Blaming… O.J. Howard?

January 17th, 2018

Curious fall guy.

No, this is not coming from the PFF tribe.

Some very revealing insight into the mindset at One Buc Palace about why the running game was a shambles in the 2017 season. And oddly enough, the reason for the ineptitude traces back to Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard.

Yes, really.

Yesterday on Twitter, Bucs beat guy Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times pulled back the curtain and dropped a doosie as to why the Bucs did not address the running game last offseason. Per Stroud, the Bucs had targeted Dalvin Cook at No. 19. But because Howard, who just about everyone in the building at One Buc Palace was in love with, slipped, the Bucs instead pulled the lever on Howard and passed on Cook.

It was then, Stroud typed, the Bucs shrugged their shoulders and decided if they had to give up their hopes of getting Cook in favor of landing Howard, the team would just settle with Doug Martin being the bellcow back of 2017.

Now Joe doesn’t doubt one iota that Stroud learned this through a valued if not high-placed source with the Bucs. And knowing first-hand how much the Bucs were interested in Cook, Joe absolutely believes Stroud’s information. But it also sure as heck smells like someone was trying to snowball Stroud at the same time.

So are we to then believe, given that the Bucs didn’t do anything to address the running back situation until they selected SnoopDog McPlaybook in the fifth round, it is all because they drafted Howard at No. 19?

So Howard somehow forced the Bucs’ hand and forbade the team from drafting Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D’Onta Foreman, Samaje Perine or Tarik Cohen, all of whom had better numbers than Martin, either with total yards rushing or yards-per-carry?

Further, so Howard is the guy responsible for handcuffing the team and forcing coaches to start Martin for 11 games after he returned from serving his PED suspension sentence. Even a guy walking down the sidewalk with a white cane could see was done?

That’s a whole lot of reach there.

The last time Joe ever heard of an NFL team pushing something this thin with a reporter was years ago when an NFL team spokesman told Joe the guy who signed his paychecks was involved in very high level shakedowns and that said NFL owner was purposely defaulting on multi-million dollar bank loans in an effort to squeeze the lender(s) for a better interest rate.

Yeah, it was (and is) great the Bucs got their guy in the draft in Howard, who has all the signs of being a dominant player for years. That doesn’t mean, however, you throw your hands in the air and wave white flags like the French army and all but ignore one of the biggest holes on your roster in a draft rich in players at the same position.

Look, Joe thinks Justin Evans will be a stud some day. He shows signs that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht pulled off yet another draft steal. But honestly, which player would have made a bigger impact on the Bucs, Kamara, Hunt or Evans?

One could make a good argument that because the offense was so one-dimensional due to no running game  (until Martin was benched for a team violation and Dirk Koetter was forced to start Peyton Barber at Green Bay) it cost the Bucs three or four wins and perhaps a playoff chase?

54 Responses to “Blaming… O.J. Howard?”

  1. Jarod Lauderdale Says:

    And that’s why I say Barkley if there at 7…look you get Barkley bring a guy like trey Boston in as the 2nd saftey & draft 2 corners & 2 de’s and go after more in FA ! No to RB in FA ! Crowell sux & there’s not much else out there other than Hyde… Go Barkley & you now have complete offence ! Get Boston in FA and you have 2 starting good safeties ! 2nd round pick de & one more in FA & get as many corners as you can get !

  2. Kansas95Buc Says:

    GTFOH lol. We probably could’ve got one of those RB’s but we wouldn’t have either Chris Godwin or Beckwith (I hope I spelled that right). To me we have weapons to score, players wasn’t used to their best potential. Imagine if we used Howard more, imagine if we let Peyton run the ball more, what if we ran Winston more, the running game might not have been as bad this year. Then lets factor play calling…

    Bottom line, we don’t play to our players strengths and that’s on coaching. It’ll never matter who we bring in unless we fix the coaching

  3. unbelievable Says:

    It blows my mind that you still give Rick stroud any credibility. The guys pulls more stuff out his a$$ than a proctologist working in the ER.

