What Could Have Been

December 18th, 2018

Sad decision.

It was difficult for Joe to watch last night’s game, a thriller in Charlotte between the Stinking Panthers and the Saints.

There were guys all over the field making impact plays that Joe knows for a fact the Bucs could have easily selected in the draft. Not just that, but these same players play at positions where the Bucs still have a need.

Of course, Joe cannot watch a Saints game without thinking of how good Alvin Kamara would look in a Bucs uniform. Desperately in need of a running back, the team unthinkably passed on running back after running back two years ago in one of the deepest running back drafts in recent memory and instead settled on SnoopDog McPlaybook in the fifth round.

The Bucs selected safety Justin Evans in the second round in the 2017 draft despite Kamara sitting on the board. After a nice rookie season — nothing spectacular — Evans has fallen to earth in an injury-filled 2018.

So instead of having a major impact player at a position of great need like Kamara, the Bucs instead got just an OK safety (when he can get on the field) and an XFL-bound running back who is currently on his fourth NFL team since September (San Francisco, Denver, Indianapolis and now Tennessee) and has a grand total of two rushing attempts this season.

Defending against Kamara and the Saints were two cornerbacks Jameis Bradberry and Donte Jackson.

Bradberry was selected by the Stinking Panthers in the second round of the 2016 draft, three slots behind the Bucs who chose kicker Roberto Aguayo. Jackson, also a starter, was a second-round pick this year who was taken by Carolina two slots behind M.J. Stewart, the part-time nickel corner the Bucs grabbed.

Joe has a hunch that had the Bucs instead chose Kamara, Bradberry and Jackson, maybe Bucs coach Dirk Koetter wouldn’t currently be bracing himself for the coaching guillotine in two weeks?

Joe has to apologize. He didn’t write this to make Bucs fans toss and turn all night.

58 Responses to “What Could Have Been”

  1. nate s Says:

    what about dalvin cook and derwin james!

  2. Ray Rice Says:

    Ronald “they hate me” Jones

  3. Joe Says:

    what about dalvin cook and derwin james!

    Neither played last night.

  4. Joe Says:

    Ronald “they hate me” Jones

    Joe is going to steal that! 🙂

  5. Buc believer Says:

    Ok ok ok Joe you are MORE than answering the Jason Gump question ( to retain or not retain) but yet in the very NEXT story you will post about how hw needs another shot at it etc… as if the LAST 5 years are not enough to see??? SMDH!!!! You are worse than the girl who keeps breaking up with you and then calls you 30 mn later and asks you out!! I REALLY can’t see it!

  6. Joe Says:

    as if the LAST 5 years are not enough to see???

    Lovie was running the show in Licht’s first two years. Not one player was on the roster Lovie didn’t want.

  7. Buc believer Says:

    Ok Joe let’s just give that to you three years…. (which i am dubious of but you can have it) three years of this crap fest of ignoring REAL needs and the cutesy drafts are enough!! Again I point to the Chargers who were able to pull themselves out of a stink so bad that Mexico started to complain! And just look at them now! Incompetent owners hire incompetent staff. Hell as long as the bottom line is healthy errr profits that’s all that counts right Glazer clan!

  8. Larry Says:

    Totally agree! This is why I believe Licht is as big a part of the Bucs problems as Koetter is. Too many misses on draft picks. Too many misses on free agents. I do not believe it would be wise to let Licht select the next head coach of the Bucs. Just like Winston, Licht is an average GM. Nothing special. If the Glazers want a fresh start, why not clean house from top to bottom? There are enough decent players for the next regime to build around, but not near what there should be after this many years of managing the team. A really good GM and HC could have the Bucs in the playoffs in 2 years. Who knows what happens from there?

  9. Topcoach1978 Says:

    Just look at Licht draft history and overall body of work its horrible he has selected about 30 + guys and about only 7 of them has panned out only a few free agents also I blame him can’t do much as a coach with selections he makes!

  10. Fred W Mcneil Says:

    Did anyone else notice sulky cam Newton rudely brush aside drew Brees after the game was over?

  11. SOEbuc Says:


    You can’t consider how any player would look like on different teams. Derwin James could be playing awful in this young, banged up secondary. Dalvin Cook might not have busted his leg twice because he was running routes on a different turf. Alvin Kamara could look totally different behind this line. Not saying they’re not great players that were passed by the Bucs, but it’s basic human nature of the NFL.

  12. westernbuc Says:

    Justin Evans should be fine. I would’ve liked to see him a full offseason with Duffner. But Kamara would’ve made our offense unstoppable.

  13. Christopher Says:

    Some times I think fans put too much emphasis on coaching and not the player.
    Guys like Kamara – he’s a beast athletically and his vision and receiving skills are off the charts. He would have been successful anywhere.

    The job of the GM is to scout all players of positions you’re prepared to address in the draft.

    2016: we needed s DT in the draft that featured so many talented DT, it was considered the strength. We passed on Sheldon Rankins. He’s wreaking havoc for the saints.

    Round 2: what the heck didn’t we see in Yannick Ngeuchle (spelling?) yet saw in Noah Spence? Seemed like a PR move bc he played at Ohio state.

    And then Bradberry ? I mean joe, can you imagine if the bucs hauled in Rankins-Nguechle-Bradberry?

  14. Rick Says:

    I have to admit, the one that still kills me is mark Barron over Luke kuechly.

  15. Christopher Says:

    It does for me too but I’m letting that go. I’m judging Licht since Dom is no longer in the league.

  16. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Tired of listening to the talk, fire the GM, fire the coaches

    Black Monday will be a good Monday

  17. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Would Koetter have kept his job if he fired Mike Smith earlier? Nahhh, Jamies still can’t play in the second half.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Many many kudos Joe for writing this story (‘What could have been’ pieces are surely gut-wrenching to write). Every selection beyond the 1st round of every draft is probably a crap-shoot … players in Rnds 2-7 just don’t seem to ‘stand out’ like 1st Rnd players do. But Jason Licht has made it FAR more difficult than it needed by taking unnecessarily high risks in the draft. And he continued that by taking unnecessarily high risks when selecting free agents also.

    Won’t go all the way back to 2014 when he started with Lovie, BUT … IF you’re going to give Licht a pass for 2014 & 2015 like you did then yes he was LOVIE’S LAPDOG. Which leads me to conclude that Lovie selected him to be HIS GM solely because Licht would bless everything that Lovie wanted to do. Which Licht did apparently. That right there should’ve been reason enough for the Glazer Boyz to replace Licht at the same time they replaced Lovie.

    The 2016 to 2018 drafts saw some ‘decent’ #1 selections come to the Bucs (VHIII, OJ & Vea) but they weren’t necessarily the best picks based on NEED vs TALENT still on the board when we picked, nor were they the best selection based on BPA. Our 2nd Rnd picks (Spence, Aguayo, Evans, Stewart, Davis, RoJo) still leave me shaking my head for the most part. In each case there were significantly better choices still on the board as you’ve now documented. Licht chose high-risk players instead. Spence? High risk (extremely small for a DE). Aguayo? High risk (a kicker in the 2nd Rnd?). Stewart? High risk (too slow as a CB). Evans? High risk (remember the hits on him about his tackling?). Davis? (him I like as a 2nd Rnd pick, although several others selected after him have performed better this year). RoJo? (seriously … Charles Sims without the pass-catching & blocking skills).

    And Licht’s free agent pick-ups were just as risky (and unimaginative). I’ll be the first to give him credit for JPP … but only because JPP fell into his lap thanks to the Giants GM’s cleaning house. But how about Unrein? (a history of concussions & now he’s on our IR for … a concussion). Allen & Curry were both part-timers with Philly who Licht expected to be full-time starters here. Hasn’t exactly turned out the way. And we won’t even talk about Licht’s lack of vision for the Secondary & LB corps, except to say NO QUALITY DEPTH as we’ve now seen. Lots of GAMBLING in other words.

    You’ve often blamed the coaches for not developing these young players, but far too many of our young players lack the basic skills to be successful in the big league. Not fast enough, not quick enough, not instinctive enough, not tall enough, not heavy enough? In too many cases the baseline TALENT simply isn’t there to develop (as in ‘You can’t teach fast’? Or ‘You can’t teach big’? ). No sorry, send Licht packing.

  19. VaTom Says:

    I thought the coaching staff can’t develop CB’s? So why wouldn’t the two corners you listed have crashed and burned here too?

  20. Evo2706 Says:

    That’s on the GM not the coach. He is supposed to know OL at least. Besides market and Jenson. Hes been trash

  21. D-Rome Says:

    Yet, the “Totally Confident” crowd thinks the GM has brought in loads of talent.

    Our talent is not better than most other teams talent.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This certainly proves my point that it’s not where you draft it’s who you draft that makes a difference….

    So, losers from the losing culture….how about rooting for the Bucs to win against Dallas and Atlanta.

    Maybe root for a new GM who doesn’t miss on so many picks.

  23. Bob in Valrico Says:

    This article needed to be written. Even in the Lovie years Licht has taken responsibility for Anthony Collins who just came for the money. And between them they jettisoned some good players like Penn and Zutah. But once Licht wrested full control from Lovie things got much worse. We don’t have legitimate starters at key positions like O line ,corner, RB that has the ability to be an explosive runner and pass catcher,and quite possibly safety. There is no depth
    on the defensive side of the ball except on the D-line. this points to a lack of vision for the future. there are too many players that Licht and company failed to evaluate properly both in free agency and the draft.

