“It’s Taken Us Some Time To Build Up That Back Half”

March 30th, 2022

Imagine if Team Glazer got impatient with general manager Jason Licht and pulled the plug on him after the 2018 season.

You know, thrown Licht in the trash with Dirk Koetter and Gerald McCoy.

A new Bucs general manager coming in no doubt would have handled the secondary differently. The dude probably would have panicked in a hurry. What did Licht do? He drafted cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, plus safety Mike Edwards in the 2019 NFL Draft.

All three, plus 2018 draftees cornerback Carlton Davis and safety Jordan Whitehead, played huge roles in the 2020 run to Super Bowl glory.

It’s a story of patience and process, and Licht conjured the memory for Joe at the NFL Owners Meetings this week when he said, “It’s taken up some time to build up that back half.”

The quote from Licht came when he was speaking about retaining Davis with a big contract and keeping the defensive backs together as best he can. Licht was clear that he didn’t want to lose Jordan Whitehead to the Jets, but no great team can keep its best players year after year.

Of course, Licht drafted Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. in 2020 (second round), and signed two-time Super Bowl corner/safety Logan Ryan last week.

Licht sure has rewarded Team Glazer for its patience after back-to-back 5-11 seasons.

Retaining Licht might have been the best ownership move since ending local TV blackouts or deleting the stupid Siege The Day slogan, none of which should ever have been inflicted on innocent Bucs fans.

24 Responses to ““It’s Taken Us Some Time To Build Up That Back Half””

  1. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The backend for the bucs is terrible and, was along with a very bad coaching call, the reason the bucs did not extend the game against the Rams and possibly move on to the championship game. Davis is a solid starting NFL corner and the other 2 guys are HUGE question marks. Winfield needs to take another step forward and then the rest need to pick it up biggly.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    I still cannot believe Bill Belichick won Exec of the Year in 2021.

    BB won because he got the Pats back to the playoffs after a 1-year absence.

    Meanwhile, Licht’s team won a SB in 2020, was the first GM to retain all 22 starters in +30 years, tied for best record in NFL in 2021.

  3. Posey99 Says:

    Anyone hear from Fred, he ok?

  4. Bojim Says:

    Remember when some people on this site want him gone?

  5. Casual Observer Says:

    And whatever happened to Dingleberry?

  6. ATLBuc Says:

    OMG!! Please don’t remind me about the Smith brothers’ social distancing DB scheme

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    Takes a long time to develop corners, in particular if you’re trying to develop a bunch of young guys at the same time. Generally it takes a while for safeties as well, that’s what makes Winfield Jr so special, he stepped in from day 1 and dominated.

    It’s also what makes you worry about the future. You can’t pay everyone, and ideally you’d have the next guys already on the roster so next year they’d be ready to go.

  8. Dooley Says:

    Can we stop sleeping on Jamel Dean while we’re at it?

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    JL’s grown a BUNCH since those pre-2019 days, but I have to believe that what made the difference is Bruce Arians & Todd Bowles signing on. And Bowles particularly, since he totally changed the Bucs’ defense when he arrived in changing to his 3-4 hybrid defense.

    Our Secondary was almost totally rebuilt in a single draft (Dean, SMB, Edwards all played major roles in 2019), not to mention that our 1st Rnd pick was Devin White & our 4th Rnd pick was Antony Nelson. Those 5 players have become stalwarts in our current defense, as well as Suh signing on in 2019 (because of Todd Bowles?). And of course it was improved in 2020 with the addition of Winfield.

    Maybe it’s just me Joe, but I don’t believe in coincidences (like Todd Bowles coming in 2019 as our new DC with a new defensive scheme AND almost all of our 2019 draft focus being on DEFENSE. My gut feel all along has been that the cost of getting Bowles here was allowing him to make those selections in the 2019 draft to rebuild the Bucs’ defense to meet HIS requirements (which were radically different than Mike Smith’s). I was totally surprised when he chose to come here instead of going to Chicago in 2019.

  10. zzbucs Says:

    Probably I am alone on this one, but I think our secondary is average, probably the weakest part of the team, with the exepction of WInfield, that he is very good, I don´t see any of our CB very good, as a matter of fact I see them average…….

    And before Joe comes to me, I am not a hater…….

  11. SKBucsFan Says:

    I’ll take an average backfield if it means that we can have an above average front 7.
    The only problem with drafting too many of the same position in one year is that they all get to be the same age atvthe aame time. Definitely need to draft a CB in the 4th this year or next. We need to keep a steady stream of less expensive, skilled players in the works. Based on our salary cap issues next year Licht needs to hit on his picks this year.

  12. firethecannons Says:

    thinking we should draft a KR/PR cornerback yes I know he is small but he is for special teams and support after
    CB Marcus Jones – Houston 5’ 8” 174 lbs.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    zzbucs Says:
    March 30th, 2022 at 2:53 pm
    Probably I am alone on this one, but I think our secondary is average


    Depends on your standards. By 2002 standards, our secondary is flat out terrible – Winfield could have played on that 2002 Bucs team, but Davis would be, at best a 4th stringer – none of the rest of them would have even made the roster.