  4. Joe Says:


    Joe talks to Bucs types, too. Joe has every reason to believe what Stroud typed is accurate from what Joe has heard the past year.

    It also seems as if someone was trying to snowball Stroud. Sure, they wanted Howard. That shouldn’t mean the team had to abandon any hope of getting a decent running back in the second or third round or swinging a trade to grab a back not named “McPlaybook.”

    To suggest the Bucs were stuck with Martin as a starter because they didn’t land Cook at No. 19 is beyond a reach. That seems to be what someone at One Buc Palace was trying to push on Stroud.

  5. gp Says:

    as i recall, “mcplaybook” looked like a viable replacement for Martin
    you can’t hit paydirt on every pick
    lighten up Francis!

  6. NFLNut Says:


    I wouldn’t trade OJ Howard for Gronk … seriously. Howard was the right pick … and this coming from a guy who LOVES Dalvin Cook and was screaming mad that the Bucs didn’t move up to get him in the 2nd round.

    Anyways, I agree 100% with Jarod Lauderdale above … if Saquon Barkley is still on the board at #7, we better draft him. However, I expect Saquon to go #1 overall … and #4 at the very, very latest.


  7. AceMcBuc Says:

    I believe Howard was the right pick for this team, at that time. Hindsight is always 20/20. This is a team that was, and has been, devoid of talent for far too long. If you’re fully committed to building through the draft, then that takes time. That said, a RB can be found at many levels of the draft, however a talent like Howard, at TE..well, that doesn’t come along very often. IMHO, it was not only a good call, but the correct one. That said…why they passed on the others….No clue? Maybe having MArtin, Rodgers, and Barber they thought that they had something serviceable? Didn’t play out that way, but then again…sometimes you have to just take a chance.

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Well no kidding the team passed on Cook in order to draft OJ, and short of Cook becoming an all-pro runningback for year after year after year, it was the right choice.

    As for the running game I’m still not blaming Martin, watching the guy on tape he’s not making obvious mistakes, not to my eye – his blocking is just incredibly poor and Dirk is incredibly predictable in his playcalling. Martin didn’t have close to a full workload yet was near the top in terms of stuffs – that means Martin was constantly getting hit in the backfield. Up until the end of the year Dirk’s entire game plan was run up the middle on first down in the first half of games – no play action passes or anything, just run up the middle. The other team would blitz 11 guys up the middle on every 1st down and Dirk would run the same play over and over. Near the end of the year when Jameis came back, and Barber starter, and Dirk was coaching for his job, Dirk finally mixed it up and began using play action passes and it worked nearly every time – this in turn allowed the running game to work much better since it opened up a bit more space.

    If you’re going to blame Martin for everything then show me repeatedly, again and again and again where he’s too blame to everything. Additionally if Martin was to blame, if he was doing something wrong, then why would the coaches stick with him? It doesn’t make any sense that they would.

    If you put Cook in that same Bucs offense from the first 12-13 games of the season, first he’d have been injured by week 3, and second he’d probably be about as productive.

    Show the tape where Martin is to consistently the one at blame. You can’t.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Reports are coming out of Pittsburgh that partners are lobbying the team owner there to fire Tomlin…

    Come on Tampa – call the Steelers and offer them a trade for Tomlin. Want to talk about shocking the system here locally and getting a ton of attention for the team and selling tickets. Think of the excitement if the Bucs pulled off something like that, you’d go from a bunch of emo fans wanting to slit their wrists to people truly excited about the season and the future. Plus there is absolutely no way you can make the case that Gruden is better than Tomlin, so that would be a nice thumb in the eye to Gruden if he really did use the Bucs only as a way to drive up his contract with Oakland.

    Yeah it won’t actually happen, but man is it an intriguing idea.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod, good argument on Martin but it really doesn’t matter. Joe likes Cook. Joe likes OLine. Joe doesn’t like Martin. Next subject.

