“He Was In A Little Bit Of Trouble”

February 24th, 2021

Far-reaching Bucs impact.

Forever in smelly local dive bars and in the streets of Tampa and surrounding cities, seen as a man who saved a franchise will be park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, trophy-throwing, Bucs Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady .

Along the way, Brady may also have saved the career and legacy of a pair of Bucs shot-callers.

Former Belicheats and Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, also the former Dixie Chicks assistant GM, made his regular appearance on “Good Morning Football” Tuesday. Pioli discussed how deviating from winning football norms is often a good way to set yourself up to get launched.

But Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht did just that — and may have bought himself a long tenure running the Bucs at the same time.

Pioli explained how it is dangerous for NFL suits to start copying the Bucs’ model of signing a hired gun of a quarterback to chase a ring and build around that guy. In this century (that’s 20 years), only four quarterbacks not “homegrown” by their organizations have won a Super Bowl, Pioli noted. And half of those were Bucs, Brad Johnson and Brady.

So Pioli was saying that philosophy is not a smart pattern on which to build a team.

So why did Licht do it? To hear Pioli explain it, Licht may have needed to shove all his chips into the middle of the table for long-term career health. In other words, Licht felt the hot breath of Team Glazer on his neck.

“I talked to Jason Licht,” Pioli said. “This was his seventh year. He was in a little bit of trouble.”

Did Licht sense the Bucs needed to make the playoffs in 2020 or he (and perhaps Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians) would be teeing up on the fifth hole of Old Memorial this morning pondering where they would move for their next step in life?

It was a helluva gamble by Licht and Arians, given the NFL history books. Brady shattered all (mediocre) records held by 43-year old quarterbacks. And the Bucs won the Super Bowl.

Now, Arians is on the cusp of a Hall of Fame coaching career if he can get the Bucs to repeat in 2021. Licht? Given his recent savvy drafts and the bold move to hunt and bag Brady, Joe suspects he will be running the show at One Buc Palace for a long time.

You can watch Pioli discuss this at the 4:30 mark of the NFL Network video below.

25 Responses to ““He Was In A Little Bit Of Trouble””

  1. '79 Defense Says:

    Congratulations to Licht. For all the time it took to build a winner and the shots he took from those along the way, I’m happy for him. Hopefully the success continues.

    Whether they win another one or not with Brady, I’m really wondering what the next 5-10 years holds for this franchise. We all know what life is like without a good QB.

  2. ClodHopper Says:

    As far as home grown talent goes I think the past will not be a clue on the future in this particular example. Things are changing and qbs are beginning to get savvy and anxious. I think the Aaron Rodgers episode is having the same effect on qbs around the league as Brady’s. Why would a qb want to stay on a team that’s not going all in during the twilight of their careers?

  3. Sport Says:

    There is no doubt this was a make or break year. There are a ton of moving parts and agree if the Bucs didn’t show improvement (playoffs) Licht would be on the hot seat.

    We didn’t just get any FA QB and we didn’t just have an average team. And Lord knows we tried to build a homegrown QB, the result was Purgatory.

    In BA I Trust!

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    To say that JL “was in a little bit of trouble” going into his 7th year here is quite an understatement on Pioli’s part. One winning season in his first six, and that was only a 9-7 record. Lots of high draft picks but little to show for it.

    When BA was hired in 2019, I remember everyone being so ecstatic because he was ‘The QB Whisperer’ & we had a QB who was gonna lead us to the Promised Land. BA was gonna ‘fix Jameis’ and we’d be off to the races. Jason had pulled off the coup of the century in everyone’s eyes. Obviously that didn’t work out so well because we finished 7-9 once again … and more changes needed to be made. And that’s where Tom Brady came in.

    No way to prove it, but I’m convinced that Tom Brady chose Tampa, not the other way around. Bucs NEEDED a QB to replace Winston; it had become obvious to most that he wasn’t THE ANSWER here. Bucs had a top offense already in-place. Bucs had a young but rapidly improving defense. And we had a 2-year window to git-er-done with the roster that we had. All of that fit perfectly with what Tom Brady needed to finish out his career as a winner someplace out from underneath the shadow of Bill Belichick.

    Tom Brady changed the culture of this TEAM. Not single-handedly as some seem to credit him, but in concert with some excellent leadership from others on this TEAM. But still, HE was the missing piece. I think what I’m seeing is that Bucs’ ownership, management, coaches AND key team leaders have now all learned how to work TOGETHER to create a winner. Gotta love it.

  5. BucsBeBack (Artist formally known as: BringBucsBack) Says:

    I think Brady’s rapid success here solidifies the notion that players make coaches and GMs “great”. Licht had A LOT of fortuitous events in order to get where they have gotten. He just won it all so, criticizing him now may seem foolish however, prior to this coaching staff the player-evaluation & drafting was below average and had some MAJOR gaffes and with a lot of early picks. Also, Licht’s knowing Arians lead to the coaching staff (which ALL miraculously became available at the same time), Arians lead to Brady, which lead to Gronk, AB, Fornette & maybe Sue a second year. How much credit should Lottery winners receive?

    I’m appreciative for the SB victory but, this reminds me a little of the Cowgirls’ coach that came in after Jimmy Johnson & won a SB. Was he a great coach or simply smart enough to get out of it’s way? He was so great I can’t even remember his name. He came from OU. He has as many SBs as Dungy & other HOF coaches.

