Struggling With Bucs Direction

March 15th, 2018

“You know Jason, if Ryan Smith can just go workout with his high school coach this summer, he might be OK. No need to get nervous.”

It seems the Bucs and Joe both look at a painting and see different images.

That’s the only conclusion Joe can reach after the Bucs, on the first day of free agency, are either playing a very dangerous game of high stakes poker or have convinced themselves that the craters on the roster — so big even Neil Armstrong would shudder — are no more than mere optical illusions.

The Bucs need a defensive end — where have you heard this before? — but landed a two-sack guy that is more tackle than end?

The Bucs need a running back yet turned their noses up on anyone that could be effective. The Bucs were rumored to have interest in Jerick McKinnon. That’s like Joe saying he has interest in Heidi Watney. Interest doesn’t mean s(p)it if you don’t close the deal.

There is also a hole at cornerback.

And unless Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has another grand slam draft like he had in 2015, when he bagged America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kwon Alexander, all of these craters are highly unlikely to be filled.

Yeah, Licht beefed up the interior run defense. That’s good and bad. Now teams will throw more on the Bucs, which feeds right into a trap. You know, no pass rush and Ryan Smith at corner? Did some folks at One Buc Palace forget who the quarterbacks are in the NFC South?

Something very, very weird going is on at One Buc Palace. It is almost as if someone has ordered Licht not to spend cash to fix the aforementioned craters.

66 Responses to “Struggling With Bucs Direction”

  1. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Seriously. This staff needs to invent something different. Something to make a Mark. A new 53 hybrid would be pretty cool and possibly save jobs.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    Ryan Smith AND Chris Conte… all playing 15 yards off the line of scrimmage DARING teams to pass on them…

    33rd ranked passing defense, here we come!

  3. denjoe Says:

    But they are so close!

  4. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Only posting this one more time. I actually love thinking about brees needing 7 offensive linemen and a running back or tight end or both just to get the ball off to his couple of double covered wide receivers. Especially if we rush linebackers.

    Thinking a 5 man line with Spence, McCoy, Vea, Suh and Ayers, our 3 freak linebackers, Honey Badger, Grimes and Evans would be a great defense. We have the depth for it too. We could mix some 43 and 34 with our new hybrid 53. Or maybe I just should leave the beer out of the shower?

  5. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Or? No more beer in the shower and quit dreaming my Bucs might actually be something?

  6. LakeLand Says:

    I don’t understand this, it seems like the Bucs are depending on the draft to address their more pressing needs. Something is wrong with this picture.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    DeMarco Murray is still out there, I think he’d be a good guy to match with Barber with the idea being that you have a proven vet there in case Barber crashes and burns. Wouldn’t be my top choice, but is a solid professional runner who I think can still perform in a spilt carry situation.

    But it doesn’t matter, he won’t be coming here.

    Also I’m not totally worried about it any case. RB’s can be found everywhere and the Bucs don’t need a star at every position on the offense. If Dirk continues to play call like he did in 2016 and most of 2017, and if the offensive line doesn’t massively improve, it won’t matter who is at runningback.

  8. NFLNut Says:


    Free agency just started, calm down.

    BTW, the 49’ers made McKinnon the 5th highest paid RB in the NFL which is a joke … the Giants over-paid like crazy for Solder, the Titans over-paid for both Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis … and the Bucs upgraded their run defense … it’s not all about big names … Beau Allen was a key cog on a SB winning team last year.

    However, I want to see at least one more starting level CB (Gaines or Claiborne?), either a DE (Ealy or Okafor?) or SS (Boston?) and RYAN JENSEN signed before the draft … the rest of the holes can be filled in the draft.


  9. nick2 Says:

    Thank you Joe for being the only newssource that has the guts to report reality!