    Joe, Stroud’s report has me shaking my head. As a bottom line, he’s inferring that when Licht made the decision in the 1st round to draft OJ, he ALSO made the decision at that point to roll with Martin as our RB for 2017? Otherwise, why would he pass on some excellent RB talent in Rounds 2, 3 & 4 until he finally pulled the trigger on McFluff in Round 5?

    In Jason’s defense (can’t believe I just wrote that), the Draft Room is surely in crisis management mode while all this is going on. So many options; so little time to decide who to pick. Licht has a history IMO of going with BPA as opposed to picking Highest Priority Need. Fine, BUT … the result (sometimes) is that Highest Priority Needs (such as DE?) get shuffled to the next year. The good draft picks are gone by the next round, and also Free Agency is albeit over when the draft occurs. A total of 18 other teams passed on OJ for that very reason IMO. Yes they knew he’d be a great player, BUT their Higher Priority Needs didn’t include TE. Jason’s vision for the Bucs is OFFENSE, OFFENSE, OFFENSE. Perhaps he (and others) are now seeing why GMs building T-E-A-M-S recognize that there’s more to winning in the NFL than just offense.

  11. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    This makes my head hurt, this make the Bucs, team Glazier, and Licht look so narrow minded and short sighted. So it was Cook or bust? Then trade up for the guy when he fell to the SECOND ROUND. Martin should be gone NOW anyway. Build the D and O lines this draft, find some O line help and CB help, and damn ti to hell DRAFT A RUNNING BACK in the top 2 rounds. Last year to get it right boys.

  12. BucEmUp Says:

    I’m telling you Zach Zenner in Detroit. He wasn’t even active toward the end of the season and they just fired the head coach.

    This guy can run, beat back on the team and they don’t have a clue. Send em.a 6th rounder for.him in a heartbeat

  13. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Allegedly, the Buccs tried to trade back up to get Cook but the Vikings got their first.

  14. Bob in Valrico Says:

    In retrospect ,looking for Martin to return to form has been a mistake. I believe he looked good in training camp so they thought they had the good Martin.
    There were times when he reeled off some decent runs early and then his production would tail off as the game wore on.
    I will say this the Pats have often relied heavily on a running back to complement Gronk when one of their WR’s gets hurt. Let Sims fill this role.

  15. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Also thought RB and DE were more pressing needs than a LB or safety,
    eventhough Beckwith and Evans were quality additions.
    Reading between the lines on Beckwith draft,I’m guessing that they wanted him
    for a future 3-4 alignment.
    The drafting of Evans and even Ryan Smith shows that they have been looking for a free safety with good range and closing speed to help defend against some of the elite receivers in our division.
    Only time will tell if Licht’s vision for the team will be a success.
    In the meantime ,lets hope he does way better in the free agency this year.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Even if it were true…and sorry, I think Stroud is guessing like he always does and claims sources tell him…I think Howard was a good move, though we won’t know for a couple years.

    Really, if ASJ had turned out to be good, we would not have taken Howard because we would not have needed him, so blame it on ASJ too.

  17. Rrsrq Says:

    I think Licht thought he could get by this year with Martin, the team knew (knows) who will likely be eligible for the 2018 draft going into the 2017 draft, what they didn’t bank on Sweezy and Pamphile being trash. Unfortunately you have a coach as stubborn as Lovie with his defunct Tampa 2 without the horses, Gruden and his veterans and Dungy failure to turn loose the offense (all fired), when it came to sticking with DM22 when he was not productive. I hopefully believe they were looking into the future, even if they made playoffs, good RBs would be available in this draft.

  18. gotbbucs Says:

    Coaching. Period.

    This roster is much better than the record. The GM and coaching staff are trying to build two different teams.

  19. Radman Says:

    Howard was a solid pick and the Bucs were fortunate to get him. There were other options for RB’s in round 2 and FA. When your star RB has a drug and party mentality, you cut him and move on. Keeping Martin was a very bad decision.