  24. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Does anyone really think our coaches have put ANY player in the proper position to succeed?

    Draft picks on other teams (and even our dumped players on other teams) play better than our players because of coaching and scheme and culture.

    If any of those other could have been picks were here…they would suck.

    Because we can’t coach, we can’t develop, we can’t scheme, we can’t adjust, we can’t evaluate talent, we can’t, we can’t, we can’t….oh yeah, and we don’t, we don’t, we don’t, which leads us back to: we suck, we suck, we suck.

  25. Bucko40 Says:

    We could go on and on about poor draft history. Evans over Donald-push- both good. Barron over Kuechley, Claiborne over Cam Jordon. Winston over Mariota. Do I need to go on?

  26. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Both sheldon Rankins and Vonn Bell should have been our starters for 10 years. 2 positions filled and didnt need to be addressed. Keep on improving other positions thru the draft with talent untill your team is talented enough to win superbowls continuosly

    Teflon Gump continuously wiffs on busts and the position is never filled. The coaches are forced to play these stiffs even thou they suk because it would make look bad. The stiff cant play after 2-3 years of waste and gump has to overpay a free agent to fill that position

    Grounghog day meets forrest gump”

    Kobe Faker

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    Licht has trouble recognizing player talent and some want him to choose the next head coach?!
    Um, thank you, NO!

  28. Darin Says:

    Yeah that one gets me too Joe. I believe I said in here watch for Kamara in the first round. Licht even passed on him in the second. Im not gona say i knew kamara would be this good tho. Yeah it hurts. I was kinda excited about the ronald jones pick too tho. Guess we all hit n miss some.

  29. rrsrq Says:

    One could argue, when looking at JL’s drafts, Mike Evans was the easy choice, need and talent, we had no receivers on the team. JW vs. MM, push, MM behind this line would likely stay hurt (found AM, DS and Kwon – can still be successful (find the right offensive coach to get D. Smith to perform). Hargreaves( a need but a reach) the rest of that draft 🥴🥴🥴, OJ Howard fell into our laps, only time will tell with the rest of the draft, but for this past draft, Derwin James would’ve been like getting a blitzer, a linebacker and a safety.

  30. Joel Says:

    If we had Kamara, he’d be garbage here. NFL is 95% coaching. Rams are a perf ed ft example.

  31. Bosch Says:

    Yes, the case for jettising Licht is as equally strong as the case for firing Koetter. But that only treats the symptoms. The Glazers will remain as the disease. Unless….

  32. Pa Privateer Says:

    I know they didn’t play last night, but lots of Rookie RBs are having very good years. We chose Jones…..when we could have had Michel or others.

    Kamara does look amazing at times, but you also have Sean Payton and Drew Brees running the Saints offense

  33. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    And THIS is why the teams in the NFC South are better than the Bucs…the last decade of drafting hits vs misses.

  34. TheCoroner Says:

    Find out who made the actual draft recommendations on the picks made in the last 4 years and make them all walk the plank in heavy metal shackles.

    Throw in the old crew that passed of Luke Kuechly for Marc Barron.

    And Aaron Donald for Mike Evans. Yes, Mike Evans. Great receiver, but not offensive player of the year or leading the NFL in yards (or sacks).

  35. BurgDweller Says:

    The history of culture and coaching of the Bucs leads me to believe Kamara wouldn’t be the player we see him as on the Saints. He would be average to below average player on the Bucs roster.

  36. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Licht is so horrible and finally you guys have written an article regarding how bad he has been on personnel moves. If anyone watched Kamara at UT in college in the SEC, he was many times when he touched the ball which was sparingly but running and through the air was best player on the field. Anyways licht has passed on 3 RBS from the SEC/South in past 2 years from cook, kamara, and guice for 2 west coast guys that are horse crap…..not to mention all the other bs moves get him out of here

  37. Joe Says:

    I thought the coaching staff can’t develop CB’s? So why wouldn’t the two corners you listed have crashed and burned here too?

    Very valid point. Thanks for reminding Joe. 🙂

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Great post
    We all said it on this site from the second Justin was drafted
    Evans is awful

  39. RyJo Says:

    I have two thoughts about this:

    1) I have, up until this point, given Licht the benefit of the doubt but [the] Joe(s) laid out a pretty convincing case for him to be dragged to the “NFL-Is-A-Business” guillotine right after Koetter.

    2) NFL drafts are notorious iffy. People forget that as the draft was happening, the talking heads around the interwebs were singing the praises of Licht for Snoopdog McPlaybook and the dueling cornerbacks. How many “sure thing” draft picks turned into busts? I would love to see an article comparing the the Joe(s) reaction to each of the past 3 drafts CONTEMPORANEOUSLY side-by-side with their grading of those drafts today. Hindsight is, well you know the rest.

