GMs Don’t Coach

March 26th, 2018

During what felt like rock bottom of the Buccaneers’ nose dive last season, ran a planned confidence poll on the performance of general manager Jason Licht.

The idea was to survey the masses at midseason, as well as after the trade deadline.

Simple concept.

But Joe never imagined the Bucs would be a 2-6 football team coming off an embarrassing defeat in New Orleans.

Up went the poll and the results poured in — just over 44 percent of fans expressed that they were “confident,” “very confident,” or “totally confident” in Licht. Joe found that to be a very high number considering the massive deflation being felt through the fan base.

Licht had scored off-the-charts favorable marks from fans in previous polls, but still, Joe was impressed by how so many fans were standing behind a losing GM. It said a lot.

Fast forward to Joe’s flash poll of more than 2,000 fans on Saturday, and nearly 81 percent of fans gave Licht “B” or “A” grades for his work this offseason to date.

It was another huge vote of confidence for the fifth-year general manager, and it tells Joe that fans realize general managers do not coach. You can blame them for losses all day long, but at the end of the day, they’re not the one’s putting guys on the field, calling plays, making in-game adjustments, starting slow — or fast — running practices and overseeing the direction of the locker room.

As Joe talks to various GMs and league power players — including Team Glazer — at the NFL owners meetings this week in Orlando, Joe will chat about the evolving role and evaluation of the general manager, as Joe has done in past years. It is a rather fascinating subject, and very timely as Licht is in a contract year.

53 Responses to “GMs Don’t Coach”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:


    and you don’t confuse “building” a team with a complete roster as well!!!!!!!!!! the team roster was in shambles from talk show dominik and loser lovie’s rebuild plan!!!!!!! And NFL GM licht cringed, because he knew the roster is still a work in progress!!!!!!!! I know that joe already thinks the roster is complete and is ready to blame coaches!!!! But instead of just like the “panic” 48 hrs before free-agency started, let it play out on the field first!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. IsrBuc Says:

    You are all missing the big picture. Yes, the current regeme’s interest is to ‘win now’ but as joe himself noted just a few days ago- are we really close? Does one JPP is all it takes to turn this franchise around?
    I, for one, think you all got a short memory. This preseason false hype repeats every year with the same results. Everybody and their son were sure DJax will take the top of every defense and we will be unstopable. Now the JPP – GMC combination might be pretty good but we thought the same thing about Baker. I think the curiousity is a luxury at this point. If this expirement fails or even if we sniff the playoffs somehow, GMC and JPP will most likely be out the door before soething really good happens. Then we will be in a hole again, our currently young players will hit the cap hard with their second contract and we will have no D line for start.
    Insread we can zoom out and see the bigger picture. Trade GMC, LVD and VJax, draft more elite tallent to grow behind evans, winston etc. so when they’ll be in their prime we will have more tallented players on their first contract and free money to get top tier FAs. This will build us much stronger team in 2-3 years, i believe, than what we do today and the way we are heading.

  3. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Before this offseason, I did not think Jason Licht had proven to be a competent GM. He had proven to be a pretty great scout, with some homerun draft picks. But between the 2016 draft, his free agency track record, and failure to address the defensive line in his time as GM, I did not think he did a good job at building a winning roster.

    This offseason I think he is finally hitting his stride by getting tougher, which is what Ira has been calling for. Tougher on O-line, D-line, and with edge rushers, I’m starting to regain faith in this team. Grab another corner and safety in FA, and then we can draft BPA and continue to strengthen this roster.

  4. BucFanFromOhio Says:


    I gotta say, after such as slow weekend (news wise) I am loving all the articles you are pumping out this Monday morning! Keep it up and great job!
    Slow weekend?–Joe

  5. Bucn Enough Says:

    GMs don;t coach is a cop out…

    He “bought” the groceries the coaches have to cook with.

    2014 draft a total WASTE except for Evans
    2016 draft…so far has been a total bust

    So 50% of his drafts have been a waste…not very good at all..

    Ignored critical positions over the years.
    Lets not get to carried away yet…

  6. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Licht made moves to improve the defense this year . Glad to see it finally. Would like to see coaches evaluate players like Ryan Smith and Ali Marpet instead of Licht, because as Joe states coaches coach and IMO Marpet and Ryan Smith were miscast in Licht’s preferred position. Let the evaluations take place in training camp not in theory. College players are often plugged in at a number of positions ,making it more difficult to acurrately evaluate them until; you have them on the field.