  20. darin Says:

    The sad part about that is now i think we also have a scouting problem to add to the long list of problems. I said before the draft dont count out kamara in the 1st. The guy was good, is, as we see. When he was there in round 2 i thought he would be the pick. Anyway so theyre trying to say it was cook or bust. Thats crazy when you look at the backs taken after him. Man licht and this staff seem to get stuck on one guy alot. I guess thats why they trade up every draft to get their guy(s).

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    So, it turns into a blame game because we couldn’t establish the run-game with what we had?! Why did we struggle? Martin? O-line? Play-calling?
    There’s a lot of “blame” to go around. The results would’ve been no different with Cook in the backfield, and you know it! Barber experienced limited success with back-up linemen who, apparently run-block better than they pass-block. That, and we actually saw a few plays emerge from the deep recesses of Koetter’s play-book!!!
    Howard was a luxury pick who might very well emerge into a great TE.

  22. Bucn Enough Says:

    How about this argument:

    If Licht didn’t WHIFF so bad on ASJ, then we would not have drafted Howard and we might have addressed DE or RB with that pick for Howard…

    Everyone has a short memory, but Lichts WHIFF high draft choices have hurt
    this team badly.
    ASJ #2
    Kicker #2
    Simms #3
    Hargreaves #1

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Darin, Kamara’s not a Buc today because he can’t kick.

    Gotbbucs, this roster really isn’t “much better than the record”. We’ve got a number of glaring holes & way too little depth. In terms of T-E-A-M quality, we rank in the bottom-third IMO (and much closer to the bottom than we’d all like). Our 5-11 record was just about right given the way this team is constructed and coached.

    Bob in Valrico … “Only time will tell if Licht’s vision for the team will be a success.” Tend to think that he ‘inherited’ his offense-focused vision from Lovie (strange since Lovie was a defensive coach). My guess is that he’s already seen what that ultimately leads to & will double-down on defensive picks this year, in both the draft AND FA.

  24. Joel Says:

    Shroud is a hack. Yawn.

  25. BucFanFromOH Says:

    Just out of curiosity, which do you all think we should take if say Barkley and Chubb are both available at 7? Honestly I think both are gone, but I thought Howard would be long gone too.

    I say Chubb just because I think DE is more important and harder to find, but I am just wondering what all your opinions are too.

  26. Guzzie Says:

    2016 was brutal, Vitale, VH, Spence, Aguayo, the whole draft looks like a bust so far, Spence is a 3-4 outside linebacker ala Bruce Irvin, he’s going to make some other team very happy after the Bucs get rid of him, but Licht has picked some really good players, once he concentrates on a particular position he tends to draft studs, Donovan Smith is getting better, Kwon, both Evans, Marpet, Godwin, OJ, Beckwith, JW has potential to be elite. Let’s see if he can shore our DLine, CB, and RB position knowing these are extreme positions of weakness, he gambled and lost last year thinking VH would grow and Ayers, Gholston, Swaggy, Martin and Mike Smith would at least be competent, its truly bad luck everyone he gambled on were worse than expected, so maybe he can turn this around should Lady Luck smile upon us this year this franchise is due at least us fans are due for some luck

  27. Guzzie Says:

    BucfanOH….. Barkley is an elite talent, however there are at least 5 other guys that potential studs, Chubb is head and shoulders above anyone else in this class, but neither guy will be available, neither will Fitzpatrick or Nelson, my prediction will be in some order Darnold, Rosen, Chubb, Barkley, Nelson, and Fitzpatrick are the top 6 picks, seriously doubt Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield show enough to warrant a top 10 selection, maybe Lamar Jackson skyrockets up boards but doubtful, maybe a OT blows away the combine and gets picked top 6, but as of today there are 6 elite players and we pick 7th

  28. Guzzie Says:

    I’d seriously consider not drafting Barkley if he’s at 7, getting the top OT, CB, or DT, or 2nd best DE, then picking up a quality RB like Michel, Guice, Penny, Adams, or any of the other quality backs available in rounds 2-3, just not a 5th round talent, would make our team deeper and more talented