    Yes, I know these two thoughts are contradictory. Deal with it. If I had to choose a course of action, I would go with #1 though: give the Bucs a FRESH START in 2019.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    We keep Jason and the next coach gets fired in year 2

  41. BUCS BAGIJ Says:

    Bucs Fan #7423 Says: Would Koetter have kept his job if he fired Mike Smith earlier? Nahhh, Jamies still can’t play in the second half.

    I’ve seen Jameis lead the offense on many fourth quarter come-backs and gave the team leads that the defense could hold.

  42. 813bucboi Says:

    what couldve been if we never had fired the previous staff…..instead of 9-7 in 2016 we couldve been 10-6 or 11-5….

    oh well, grass aint always greener on the other side….lol…


  43. BrianBucs Says:

    I was also hoping that the Bucs would make some sort of an effort to draft Nick Chubb. However………….

  44. D-Rome Says:

    This article needed to be written. Even in the Lovie years Licht has taken responsibility for Anthony Collins who just came for the money. And between them they jettisoned some good players like Penn and Zutah. But once Licht wrested full control from Lovie things got much worse.

    Joe has an axe to grind with Lovie so he would never admit this.

  45. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I was at the JBF Draft Day Party, standing next to Steve White. Luke Kuechly was available, and it was our turn to pick. When we announced we were taking Mark Barron, the entire room let out a WTF.
    Steve White looked at each other, and just shook our heads in disbelief.
    Kerryon Johnson was to be had last year, instead we took Ronald Jones.

  46. tnew Says:

    Kamara doesn’t block well enough to play in this offense.

  47. Fire Light Says:

    Fireeeeee Licht!

  48. ed Says:

    Joe finally writes his masterpiece article exposing how poorly this regime has selected athletic type hard bodied type players no they have not.

    I’m no college football guru but when I watched tape of Ronald Jones and his college highlights I saw a rb that had no shake or wiggle. very little lower body strength and essentially could run fast through wide open holes that you don’t get in the NFL.

    He is a single cut runner with no strength so when he cuts back into a hole he doesn’t have the ability to squeeze through with power nor is there any lateral movement to make someone miss.

    OK so an in educated football fan can see these things on highlight tapes WTF is our general manager thinking that he can make this guy into a full-fledged starting running back disgraceful.

    There have been so many good running backs available in the draft the past two or three years you could Give a chimpanzee a list of 10 runners and it would draft a better back then our GM can.

    How can scouts not see obvious flaws in players they select where an average fan can pick up just by watching video on the Internet

  49. Cgmaster27 Says:

    Love watching cam suck. Joe can we stop with the whole Jameis is the worst qb im the division narrative? Cam is and has been awful outside of one year. And I love all the excuses he gets for a sore shoulder. Didnt see those for Jameis last year.

  50. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bucs would probably get similar results picking names out of a hat.

  51. Any Says:

    Joe loves his rear view mirror more than anyone

  52. Bucamania Says:

    Whoever is evaluating RBs and CBs needs to be walked to the door. It’s ridiculous how bad their selections have been.

  53. Bucamania Says:

    I was fine with Licht until this year’s draft. Just shat the bed. Time time go. This roster has no identity. No plan. Drafting press CBs to play off coverage. Drafting a 3-4 NT for a 4-3 scheme. Zero ability to evaluate RBs. Anyone on this board could’ve drafted Mike Evans and OJ Howard.

  54. Lord Cornelius Says:

    If you just let 10 select JBF posters pick our draft every year we’d be amazing.

    LUV/813/Kobe/bunch others/myself. Typically we nail this sh1t lol.

    I was ok with Vea but it probably would have been James. So vea or james but we all would have jumped on Guice top of R2; and Donte Jackson and his 4.3 nickle speed as the next pick.

  55. ElioT Says:

    • 5 Draft Classes
    • 34 Draft Picks (18 1st through 3rd Rounders)
    3 unquestioned playmakers/talents who would start on 31 other teams
    • Mike Evans
    • Ali Marpet
    • OJ Howard

    *Not including Jameis or Kwon as there are plenty of question marks with both of them.

    The GM must go!


  56. Tony LA Says:

    Licht has missed big on some great talent.

    Wait until this time next year when Guice is doing great and Rojo is still a 3rd string tailback.
    Can’t wait for the articles then,

    Every wise NFL scout and dynasty football analyst said Rojo was a player to avoid. I guess Licht knew better.

  57. Brandon Says:

    Why not go for the homerun, Joe? There was my choice in the draft making plays all over the field, Luke Keuchly. While everybody was wanting either Trent Richardson or Mo Claiborne, I mentioned in post after post that Keuchly was the man we should get… but we got Mark Barron!

  58. TOM Says:

    Big problem with Licht & the draft, he was always reaching instead of taking the obvious pick staring him in the face. Well Licht you can get cute looking for work. Your pathetic.