Huge Test Of Jason Licht’s Offseason Plan

September 22nd, 2018

Jerel Worthy could make his first Bucs start Monday night

General manager Jason Licht was a man on a mission this offseason: fix the darn defensive line at all costs and don’t get caught again with D-linemen unworthy of an NFL uniform.

Licht got after it, trading for Jason Pierre-Paul and signing Mitch Unrein, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry in free agency before investing a first-round pick on Vita Vea.

But for the first time this season, three of those guys are unavailable. Allen, Unrein and Vea will not play Monday night. That’s got Licht and the Bucs looking at starting Will Gholston or Jerel Worthy at defensive tackle alongside Gerald McCoy.

Ironically, both were teammates at Michigan State and were reunited last month when Worthy was plucked off the street. The former 2012 Packers second-round pick has been a man reborn in Tampa, where he played 29 percent of the defensive snaps against the Eagles.

Gholston, of course, was a Dominik-Schiano fourth-round pick in 2013. He proved in preseason that he could handle defensive tackle and he’s been getting lots of snaps this season as a rotation player at DE and DT.

Joe likes the young depth at the position, and Joe’s eager to see them in this big test versus Pittsburgh.

Licht will deserve a high-five and a cold beer if they hold their own at nose tackle Monday.

59 Responses to “Huge Test Of Jason Licht’s Offseason Plan”

  1. Half_Sac Says:

    Honestly Gholston looks good at DT. He’s long which is hard for a guard to handle. He seems to push the pocket on passing plays too, which for him at DE doesn’t happen.

  2. horse liver Says:

    Nassib is the real gem. That dude’s been impressive, disruptive, and responsive.

  3. AlteredEgo Says:

    All we need is the game of their lives out of them on MNF…

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    Huge test for so called superstars on the dline to have to step it up even more.
    Hey GMC cried about not being able to be in the top 100, then these are the games he should dominate.

  5. i like gunslingers Says:

    i knew vita the freaking human chia pet was not going to do anything, i got a feeling this guy is going to be out more than in, bad mojo with that dude, is that “calf sprain” gonna linger into late october early november? tell me just what the hell is a “calf sprain” anyway? muscle tear? ligament damage? he got his calf tearing loose from his lower leg bone? any doctors in the house can splain dis chit

  6. Darin Says:

    Horse liver
    Yeah I was shocked Clev cut Nassib. Always been a fan. Wanted bucs to draft him. Isnt the most talented but will make plays strictly from hustle. I’m guessing he got cut in Clev cuz they have some talented De’s. Ole Carl needs to step it up a notch more Monday night. Go Bucs

  7. Dooshlarue Says:

    So was Worthy a 2nd rd. bust for the Packers?
    I kinda hope so…. it would make me feel better about our 2nd rd fails/soon to be fails.

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Gholston can hopefully earn some of that big money deal he got – and I think he’ll play acceptably. If Spence isn’t active this week then you cut him and let him go – and watch him probably be productive somewhere else. In any case this was always gonna be a shootout – so I’m not sure any of this matters unless Pitts decides to ram the ball down the Bucs throat to keep the ball out of Fitz’s hand – which is actually probably what they do.

  9. Buc believer Says:

    I think he hurt it running to the ice cream truck when it came to training camp on day 1.

  10. unbelievable Says:

    2nd round draft picks under Licht:

    D Dmith
    A Marpet
    Noah Spence
    Justin Evans
    Carlton Davis
    MJ Stewart

    So out of 9 second round picks total, 2 of them are definitely busts (ASJ & Agauyo). Noah Spence may wash out this year, and RoJo remains to be seen (but it isn’t looking good). All others are either starters and playing well, or are rookies that appear to be heading in the right direction so far.

    So at WORST, that’s still hitting on over 50% of your 2nd round draft picks, which is higher than the league average for bust rates.


  11. Kobe Faker Says:

    “We have roughly the same team as last year

    *Defense sucks worse (400 yards +)and the 40 mill spend on def lineman has been a failure

    *The great Offensive Line? Lol! the pass blocking is only better because under Monkens playcalling they only have to hold blocks for 2 seconds vs 5 seconds. The offensive line so far is terrible and worse compared to run blocking vs end of last year

    *Rookies? LOL! cant even dress!