  10. martinni Says:

    I definitely believe there is a plan or strategy in place. It is to avoid making high priced mistakes while at the same time make the overall team a little better. It entails sighing several of our average players while letting many mediocre players walk. Remember as Koetter and Licht saw it we lost a lot of games by a little, so if we improve a little we will make the playoffs next year.i don’t expect a big splash move in free agency and like you say joe Licht is better in the draft. Forget the honey badger. The best we may get is Jensen or Ogahphor (DE out of NO.) I’ve read 100’s of very negative post which were very negative. Big name FA want big bucks and big markets. Our plan is to get a little better and win several of the close games we lost. Personally I think we are on schedule.

  11. Lamarcus Says:

    Yeah man. Licht just screwed himself with that video he made. Talking about building a winner. With a 5-11 team??

  12. Lamarcus Says:

    My free agent of choice was Sherman. You could of had him Licht would of saved your 11 pick

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Sherman cost John Lynch $3m guaranteed… for that he gets a real shot at a top corner if healthy. Meanwhile the Bucs gave some guy who was the 4th DE on the Bears $4m in guarantees. Oh and gave $4m guaranteed to a kicker who missed 9 extra points over 2 years (’15-’16).

    For me… I’d rather take a risk on Sherman at a very low and affordable price than pay some backup backup money and have them produce nothing and then wonder why nothing has improved.

    As for the kicker… he had a fine season last year, but he lost his job in Arizona for a reason. That’s a lot of guaranteed money for a kicker who has a very questionable past – and that kind of guaranteed money means there is no competition, he’s been given the job.

  14. Guzziep Says:

    Suh n Badger and all is forgiven

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Oh, I should have said this…. assuming those numbers being thrown around, including guarantees, are correct. Only going by media reports and the media isn’t exactly the most reliable thing when they’re rushing to publish numbers.

  16. LakeLand Says:

    We will be having this same conversation this time next year. It’s like a ritual in Tampa.

  17. NFLNut Says:

    I’m okay with the Beau signing

    I’m indifferent to the Unrein signing

    I HATE the Catanzaro signing … complete waste of money imho

    Now, let’s get a starting level CB, SS and a decent DE so I can be happy going into the draft …

  18. NFLNut Says:

    ^ Add Ryan Jensen to my above wants … I’ll be thrilled with a Jensen signing, even more so than if the team signed Suh … teams not “names” win games!

  19. AnotherBucFanGM Says:

    First of all we never had a shot at Sherman, he obviously signed with the first team he met with and again obviously wanted the 49ers so he can face the Seahawks twice a year, so STFU about him already, Trumaine Johnson got 15mil/yr, no way we should’ve dished out that kind of money for him, McKinnon also got way too much money for being a 3rd string RB who wouldn’t have even seen the field if Cook doesn’t get hurt!, I’m not upset about missing out on any of the free agents that have been signed, what I am more upset about are the Trades that we didn’t make, Robert Quinn and Marcus Peters should be Bucs right now!

  20. Jr Says:

    Bring back Blount.

  21. bucs_365 Says:

    This is a typical overreaction… There’s no mystery here. We know that Licht is a value guy. Paying McKinnon an average of 7.5 million a year is ludicrous. Also, what was there for the passrush? We knew before the whole thing started that it would be a weak year. The Bucs will not overpay guys who haven’t proven much yet. This is neither a surprise nor a bad thing.

    Frankly, I think beefing up the run D on day 1 is a major win. We got the 2 best run defenders available. Stop the run, and you can tee off on the QB. We got better. We improved the kicking game. We’ll see if we shore up the O line in the next few days.

    Joe acts like any of this is a surprise. Even Ira told you — we’re looking for doubles, not home runs. Jason Licht has always said he’s a value shopper in free agency. So how is this a surprise?

    There is no mystery here. Everything they’re doing makes complete sense if you’re paying attention to the philosophy they have followed under Licht, one that he has clearly stated on many occasions.

