Overvaluing Super Bowl Experience

March 29th, 2018

Bucs general manager Jason Licht

What do current and recent Buccaneers J.R. Sweezy, Robert Ayers, Clinton McDonald, Evan Smith, Logan Mankins, Robert McClain, Sterling Moore, Dane Fletcher, Dashon Goldson and T.J. Ward have in common?

You’ve seen them all play in a Super Bowl and then land on the Buccaneers’ roster — and fit right in as part of a losing Tampa Bay culture.

Sorry. That’s the painful truth.

This week at the NFL Owners Meetings in Orlando, general manager Jason Licht told Joe and other media that adding free agent defensive linemen Beau Allen and Vinny Curry from the Super Bowl champion Eagles “is invaluable,” key upgrades, in part because of their experience and knowledge of what it takes to be great.

It sounds nice, but recent Bucs history says a ring on a free agent’s finger is a non-factor. And it was a little ironic considering ousted Robert Ayers played in a Super Bowl with the Broncos and Clinton McDonald earned a ring as an important cog with the Seahawks.

Joe sure hopes Licht is correct, but the evidence lies in the names in the first paragraph above.

Simple as that, as Lovie Smith would say — a guy who went to the Super Bowl himself but was brutal in Tampa.

Joe is not blasting Licht here, just merely trying to keep it real.

Adding players from winning programs certainly is better than bringing in a bunch of guys from the Browns, but the value is overblown.

Talent, heart, work ethic and elite coaching are what makes a great football team.

34 Responses to “Overvaluing Super Bowl Experience”

  1. SCBucsFan Says:

    Nice positive article. Should play well to the people who are overjoyed the Bucs are losing – you know, 1/4 of the posters here.

  2. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Yeah agree for the most part. It’s more about locker room attitudes than SB accolates; and I thought McDonald/Ayers/Mankins were good dudes in that regard; and see Unrein/Allen/Curry as guys that seem to carry similar reputations

  3. Cover Deuce Says:

    It’s an empty sales pitch that is meant to soothe antsy season ticket holders – that’s about it.

  4. DB55 Says:

    elite coaching are what makes a great football team.
    A. Licht must sign these guys bc he knows we can’t coach them up.

    B. Bellicheat takes buc castaways and takes them to the Super Bowl and not just stars but guys like Tim Wright amongst others.

    C. Team has no heart bc the smiling face of the franchise has no heart, tons of talent but no heart whatsoever

  5. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I would agree. But I certainly can’t speculate that any of these guys having SB experience was the deciding factor when choosing to sign them.

    One area of the roster that Licht extremely over values that I can say with a fair degree of certainty, is that of a kicker.

    I really just can not understand why you would choose to pay a Kicker 3 million a season when teams consistently find undrafted kids off the street, sign them to minimum contracts, and watch them become starters. That’s 2.5 million dollars in cap space wasted on a Kicker who is subject to the jitters based on his 2015&16 season.

    But in the words of DB55, wtfdik.

  6. AlteredEgo Says:

    Hollywood Cole…. elite talent makes a great team

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    Blake……They have to pay 3mil for a kicker because the franchise has had a horrible kicking game for 5+ seasons now.

    As you stated, it’s quite pathetic seeing how easy it is for other teams.

    At this point I’m blaming the soft mental approach of this team for the kicking issues we have suffered through. It’s the only thing that makes sense

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Wasn’t it there a song by Chad & Jeremy years ago that had a line in it that went “But that was yesterday and yesterday’s gone.” Oh ya, the song ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. Kinda like SB rings earned while on another team.

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    There’s no way Licht doesn’t have a recurring Aguayo nightmare that he’s seeing a therapist about lol

  10. darin Says:

    Exactly. The coaching staffs are the ones who create the schemes, philosophies, cultures etc. If you expect the players to do it you’re gona be sorry every time. Dirk better have learned alot last year or this thing is not gona improve much. The best teams are never made up of the best players. Every team has 10 high priced guys and a bunch of guys who need to be put in the best position to succeed.

  11. Bucsfanman Says:

    That’s why you don’t spend like a drunken sailor for NAMES. You HAVE to do your homework. That is an organizational failure and a coaching failure. You must have guys come here and “buy in”.
    Otherwise, what’s the point?! You’re just a cash register at that point.
    DB55- Strong coaching and organizational culture trumps individual players’ attributes. He’s only the “face” because we made it so. This team has no face, we have no identity. Point to GMC all you want, we just flat out have sucked. No one player causes that, that’s on the Glazers.

  12. unbelievable Says:

    McDonald was a pretty productive guy for us, considering he was only a rotational player. Same could be said for Mankins. Despite what our record was that year, it was without question the best o-line play we’ve had since Love-Licht came in 2014.

    SB experience is nice and all, but I have to think that’s not the main reason licht has gone after those guys.

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    “Talent, heart, work ethic and elite coaching are what makes a great football team.”

    You left out what may be the most important ingredient….LUCK. This takes many forms…obviously injuries and health…but also bounces of the ball bad calls etc.

    There is one way for many posters here to determine the difference between luck and skill.

    If the Bucs get a great play it was luck…if the other team gets a great play or bounce it’s because the Buc’s played poorly. It’s all perspective. *snark font off*

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I heard Licht say it and thought the same thing, Joe.

    But I do see his point. If you want a championship, having guys that have been to the promise land helps.

    The problem for us is that ended up being the worst guys possible last year. Baker should not even be in the league.

    But I have to believe that will not be the case all the time. We had a whirlwind of circumstances last year. Fact. Hopefully, we’ll be better this year.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    StPeteBucsFan, well said.

    I would even argue that elite coaching is not a must. If you have everything else, an average coach can appear elite.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucsfanman Says
    “That’s why you don’t spend like a drunken sailor for NAMES. You HAVE to do your homework. That is an organizational failure and a coaching failure.”

    The only names the Bucs have brought in over the last three years have been Brent Grimes and TJ Ward.

    One successful, one failure.

    Baker was not a name.

    And this year, Licht did a lot of homework.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    But Joe….you have to admit to “he’s got a ring” part of the description of incoming players.
    I always felt that accolade was overblown. The Super Bowl appearance/victory is a team achievement as well as a coaching feat. The question would be…What did the individual player do to get them there?….in many cases, no more than the next guy.
    Can it hurt…no…It certainly means something to the player and hopefully that experience is something they are desperate to repeat.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    St. Pete, Come on Luck is least important.
    Luck matters more then hard work? I’m not buying what your selling haha.

  19. Lamarcus Says:

    I think keeping players with so much experience with losing has more effect in your locker room.

    Some well known in NFL circle said ” you can’t have holdovers from losing cultures and expect to win in this league”. I can’t remember who said this

  20. JimmyJack Says:

    Bonzai….I think Bucfanman makes a point that fans tend to focus too much on the big names……..Singing a JPP is all fine and dandy but whose next to him?
    Nobody’s talking much about this Urine or Allen guy but we need somebody at that position to play some key snaps for us.

    We can’t have another Ryan Smith out there getting exposed…….Everybody wants to tout how great our LBers are but a big reason they looked good all year was because guys like Glanton and Bond gave us good snaps.

    Meanwhile McClain gets into his first game and completely blows an assignment making the entire defense look bad. T.J. Ward did the same coming off the bench.

    With Tampa it’s usually not about what big plays our best players makes. Its usually which scrub I see going to cost us a game this week.

    That being said I actually like our roster on paper so far. Whatever that’s worth.

  21. webster Says:


    Djax was not a big name? They just traded for jpp.

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    I’d rather have guys that came up just short of the big game.

  23. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I hear ya but luck is the most important part of everything in life. It all starts with the “ovarian lottery”. Your parents and where you were born determine a lot more about your future than even work ethic and smarts. Of course getting that work ethic and smarts is also luck…good genes…good nurturing.

    This country is full of folks born to wealth who think THEY are the ones who did it.
    They give no account to being born in the best nation on earth…their situation growing up…they are the folks who were born on third base believing they hit a triple.

    Humans are funny…we want as much control as possible and it apparently upsets us to realize how much luck does determine.