    *Same QB (Fritz) receivers, defenders,etc…everyone is the same at 1 buc place

    EVERTHINGS THE SAME! WTF! our #! corner still hasnt played a snap



  12. TheDailyAutopsy Says:

    Isn’t it about time the Bucs tell just what Vita Vea’s injury was?
    A partial Achilles tear?
    A major Gastrocnemius tear?
    Whatever it was we have been misled.

  13. Kobe Faker Says:

    “There has been only 1 change that occurred from last year to the start of this year…


    Kobe Faker

  14. AlteredEgo Says:

    Kobe… say something.. ur terminally Boring … stop yerking off

  15. Boo Says:

    Both are bad options, but this is what you are e left with with three DTs our.

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    Kobe..that’s the biggest and most positive change that brought these past game results.

  17. The Real Malloy Says:

    Yeah Kobe, all you spout out is stupid crap all day. Please leave.

  18. Dirks Great Granpappy Says:

    Rookies can’t dress yet we had Whitehead Davis and M.J. holding their own against defending Champs. Minus the one play from Stewart

  19. Mike Evans Goat Says:

    Why does that make u feel better because he was a bust for the Packers? The packers have been HORRIBLE in the draft for the past 6+ years. Almost no 1st -3rd round picks left on their roster

  20. Ozzie Says:

    Great read and well put Joe! This D line that I think is playing better by the quarter first two games..needs a standout performance on MNF..Obviously cant depend on 400yd 4 td 40 pnt games…Put old man Roethlisberger on his ass more than once Monday night and let the spotlight hit the defense..BTW I allways liked and thought Gohlston if started regularly may be decent…he manages to get to the QB seemingly frequently albeit in mop up situations…and I couldnt be more impressed with KWON …that d line is freeing up KWON to go LT jr the first 2 games…literally playinng like a man possesed…OZZstradamus called the first two..i honestly think there a better team right now than the BURGH…3-0…Tampa F*ckin Bay Buccaneers …..whew..its been awhile……

  21. AlteredEgo Says:

    Ozzie…. Mad Mike will be dialing up LB blitzes ..

  22. Not there yet Says:

    Not worried about vea, he’s not in football shape and may just end up getting hurt again so smart to debut him after the bye or have him fresh for the short week against the bears. I think the line will be just fine.

    Worthy needs to have the game of his life, someone has to be let go to bring back Winston plus Mitch Unrein coming back could get him cut

  23. Reach87 Says:

    @unbelievable….thanks much.

  24. INSPIRED Says:

    So, hmm. Here is a not great thought but a thought worth noting none the less. It seems we have a culture of lying! Kotter is PERFECTLY OK with lying on an everyday basis with a smile. I.E. let’s take the situation with VV. So where is the comparison with JW (“IF” IT WAS A LIE) with the whole Uber/goober thing? Is a lie a lie or is it the white lie theory? Is lying just parked for the course around the palace? And was JW told to lie (“IF” AT ALL TRUE) or was it learned from the locker room culture that the coaches invoke? Just mixing the pot BUT….. HMMMMM…..

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Thought at the start of this season that the strength of our DLine would be its’ interior … GMC, Allen, Unrein & Vea. At worst figured we’d have at least 2 of those 4 for every game this season. So here we are in the 3rd game, and 3 of the 4 are down already. Just as bad, 2 o the 4 barely made it TO preseason, much less out of preseason.

    Lots of bad stuff was said about Gholston after last year (deservedly so), but he’s holding his own right now IMO. Will’s light for DT & so is Jerel, but they’re both doing pretty well in the middle. Concerned that the 4th qtr is where they’ll start pooping out against solid running teams, but hopefully the others get back soon.

  26. Capt. Blighe Says:

    Vea has practiced 2 time this year thats why he’s not playing. The leg may better but dude has practice in the NFL.

  27. Joel Says:

    I said all these new lineman would be hurt. Same thing EVERY season.

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    It really stinks to have our interior lineman out because Pittsburgh is beaten up in the middle and that was going to be a mismatch in our favor.

    I’ll be watching for Gholston but he’s been a let down anytime we’ve really needed him…….I know McCoy will get doubled but if they move him to the right spot he should get a matchup he can exploit…’s what probowlers do against weakened line.