  22. Not there yet Says:

    Only thing I can think of is prepare to see this defense all that long 3-3-5

  23. aussieBucfan Says:

    Hmmmmm me thinks something is at play here maybe the signing of JJ Wilcox last year only to jettison him a few weeks later when a newer shinny version (as it seemed at the time) in TJ Ward became available rubbed up the player or his agency to the way Licht treated JJ?

    That or agent’s have started backlashing against the Bucs front loaded easy get out claused contracts as player’s have been cut left right and centre from the Bucs with minimal pay out or cap impact but left player’s in the cold?

    Can’t put my finger on it but something is going on. We ain’t talking about high school drop outs these are smart business men..

  24. Pawel Says:

    I hope Falcons lose Poe, just as Panthers lost Louteli. They got weaker in trenches, Falcons also about to lose DE Clayborne. Bucs will be 2nd in NFC South below Saints!! Our offense is still top 10! All we need is a good center and put Ali back at guard, and a RB. Then if you add in less INTs for Winston, then it will help with defense not going out on the field by the end zone every time. I do believe we were close.

  25. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs will be in 4th place again this year. It’s good to be a optimist, but it’s even better to be realistic. The Bucs has signed nothing but garbage in free agency. I don’t see how these players can possibly help this team overcome the Falcons, Carolina, New Orleans. I just don’t see it, it may happen, but I don’t see it.

  26. D-Rome Says:

    Totally confident, right guys?

    Most of the usual suspects in that crowd are silent.

    If this is a Glazer decision, well, years of FA misses got us here. I would be fine without the “splash” signings but these are not even mid-tier signings.

    It seems like Licht and Koetter are being setup to fail and that’s a shame. I had no confidence with them but firing them after what will be a failed 2018 season won’t make sense either. The Glazers want this. This organization is a disgrace. At least the Browns are trying.

  27. destinjohnny Says:


  28. adam from ny Says:

    yes joe things are weird af at one buc…only the glazers can answer this…but won’t…

    something is very very off…

    add in the huge season tix jumps and it’s all that much weirder

  29. adam from ny Says:

    maybe jameis is already basically suspended this upcoming season and they all know it…so they put the brakes on spending but are acting as if all is well for the moment

  30. adam from ny Says:

    barber got ripped off big time…watch them run him into the ground this year as the starter…

    watch them draft the big 0-lineman first and a corner or safety second…an end 3rd and a rb 4th…they are gonna completely screw this up…

    something is very off at one buc place

  31. adam from ny Says:

    the jameis suspension issue will rear it’s head once season tix sales are more complete…

    something is hairy with the one buc canary

  32. IsrBuc Says:

    This is great. don’t sign anyone thins team will not win anyway. We must change this pattern and get rid of some assets to build for the future. NO traded cooks and grahm in their prome. you need to play your good cards to get better sometimes. GMC and LVD are history. they need to be traded.

  33. Maze Says:

    Saquon Barkley cures all

  34. adam from ny Says:

    i am overwhelming disappointed in the first day of free agency as a bucs fan…

    i think they actually are starting to think they can fix
    mister har-grievances…

    lord have mercy on my big mofo stick

  35. IsrBuc Says:

    On the Ira poadcast you asked him about the bangles taking baker. Why couldn’t any of you say what this really mean? WHY????
    Cant you all see other GMs and coaches know that whatever happens in tampa doesn’t mean ANYTHING? can’t you see it? the reason they signed baker is only because they know the bucs are the problem and players can’t succeed there. look how many FA we had and how few did well here. look how many players we dumped and did well on other teams. talib, blount, asj, barron and the list goes on and on.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    @bucs_365 … “Jason Licht has always said he’s a value shopper in free agency. So how is this a surprise?” You’re right 365, this isn’t a surprise at all. Sad? Yes. Surprise? No. Value shopping typically gets us an average player (at best). Decent rotational players but not home run hitters. DEs like Julius Peppers made the big bucks for a reason … they’re home run players who consistently produce on the field.