  7. SCBucsFan Says:

    I would think Breeland comes reasonably and would be a good addition as long as his foot is on the mend. Need someone to help in the back, even on a 1 year deal.

  8. IsrBuc Says:

    You can’t judge a GM by the picks he made. you should always look at the picks he could make and missed upon. this is basic logic. I don’t care if his pick is good if he could have taken a pro bowl caliber player, an instant impact player instead.

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    I’ll say it again
    He has no business being a gm and his track record
    Says I’m 100%
    He is an average scout though

  10. Eric Says:

    that assumes that the reason a team loses is always coaching.

    Not true IMO.

    You can have a bad Gm and good coach, or a bad coach and good GM, or both are bad, or both are good.

    “GM’s don’t coach” is an obvious truth, but they are hugely involved in whether an organization fields a winning team. Ergo, if they don’t they get fired.

    Otherwise your in a feeely good love fest like with rock star.

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I have bad mouthed Jason some in the past, even made fun of that stupid face he sometimes makes. But IMHO he has more than redeemed himself this season. In case anyone isn’t looking, Jason has rebuilt us!
    And, after all he has done, he meets one of his new players at the airport, signs him there and then, and then Has a BEER with his newly signed player, Man, what’s not to like.
    Jason is such a good sport, he let Joe and Abe’s Place bottle and sell a Beer, named after him.
    I sincerely HOPE we win this year, but if we don’t, I hope we consider keeping Jason

  12. Josh Says:

    I don’t blame Licht for the losses. He has brought in lots of talent through the draft.

  13. BucFanFromOhio Says:


    When I said “slow weekend” I meant that there were 4 articles yesterday and 5 the day before. Even when there isn’t a lot going on you still provide us with a good read on our Bucs. Today you all have already pumped out 5 articles and it isn’t even 11am here yet, I love it!

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucn Enough – 2014 draft was using eval info from all of Dom’s scouts and directors….

    RE 2016 – Last I checked Hargreaves, Spence, Ryan Smith, Benenoch and Bond are all still on the team – contributing and developing. You have to give it at least through the 3rd year before declaring an entire draft a “total bust” for God’s sake. At least a couple of those 5 will develop into good players (starters) more likely than not.

    Dom drafted exactly 2 good players in 5 years.

    Licht has hit on Winston, D. Smith, Marpet, Kwon, Howard, J. Evans, Godwin and Beckwith in the draft over just the last 3 years. Throw UDFAs Brate and Humphries into the mix and there’s 9 starters + valuable Hump – meaning Licht is averaging 3+ young starters drafted per year since he got his own team of scouts and directors in place starting with the 2015 draft.

    Not many GMs average 3 starters per draft. And If any of the 5 remaining members of the 2016 class can take the next step (or stay healthy in Spence’s case) – then that # or % just increases from what was already a pretty stellar drafting average.

    Lastly as an FYI – Licht is the ONLY NFL GM to have drafted 4 starters with his first 4 picks – TWO TIMES out of the last three drafts.

    So there’s all that…

  15. AlteredEgo Says:

    Yeah Joe busts his butt typing out stories and just when he thinks he can take a breather a story like JPP breaks….

  16. BucFanFromOhio Says:

    AlteredEgo Says:
    March 26th, 2018 at 10:33 am
    Yeah Joe busts his butt typing out stories…

    This is why JoeBucsFan is my go to for all Bucs news!

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    2014 draft….1 starter
    2016 draft…..0 starters

    3 of 4 seasons in dead last in the division.
    Countless misses in free agency

    Let’s be clear, he’s not a visionary, he’s hovering between the upper level of the lowest tier or the bottom level of the middle tier in GM rankings. Licht gets fired and no decent teams are calling. One trade looks great in the headlines but as others have stated, so did signing D-Jax. The Revis trade looked great at the time….how’d that turnout? You know what doesn’t look good in the headlines…..your #1 pick being investigated for sexual harassment. If he’s done a good enough job, we would be talking more about his contract extension vs “do or die”…..That’s a better measure of confidence.

  18. AlteredEgo Says:

    Gotta be honest with your self.. drafts have been favoring the offense in recent years and last year I really believe the Bucs had defense in mind with their first pick then OJ Howard was there and through their whole board and strategy upside down! It could happen again this year if one of the big 2 are still there’s

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “You can blame them for losses all day long, but at the end of the day, they’re not the one’s putting guys on the field.” Let me make sure I’ve got this right Joe. Isn’t that like saying that the guy who supplies the cannon balls & powder isn’t responsible for your ship going down because your opponent showed up with a bigger cannon & better powder and blew your butt out of the water? Sorry Joe, but WINNING is a TEAM EFFORT. So is LOSING. Folks can spin it however they wish, we’re still 22-42 in the past 4 seasons. And yet, I’m cautiously optimistic …

  20. AKick'nTheBucNuts Says:

    So, it took the last year of his contract with his arse on the line, and another losing season, in order to realize that the d-line needed a DE? ( and not some 3rd-tier injured old leftover DE)

    So, it took the last year of his contract with his arse on the line, and another losing season, in order to realize that Doug Martin was loser and should have been replaced a year earlier.

    You get the picture here. We see new GM’s and coaches turn personal and teams around in 1 or 2 seasons all the time. (That’s why owners now have trigger finger)

    IMO Licht is FINALLY making moves that will help this team. The question is…is it too little, too late?

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    as I said once we signed JPP……the pressure is on the coaches now!!!!!!…..licht has gotten talent and depth before the draft and will only add more talent and depth once the draft rolls around!!!!!!!

    I think licht has done enough to save his job……dirk and smitty not so much…….their still on the “hot seat”…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!!

  22. AlteredEgo Says:

    and others are caustically pessimistic. 😜

  23. Joseph Mamma Says:

    He hired the current coach, or at least had a big say it, and he selected the QB. If those two run the team in the ground, Licht is most likely gone, and should be. If you can’t get those two positions right, your team is done. With that being said, this is a poorly run club from the top down. Pretty much any GM you bring in will be set up to fail in the current organizational structure.

  24. Eric Says:

    What good is drafting “starters” if the team stinks with glaring holes?

    I could draft 10 starters in one draft and go 0-16.

    Would that make me a great GM?

    Team record has to enter into the evaluation of a GM. Otherwise its all subjective mush.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Hason doesn’t coach….neither do Owners….except Herry Hones…..I applaud Hason for bringing us Hason Pierre Paul & drafting Haboo….but George Hohnson was a bust.”

  26. Tom S. Says:

    Bucs record under Licht: 22-42
    0 Playoff Appearences in 4 years
    Basement on the NFC South 3 of 4 years.
    Recommended ownership to fire Lovie Smith so he could hire Dirk Koetter
    Lowest Winning % of any Bucs executive in 30 years.

    Yeah Joe, Licht is quite the accomplished and respected GM, it’s quite the resume he’s has built. It seems the only time Licht wins fans hearts is in the offseason when there are no wins and losses to compare it to.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    GMs shouldn’t coach…and most don’t…..some of the GMs get their coaches fired…..Mark Dominick comes to mind.

  28. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    People may not agree with me on this, but I think a GMs biggest job in the modern NFL is salary cap management. The ability to move numbers to allow a team to build the best possible roster without facing years of cap hell after. I think free agency and drafting have more to do with a coaches ability to get the most out of players, this is why some free agents fail in one team and thrive on another. Some draft picks are stars on a team but may be considered butts on another because their skills don’t fit what the team asks. The one true constant is money and good players are going to want more of it. If you can’t manage money a team has no chance to build for success.

  29. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    The owner’s meetings this week should provide for some hard-hitting opportunities to get dirt on rumored trades, involving or not involving the Bucs, plus hopefully some non-team affiliated past and present personnel exec’s/officials to get their outside takes on the Bucs roster and suggestions, etc. Not to mention ALL the (credible) NFL insiders also attending that can be interviewed and grilled for goods….

    Looking forward to all the good juicy information…dive deep Joe, dive deep.

    Go Bucs!

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    @AlteredEgo … “and others are caustically pessimistic. 😜” LOL … Touche!

  31. Rodney Says:

    Why do so many think GMC should be traded. That is dumb AF and would be a huge mistake

  32. Tom S. Says:

    @Conte Piscatelli, I hate to disappoint you but the person who is the Bucs Capologist is actually Mike Greenberg not Jason Licht. Teams have people who specialize in different parts of the process so that the GM can focus most of their duties on evaluation/roster management.

    Also when you have a team like the 2002 Buccaneers, managing the cap is a heck of a lot harder than when you build losing rosters every year and go 22-42. Licht’s responsibilities of keeping this roster intact is a cakewalk compared to when Rich McKay had multiple HOF/Pro Bowl players to appease.