    So in closing, McCoy needs to show up, and in a big way, Monday Night.

  29. Dooshlarue Says:

    For the record, I’m a Licht fan.
    It just bums me out that he’s whiffed on several 2nd rounders.

  30. Easy Says:

    No Decastro for Pitt means the guard spot is vulnerable. Let’s see if we can push the pocket.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    Joel it’s the same thing every season for every team. Good teams don’t let it destroy them however. Eagles last year won with an offense without their starting QB and LT.

    The Bucs are without their QB and their corners and 2 DTs. They have taken that ‘next man up mentality’. Dare I say that perhaps this year we have a good team. Having a good team is more then just having a good 22.

  32. JimmyJack Says:

    Doosh……scroll up and read unbelievables post. It’s factual.

  33. Dooshlarue Says:

    Yeah, I saw it.

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    I’d almost like to take unbelievables post a step further and say that ASJ was not a bust. We got production from the guy and the talent was there. And the guy is still in the NFL producing.

    Maybe a different coach could have gotten more from the guy. Licht drafted him for a different coach too which may have been a factor in his dismissal from Tampa Bay.

  35. JimmyJack Says:

    Well Doosh maybe take a different approach about 2nd rounders. Licht had 5 drafts.

    For sure he hit on three: Donavon, Marpet, Evans. If we get two hits from this year’s crop that five hits. Five 2nd round hits in five years is a way you could look at the situation to help you sleep better at night.

    And just some food for thought…….the second rounder fans were most giddy about was one of the busts(Spence). The one fans hated the most may wind up being the best(Evans)

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dooshlarue Says
    “For the record, I’m a Licht fan.
    It just bums me out that he’s whiffed on several 2nd rounders.”

    Yeah, shame on him for hitting on only two of three this year.

    Here’s a concept: It does not matter what round franchise starters are drafted in, or if they are drafted at all.

    Amazing how people are giving up on Rojo when he isn’t even needed yet.

    Hey, here’s some info…cutting Aguayo was justified, but did you know he made 100% of his kicks this preseason and in training camp? The only reason he did not make his team was because he never really had a chance.I

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if he came back here some day and excelled?

  37. FreeTheSecretWeapon Says:

    Jimmy I give you an A for effort… BUT YOUR STILL A….

    We Taught It Troll as Bonzai has proved…

    ASJ took a huge Fing dump on this team… He is the Webster Definition of BUST…

    Sorry Uncle Jimmy… Jack… Ma Hog Off

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    FreeTheWeapon……I don’t know. If I were a outsider looking at this I might think you look more troll then me.

    But whatever if some people think I’m a troll that’s fine. I just come to talk football and that’s about it. Not sure how that’s being a troll since we on a football site.

    As far as Jenkins being a bust there are different definitions to explore. The worst type of bust IMO is drafting a player who does not have enough talent to succeed at the next level. ASJ clearly does not meet that standard. I’ll give you that he was a bust but only because it’s impossible to say if there was any way he could have worked out in Tampa………But one thing we all can admit is he didn’t bust because he wasn’t talented enough.

  39. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    It’s too late for me to read the above posts. All I will say is that Gholston looked good in the preseason at DT. Start him there and see what happens.

  40. Blackmagic00 Says:

    This has got to be the sorriest fanbase ever. I understand the dreadful comments when we’re losing like usual. But, when we’re winning? Of course nothing is is perfect. At least don’t have to be the crap fanbase.

  41. Blackmagic00 Says:

    I love what’s happening this year. Fitz, Jameis? Dline, oline? Doesn’t matter. We’re 2-0! Let’s be 3-0 and love it!!!!

  42. Trench War Says:


    right on! ..Go Bucs!

  43. Trench War Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai

    “Wouldn’t it be ironic if he (Aguayo) came back here some day and excelled?”

    that would be fantastic if that ever happened .. *thumbs up*

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    Aguayo nearly won the job with the Chargers and according to reporters that follow the team he had an excellent training camp. I think Aguayo will play for someone – it wasn’t like it was only the Bucs that had him highly rated. Yeah, Licht talked himself into a shoot by taking him “in the second round”, but remember that was like the 2nd to last pick in the 2nd round and most everyone had him going in the 3rd – so it’s not like it was a giant reach to the top of the 2nd or 3rd. If it wasn’t for Hard Knocks and social media I think he would have stuck around, after all Sebastian Janikowski, a 1st round pick for the Raiders, had a worse rookie season than Roberto did, in fact he’s had 3 seasons worse than Roberto’s rookie year and he’s still kicking. We shall see but I really don’t think Roberto is done yet, and I still expect him to be kicking for someone a decade from now.