  29. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I hope that OJ turns into an all pro and does it here in Tampa and he had a good rookie year, but in terms of building this team, this is just in line with a tom of Lichts draft picks that do not fit in building a winner in Tampa, the bucs needed and have needed and still need an edge rusher, RB, OL, which were all available at that bucs pick, and then in the 2nd round those needs still have to be addressed and he whiffs again for a safety that could be had in FA, there is just no rhyme or reason or vision for building this team during the Licht years and the bucs are closer to 5-11 again than they are to 11-5

  30. JWBUCS Says:

    I fail to understand how drafting O.J. Howard ends up forcing the Bucs to view their only choice at running back was Doug Martin…. How could this staff be forced to go with Martin as if there was no other choice, when the same guy (Peyton Barber) was on the roster from day one in 2017 as he was when they sat Martin for the Green Bay game.

    Is Rick Stroud suggesting there is some value in Dalvin Cook, who exits his rookie season early with serious knee injury, and will likely have a career of 2.5 to 4 years, verses 12 years with a potential future hall of fame Tight end?

  31. tmaxcon Says:

    its truly bad luck everyone he gambled on were worse than expected,

    It’s not bad luck when every free agent that has came to Tampa over the last 3 regimes regressed. This mess cant be sugarcoated or shrugged off by optimists. The fact is bucs are a crap franchise ran by clowns without a meaningful win in 16 years. That is not bad luck. It is total incompetence and horrible leadership from top to bottom… bucs are least desirable location in nfl so good luck with the unrealistic pipe dream of top tier free agents coming to tampa. Not going to happen. Nothing will change 2018 will be another failed season led by captain blowout cancer93 ending in nfc south basement which is the bucs comfortable place.

  32. Joe Says:

    Is Rick Stroud suggesting there is some value in Dalvin Cook, who exits his rookie season early with serious knee injury, and will likely have a career of 2.5 to 4 years, verses 12 years with a potential future hall of fame Tight end?

    No. Again, Stroud is correct. What is smelly is the implication someone seemed to be pushing on Stroud.

    As far as Cook’s injury, if your crystal ball predicted that, you shouldn’t waste time on this site. You need to be putting together a resume to send to NFL teams. You could make a killing. 🙂

  33. James Walker Says:

    EVERY play call is a good one if the players execute it correctly. No such thing as a bad play, only bad plying.

  34. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    James Walker except in the steelers jags game, on 4th and less than a yard, those nimrods on the steelers call a toss into a fast defense instead of a QB sneak with big ben

  35. mike10 Says:

    I’m sensing a whole lot of excuses and lack of accountability coming from that front office. If this is true, this is the second comment in as many days that’s been a head scratcher.

    Licht is really starting to worry me

  36. mike10 Says:

    Guzzie, agreed.

    We have to get better in the trenches, and that would make any back better.

  37. Eric Says:

    Rick Stroud usually has excellent sources.

    But in any event, it remains to be seen how Howard develops although he looked very good this year.

    Relying on Martin at all was just plain dumb. The man has only occasionally been a bit above average. Not much speed. Best attribute used to be making first guy miss. Doesn’t do that anymore. I can’t fathom how buc’s coaches couldn’t see that. Koetter has been around very good backs, he should know one when he sees it.

  38. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Mike10 since day 1 Licht has worried me letting Donald Penn an all pro and also Jermey Zuttah a competent center, those were the first 2 moves, then signing collins and ghost johnson, HORRIBLE MOVES then releasing baron and swearinger, 2 pro bowl level safeties, although they played similar positions and I think he got rid of dashon goldson…and part of the defensive moves were lovies incompetence but the bucs had a core of defensive players that they could of built on and molded a sound defense but instead they are 5-11 going on 5 years later

  39. Pickgrin Says:

    Rrsrq says:
    “they didn’t bank on Sweezy and Pamphile being trash”

    Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

    It wasn’t just about Cook vs OJ either. The Bucs loved Hunt in this draft as well. But when Chris Godwin who was a good bit higher up the Buccaneers board than Hunt fell to the mid 3rd round – it was determined right then and there that a higher end RB prospect was not in the cards this year.

