The Case For Jason Licht

November 11th, 2018

“Jason, that jacket helps me forget ASJ.”

Recently, Jenna Laine of ESPN decided to figure out how in the world the Bucs got themselves in the mess they are in. She also took a stab at the immediate future of both Bucs Bit-O-Honey-snacking coach Dirk Koetter and AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

Joe highlighted her analysis of Koetter on Friday. Today, it is Licht.

To sum it up, while Laine wags a finger at Licht for his trading up to draft a kicker and his free agent swings-and-misses, she seems to suggest Licht is the best general manager the team has had in years.

Overall, Laine suggests Licht was drafting players that didn’t fit his coaches’ schemes, which is easily correctable, and thus Licht might dodge the guillotine if the Bucs have a losing record come January.

As for Licht — the Glazers have been happy with how the team has been able to not only draft but re-sign players like Evans, Brate and Marpet to long-term contracts. Licht will always have to answer for that Aguayo pick and that underperforming 2016 draft class, and the Bucs have brought in players who don’t necessarily match the scheme — T.J. Ward was an “in-the-box” safety brought in to play in a scheme that favors versatility, and Carlton Davis and Hargreaves were known as press-man corners in college and have been asked to play “off” for the Bucs.

Licht will also have to answer for failed free agents Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins, Alterraun Verner and Bruce Carter under former coach Lovie Smith. Winston was drafted on Licht’s watch, too, so his handling of that situation will play a role. And he could have stepped in and forced Koetter to fire Mike Smith.

Still, Licht’s crew seems to be better at evaluating talent than predecessor Mark Dominik, who was better known for his creativity with the salary cap and contracts. It’s really just about better marrying the right players with the scheme.

The big question here is the status of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. We really have no idea what is being spoken in private rooms between Licht and Team Glazer, specifically about Jameis.

If the Bucs are done with Jameis, someone will likely have to pay the price. Is Licht telling Team Glazer, for example, he doesn’t know why Jameis has regressed? Has he told Team Glazer, for example, he advised Koetter to get rid of Mike Smith last year and his pleas fell on deaf ears? Most NFL coaches have written into their contracts they have final say on their assistants (though if they ignore the requests of owners who pay their checks, that could open up all kinds of doors).

All sorts of things could be going on behind the scenes with Team Glazer that could save Licht’s hind, or Koetter’s for that matter.

Of course, winning is the greatest perfume. If the Bucs climb out of their 3-5 hole by winning the next three games over soft opponents to be 6-5, the dynamics change at One Buc Palace.

51 Responses to “The Case For Jason Licht”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Seriously Joe? Jenna Laine “seems to suggest Licht is the best general manager the team has had in years”. So he’s an improvement on who, Mark Dominick? Or Chucky’s lap-dog, Bruce Almighty? Wow! I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about Jason Gump and bow before the Altar of Jenna & her overpowering argument to retain the ARCHITECT of this mess.

    As for the Glazer Boyz being “happy with how the team has been able to not only draft but re-sign players like Evans, Brate and Marpet to long-term contracts” Jenna needs to consider this: this is a BUSINESS to these players, and money talks. Each of those three were handsomely rewarded monetarily. Would other teams have signed them? Yes. Would they have paid them as much as Licht did? MAYBE, but more than likely not. Look at Brate’s new contract, and Martin’s, and Gholston’s, and LVD’s … were THOSE great deals for us made by a shrewd negotiator? Or were they more examples of over-paying, just like we did for Jensen and so many other FAs since Licht’s been here (which is what guys who’ve finished their 1st contracts are BTW … FAs).

    And PLEASE don’t make the excuse for Licht that the players he selected didn’t match the coaches’ schemes & philosophies. THAT right there is probably my biggest indictment of Jason Licht … NO VISION whatsoever of WHO the Bucs are & should become. He’s been busy for 5 years now ‘doing his own thing’ and the result starting with 2014 has been a very unimpressive 25-47 record. That’s horrific.

  2. teacherman777 Says:

    His failures in the 2nd round are just as bad as Dominick.

    Aguayo, ASJ, Spence, Ronald Jones, MJ Stewart.

    This last draft was his final chance.

    He passed on Guice for a RB that cant breakk tackles.

    He passed on Donte Jackson for a 4.56 nickle back.

    He passed on multiple guards to draft a press man CB who runs a 4.56.

    Cappa is slow-footed and is not NFL ready. Hes a project. A 4th round pick. Not a plug and play starter.

    Licht had his chance.

    Carlton Davis is the only pick with potential.

    0-6 in the 2nd round has destroyed our roster.

  3. Fix it already Says:

    Do people really have confidence in this team to win out this season? Seeing how Carolina got took to the wood shed against the Steelers. And then go back and watch that Samuel play and our defense. I call it like I see it. And so far for the last 10 + years that I have been watching this team it’s a joke. This team is not gonna make some miraculous run to rally and make the playoffs that’s not us. That’s pats Steelers falcons saints territory. We are the done half way through the season and win at the end of the year just enough to fk ourselves out of a good pick. Aaanf that’s our team in a nutshell

  4. Pete I Says:

    25 – 47?

    Participation trophy anyone?

  5. Darin Says:

    Lol. This feels like a participation trophy team, organization I should say. I wouldnt be surprised one bit if Dirk passes out trophies at the end of this one. That is not a joke folk

  6. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    If Licht is retained beyond this season ( inexplicably…he was extended another year in the off-season )…it will prove that The Glazers have gone into an ultimate give up slide with this team. Once Jon Robinson left for Tennessee, things have gotten even worse for Licht’s Out. The bungling of the Top 3 picks in the first 53 of this year’s draft should seal his fate. I guess we’ll see…

  7. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Had coach Schiano not been fired I believe this team would have been better today. He instituted discipline, a hardnose Belichick clone that didn’t put up with the nonsense. There was no loafing under his leadership, he just lacked the talent to succeed in such a short time. The media ran him out of town.

  8. tiredoflosing Says:

    And PLEASE don’t make the excuse for Licht that the players he selected didn’t match the coaches’ schemes & philosophies. THAT right there is probably my biggest indictment of Jason Licht … NO VISION whatsoever of WHO the Bucs are & should become. He’s been busy for 5 years now ‘doing his own thing’ and the result starting with 2014 has been a very unimpressive 25-47 record. That’s horrific.

    100% agree. Why in the world would a GM bring in players who don’t fit the scheme the team is running? Dumb, Dumb, dumb…

  9. adam from ny Says:

    two words:

    Ronald Burgundy

  10. adam from ny Says:

    and rojo is just a wide receiver that was playing running back in college…the moment i watched the tapes on him, all i saw was a speedy receiver dashing through those gaping holes you see in collegiate games – in the nfl lanes and gaps get filled…and the speed equals out…leaving us with just a body on the 53 man roster and no running back…can someone please dress rojo up like ron burgundy too

  11. Pete I Says:

    Schiano for all his falts certainly was cut from a different cloth than most recent Buc coaches.

  12. adam from ny Says:

    anyway, lets go bucs!!…can we please win one for the gipper today

  13. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Schiano honestly just had bad timing. Most of the players from Clown-Show Raheen Morris’ team were used to partying and having fun all practice, and so they didn’t like it when “Toes on the line” Schiano came in and tried to instill discipline. I wish Schiano could’ve stayed around longer, but he had already lost the team and it was the right move to move on.

  14. passthebuc Says:

    Go sign JW to a 5 year 100 million contract. then we can get on with doing something with our lives more meaningful than the Buc’s horrid play.

    That should screw the team up for another 10 years

  15. Jameis Wienstien Says:

    If the Bucs lose more than two more games this season (almost a foregone conclusion) I will refuse to step foot in RJS again until they become relevant. I don’t care what they have to do in order to get this done. I’ll still be a fan and watch from home in the mean time.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    So much Glazer wasted dollars on bad free agent signings , They can’t be happy. No improvement on the team in too many areas. One of the main reasons the defense is horrible is his inability to think ahead and draft players that can be developed and inserted when ready. The Bears and Panthers games showed just how lost some of our players are when going up against a good NFL OC and offense.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    One has to wonder why some of these players, although highly touted, don’t play well for the Bucs.
    I can somewhat excuse the Aguayo pick (except for moving up) Because there was absolutely no indication that he would fail….but many others, especially FAs come to Tampa and regress.
    Is that the players or the coaches and losing culture taking over?

    Licht must be held responsible for the failure….he is at the top and the fish stinks from the head…..

  18. dmatt Says:

    If the Bucs go to the no huddle offense throughout the remaining games, our chance of winning is high with certainty. That’s a BIG if, after all,we have to remember that the head coach is “Stepping Back Koetter”. 2015 Bucs vs Redskins, Bucs came out 24-7 halftime lead with their feet on the gas. However, Lovie decided to go conservative,in conjunction with 2 roughing the passer penalties, 2 unnecessary roughness penalties, allowed an onside kick, n allowed Cousins 24 hours to throw the ball which lead to the infamous “You like that, huh”!! Koetter is being outcoached each week by a big margin. His stubbornness to change will lead to his demise.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think both Licht and Koetter remain, depending on these next 8 games. Licht rwmains regardless.

    Winston is a lock to still be here.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I too would like to see more no huddle, but it won’t mmatter if the defense doesn’t improve.

    Still, keeping the offense iin top 5 all year could save Koetters job.

    Defense staf needs to be cimpletely overturned.

  21. K_Bassuka Says:

    Bottom line it’s he has to go, he drafted some good players but man he missed on a lot of them including not drafting or signing a good RB, DE or DT, DB, K, and OL. To top it off we don’t even know if we wasted a #1 pick on Jameis and I sure don’t want him to be part of picking the next QB.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Adam from NY … “Two words – Ronald Burgundy”. LOL Adam. Could not figure out at first to whom you were referring, but then Will Ferrell’s ‘Ron Burgundy’ finally struck home. And you’re right … THAT’S Jason Licht.

  23. Johnny Says:

    Tony Dungy for team president. Let him decide what to do with GM and coach.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    And TBBF, I agree with you that “some of these players, although highly touted, don’t play well for the Bucs”. Some were bad picks no doubt, and some were just long in the tooth. But others are just head-shakers. Is it because of our ‘losing culture’ as you said? Is it because of mediocre coaching? Is it because the players they’re being surrounded by are, shall we say, less than optimum? Perhaps it’s because of the heat. Or maybe it’s ‘All of the Above’.

    The one thing that I keep seeing is that so many NFL players on their 2nd (or 3rd) contract don’t seem to play nearly as good as they do in years 3 or 4 of their initial contract when they’re HUNGRY. Too many seem to develop this ‘Wow, I made it’ attitude once they rake in a few mil on their 2nd contract, and their productivity dwindles. Personally I blame the lack of ‘Incentive Contracts’ nowadays. All this Guaranteed money up-front is dumb. And so are some of these ridiculously long contracts. In the REAL world, if you don’t perform, say hello to the highway, ’cause you’re a goner.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Some of licht’s free agent signings might be because he falls in love with them
    in interviews and doesn’t do due diligence on their history.
    There were reports out there about Baker being lazy and T. J. Ward not being good enough in coverage. Long term concussion recovery previously for Mitch Ulrein. He is also a player with only 25 starts in 3 years.

  26. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I wonder if we could lure Bill Cowher out of retirement, another Belichick, Schiano clone. This team needs a no nonsense disciplinarian, top notch authoritarian head coach. Ask yourselves this, do you think any of the top teams in the league accept loafing? Take notice of all the teams that compete every year and you will see a no nonsense type coach. Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Doug Pederson, Sean McVay. Yes they all have great QB play but their QB’s share their coaches philosophy. How much money would it take Bill?

  27. Guzzie Says:

    The only thinks spoken behind doors from Glazer boys is how fat is their bank accounts are and what time is the soccer game, hopefully someone tries buying the Bucs from them, need a reboot from the top

  28. Guzzie Says:

    Things not thinks stupid autocorrect

  29. SchwiftyBuc Says:

    Licht is better than Dominik for sure. But that’s not saying much. The number of impact players we’ve passed on in favor of bums, both in free agency and in the draft, grows higher each and every offseason.

    I’m sick of it. I’m not saying we need to find a GM who literally never makes mistakes, because they don’t exist. But we need to find a GM who doesn’t have so many Aguayo/Brindza/Sweezy type snaffus and can actually build a complete team.

  30. BringBucsBack Says:

    Corrected Title: “The Suitcase For Licht”

  31. quickdrw21 Says:

    I’m just gonna be honest. Any of you guys who have been fans for decades know what I’m a bout to say is true. This teams leaders at the very top do not have the ability to assess coaches and GM’s in a way that will lead to any success. There record of bringing in the wrong people is evidence of this. So though Dirk Jason and Jameis should absolutely not be a part of this team due to there inability to win, we must also face the fact that ownership is the constant factor in our Browns like organization over the last decade and beyond.

  32. Jim Says:

    “The big question here is the status of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston”?? I guess I’d say the bigger question is when is this team going to start winning? But if this Licht review is going to focus on Winston, shouldn’t we mention Licht’s million dollar Winston character investgation/assessment prior to that first overall pick? A black mark with the Glazers, or no?

  33. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Teacherman, I get it Rojo sucks, but Guice would not have been a wise choice. I was talking to one of the parents of a player that was with Guice for group interviews and Guice did himself in. Trust me that guy is bad news and unless the franchise that took him get’s lucky, he is going to be a problem. There are reasons that he slipped as far as he did. Character issues of his magnitude is what cost him millions. There are a number of factors that go into these picks and the millions invested in them, sometimes red flags out weigh the production seen in college.

  34. Tc Says:

    Koetter is a great offensive coordinator. I would keep him as he has proven it with top 10 offensives. Need to find a “great” defensive” coordinator and a solid kicker. Licht tries to get too cute with his draft picks instead of drafting the obvious. He would rather get noticed for a diamond in the rough such as Kwon, Godwin and reaching for a kicker instead of drafting the solid obvious picks such as Derwin James higher rated (safe pick db’s) and a Hunt or Kamara. Also, how do you let a Michael Bennett or Talib get away. Exactly the players we needed on the d – pass rusher and lock down corner. Not to mention Reavis and Blount. All 4 helped their teams win Super Bowls and or apwere all pros

  35. Buc believer Says:

    By Joes standards then since this piece of crap doesn’t stink as bad and has a few less peanuts in it than the last piece of crap we had we should keep him. NO THANKS! I am done with crap!

  36. LakeLand Says:

    Reasons why the Bucs are in this position

    1. 20 years of bad drafting
    2. Poor free agency signing
    3. Not re-signing quality players
    4. Poor coaching staff
    5. Poor upper management

  37. BucsNeedNewFans Says:

    He said terrible in the draft!!

  38. bucsnole Says:

    Both Koetter AND Licht were rookie hires that had to learn on the job.
    Both have been good and bad at it
    But this team is still very hard to watch and I would get rid of both of them IF I could find the right “football man” to put in charge of the team/culture

  39. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    So TC, you aren’t blaming Licht for Reavis, Blount, Bennett, and Talib are you?

  40. TheDailyAutopsy Says:

    I am going to give up my 42 year old season tickets. Just tired of terrible football with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  41. Matts17 Says:

    Licht is just another clueless Buc GM that drafts poorly and overpays for underperforming FA’s. His time is up. This team needs a President of Football Operations who oversees the GM. Giving a guy like Licht the keys to the family car was another bad mistake by the Glazers.

  42. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    Throw 10+ mil a year at Jim Harbaugh…see if he’s ready to return to the NFL. He worked wonders with both Alex Smith & Kapernick…see if he can’t save Winston.

  43. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Well said defense rules

  44. bucanation Says:


  45. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Licht sorta gets a pass on Jameis.

    Drafting #1 overall is rare and when there is undisputable QB talent you got to take it. Licht HAD to draft a QB #1 and he took the “right” guy when it comes to the Mariota/Winston debate. Unfortunately neither of them are panning out, which is something literally noone predicted.

    Now as far as Licht’s other successes and failures, well thats for the Glazer’s to decide on

  46. jmarkbuc Says:

    “when there is undisputable QB talent you got to take it”

    There is the flaw in your argument Jolly Buc….

  47. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Bonzai?!? Is that your personal wish or just a prediction of what the Glazers do? Licht cannot sign free agents effectively, so that’s basically throwing away the Glazers’ money. He cannot draft running backs. He based his franchise on a turnover machine with jackass tendencies, both of which stayed true. And this last draft was his final chance (he got a contract extension before it!), and 4 out of the first 5 picks are failures/duds on a team that needed to win now. Jason was so obsessed with toughness in a speed league he passed on a hometown guy who may be an all-pro his first year (Derwin) for an “anchor” who was hurt on his first play as a pro and has 2 tackles.

  48. Firrrreee Licht Says:

    ESPN isn’t called BSPN for no reason. Fire Licht!!

  49. Firrrreee Licht Says:

    Vita Vea has bust written all over him. Red Flags: PAC12. Not Used To FL weather. Overweight. Slow. Great pick Jason The Is No Licht at the end of the Tunnel…

  50. Firrrreee Licht Says:

    Bucs fan turned Redskins fan. Going to a redskin bar to root for the skins of GM and Koetters hot seats!

  51. firethecannons Says:

    Jason Licht should be fired immediately after the season is over–there is NO reason to keep this losser-his awful picks way outweigh his good picks and he kept Mike Smith way too long
    his misses include
    Doug Martin
    Aguayo and all the failed kickers

    this year he knew well in advance he did not have a secondary
    except rooks and failed vh3 and too old to believe Grimes
    yet he did not shore it up at all in free agency