  45. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Rod, I think the same. Only problem? I think he’ll be kicking somewhere else. And that sucks! This franchise will probably be sulking in tears if Licht ever leaves. Hope he stays for a while.

  46. Blackmagic00 Says:

    And trench, thank you. I’m sooooooo tired of the negativity I’ve seen and heard over the years. This franchise is finally pointing up and half the fan fan base is still bashing them. Let’s all start rooting and helping the confidence of our beloved franchise. SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

  47. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Everyone else? Don’t gotta be a stick carrier to have a stick! If you’re a Buc can? JUST SUPPORT WHAT WE’RE DOING AND LOVE IT!!!!

  48. UgandanKnuckles Says:

    31 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 6 years? Doesn’t sound like he was “Worthy” of that second round pick.

  49. adam from ny Says:

    worthy is kind of a scrub…time for gholston to stef the f up!

  50. adam from ny Says:

    step the f up***

  51. Bob in Valrico Says:

    There had to be imfo on ASJ drinking before the draft. Lets face it a player it,
    that has been in trouble for driving while intoxicated and has a device installed
    on his car to prevent him from driving under the influence should be a red flag.
    I think its more of a homework issue on Licht’s part than a coaching issue.

  52. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    IMHO, overall Jason Licht deserves a high-five and a cold beer anyway. No, he has not been perfect, but this Man has rebuilt our team. Bear in mind, we are 2 and 0 w/o Vita Vea, and he is gonna be back this game !

  53. lambchop Says:

    Ian Rapoport reported on NFL . com that the Raiders building is divided thanks to Gruden’s player personnel evaluation. Ring a bell? LOL. They are screwed!

  54. JabooBuc Says:

    so, right now we have Evans, Godwin, DJax, OJ, Brate and Hump and have been unstoppable after two games. In addition, we have Fitz lighting up the league as a backup QB, a completely revamped OL and a completely reworked defense riddled with injuries that just played against two of the best offenses and the league.

    What do all of these things have in common? They were all built by Jason. With the exception of Dotson, the OL was built by Jason. All of the weapons, built by Jason. The extremely smart and experienced QB that is needed behind a talented but extremely immature starter was brought in by Jason.

    Bonsai is correct, who cares what round a player was drafted in? If we miss on Rojo, maybe we’ve hit on Wilson or maybe we find another RB later. Some of you people simply have no concept and completely unreasonable expectations. You’re bitching about ASJ but not giving him credit for Brate or OJ. If Vea turns into a good contributor, even without Rojo, you have to say this was a fantastic draft and offseason.

  55. orlbucfan Says:

    It took DK and Licht working together over the past few years to put together the BEST offense in Bucs history! 2-0 with a beat up D and backup QB against 2 elite clubs. FACTS. This long time, long suffering fan is fine with it. Trolls can go suck rotten eggs! Go Mighty Bucs tomorrow night!!

  56. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Every Steeler game, our stands are full of Terrible Towels, and guess what ? These are not people from Pittsburg, who fly down for the game. These are local Florida people, who come to our stadium, to see the Bucs get killed. I hope we not only beat the Steelers on Monday, but hope we beat them senseless, and humiliate them, on National TV.
    Go Bucs !

  57. Buccfan37 Says:

    It does get sickening seeing the same teams at the top year after year, more so in college where the same damn teams grab all of the better players. What sane person doesn’t want Alabama get their a$$ kicked!

  58. Geno Says:

    Kobe Faker Says:
    September 7th, 2018 at 8:15 am
    They better bring a 3rd QB, cause Fritz and Griffin won’t finish against Philly and that Defensive front
    “Fly eagles fly”
    America’s QB JW3

  59. Gene Deckerhoff is my hero Says:

    Jason Licht picking Vita Vea and Rojo should be the nail in his coffin. Monken is saving a lot of people’s jobs.