, more with Godwin as depth vs Jackson replacing Jackson last year. But next year there’s no doubt we’ll be looking at a top flight DE or two.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    I think that the Panthers’ defensive performance during its’ 2015 season (15-1) will be the model for our Bucs this season. That defense registered 44 sacks on the season, but not in the ‘traditional’ way. Their DLine kept pressure on opponents all season long, but the only DT/DE who registered double-digit sacks was Short (DT) who got 11 sacks. Their other DTs (Love, Lotulelei & Edwards) contributed another 5 sacks total. Their DEs (Ealy, Allen, Johnson, Delaire & Horton) added another 16.5 sacks, with most of those being provided by Ealy (5) & Addison (6). The LBs & DBs added the remaining 11.5 sacks. Thus the DTs in the middle of the DLine had as many sacks (16) as the DEs on the outside (16.5), and the ‘back half’ provided the remaining 11.5 sacks for them.

    I could easily see the Bucs replicating that this year. Our DTs (GMC, Baker & McDonald + 1) could reasonably hit 16 sacks, while our DEs (Gholston, Ayers, Spence, Smith + 1-2) add roughly the same amount. I’m convinced that Smitty will use more blitzing this year, especially with the LBs, so it wouldn’t be out of the question that Lavonte, Kwon, Bond & Beckwith + 1-2) would provide another 10 or so sacks. As long as we can stay reasonably healthy, this defense is poised to do some good things.

  11. mike Says:

    I like Defense Rules comments- Anyone think Stevie T will stick and be a bonus at DT?

  12. macabee Says:


    91 Ayers, Robert DE 6-3 275 31 8 Tennessee
    70 Bailey, Sterling DE 6-4 285 24 2 Georgia
    79 Barnes, Tavaris DE 6-4 282 25 3 Clemson
    92 Gholston, William DE 6-6 281 25 4 Michigan State
    94 Johnson, George DE 6-4 265 29 5 Rutgers
    72 Panfil, Evan DE 6-4 280 22 R Purdue
    95 Russell, Ryan DE 6-5 275 25 2 Purdue
    56 Smith, Jacquies DE 6-2 260 26 3 Missouri
    57 Spence, Noah DE 6-2 251 23 1 Eastern Kentucky
    71 Ward, Channing DE 6-4 279 24 1 Mississippi


    90 Baker, Chris DT 6-2 320 29 5 Hampton
    75 Lambert, DaVonte DT 6-2 282 22 R Auburn
    93 McCoy, Gerald DT 6-4 300 28 7 Oklahoma
    98 McDonald, Clinton DT 6-2 297 30 7 Memphis
    96 Siliga, Sealver DT 6-2 345 26 4 Utah
    97 Tu’ikolovatu, Stevie DT 6-1 320 25 R Southern California

  13. Brian Says:

    I dont know if irresponsible would be right. You dont believe they have been TRYING for years to find those guys? They have failed to do so in years past but it wasnt for lack of trying. I dont find that “irresponsible…

  14. K2 Says:

    I’m with you Macabee…

  15. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Didn’t Michael Bennett have a “Shoulder” issue? Bucs might know knees, but maybe they don’t know shoulders.

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    @defense….that was perfect….I think that is exactly what’s going to happen….GO BUCS!!!!

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike, I think that Stevie T will beat out Siliga for the 4th DT spot, but he’ll have such ‘spot duty’ (running downs?) that it’ll be hard for him to get any sacks, unless one of the other DTs goes down. And macabee, I can see Ayers, Gholston, Smith & Spence sticking for sure at DE (assuming they’re fully-recovered physically), but at this point I think it’s anybody’s guess as to which other DEs will make the roster (I’m thinking we’ll keep 4 DTs & 6 DEs, but who knows at this point). Personally like Russell for another slot, but don’t know enough about the others (like Bailey & Panfil) to even remotely estimate their chances of making the final roster.

  18. gilhealy Says:

    Jenna’s alright, but she just writes the obvious, or I should say, the popular angle. Never biting, or real informative stuff. We have plenty of DE’s in the building, and let’s give them a shot. I’m pretty sure the coaches know a bit more than Jenna or anyone else commenting on the roster.

  19. Buccan8 Says:

    At least Jenna tries to act like she does more research than looking at rankings or spewing homer drivel like Falcons’ writer, Vaughn McClure. We get it, dude: the Falcons were good last year; that doesn’t mean they deserve half the paragraph about which team has the best defense in the division, when the chicks are clearly #3.

    Sorry to be off-point a tad; the Tetragrammaton of Pop Sports only fields two reasonably objective NFC South writers–Laine and Triplett, the latter of whom is so good at getting his answers to these questions from players on his team…y’know, by working and not turning everything into an op-ed.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    Defense Rules

    great post sir. nice research. my only concern being a realist is look at al the fragile injury prone players on that list. McCoy and McDonald both miss games each year, Jack Smith is less reliable than the unreliable doug martin. I like young spence but Dline is scary thin in reality. need a no name young guy to step up. bucs have too many key players on defense with the If they stay healthy label

    strong defensive teams are never dynasty’s so thankfully we have a franchise quarterback with weapons. defense only needs to be mid pack for jameis to delivery a couple of superbowls.

    and before you people start crying Steelers go count how many players on the offensive side of the ball for Steelers that are in the hall of fame from that era. might surprise you — then move on please.