    I’m not hatin’, I’m a little tired of so much credit being given to people who never take the field &/or are beneficiaries of fortuitousness. How has Belicheat done before & since Brady? He is THE greatest coach ever, right?

  6. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I don’t think it was such a big gamble. I am sure he was feeling the heat. But the choices were to bring JW back with his 40 TOs, or sign Bridgewater, or luck out on Brady. Licht did the smart thing AND made a heck of a sales pitch to Brady. God bless Licht!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ll give Licht some credit for bringing in BA…..but the bulk of the credit goes to BA attracting Brady….and Bowles with the draft and Defense…..Shaq, Suh & Draft picks….
    But yep….Licht deserves credit.

  8. Jim Says:

    Another astute, balanced analysis from “Defense”,..thanks. And notice he never uses the term “Hater”…

  9. WyldKat Says:

    Five years wasted with Jameis turnovers.

  10. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I don’t think it was such a big gamble either. When you have the chance to sign the GOAT you do it.

  11. Alanbucsfan Says:

    DR- love your post, but I think Brady and Bucs chose each other , remembering Arians’ comment about his desire to coach Brady shortly after 2019 season ended.

  12. doolnutts Says:

    I like our aggressive nature. Licht likes a guy in the draft he takes him, even a kicker. Heck Licht has moved up 1 spot to take the guy he likes. FA is more of the same we want a guy we go and get him. It is a refreshing style. I think building through the draft is very important Licht has proved that but am I the only one that was getting sick and tired of GM’s saying that over and over. Think of the years when we ignored Free Agency completely. Where the Glazers in money trouble? Or did we just have a very passive ideology to create home grown talent. I hope we continue to be as aggressive as possible it is working.

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    BucsBeBack- agree 100%- players make coaches and GM’s. Now, sometimes an ineffective coach or GM will screw up a talented roster (Switzer, Jerry Jones),
    but you have to have players first. Lombardi had a talented, dominating D, Shula’ s Dolphins had several great players ,Noll had a HOF roster, Walsh had Montana, Lott, then later Rice, Cowboys had Staubach, then later the Triplets, Ditka, Parcells had the Defensive players, Joe Gibbs had the “Hogs”, Pete Carroll had a great D and Russell Wilson, Reid had Mahomes and Bucs and Patriots had Brady.

  14. onetrickpony Says:

    I just hope they think about a qb to learn from Brady. I dont have much faith in the ones we have now. Yes sir,and I thank you for Brady

  15. Steven007 Says:

    BBB, Barry Switzer is the name you’re looking for. Legendary college coach. Landed with a loaded cowboys team. And as you said pretty much got out of the way. Of course Jerry Jones was the GM back then just like he is now. Thankfully we have a more traditional structure in place here.

  16. ClodHopper Says:


    I remember way back then they told him “he won with Jimmy’s team.” His reply was “I could have lost with them.” Simple yet clever.

    Yep. Get out of the way seemed like his philosophy to me too.

  17. delson Says:

    Like ALLLLL of the submediocre QB franchise records Winston surpassed. Except Brady did it witha better turnover ratio n leadership. The blind leads the blind over in the joebucs archives

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t know about “trouble.”

    I suspect the entire organization knew Winston was holding the team back, and that is not Licht, Arians or the Glazer’s fault…especially if it was the Glazers who pushed for Winston (I’d have preferred Mariota and the end result may be equal.)

    “Luck” is the intersection of “opportunity” and “preparation.”

    The Bucs were “lucky” to get Brady.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    That’s a lot of words about Newton to say “”he’s done.”

  20. Joe Says:

    I just hope they think about a qb to learn from Brady.

    They have.

    They won’t.

    And yes, Joe thinks it is a terrible mistake. Have written about this topic so many times. But, if you asked Bucs fans “Super Bowl this year but you will suck out loud for three or four years in the middle of the decade?” Who wouldn’t have taken that deal?

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    I had to search for “Taku Lee.” That was a fun 5 minutes.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    @Alanbucsfan … “I think Brady and Bucs chose each other”. I agree 100% and didn’t really mean to imply that it was ALL Brady’s choice. It was a ‘great fit’ IMO, disregarding the fact that Tom Brady was 43 yrs old. Kudos to the Glazers, to Jason Licht and to Bruce Arians for recognizing that ‘great fit’ and not just blowing it off because Tom was ‘too old’.

    Every team longs for that ‘young stud’ who’s gonna lead them to the Promised Land at least 6 times in his 20 year career. Guess what; only ONE QB has ever managed to do that (and he now plays for the Bucs).

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    February 24th, 2021 at 7:19 am
    To say that JL “was in a little bit of trouble” going into his 7th year here is quite an understatement on Pioli’s part. One winning season in his first six, and that was only a 9-7 record. Lots of high draft picks but little to show for it.

    it sure was an understatement…lol…the flame under his seat was a notch below dirk who was a notch below smitty..lol….but after the 9-7 season, it was clear coaching and scheme were the problems NOT players and talent….coaches couldnt develop anything outside of a few pass catchers and their scheme was outdated….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  24. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    And the Tombardi trophy will forever remain in Tampa Bay!

  25. dalvincookrules Says:

    Happy to admit I was wrong about Licht… he should be a life lesson to many of us, living proof that no matter how many mistakes you’ve made early on in your career (or life), it’s never too late to turn things around and surpass even your own expectations.