Q & A With GM Jason Licht

August 12th, 2021


On the brink of the preseason opener, GM Jason Licht took the time with me to discuss the state of the Bucs as training camp winds down.

Q: What are your impressions of training camp?

A: It’s been extremely competitive. There’s been more energy than I remember in the past years. Players are jawing back and forth, which is great. Lots of communication, getting better on both sides, and there’s nobody sitting on their hands. Nobody is content with what we did last year, that’s for sure. That started this summer when I spent some time with Bruce at his lake house. You could see the fire in his eyes and that’s going to bleed into the whole team. It already has. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

Q: Is it fair to say that shortly after the boat parade, everyone in the organization began guarding against complacency?

A: Bruce has done a phenomenal job in that regard. He held a team meeting before the boat parade and put the message out that it was last year’s team — we’re starting out with a different team. Everybody got the message. We enjoyed the boat parade and the visit to the White House of course, but everybody was ready to get back to work.

Q: What part does Tom Brady play in warding off complacency?

A: He plays a huge role, and everybody listens to him. A lot of people would have hung it up after winning three Super Bowls. He wants to win another one, and probably another one. He’s on top of it. When you have a head coach and a quarterback who are both on the same page in that regard, everybody else is going to follow.

Q: What are your feelings about this roster? Many people are saying the Bucs have a legitimate shot at repeating.

A: There’s a lot of great players here, and that’s a credit to our coaching and scouting staff. It’s also a credit to our owners for letting us bring everyone back. Leadership here is off the charts.

Q: What young players could take a big step up this fall?

A: Mike Edwards has been having a fantastic camp. In fact, the entire secondary has taken a step up. Even Antoine Winfield, who was a great player last year. That whole secondary has been a lot of fun to watch this summer.

Q: What could a healthy Vita Vea mean to the 2021 Bucs?

A: You mean the same thing he meant to us when he came back for the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl? Vita’s an impact player. He’s a freak.

Q: A lot of people are gushing about your first-round pick. Just how impressive has Joe Tryon been?

A: We’re very, very happy with what Joe’s done out here, but we haven’t played a game yet. It’s rare because most of the time rookies need a lot of development when it comes to their repertoire, their arsenal. You can get away with certain things in college. But I’ll say this: Joe was extremely well coached at Washington. That’s a great program.

Q: How are things going with the Covid issue?

A: Knock on wood, last year I was extremely proud of all the protocols we adhered to, all the protocols that we set and the enforcement that Bruce had. It’s a full-time job for (Director of Athlete Performance) Greg Skaggs. It can derail you for sure, as it did for a lot of teams. And, we’re in the hotbed.

Q: Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL. How are you feeling about the depth on this roster?

A: Coaches will grade a practice and think some are better than others. As a general manager, if there’s no injuries, it’s a great practice. Depth played a huge role in our championship season, whether it was Aaron Stinnie, A.Q. Shipley, Kevin Minter, Steve McLendon or Khalil Davis. We played with two backup safeties in Green Bay, so it played a key role. It shone the light even more on how critical depth is for your team.

Q: Giovani Bernard could prove to be a valuable addition. How will his pass-catching skills help this offense?

A: He definitely brings another dimension.

Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman, Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame selector, is presented by Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of Ford for the past 61 years. Dealership GM Sean Sullivan, Ira’s good friend. is waiting to give you the Ira Kaufman Discount and to help you personally with any question you might have. 

23 Responses to “Q & A With GM Jason Licht”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    Licht’s preparing us for Mike Edwards. There’s gotta be issues with Jordan Whitehead. This is not good, i don’t care how people spin it

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Gio is going to be a big part of dominating time of possession, converting more 3rd downs into 1st downs, which translates to a more rested defense. And AB is going to be much more near his Pittsburgh days then he was last year. The Bucs are a scary good team!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  3. geno711 Says:

    Medicated Pete with his personal spin about Mike Edwards looking good means that there are issues with Jordan Whitehead.

    I say don’t worry. We can always bring Justin Evans back to the squad. 🙂

  4. Steven007 Says:

    Honestly Whitehead and Edwards are somewhat interchangeable. Clearly whitehead is the more physical player against the run. Edwards however clearly has more ball talent. I would feel confident with Edwards out there. Though of course I hope Whitehead is healthy and can go.

  5. Bradinator Says:

    Good interview and a nice read. I am excited for thee season. Heck, I’m excited for pre-season! Just let this storm veer off just a little please.

  6. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I wish Licht was asked about the kicking competition between Ryan Succop and rookie Jose Borregales. So far, Borregales has a leg up on Succop, going 7 for 7 during the last practice, nailing a 60 and 48 yarder.

    Not sure if anyone noticed but Borregales was the top kicker in college last year but for some reason, he was not drafted. This might be a great Licht pickup, perhaps making us forget about Aguayo.

  7. firethecannons Says:

    Mike Edwards played as a backup safety in the NFC championship Green Bay, he was awesome–remember the play 3rd down and he and another player pass defensed Davante Adams-it was outstanding play.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ira missed a question we all want to know…..”What do you think about Mario Cuomo being a host on Jeopardy?”

  9. StAugBuc Says:

    Mario Cuomo is dead so that would be weird . . .

  10. Bertorican Says:

    I know it’s a new season/new team and all that but I think Succop is going to have to stink it up in preseason for them to make a switch. He was clutch last season and the Bucs will probably be wary to let him go unless he’s demonstratively worse. We’re gonna need multiple seasons of good Bucs kicking to forget about all the failures of years past.

  11. Dew Says:

    So Patriots reissued Gronks number. I hope he & Tom destroy them & Gronk has at least two Toddies.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Good stuff Ira!

  13. Jrivy21 Says:

    Ira strikes again. Tremendous coverage! Depth will come into play. Not if but when. No championship is won without it.

  14. Devin DiPalma Says:

    Dew, honestly not surprised. As if brady and gronk need any extra motivation for that game!

  15. Buczilla Says:

    Awesome as always Ira.

  16. Darin Says:

    Medicate more Pete. Edwards wont be the reason if they dont win it again. Find something else to worry about

  17. Medicated Pete Says:

    @Darin <– This season, I'll be sure to let you know every time Edwards misses at tackle or assignment & a WR or TE guts us

  18. D-Rome Says:

    Nice article, Joe.

  19. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Bertorican, I hope you are right…..as of now Succop is stinking it up in practice, while Jose Borregales is having a great camp.

    Let the best man win during preseason.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    I hear the word “complacency” more than “Tom Brady.”

  21. Show Me the TDs Says:

    I have always thought that TB12 has one more goal before he hangs up his cleats. To be the 1st back to back to back SB winning QB. Licht confirmed that.

  22. Weebs10 Says:

    Show Me the TDs….he’s already won back to back super bowls. ’03 and ’04

  23. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Mike Edwards was close to beating out Jordan Whitehead anyway. We’re gonna have to start paying these guys, and with CDIII due for a new deal, it makes sense to like JW walk next year & Edwards step up.