    I was born to a wife beating, alcoholic father who was a 7th grade dropout…a bookie and my mother made it to the 10th…had a nervous breakdown complete with shock treatments….but my father won a big card game when I was in the 3rd grade.

    We left the school system all my cousins were stuck in and moved to a small town with the best high school in the state of Kentucky…literally…we always finished first or second in the state. Therefore I grew up with sons and daughters of professionals who all competed to be good in class and thought smoking ciggies was for “hoods”. I left a school system where you were expected to smoke and if you made good grades you were a sissy.

    A simply card game turned my life around dramatically. I do not gripe about the challenges of my youth because I was so blessed in other ways.

    Lets face it…I’m a smart, handsome, white, male…that’s the best thing you could be in the USA although it is finally changing. I try to not boast of my accomplishments even though I worked very hard for some of them…they couldn’t have happened without “the luck of the Irish”.

  24. Eric Says:

    Actually the reverse is true.

    If you want to go to the super bowl, get a former buccaneer on your team.

  25. Eric Says:

    Doug Williams, Steve Young, Chris Chandler, Bennett, Talib, Blount, Michael Clayton……..

  26. D-Rome Says:

    How many players on the Eagles roster had previous Super Bowl experience outside of LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long?

    It’s just overrated GM-speak. Perhaps all the Super Bowl experience he’s acquired will help with the cringing.

  27. D-Rome Says:

    The only names the Bucs have brought in over the last three years have been Brent Grimes and TJ Ward.

    DeSean Jackson?

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Bonzai- Referring to Joe’s statement:”J.R. Sweezy, Robert Ayers, Clinton McDonald, Evan Smith, Logan Mankins, Robert McClain, Sterling Moore, Dane Fletcher, Dashon Goldson and T.J. Ward”

    Licht better have done his homework or he’s on the express train out of here. I’m interested in this year’s draft. Are we going to fit all the pieces together? Will the team gel, take on an identity?
    It’s the same staff, sans Buckner. There really aren’t any more excuses.

  29. GhostofSchiano Says:


    none of them have been to six consecutive pro bowls like the great Gerald McCoy –


  30. Reach87 Says:

    Experience can help but is often overvalued. Never seen it be THE thing to get a team to the playoffs or SB. Get the best players you can, teach them the scheme, coach them in the scheme, and make adjustments real time when your player or scheme are exploited. Do all of those things and you will be very good. Smaller effects like injuries, SB experience, ref calls, etc can compensate for some shortfalls a bit, but you have to handle those basics. Bucs will be better this year and can be very good if they handle all the elements. Good start so far (better playets). Keep grinding. Go Bucs!

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Licht has a terrible history of taken unproven older defensive lineman who have rarely produced and thinking they can come in an start and suddenly have big years. He does the same thing every offseason, and every time it has the same underwhelming results. JPP does not fit that mold, he’s a proven top player, but Curry, Allen, the 4th DE from the Bears – those are all guys that will almost certainly do what they’ve done their entire career, which isn’t much.

    Michael Johnson, Chris Baker, Robert Ayers, George Johnson, Henry Melton. All these guys fit the same profile of guys that Licht wanted.

  32. Not there yet Says:

    Can’t blast free agent signings for not coming in making an impact if you drafted the leader of you’re defense and he’s made zero impact outside of making the pro bowl. Sorry it’s the truth. McCoy is a non factor and I expect him to be the same guy he’s always been. I don’t think having this upgrades line will change his stats one bit

    He’s the one guy who now has no excuses but there will be no article about that or him in that light because despite all the talent Licht has bought in we look at him and say it’s his fault they under perform.

    We’ll see how it goes. We called out Winston for not being great with all his weapons last year let’s see what is said about McCoy this year. Nothing because the media doesn’t want to be blocked by him on social media. So weak

  33. LostinPa Says:

    You win championships with the draft. Key free agents can take you over the top but we should never expect a free agents to come in and “change our culture”. You can’t buy that kind of leadership.

  34. Owlykat Says:

    Licht tries to spin every move he makes but rarely does it pan out as he says. As he said last year it is his job to get us to the playoffs; so how good is he doing his job? Our coaches for years have only been getting two or three years to do that, so why should Licht get five tries? This is his last chance. He has no contract for next year.