    BUT by 2022 standards, the Bucs secondary is actually pretty good – and that’s more about how the rules have changed to give the offense a lot more of an advantage. No one really has excellent secondaries anymore, just like no one has really good returners anymore. It’s the NFL messing around with the balance of play, and if they keep it up, in another decade this is going to be Arena Football – which, by the end, was nothing but a contest of who had the ball last, and made it really dull to watch since you knew nothing mattered until the every end of the game.

  14. geno711 Says:

    Thanks Munch for last comments.

    Feel like I been saying for months when you compared our defensive efforts over the last two years, they have been well above average.

    Ok to dislike players or coaches or calls.

    But overall when people call this secondary or defense trash, it is not supported by the amount of points we give up per game compared to other teams around the NFL.

    By the way, I actually support drafting a cornerback almost every year – like New England or Green Bay. Those secondary guys get injured and there are lots of nickel and dime packages called during games. So holes become obvious when you have a less skilled guy playing.

  15. Craig Says:

    Drafting DBs seems to be a crap shoot. Less than half of the great college ones can transition to the NFL and sixth rounders that looked horrid in college walk right into the NFL game.

    Right now I have to say that Licht got lucky in 2018. Three usable backs in one draft is unreal, but maybe Licht learned something with Hargreaves ( don’t draft a DB in the first round).

  16. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Im fine posey99. It was a catheter type thing to implant a cardio mems device to monitor my heart failure.
    Thank you for asking.

  17. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    I’m alright with a 1st round corner, but not a smallish, slower guy h
    Like Hargreaves.
    He was a 3rd or 4th rounder with his measurables.

  18. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    5’9, 205 … 4.5+ 40

  19. NCBucfan Says:

    Dooley, Dean has to be able to play a whole game before people will stop doing that. I mean dude cannot stay healthy. I really think he has the most upside of all our corners, he just has to stay on the field!

  20. matthew veal Says:

    I was wrong on licht, joe and everyone else that preached patience.

    In my defense, the odds of us landing Tom Brady and him staying elite were slim. Still, Licht got arians and several other great moves. So I was proven wrong.

    I thought we would be looking at a train wreck after Brady retired, but, christ on a bike, we’re looking good yet again.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes Says:
    March 30th, 2022 at 1:43 pm
    The backend for the bucs is terrible
    I guess your definition of “terrible” is different than mine. Did they consistently get beat deep? No. Did they consistently give up a lot of points? A little over 20 points per game, so no on that. Did they give up a lot of receptions? Yes, like every other team in the NFL.

  22. Ben Harvey Says:

    Backend could still use work, but in order for that to work, they need to win with 4 man rush more often as well. Fixing the secondary I’d just as much about fixing the pass rush. If anything I’d only want an upgrade over SMB. Other than that the secondary is solid. JPPs down year hurt them.

  23. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    For any Bucs fans that solely blames the last play on just the secondary, then you need to watch and listen to HOF, Florida grown and trained, one of the greatest Bucs ever and greatest to play DT, Warren Sapp’s analysis of the final play against the Rams.

    It was on the great Joe Bucs Fan article titled:

    Warren Sapp Not Pleased How Bucs-Rams Game Ended

    Sapp talks about what is taught to lineman from Pop Warner: Ball ready you ready.

    Shaq and Suh are not ready as they both are standing with their hands not in the ground.

    Sapp criticizes the blitz angle of the Bucs player, saying are you blitzing from Polk County.

    Sapp criticizes making moves on the blitz.

    Sapp criticizes our safety Edwards for taking the TE on the curl instead of taking Kupp and helping Winfield with over the top coverage.

    Sapp criticizes LVD for having his hands on his hips as the play is going on and reacting to it slowly.

    Football is a team game. The defense failed as a team on that last play against the Rams. It wasn’t just one person.

    Sapp gets it. Knowledgeable football fans get it too.

    Blaming the last play against the Rams on just the secondary is just plain wrong.

  24. David Says:

    I really can’t wait till the secondary plays healthy most this year just to shut some of you up. They were the most injured unit in the entire NFL last year. They gave up less yards per pass than almost every other team. Those teams could not run on them so they passed A LOT. The Bucs are best with a pass rush playing press coverage. Because of injuries they couldn’t do that, they had to play a lot of zone with a lot new faces, even getting a retired Richard Sherman off the streets at one point. What they ended up doing and how far they got was pretty remarkable.

    CD is damn close to a pro bowl.
    Winfield is really good and should take a big step forward.
    Edwards is a back up and a slot guy and is a ball hawk.
    Dean is way better than most of you give him credit for and the fastest guy in the backfield.
    Delaney showed a ton of promise with his speed and ability to play man.
    SMB is the biggest ? I have. I assumed Dean was going to beat him out for the starting corner but then SMB never really got the chance because of injuries.

    Anyway you look at it, it is a very young group and just because of another year of experience, they’re going to be better this year. Add in The fact that they can’t possibly be as injured this year, I expect a big leap forward.