  33. AlteredEgo Says:

    Trade #93 ?
    if JPP was a 3
    certainly not going to get more than that…
    McCoy along with tmax are more valuable to the Bucs and JBF respectfully….
    #03 is good not great….keep him…use him up

  34. Eric Says:

    How can a team that has doesn’t squat in ten years have cap problems.

  35. Owlykat Says:

    Licht got badly out GMed by the other three teams in our Division leaving us in the basement. To get out of it he has to out GM the other three this year because if he doesn’t we won’t make the playoffs. The proof is in the pudding and we’ll see how well he does. Look how the Jags’ fortunes changed with the same coaching but last year having excellent advice on personnel from the Giant’s retired Coach. That proves the GM you have can make or break a team and they are easily evaluated via the win loss record. Licht has a bad win loss record and if he does well this year he should only get one year prove it extensions until his win loss total is out of the red.

  36. Red86 Says:

    When Licht inherited this team, our offense were lacking talent at all position minus Big Donald Penn. Heck we got rid of Freeman an ex franchise record holder for Over rated Glennon. Meanwhile he had a defense that had a good fluke year recently. Note flukes are hindsight only.

    It was vital to fix the offense at the time. No depth at Wrs, O line, and no qb. Now we can say that the Wrs are much deeper than the superbowl year, O line are two players from complete, and a great growning qb.

    For Licht to not address the offense in the beginning is completely irresponsible. While the offense is being built. The defense declined. If the defense didn’t decline like it have, then the offense overhaul wouldn’t have taken this long.

    Licht deserves to come back because of the job he have done with the offense and now just starting with a more defensive focused upgrades. Now Licht for some odd reason isn’t back as our gm, then he had left us roster wise in a much better position than the previous two gm.

    Now for those of you questioning his coaching choices. He only chose one regime which is the current regime. How about bad draft picks? All team have some bad picks, but having on average 3 more talented players per draft become starters or solid rotation player is the exact definition of buildings through the draft. Bad fa signing. Again what team haven’t failed at this? A gm have to be good at predicting the future of how their current decision affects the team cap. Yet, try to put a competitive team on the field. Not once has Licht not try to do these things. Was he perfect? No. But he has some consistency of at least bringing in 3 or more guys to help this team while never putting us over nor at the cap.

    Licht deserves the second contract which would be the first gm I witness for this franchise. That’s the sad part about the Bucs… no coach of gm got second contracts.

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    Time will tell! The clock is ticking!

  38. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Funny, during our terrible last season, I can’t recall one national media type saying “Tampa has gotten Out General Managed “. Yet, I can recall several of them inferring that we were getting out schemed and/or out coached.

  39. tmaxcon Says:

    Rodney Says:
    March 26th, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Why do so many think GMC should be traded. That is dumb AF and would be a huge mistake

    you are very confused…. drafting the soft career loser was the mistake… trading him would be the best thing that has ever happened to the bucs outside of the firing of the one dimensional loser dungy

  40. Mike Johnson Says:

    Alls I can say is..No Excuses Bucs!! I don’t wanna hear this..Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda BS this year. Anything less than 9-7..hell even 8-8 is enough to boot the lot of them! We are sick and Deehyam tired of being one of the laughin stocks of the NFl. Everything else does not matter. Win or pack bags Koetter and Smitty!!

  41. tmaxcon Says:

    Can someone help me out and remind me how many WINS this off season moves have translated to so far????

  42. passthebuc Says:

    Draft Schamft

    The proof is in the pudding. how many wins is what counts.
    We can tell how good the current acquisitions are after the season is done, not before.
    Every year our euphoria is over the top. Many a car fan loved the Edsel when on the showroom floor.

  43. Jarod lauderdale Says:

    What the hell are you talking about irsbuc? We still are building through the draft! Just because we sign a few pieces to help out for a few years does not mean we will be back in the same spot as before.. I’m sure we will still be drafting De’S and cb’s until we have young guys in place about the same time guys like Grimes and gmc and jpp walk out the door… Your the same type of guy that bashes the team when they don’t sign players to help and bash them when they do… This football team has improved & with a couple more drafts will be complete… Go bucs & I’m liking the moves so far… Feels different this year so far, in a good way my friends

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    You can not give Licht an A or a B when Ryan Smith and Chris Conte are starting. Not saying the season is a bust or anything – but you can give him and A or a B right now as right now the team has two of the worst players at their position starting. Licht has time to address it still and post-draft we shall know more – but anyone right now giving an A or a B hasn’t looked at the depth chart.

  45. Eric Says:

    No one has ever won a game before the season started…..