    Fielding a young team is fine IMO, as long as there’s outstanding LEADERSHIP to keep all of those youngsters focused & playing as a T-E-A-M. Not just coaching leadership, but also on-the-field leadership. That’s where the Bucs have been lacking for years now, and Licht’s ‘value-shopping’ approach isn’t solving that. And anointing youngsters like Jameis & Kwon as ‘leaders’ hasn’t solved it either … neither has shown yet that they can CONSISTENTLY produce on the field AND keep their respective units focused during critical periods IMO. Until Licht & Koetter solve the LEADERSHIP puzzle, Bucs won’t be able to get over the hump in the NFC South. And THAT’S what a home run hitter like Calais Campbell brought to a young Jacksonville team far as I’m concerned … performance AND leadership.

  37. mickman Says:

    I think you need to get real here. Mckinnon almost 7 million a year? Washed up Solder at 15-16 million a year? And the trent Murphy deal?I would fire Jason if he did an idiotic deal like those just to win the day of expensive free agency.

    Must be a reason Gaines is still out there. more than likely recovery not so good. same for Okafor. i do believe both could be steals if they want to take a chance.

    Way to much hype with this pool of players in free agencey. After draft in May,June and july is when real free agents get put out there.

  38. godzilla13 Says:

    The problem is one wants to play for Tampa.

    The Bucs have the 6th most cap space in the NFL and we have signed two players who were not already with the team? All this team needs is a cornerback, DT/DE and a guard. Grab a RB in the draft. Why not sign Suh? Cut Gholston and Sweezy and consider it done? CB Aaron Colvin got signed by the Texans. If Licht can not get out there and sign someone soon I am ready to give up. Show some vision? Offer players more than any other team? Something just is not right. THIS IS A GOOD TEAM.

    Ohh..I one wants to play here?

  39. Jeremy Says:

    Joe it makes perfect sense. After going 1 for 10 in free agency they have learned that the solutions are not there, game changing solutions. So they are going out and hiring a bunch of blue collar depth. Did you see the cousins deal? You have to plan for that to buddy

  40. Reach87 Says:

    D-Rome, I’m generally positive about the Bucs myself (rarely “totally” confident), but I am totally confident there is a solid plan for improving this team (via free agency, the draft and perhaps a trade). I am pretty confident we will be a better team and combined with better coaching and fewer injuries, that will translate into more wins. I am totally confident at least one “fan” will cry and declare that not picking the guy they would have someone gotten is the “last straw,” I am totally confident that reaction will generate a chuckle (thanks JBF and this forum). I am totally confident over the next several days at least 5 posters a day will point out that this is a process and you don’t really begin to know what you have until camp at the earliest (if not later). Still plenty of time to address the DE, OL and DB positions. It’s not crazy IMO to take CB, then DE in the Draft, sign a top tier Offensive lineman in free agency, then BPA for the rest of the draft (one of those should be a RB). Patience. Go Bucs!

  41. richbucsfan Says:

    At this point, the team is not better. Licht had the opportunity to improve several areas, but failed. A new regime is called for. How bad this is will be seen in December. I gave up my season tickets several years ago and will not re-up until there is some commitment by the FO to win. Being competitive is expected, winning is demanded.

  42. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    McKinnon was on my wishlist because I assumed he would be a low cost risk with up side. Lynch way overpaid, again proving he is a rookie gm.

    I’ve added Suh and Honey badger to my wishlist, but to be honest, I do not really expect to get them.

    A few others are still on my list. I got all the re-signs I wanted.

    Blount is on it. I hope we get him. (Assuming nothing happened with him while I was asleep).

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    One of the Glazer boys recently stated they are still committed to building a lasting winner through the draft. Not like we were not warned.

    And you can’t claim they are cheap. Not with the contracts they gave out over the last week.

