Jason Licht: Health Is The Key For The Secondary

April 21st, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Last year, two things jumped out at Joe as the smoke began to clear after the playoff loss to the Rams.

1) The Bucs had no depth at cornerback last season.

2) Bucs corners really, really need to work on their tackling.

Cornerback play was not good and the poor tackling against the Rams likely helped Los Angeles get out to a huge lead before the Bucs nearly had a comeback win for the ages.

Last year the three “starting” corners, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, missed a total of 15 games. And whenever one went down, it seemed the defense damn near collapsed. This was very frustrating. And this is why Joe is so over-the-top that the Bucs should draft Clemson corner Andrew Booth.

Generally, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht doesn’t have much of a poker face. But earlier this week when he spoke to the local pen and mic club about next week’s draft, Licht seemed to think the secondary, specifically at corner, is good so long as they can stay healthy.

“Well, we’re healthy,” Licht said of the secondary. “Right now, we’re healthy. So, we want to keep it that way. We had a lot of these young guys play very well two years ago when we won the Super Bowl, and I don’t think that talent went away.

“So, we’re healthy now. We’ve added players like Logan Ryan [and] Keanu Neal that we’re excited about bringing some veteran leadership back there. I think we’re in good shape.”

Let’s be real: Do we really expect Davis, Dean and SMB to play in each game this year? Joe wouldn’t bet on it.

If the Bucs do not draft a cornerback in the first round, Joe sure hopes Todd Bowles drills those three as much as anyone with the art of tackling. Sloppy tackling in the playoff loss to the Rams just won’t cut it.

20 Responses to “Jason Licht: Health Is The Key For The Secondary”

  1. Buczilla Says:

    Dean and SMB have each had good moments, but they are frustratingly inconsistent and injury prone. Davis is an overpayed middle of the pack starter that is also injury prone. All these dudes can be and should be replaced if they do not improve and I would applaud Licht picking up three more corners to compete before the season starts. Booth would be an awesome start.

  2. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    We had a better pass rush 2 years ago that made the corners look better than they really were. I’d rather draft a DL first then corner after that.

  3. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Smoke screen. Jason knows we need more competition back there n depth. I like the booth pick. He will push for a starting spot n if not he adds depth. It’s a passing league. We need more DBs n pass rushers.

  4. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    Trade Trask to the Lions for their early 3rd rounder #66 use that to draft best available corner.

  5. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The Secondary played less than a half of the first game against Dallas last season. They were beat up all year. The secondary it was a glaring weakness from the SMB injury against Dallas. They were already the weak link anyways, and then the injuries became a constant obstacle to overcome every week.

    Hopefully the new blood added will help out the secondary, but they are no spring chickens either lol.

    Time will tell if the secondary continues to be a weak link or a strength.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’d be OK with a CB in round 1 or 2……the other pick should be DT……

  7. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    SMB has had one good game in his tenure so does that lay on the player or the coaching or both and Dean has shown to get better by baby steps. Dean will fall to a double move or pump fake quicker than a 21 yr old at a bar full of cougars

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    JL: ‘Right now, we’re healthy. So, we want to keep it that way.’

    Now THAT’S what I call a strategy.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    BTW Joe, our backup CBs last year weren’t great, but I’d bet that 2 of them will make the roster as backups this year. Cockrell, Delaney & Desir all gained a ton of experience in Todd Bowles’ defense.

    o Ross Cockrell (age 30): 17 games – 474 def snaps – 7 PD – 48 targets – 32 completions – 66.7% – 43 tackles (29 solo)

    o Dee Delaney (age 27): 15 games – 213 def snaps – 2 PD – 26 targets – 19 completions – 73.1% – 17 tackles (13 solo)

    o Pierre Desir (age 31): 12 games – 308 def snaps – 4 PD – 33 targets – 24 completions – 72.7% – 28 tackles (26 solo)

    With Davis, Dean & SMB as ‘givens’, I suspect we’ll list Logan Ryan as a CB (or DB) this year, and carry 2 more CBs. If we don’t draft one (doubt we will), most likely candidates would be Cockrell & Delaney. Just a guess though.

  10. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    GM Jason Licht says a healthy secondary is key…no duh.

  11. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    DR, right on what an irresponsible statement by Licht, time to be PC and time not to be PC; this is a time to challenge the guys on the back end that played like dog poop last year; they are getting paid really well so it is ok to say their work product stunk.

  12. Steven M. Says:

    All the DBs need tackle coaching. The offense is great.
    DL/Pass Rusher and cornerbacks are the top need.
    Also, get someone who is capable of covering Cooper Kupp.

    More 4 man rushed like in the 2020 SB.

  13. Ash Says:

    Smb just doesn’t seem to have the instincts to play the position which is why I think they signed Logan. I know Logan played safety with the Giants but I think he would be better in the slot.

  14. Marine Buc Says:

    Jason Licht: Health Is The Key For The Secondary

    In other news – Jason Licht has stated that the sky is blue and grass is usually green…


  15. Dooley Says:

    It really was bad, we even lost Rashard Robinson to injury and that impacted our punt coverage

  16. