“They All Wanted To Be Here”

May 21st, 2021

Explains winning the offseason.

Usually, when a team wins the offseason, the reality of the regular season slaps it square in the face.

Winning the offseason generally means losing when toe meets leather.

This year, it is very likely the Bucs will win a lot of games in part because they won the offseason. Think about it: The Bucs are coming off a Super Bowl win where their star quarterback didn’t know the playbook until the 12th game of the year.

On top of that, the Bucs did something no team has done in 42 years — bringing every starter back.

This week, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht did a spot on “The Eye Test for Two” podcast with Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors Ira Kaufman and Clark Judge. There, Judge asked Licht how in the world his staff pulled that off?

Clark Judge: I remember once talking to Jimmy Johnson about Super Bowls and he said, “The hardest thing about coaching is not winning a Super Bowl. It’s about winning the second one,” because of distractions, shortened [off]season, free agency, contract demands — you name it. But your offseason [laughs], is so good at least on paper, that you will have all 22 starters back and that wasn’t supposed to happen I don’t think. Somehow, you made it happen. How did you manage that and did even that surprise you?

Jason Licht: When we were at the boat parade, and Bruce [Arians] got up on stage and said that “We are going to bring you all back,” and I was hydrated pretty well. And I doubled down on it and [laughs] I looked at my wife and said, “Oh no, how are we going to do this?” But I didn’t know at the time it hadn’t been done since 1979. If I had known that, I probably wouldn’t have said it. But you know, as we started moving along through free agency, the whole group here [at One Buc Palace]… we started attacking [each player] one at a time. There was really no priority. Whichever [contracts] we could get done first, and second and third and so on. We kind of found that during this process that everybody wanted to be here. You know, I don’t want to say they took discounts. But it wasn’t as difficult [to re-sign players] if we were coming off a 9-7 year, that’s for sure. They all wanted to be here. They all love playing for this coach, for ‘BA’ and this coaching staff. They love playing with this quarterback [Tom Brady] and they love playing for each other. It’s the best — the absolute best — locker room I have ever been a part of. It’s so selfless. There’s no drama. And everybody wants to win.

Licht also mentioned how he worked for Johnson in his second year in the NFL. And in February, Johnson texted Licht congratulations after the Super Bowl and added, “Now the hard part begins.”

All the pieces for the Bucs’ to Go for Two are in place. Something tells Joe there will be more pressure this fall mainly because of expectations. Very lofty expectations.

With Brady as the leader, he’ll make sure guys won’t be watching too many reruns of Super Bowl LV.

14 Responses to ““They All Wanted To Be Here””

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Just Like BA would say, it is good pressure. You WANT to be the HUNTED, no time for slouching lol, because every week you get the “A” game of others. BA and Brady and the Team say bring it on!!

    There are 31 other teams that wish they had the “pressure” the World Champion Bucs have. This Bucs team is locked and loaded for a historic run.

    The attention and pressure sure beats all those years of smelling a SLOW BURN dumpster fire at “Den of Depression”

    It is good to be the Hunted, it is good to be WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!20-0!!!

  2. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    Very lofty expectations. Yes they are …. and who better to lead them properly … By example … ” 2021 The Year of the GOAT ” we live in great times!!

    With Brady as your leader, he’ll make sure guys won’t be watching too many reruns of Super Bowl LV this fall.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I really don’t know how much credence you can give toward Brady’s lack of knowledge of the playbook……I suspect he knew most of it early and it probably evolved…..nevertheless, he & the offense should be better….

    More familiarity with playbook
    Gronk in shape for entire season
    OJ for entire season
    AB in shape and there for entire season
    Gio Bernard replacing Shady
    Jalen Darden added to receiver corps

  4. Youngbucs Says:

    Hey oneilbucs 🤡 did you read they love playing for this QB!!!! You mad bro?????

  5. Cobraboy Says:

    @tbbf: it wasn’t just the playbook, but every QB Arians has coached said it is a difficult offense…until you get it.

    Brady was used to one offense for how many years? And one group of players?

    I suspect the difficulty was learning what each player could do well combined with the playbook.

  6. Bruce Blahak Says:

    I’m all in, injury the only curse to a repeat …most teams don’t have their sh*t together, especially in the NFC…the no drama comment is big…everything is in place. 28-0

  7. Allbuccedup Says:

    More familiarity with playbook, Gronk in shape for entire season, OJ for part of the season, AB in shape and there for part of season, Gio Bernard replacing an over the hill Shady and Darden as insurance for AB.

  8. Buc50 Says:

    There’s no drama except for Fournette pouting.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    All comments above are spot on and yes COVID-19 makes things tuff on the league and players, but the Bucs must continue to improve when it comes to drafting and finding undrafted free agents that will come in and be competitive!

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    Won’t be long before the Brady train pulls out of the station. It should have a full head of steam by Week 4 and will be rolling over the rest of the league en route to SB LVI. The only possible obstacle on the track will be injuries.

  11. Winny Testaverde Says:

    I love the Jimmy Johnson tidbit…”congrats…but good luck repeatin’!” Paraphrasing but that was my takeaway. Bring on all the doubters & naysayers!

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Manipulative egos and bad attitudes will submarine a talented team. And defense is more important than offense, although the 2 affect each other’s results.
    The 2003-2004 LA Lakers had Kobe, Shaq, Malone and Payton, but they lost the Finals in 5 to a Pistons team that was clearly less talented.
    Team chemistry and checked egos were what catapulted the talented Bucs in 2020 and that will be key again in 2021.

  13. BA4President Says:

    Somebody wake me up. This can’t all really be happening, can it?

  14. Youngbucs Says:

    Alanbucsfan I agree with you that’s why I was hesitant about Lenny coming back.