  44. USFBUC Says:

    Jensen is coming to town, Honey Badger made an interesting post about Buckner being a future DC and linking to the story about the Bucs hiring Buckner, Suh I don’t think has visited anyone yet so he could be an option, and Sitton is still out there too. On top of that there are two guys who could be great pickups for us in SS Eric Reid and DE Aaron Lynch. Neither should command too big a salary. Reid is a solid consistent performer who has also played some LB too. Lynch showed real promise his first two seasons getting 6 sacks each year but has dealt with injuries the past two years and he is only 24.

  45. mog2010 Says:

    Whats the plan for our 98. Was hoping he would resign, seems like a good team man who has produced for us. Kinda hoping 93 may be traded!! Too many dts £€$

  46. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Not sure why people get so fired up about FA. Seems like we are big time players every year and are very rarely successful.

  47. HFXBUC Says:

    Is the goal to get more sacks or to give up fewer pts? There weren’t any DEs available (Peppers wasn’t leaving Carolina, Quinn isn’t a high effort show up every week player).

    The guys they are signing will be good players who will help the D give up fewer pts. That = more wins…. I think that’s important.

  48. Phil Says:

    Sure makes me feel good heading into the new season that we haven’t done anything to improve the roster. Looks like another wasted season coming up. Then next year we will have a new coach & GM and can start from scratch. Maybe in 4-5 years we can get into the playoffs. Great.

  49. Bill Says:

    HFXBUC — Yes. Let’s keep this group 5-11 group alone. No need for outside interference.

  50. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The ‘overpaid crowd” what is the problem with that? Its not your money and all of those teams are on the rise while this joke of a team and GM are doing everything in their power to be last in the South again

  51. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs $ is a lot tighter than most think.

    We are currently sitting at right around $20M over the cap by my calculations after the signings thus far and setting aside $8.6M for the rookie pool.

    We need to land Jensen – cut Sweezy. re-sign McDonald, Evan Smith and McClaine for depth.

    That leaves us with less than $10M over the cap.

    Perhaps could add 1 more lower to mid level FA at CB or DE and that’s about all we can do this year.

    Draft DE, DT, RB and CB within the early rounds of the draft and head into the new season praying that Buckner can coach up and get production from Ayers, Spence, Gholston and the 2 new defense ends.

  52. BringBucsBack Says:

    The Plan: Licht won’t overpay for proven NFL players, so that means he will be reaching for unproven college kids in the draft!?!?

  53. Architek Says:

    I feel for most of you guys that still have hope in this clown show. You’re about to endure another regime change, another losing season and further solidify why FAs don’t want to come here.

    These guys aren’t blue chip players and $$$ players, they’re going for the market rate. They’re telling the Bucs they don’t believe in the image they tried to portray and the team is weak as a whole.

    Says a lot about the so called leaders too. Players know but they won’t break the code and say it. Tampa Browns is not a place desired by valuable players.

  54. Architek Says:

    Oh and lastly, you have to first win to “build a lasting winner” through the draft. Our big brothers in Cleveland has mastered that system perfectly.

  55. Oxycondoms Says:

    Eagles did a good job of landing free agents that made quite the impact last season.

  56. The Buc Realist Says:

    Only the sheep will say that NFL GM Licht is bad at free agency and very good in the draft, Then cry thru Free-agency that the Bucs did not make a huge splash!!!!!!!!!!!! Struggling with the bucs directions just means they did not sign the big names that you wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And the ones freaking out right now about all the holes on the roster are the same ones that thought talk show host dominik was a “rockstar” and was just bring in so much talent!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    The smoke screen is in full effect, and the sheep can’t see what is in front of their face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. BucFamous Says:

    I am in NO WAY disappointed that they didn’t sign McKinnon—what they’re paying him is asinine. I would’ve been way more disappointed if the Bucs had paid that amount of money to a guy who was 3rd string last year.

  58. Architek Says:

    Buc Realist-
    Don’t turn and run or retract when this team is terrible again!