  21. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    You’re silly, Joe. The Bucs were not covered or raved about on “Meet the Press” The show’s host was simply a guest columnist on MMQB. I’m excited to see the Bucs getting so much national attention, but lets be reasonable here.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    GMC, Ayers, Baker, Spence, Gholston, McDonald, Jac Smith

    That is solid talent. Very solid D-Line talent.

    I agree with tmax for once though – Durability is the potential problem with this bunch – based on history at least…

    If those 7 players can all stay relatively healthy in 2017 – I expect HUGE success for this team. Its a big IF though…

  23. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Offseason technically isn’t over yet. We acquired George Johnson during training camp for example. He hasn’t worked out thus far, granted, but a move was made nonetheless.
    George Johnson was part of a spring trade actually. –Joe

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    GMC, Ayers, Spence, McDonald, Jac Smith

    solid talent YES that being said all have significant injury histories. not negative that is reality… None of them can play 16 games… good talent but very very thin in depth. dline is weak spot

    there is not a sane person on the planet who thinks one of these guys GMC, Ayers, Spence, McDonald, Jac Smith will play 16 games this year.

  25. tmaxcon Says:


    was not trying to be a douchebag this time. i posted same time as you did. peace

  26. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Offseason technically isn’t over yet. We acquired George Johnson during training camp for example. He hasn’t worked out thus far, granted, but a move was made nonetheless.
    George Johnson was part of a spring trade actually. –Joe


    Right, Joe

  27. DB55 Says:

    And who exact was Licht supposed to sign? Riddle me that Batman!? Chris Long, Alex Okafor? Between the two of them They had like 12 sacks combined last 2 years an avg of 3 per year.

    JPP was NOT leaving NY and Peppers is on some kind of pre-retirement homecoming tour.

    Plus, consider the fact that we’ll play more 3-4 looks this year and idk about you but I’m stoked to see GMC and LVD coming off the corners. I’m convinced that there’s not an RT in the league that can stop McCoy off the edge. And I know for a fact there not a LT that can stop LVD from getting to the QB!

    PS. When we cut George Johnson (please cut George Johnson) we can bring back Mr. Underrated Howard Jones who had 5 sacks in his rookie campaign as an udfa. Producing like a second round pick, me likely.

  28. DB55 Says:


    I think the indoor practice facility will cut down on injuries. At least I hope that’s the case.

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    “was not trying to be a douchebag this time”

    LOL – “THIS TIME” –

    Its not like you are even “busted” or this is some new “revelation” or admittance. Everyone knows you “try” to be a douchebag on a fairly regular basis – just trying to get people to react. Its called being a troll. And you are one of the more successful ones on this here site.

    Speaking of Trolls – whats up DB?

  30. DB55 Says:

    Yo mama a troll. Ha kidding but not really.

    Don’t hate cuz you know not your football, I don’t even correct you ALL the time just sometimes. Be thank some posters are so clueless I can’t even read there posts. Sup Bonzai, sup Hawaii

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Thanks for taking it easy on me DB.

    We can’t all be as dynamic/knowledgeable/sensible posters as the great DB55

  32. DB55 Says:

    You welcome. I do what I can

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    LOL – I tried to include your old (99) name that you used for awhile in the last response and the autofilter wouldn’t even allow the comment. You musta been a BAAAD poster under that name to have it permanently banned. No surprise.

  34. DB55 Says:

    No more than usual. Joe banned me bc I changed my user name to “Brett Farve” to say “Did someone say interceptions?” During the Jameis Winston pre-draft civil war we were having on JBF.

    Ironically I’d say w s 9 9 would be a better screen name for than my current one. Although Brooks did talk maaaaad ish on the field. Mad ish!

  35. webster Says:


    Spence played 16 games last year with a busted shoulder. Why cant he do it again? I have no problem with injuries as injuries is part of the game and that is why you build depth. Every team deals with injuries. You pray you dont have multiple injuries at the same position because thats when it gets dicey. Good teams can overcome a robert ayers injury for three weeks. You just dont want it to be ayers, spence, gholston and russell all at the same time.

  36. Pick6 Says:

    if you assume licht is not a dummy (safe assumption), you have to also assume that the coaching staff has a non-traditional plan to generate pass rush this season. that would also explain the unexpected moves at DT and LB

  37. Dave Says:

    I see the coverage as better this year so Spence breaks out to over 10 sacks. I think he will have a few 12+ sack years in his prime. Can’t teach speed

  38. Trubucfan22 Says:

    We have a nice 4 man rotation right now. We also have some guys further down the depth chart that will see plenty of action.


    What “average” DE in free agency is better than any of those 4? There was no one worth signing that would upgrade the 4th DE spot. And if anyone was good enough, they wouldnt settle for second fiddle. Good players don’t accept bench jobs. They want to be guaranteed starting spots.

    In theory it would be great to always add more depth to any position, especially pass rushers. But you have to look at the market and how those player compare to our current players. You don’t just pay someone 4 million dollars just because it sounds like a good idea.