A “Safer” Jason Licht?

December 13th, 2018

“Dude, are you going to bust that thing out again in Dallas next week?”

Joe is always cautious of guessing the vision of Team Glazer. If anything, they have proven predictably unpredictable.

The only coach Team Glazer has hired and kept despite two consecutive losing seasons is the same guy that won them a Vince Lombardi Trophy (Chucky).

Thus far, Dirk Koetter has no such street cred on his resume.

With the Bucs sitting at 5-8, the best they can hope for is an 8-8 season. Facing two teams in the next two Sundays on the road and both with legitimate shots at a division title, one would have to admit that Koetter’s future with the Bucs is, at best, murky.

However, it isn’t only Koetter who may be on the hot seat. Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, who has been here a year longer than Koetter, has yet to see the team he built make the playoffs. Only once under both Licht and Koetter have the Bucs had a winning record.

Jenna Laine of ESPN took a peek under the hood to offer some reasons for Team Glazer to retain Licht.

They’ll also have to consider the fate of Licht, who most believe is safer than Koetter. It’s not often that a GM survives two head coach firings, but ownership has been very happy with the development of Mike Evans and Cameron Brate and the fact that Licht is drafting well enough to re-sign players to long-term contracts. They might also want to have a football mind in place to help them navigate a new coaching search and what to do next with Winston.

To be clear, it was Lovie Smith who brought in Licht. The former Nebraska offensive lineman did not hire Lovie. It was the other way around. So technically, Licht is on his first coaching hire: Koetter.

Now if Licht can successfully convince Team Glazer a number of players he drafted were never developed — he has a case with the secondary and perhaps a case with running backs, though to be fair that’s a chicken-or-the-egg discussion. Is it players or development? — Licht stands a reasonable chance of surviving.

One area where Licht has no wiggle room is his staff’s inability to find a consistent, reliable friggin’ kicker.

41 Responses to “A “Safer” Jason Licht?”

  1. Buc'n Enough Says:

    He also has ZERO ability to draft a difference maker in the second round..less Marpet…or a running back…errr or a kicker….or…a defensive back….or a right guard….or a ….edge rush….

    Yeah, he is a great GM…

  2. ateonetree Says:

    the bucs are so damn close!!!!. a solid defensive coach like Vic Fangio with a veteran OC like greg roman should do the trick.

  3. Hodad Says:

    Evans was the 6th pick in the draft, a blind man couldn’t have screwed that up. Yet the argument could be made Aaon Donald the best defensive player in the NFL would’ve been the better pick. You can always find a receiver, instead Licht passed on a generational talent, who plays in the trenches. That’s where you should build a team from, inside out.

  4. Season Is Over Says:

    Now we cheer the ability to draft well-enough to re-sign players. As in like 1 in 10 players. The “Lost Decade” shows no sign of relenting.

  5. Joe Says:

    greg roman

    How about looking forward and trying to be cutting edge with the rest of the NFL instead of looking backwards?

  6. DB55 Says:

    That Vita Vea pick over Payne and/or Derwin James is looking pretty bad right now even worse than Aguayo.

    But it looks like Bruce Arians will be the next HC it just makes sense all the way around.

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    He’s been mediocre at the draft. The problem is that we were like a bottom 2-3 drafting team under Dominic so it makes Licht look awesome when he is basically average at best.

    He hasn’t really nailed any draft. His best draft in 5 years is basically Winston/Kwon/Smith/Marpet and that doesn’t even look that great now. Teams find starting O-lineman in the middle rounds every year.

    He also inhereted a team so talent deficient that finding any decent player was an upgrade.

  8. ben Says:

    bucs are so close?? haa..good chance bucs end up in last place in their division again!

  9. tmaxcon Says:

    Not a single O linemen on this roster is worth a crap and that includes the very, very average marpet….. no one overvalues a roster like low standard bucfan…

  10. Robert Says:

    he should be fired for drafting crabman

  11. jmarkbuc Says:

    ‘no one overvalues a roster like low standard bucfan…”

    Well, except J Licht….

  12. PSLBob Says:

    I have to ask, isn’t drafting a joint effort by the GM and HC? I know the GM scouts players, but then I thought the HC has a lot of input on which players on the list are actually drafted. So how much of this problem is on Licht’s shoulders alone? Maybe Koetter persuaded him to make some of his poor picks. Just asking!

  13. Troy Says:

    Licht makes me tired. 5 years and my single biggest problem is that this team has zero depth at any position. The good teams in this league don’t miss a beat when a player goes down. Face it, every team has injuries. Good teams keep right on winning and the Bucs keep right on losing. 5 years, no depth, and in some cases, not even a serviceable starter. Enough said.

  14. unbelievable Says:

    Studs he has acquired:
    Mike Evans
    Cam Brate
    OJ Howard
    Chris Godwin

    Average to good:
    Justin Evans
    Carlton Davis
    Adams (maybe?)
    Kendall Beckwith

    VH3 (looked improved in 1 game this season before injury)
    D. Smith (too inconsistent)
    Ryan Smith
    N Spence (is he even still alive?)

    Straight up bad:
    Caleb Benenoch
    RoJo (but he’s only a rookie)
    MJ Stewart (but he’s only a rookie)

    Bad and no longer on team:
    K Bell
    K Edwards

    Unknowns (not enough playing time to evaluate):
    J Watson

    I’m sure I’ve missed a few guys but I’m not too concerned with 7th rounders…

    So a mixed bag overall. Infinitely better than our previous GM, but that bar was set about as low as possible.

  15. adam from ny Says:

    the left side of the ol is a problem too…marpet went from young mauler to smiley mini banjo playin’ berkinstock guy from vermont…and donovan might have to be let go…those guys you’d have hoped would lock down the left side of the line…while the right side needs 2 replacements asap…the red head step child in the middle probably just needs more stable mates around him on the line to thrive, maul and get nasty like a porno star

  16. BrianBucs Says:

    This entire mess belongs to Jason Licht. He should be the first to go

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    the lack of development has killed this team and licht….simple as that….



  18. ChipBuc Says:

    The biggest problem i have with Licht is his inability to address all problems on his team. For example when we needed weapons for Winston Licht brought in weapons, but he forgot to address all the holes on defense CB, S, DL. Licht has a annoying habit of leaving holes and leaving many positions with no depth or relies to much on rookies to play right away. This year is a perfect example, instead of bringing in a couple veteran CBs or S to help with depth, he relies on 3 rookies to fill the holes. Running back is where he really fails. He probably has the worst RBs as a group in the NFL. He can’t draft a RB to save his life( Simms, Jones come to mind) and a veteran free agent RB would not have hurt to add depth. OL is another problem, to rely on these collection of players was a big mistake. Picking up Jenson was the right idea but why stop there. Another veteran RG would have helped greatly. I’ve had enough of Licht’s scatter brained approach of building a team. New ideas are needed to bring this team up to playoff caliber. Bring in a experienced GM and let him pick the coach not the Glazers. Time to think outside the box.

  19. D-Rome Says:

    Jason Licht is not a good GM. Too many free agency misses and too many draft misses. Plus, hiring Dirk Koetter along with his staff ultimately ended up being a downgrade. The only two draft picks worth a darn that he’s made since Lovie was jettisoned are OJ Howard and Chris Godwin. The jury is still out on Justin Evans. I keep hearing about all this “talent” Licht has brought in but it’s nonsense because every player on an NFL roster has talent. Most teams have better talent than the Bucs.

    When people believe this team is more talented than it really is, then people end up blaming the head coach. People start making claims that the players need more time even when they are not flashing on the field at all. The only thing Licht seems to truly excel at is finding bargain bin players.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    Not a single O linemen on this roster is worth a crap and that includes the very, very average marpet….. no one overvalues a roster like low standard bucfan…

    Man, you are spot on. It’s not just on JBF either. Too many people out there think this team is loaded with difference-making talent and it simply is not. The receiving corps is the strength of this team. Every other unit is sub-standard. Too many Bucs fans fall in love with the names that have been here for a while (except for Conte) and think that if only we had a different coach or a different scheme all of these wonderful pieces that Licht brought in would gel.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    I’ll say this if the new coach didn’t want Licht im ok with it, I’m not willing to bet money Licht is some great gm but I’m definitely willing the bucs are a decent head coach away from competing in the playoffs

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Now if Licht can successfully convince Team Glazer a number of players he drafted were never developed — he has a case with the secondary and perhaps a case with running backs, though to be fair that’s a chicken-or-the-egg discussion. Is it players or development? — Licht stands a reasonable chance of surviving.”

    Sorry Joe, but there’s no chicken-or-the-egg here … JASON LICHT IS THE PROBLEM. Yes, even more-so than Koetter or Smitty. Bucs are not a particularly well-coached team, nor are they a particularly talented team. What they are is a perennially LOSING team, unless 2 winning seasons in 10 years is something to brag about. And for this past decade-plus, our team has lacked BALANCE and DEPTH. THAT falls on the GMs much more than it falls on the coaching staff.

  23. Destinjohnny Says:

    Keep dirk
    Fire Jason

  24. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I agree. I’d fire both the coach & GM. Pay a firm to find the best GM + HC combo for the future where both can be on the same page and where we know who is running the show.

    I really hate the lack of accountability with that in the NFL; in terms of whether or not the GM is controlling the team or whether you have a Jon Gruden scenario. Just be honest about who is making what decisions to your fans so we know who is accountable. Even if they are joint decisions I want to know who has final say.

    For me the Vea pick will be him vs Davenport/Payne/Derwin for the next few years. I’d have been fine with any of the 4 but when we made the pick that was my position pretty much – that he will be compared to those guys. I think Vea will be fine personally. Ronald Jones not so much.

  25. pelbuc Says:

    DR and LC are spot on! Licht’s sorry record and history of busts speak for themselves. First order of business is to fire Licht.

  26. down in the dirt Doug Says:

    Licht is a great guy and a below average judge of football talent.Not my opinion,but the opinion of many football experts and several gm rating services.Keep Licht if you want a guy to make you feel warm and fuzzy.Replace him if you are tired of losing.

  27. PSLBob Says:

    D-Rome, I’d love to argue your point. I’d love to see a new HC come in and work with the talent we already have, which I don’t think is as bad as your and others are saying. That’s the only way we’d be able to settle it – is it coaching or personnel?

  28. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    From his many free agent botches…Sweezy, Saggy Baker, Anthony Collins, Michael Johnson, Chandler Canta-make a kick…to his butchering of high draft picks…it’s time for Licht to hit the bricks and resurface as a scout someday.

  29. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Lack of development? Who do you think guys like Ryan Smith, Ronald Jones And Noah Spence are supposed to be? Very low ceilings.

    Ex. In the NBA a guy like Marcus Smart is never going to be a Steph Curry I don’t care what coach he has. It’s about talent level.

    Give Dirk actual talent to work with and not just a team with some talent and mostly bargain players.

  30. 813bucboi Says:


    what the hell you talking about?…..

    2 of the 3 guys you named for 2nd round picks that dont play…..and it aint because they cant play…..its because this staff has hampered their development……and ryan smith has talent but it isnt being developed….

    every player on the team cant be top 5 picks…..you have to develop the talent on the team…..

    what do you think coaches are suppose to do?….draft pro bowl caliber player in each round and just let them have at it?……no, you develop them….coach them up….

    you aint got to go to the NBA…..look at the chiefs…..was pat mahommes a starter last year?….didnt he have to sit a year and develop…..

    wake up man….the talent is there…..

    give a real HC this team and he wins 10games easy……


  31. Matts17 Says:

    Please don’t keep Licht. Please. He’s been awful. How many more swings and miss in the draft and FA do the Glazers need to witness first hand to realize this dude is not good at his job?

  32. Knack2Babbyyyy Says:

    Since Jason Licht joined the Bucs in 2014, his main focus during the draft has been the offense. Whether it was protection or weapons for Winston, he wanted this team to be able to win games with their offense. The wins certainly haven’t been there, but the statistics have. This team has the #1 ranked total offense in the entire league. The problem comes on defense.
    Jason has missed on countless amounts of free agent acquisitions, most notably on defense. If Jason can avoid signing boom or bust free agent defensive players and strictly continue to build this defense in the draft, he may be able to replicate what he did on the offensive side of the ball.
    With all that being said, If Licht does get another year, he needs to go all out in the draft. Trade into the top 3 no matter the cost. If it works out, then he got a very good player and an above average defense, if it doesn’t then he won’t have to worry about the picks that he traded away, because he won’t be in Tampa.

  33. TBTemojin Says:

    The Evans pick wasn’t has simple as people think. We desperately needed a QB that year and we easily could have pulled a Cleveland Browns and drafted Johnny Football that year….. Licht Dodged a bullet there.

  34. unbelievable Says:

    Show me a GM that has hit on every round 1 – round 3 draft pick over the course of 5 years.

    I’ll be waiting here til I die, because you can’t.

    If you want to hate on Licht for free agency, that’s fair. But then you have to give him credit for guys like Hump, Brate, JPP, Carl Nassib, Vinny Curry, etc. not really sure what to make of the D-Jax signing at this point…

    Look I won’t hate it if he gets fired, but the honest truth is this team has only ever had 1 GM that was actually better at talent evaluation. So be careful what you wish for fans.

  35. Tbbucs3 Says:


    “Ryan Smith has talent”

    Thanks for the laugh. That was hilarious.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    I said it all offseason, if Licht doesn’t upgrade the secondary, if they go into the season with Chris Conte and Ryan Smith still on the roster, then he WILL be fired at the end of the year.

    Well, he not only didn’t give the team enough talent to cut Conte and Smith, the team actually started the year with them as starters.

    That will get him fired all by itself, and it’s completely justified.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    Isn’t it amazing the same people who that think Ryan Smith has a long bright future in the NFL are the same ones who think Winston and McCoy have no right to be in the NFL? LOL! Talk about idiots.

  38. SOEbuc Says:

    Licht has a good shot at staying unless they wipe out the hole thing.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    Ryan Smith is a good back up.

  40. TOM Says:

    IMO I like Fangio as HC & keep Monken as OC & Duffner as DC & by all means get rid of Warhop. The rest ?

  41. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Glazers will ask Licht if Koetter should be re signed.
    If Licht says yes, they’ll both get fired. If Licht wants a coaching change, then only Koetter will go.