“The Leap” Is Apparent

August 13th, 2021

Yes, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht was going bold this week.

The eighth-year GM was chatting with Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman in advance of the preseason opener tomorrow at The Licht House.

One of Licht’s comments was a firm one about his defensive backs.

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

Jason Licht: 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.

Joe had been wondering about the team’s impression of Winfield, Jr., as it relates to him taking the sophomore jump so common among excellent players. (Will Tristan Wirfs do the same? Is it even possible?) So it was great to hear Licht include Winfield specifically.

That’s an exciting call by Licht, that the entire secondary has made a leap through three weeks of practice.

Joe will feel even more comfortable if the back end can progress as a unit, as well as individually. That level of improvement could cushion a potential blow if the Bucs were to have an edge rusher get injured.

15 Responses to ““The Leap” Is Apparent”

  1. David Says:

    Good to hear about Edwards because the way Whitehead hits, I don’t forsee him ever playing 16 games.
    Also great to hear about Winfield. The safeties gave up a lot of deep stuff early on and need to clean that up.

    Personally I am curious about Dean. SMB had those playoff INT‘s but Dean is the fastest CB on the team, I’d love to see how he progresses

  2. SB~LV Says:

    Best thing about the young DBs in particular is that they know that they can play, if they have a slip up or blown play they can blow it off and come back on the next play. That was and has not been the case until the end of the season last year.
    Praying that the injury bug is not hungry

  3. BucNnole Says:


    I think you should post something on the passing of Mark Cook. I know PR is considered competition. But he was a great reporter and good man.

  4. Dano Says:

    I all ever read is how Dean gives up TD’s

  5. August 1976 Buc Says:

    We all hope what JL said translates into good play on the field in real games. So we hope so, because target #1 is the Bucs Secondary on game days for their opponents. WHY? Becuase the front 7 is elite at stopping the run. So man up boys in the secondary here comes the heat. GO BUCS!!!!!

  6. SlyPirate Says:

    Both sides of the ball have been bragging about the Gravediggers all preseason.

    The defense is going to create a lot of turnovers this year.

    TB12 is going to have a monster season as a result.

    Complimentary football at its finest.

  7. SB Says:

    Telling you guys we hang a 40 burger on Dallas and win by 24 or more points!
    Fock what Vegas says!

  8. Jason Says:

    Thank you Mike Edwards for getting better. You scared the crap out of me your rookie year. I thought you were the second coming of Sabby the Goat. I was wrong and I apologize. My bad.

  9. BradyBucs Says:


    The “Nosepickers” (not Gravediggers) will get EXPOSED early and often during this season.

    SMB, Dean, and Davis will all get burned for TDs after being out of position, taking bad angles, and playing the ‘average’ NFL cover guys that they are.

    All this HYPE for a secondary’s weak overall season play that was clearly masked by an insane pass rush (often due to O-Line injuries) in the playoffs & SB.

    Those guys SUCKED during most of the regular season and were the reason for our losses. They almost lost that Wildcard game too allowing the XFL QB guy to throw for over 300+ yards and run wild on them.

    I’m still not buying this Gravediggers HYPE until they can prove it, especially in games where our pass rush isn’t getting as much pressure.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    3 FGs allowed to KC……Nosepickers?

  11. Biff Barker Says:

    TBF, the first half of last season they were the nosepickers. I never thought we’d see a SB. They got much better after the pass rush showed up. Turnovers helped greatly.

  12. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    BucNnole: 100% agree with you. All the Tampa Bay football world has offered condolences, including the Bucs, Licht, Sapp, Jenna, celebrities, etc. But crickets here.

  13. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    This defense is still ascending even after the last eight games of solid play

    In all phases IMO
    Holding it down !

  14. Don’t make a scene 35 Says:

    If you guys think this defense has to shut every team down like our past very special defense of two decades ago, You know all the names
    Not going to happen
    This is an offensive league and with all rule changes for playing defense
    It would be very difficult to have a completely dominant defense like Dungy Kiffin built
    These guys are going to be fine

  15. View from 132 Says:

    It sounds like they are going against Tom Brady in practice every day. That would make you better as a secondary, I would think.