  59. Svenson Says:

    Clearly they are trying to get bigger along the defensive line. I don’t have an issue with it. There are no elite pass rushing DEs in free agency. Fix line depth in FA allows you to draft a couple edge guys in the draft. Licht needs to make a couple oline signings (Jensen, Sitton) and then get another CB or S. If he does that, he can focus on pass rush and a RB in the first three rounds.

  60. 813bucboi Says:

    its obvious the glazers are building depth for the next HC!!!!!…..

    and if folks think the other teams in our division have gotten weaker, you need to wake up and smell the roses!!!!!!…..

    they’re letting players go because they have their replacements on the roster already unlike the bucs…..

    falcons letting poe and clayborn go because they just drafted players at their position last year…..

    panthers let big star go because they have Vernon butler on the roster…..

    saints letting Kenny go because their rookie safety out played him last year…..

    no urgency….no excuse

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

  61. Nole&aBuc Says:

    Hire Derrick Brooks as the team CEO. Brain Ford, Jason Licht and Dirk Cutter would all report directly to him. Derrick has the experience and league connections to give instant credibility to the Buc’s. He would bring direction and purpose to a Buc’s organization that seems to be lacking in both.

  62. BucTrooper Says:

    There are two acceptable explanations:

    • Licht is brokering a trade for PIT – Bell.
    • Licht is brokering a deal to move up in the draft.

    Those are the only two acceptable outcomes that will justify this do-nothing off-season after a 5-win season.

  63. Mike Johnson Says:

    What a great franchise. Very serious about winning. Mark my words..All of you..Us..will be right back hear at seasons end lamenting..calling for the heads of this GM and coaching staff. And the problem will have been,,The Defense and its coaching. Watch and see.

  64. DanBucsFan Says:

    Really the only beef I have is that we missed out on trade for Quinn, and Bennet. For obvious reasons, but to over pay for average free agents would have set our team back, I know some of you love to criticize, but just know that it wouldn’t have been anymore than smoke screen or fake window dressing signing players at outrageous contracts just in order to win free agency. Some might need a break for lil bit, I get the anger with results, but now the conspiracy theory’s are coming out. Imo, dont u think if the organization didn’t care about wins it would just sign all top free agents to appease the fans? And dont say Glaziers are cheap, THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN , players and fans!!! Any of yall been to RayJay lately? Mike Evans, Cam Brate got taken care of. SO COME ON BROTHERS N SISTER FELLOW BUCS FANS, lets actually get behind OUR team. We have a few months to rejuvenate if you need, stay away if u must from all Bucs for a lil while. Then, COME BACK READY TO KICK SOME A$$ this year cuz we are building it the right way. GO BUCS

  65. The Buc Realist Says:

    The smoke screen is working so well!!!! The sheep can’t even see it!!!!!!!! What most are missing is that the Bucs got two great work ethic guys, who will teach the draft picks that are coming!!!! These two D-lineman are great “stand up” locker room guys!!!!! Solid and dependable would be a huge upgrade in depth for the D-line!!!!!!

    The draft is the strength for this team, and that is what they are set up for!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    It’s the first freaking week of draft yet…no UDFA’s…and the wave of FA’s that will show up after the preseason.

    This is why I’m always saying do not throw the baby out with the bath water. We are fundamentally having arguments over the talent level on the Bucs. Were they a team with decent talent that had a horrible season…blame to be shared by a hurricane…coaching…TV show…INJURIES…growth pains normally associated with a young team…all of the above?

    Or did we lose simply because we have no talent! This is why we need to truly ascertain the differences between FACTS and excuses. Do we want our emotions to rule or reality?

    To me this breaks down to Jameis. He is the very microcosm and representative of where the Bucs are talent wise.

    If Jameis is an overrated, inaccurate, undisciplined wild child with turnover problems, lack of accuracy on the deep ball then we have a talent problem on this team.

    If like me and others here we believe #3 is a work in progress who was hampered in his growth by his arm injury last year…if we see the talent that led us to the 4th Q comeback against the top team in our division then we have the talent.