  40. webster Says:

    I swear some in this town are just ignorant about football or have amnesia. First of all howard was rated very high on the bucs draft board and thats why they grabbed him at 19. Evans had to be rated higher than the other running backs listed. You must have amnesia because it was reported the bucs were all prepared to take kareem hunt in the 3rd but godwin was available who they had rated higher than hunt. They moved up to the last pick in the third round for beckwith because they had a 2nd round grade on him and he would have been a 2nd rounder if not for injury. All great value picks. They followed their board. Why is this so hard to understand?

  41. Lord Corn Says:

    If that’s true then god help us all … We have grown men who think like children running our franchise

  42. mike10 Says:

    D Rhodes – ya, agreed. And great point out with Swearinger, he’s often overlooked as being gifted to us after HOU but he is an athletic safety, I get tired of watching distinguish himself in WAS.

    All-in-all you make great points… Licht is a serious liability. When was the last time we saw something “smart” done by this franchise?

  43. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    “When was the last time we saw something “smart” done by this franchise?”

    Uh…drafting Jameis #1 Ali Marpet…Donavan Smith…Kwon Alexander…Chris Godwin…OJ.


    Agree nobody can forecast injuries…KiJana Carter was the best PSU running back ever until Barkley…blown knee early just like Dalvin. Doesn’t mean Barkley will suffer the fate because as you point out who can predict injury.

    I’m curious though if we can predict injury by position? Is an RB suffering all that direct pounding more likely to blow a knee than a DE? Perhaps this is a reason that teams in recent years have tried to pick up their RB’s in the 3rd and later rounds?

  44. 813bucboi Says:

    you cant be serious……the run game would’ve been good if we started out with barber….simple as that….dirk waited until week 12 to insert barber….

    plus their were plenty of good backs that went after cook….

    foreman…hunt…conner…kamara….GO BUCS!!!!

  45. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    St Pete the jury is still out on whether those are good picks because the bucs are 5-11 with them and by most measures that is terrible

  46. unbelievable Says:

    It also seems as if someone was trying to snowball Stroud. Sure, they wanted Howard. That shouldn’t mean the team had to abandon any hope of getting a decent running back in the second or third round or swinging a trade to grab a back not named “McPlaybook.”

    To suggest the Bucs were stuck with Martin as a starter because they didn’t land Cook at No. 19 is beyond a reach. That seems to be what someone at One Buc Palace was trying to push on Stroud.

    I completely agree, there’s just no logic to that idea. Very strange things coming from OneBuc and Licht these last few days. I’ve been fairly high on Licht as a GM, despite some FA troubles, but my confidence is waning with more stories like these.

  47. webster Says:

    Some of you guys are clueless. Crying about a running back as if the bucs can’t draft one this year. You dont pick for need unless the need and value meet at the same spot. Translation……do not pick gaines adams with adrian peterson on the board. Do not pick mark barron when luke kleucky is on the board!!!!

  48. JimmyJack Says:

    None of it matters IMO. It’s so needles to worry about players we didn’t get. What’s most important is who we picked. We got Howard, Evans, Godwin, Beckwidth….All quality.

    We don’t know whAt their board looked like. Maybe they didn’t like Hunt or Kamara. Maybe they would have selected the wrong guy instead of those two. The fact is in round two and three they liked Evans and Godwin and those were good choices. Arguing about it is very petty IMO.

    Their draft evaluations are barely a problem. The big problem is the evaluation of their own players. You want to cry about their RB situation last year it should start and end with Doug. Heh should never have returned last year and they should have addressed it in free agency based on the fact that the draft is a crapshoot and unpredictable.

    You wanna cry about DEs? the largest part of the problem is their evaluation that Ayers, Spence, and J.Smith would be enough to get presure……..Had they not put faith in those guys they would have addressed the position.