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    @Jarod lauderdale … Feels different this year so far, in a good way my friends.” Have you noticed yet Jarod that Bucs’ fans say that EVERY YEAR? Then reality enters in when the other teams take the field on game day.

    Collecting players, whatever talent level they have, is not what it’s all about. Building a winning TEAM is. It’s almost impossible to hide weaknesses in today’s NFL, be that weakness in coaching, position groups or whatever. We’ve made several improvements this off-season, and that’s a good reason to be optimistic. But several significant weaknesses still remain that need to be fixed before the season starts. Still plenty of time to git ‘er done, but they obviously won’t disappear on their own.

  47. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    ooooh man bad spin job here Joe. You know Licht actually builds the team that the coaches coach right? It’s a pretty big deal. A GM is the most important part of building a winning team.

  48. Famous Jameis Says:

    I agree GMs don’t coach, but you have to hold Lichts feet to the fire for what he did to our defense last year. No coach, I repeat no coach in the league could have a good defense starting the likes of Ryan Smith, Chris conte, Ryan Russell and will Clarke are your starting DEs, I could go on and on. It was embarrassing the lack of talent we rolled onto the field last year. Yes we have talent at the top of our roster, every nfl team does. But our depth was exposed last year especially on defense.

  49. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Tom S

    You are exactly right that a team full of Hall of Fame is a much more difficult job, but what Licht had done well is not kill our call with all the swing and miss signings in the past years. We have signed some expensive wastes but at least we aren’t still paying them after they were sent packing. As for dealing with a team of Hall of famer Bruce Allen is the one that screwed the cap as he kept missing the future for one more run with Grudens old past the prime players. The team was very slow to make tough decisions about getting your and cheaper which lead to the talent Purge when Gruden was fired. If you look at the Pats or Steelers, they never hesitate to send an all time great to the door when it’s time.

  50. Duke Says:

    Conte, Tom S

    Sorry but Rich McKay is the person responsible for the 2000-2004 cap hell.
    Bruce Allen was the GM hired to clean up the mess. Did Allen make decisions that at times perpetuated the crises, yes. But that’s not the source of the cap woes, rather a failed attempt at a solution to the problems.

    There is no shortage of articles written about the situation. And there’s the ATL falcons and the fact that Arthur Blank realized He’d been fooled into thinking that McKay was a savant and quickly relieved McKay from contract negotiations.

    There’s also the assessment of the cap problem before it happened by an outside source who after a review of the player contracts came to the conclusion that by 2003 the team was not going to be sustainable. This accurate forecast identified the culprit, Rich McKay and his lack of competence in or knowledge of contracts.
    Bill Muir then reported this to Parcells who then declined to accept the job he had already accepted. The last part is semantics due to the Nfl rules but it’s true in how the process actually evolves.

  51. pick6 Says:

    The team and the fans were right to have high expectations, but those expectations came from what looked like (and still looks like) a roster filled with frontline talent mostly assembled by this GM. obviously a number of guys fell short of projections but i think that takes us back to the title of Joe’s post.

    Licht’s tenure here is marred by 2 major mishaps. The first was in 2014 blindly doing Lovie’s bidding in cutting decent players and signing worse ones, while also drafting 100% offense for an OC who never called a single play for the team. The second was turning what could have been 1 or 2 at least solid rotational guys in rounds 3 and 4 and turning them into a total bust of a 2nd round kicker.

    The former move guaranteed that the team was worse after the 2014 season than it was pre-schiano and added about 2 years to the rebuild and the latter move has left Licht with a shortage of young depth at DL and DB in particular that could have been greatly helped by a solid 2nd round rookie or respectable 3rd and 4th rounders

    the final sin – which is just bad luck in its own weird way – is that since winning the chase for Jameis they have not been crappy enough when it counted to score the crazy trade-down draft hauls that have helped teams like Tennessee, SF, and now Indy build up insane draft capital, sometimes multiple years in a row

  52. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree Duke,as much as i like the team Mckay put together, it was well known
    the team was in salary cap hell. Enter Bruce Allen who I believe was more of a capologist than a GM. The attempted second coming of the over the hill gang of the
    George Allen Redskins was not to be. Coupled with Gruden’s love for veterans
    too many bad free agency signings . Charlie Garner,Tim Brown, Dan Turk and
    Todd Steussie who was cut and resigned at league minimum.

  53. D-Rome Says:

    Licht got a B from me. Still have no confidence until I see a playoff run. Not some BS 8-8 or 9-7 faux improvementeither. I don’t want to hear about Licht cringing again.