  49. mike10 Says:

    St Pete

    You named all the great draft picks from the last 4 years and 2 picks that were forgone conclusions.. let’s also remember the “fake visit” taken by Mariota to One Buc as he proclaimed “they’re drafting Winston”, so there wasn’t a true evaluation there (but neither here nor there). We’re 5-11, and for good reason. Moves made by the front office, before the team even takes the field have fallen flat!

    Ryan Smith to safety
    Marpet to Center
    Sweezy to guard + 1 season injured (useless for 2 seasons)
    Not addressing the OL last offseason
    Not addressing RB last offseason
    … and i can keep going

  50. pick6 Says:

    this is why it’s important, as a team builder, to think longer term. a short term thinker would be really ticked about all the RBs we did not get. a long term thinker will recognize that the players you did get with those picks (howard, evans, beckwith, godwin) all seem on track for something between “above average starter” and all pro

    OJ howard prevented them from getting RB in the first round, but it appears good scouting put them onto other players by the time it was their turn to pick. there are brilliant scenarios that could be concocted in hindsight, but fans shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this draft yielded a pretty good number of guys fans will see alot of in the years to come. if you do that across enough years, eventually you cover most of your holes and 5-11 seasons fade away. if the knee jerk reaction to the 2017 season is to aggressively draft certain positions (DE, RB, CB) at the expense of players that pretty good college scouts have graded higher, it would set back the work of whoever our coach and GM will be in 2019 and beyond

    in 4 or 5 years, my prediction is OJ Howard will probably be a stud in this league and at most 1 or 2 of the 2017 rookie RB phenoms will still be reliable offensive centerpieces for their teams. some will have injuries overtake their insane talent a la jamaal charles, yo yo between good and bad seasons like a doug martin or demarco murray, or just fall of the face of the earth like a jeremy hill. i would bet on cook to have a jamaal charles type career path of being electric when healthy but have real problems with wear and tear and eventually needing to recede into a more complimentary role. he is not the sturdiest guy and put his body through alot in college as well

  51. Pickgrin Says:

    Good points pick6.

    Bottom line – Too many people bitching about the GM doing a “bad job” because they think he’s not filling the team’s biggest needs in a timely enough fashion.

    None of them seem to acknowledge or remember how many “desperate needs” this team had when Dom was fired and Licht was hired 4 years ago this month.

    Licht is doing an excellent job of drafting overall – largely because he drafts the most talented football players that the drafts are giving him opportunity to acquire. “Need” is not ignored within this process – but a priority is being placed on talent, intelligence, work ethic/character and love of the game.

    The result? – Jason Licht has drafted 10 starters in the last 3 years (Winston, D. Smith, Marpet, Kwon, Spence, VH3 or Ryan Smith – take your pick, OJ Howard, J. Evans, Godwin, Beckwith). Few if any NFL GMs have done that well the last 3 years.

  52. martinii Says:

    Sometimes I get so pissed off that we waste our time with such trivia. First OJ was one of the top picks on the board. Sure I wanted Cook, bad off-field image and history of injuries aside. But Cook’s injuries resurfaced and his season went down the crapper. I want one person to stand up and honestly say they knew beyond a doubt that Alvin Kamara was going was going to perform like he did. These guys come out of the draft a blank slate, thats why they are called prospects. But we sit hear day after day and argue BS like we know ahead of time how a rookie would, should, could or might perform. Does anyone agree it just might be the team that picked the player that is responsible for his success or failure? I am rambling, but some times it good to vent.

  53. unbelievable Says:

    Totally agreed on Licht’s drafting (minus Agauyo), I’m just concerned with some of things he’s said this week and the narratives coming out of 1 Buc….

  54. Buccfan37 Says:

    Two of the passes OJ Howard caught for TD’s he was uncovered. The Steelers won’t let Tomlin go after a 13-4 season. The Steelers would not have played the Jags in the playoffs without the ref theft at the end of the regular season Pats game. He did not try a QB sneak on 3rd and one because he didn’t want to get Big Ben injured. The big error was letting James Harrison go to the Pats.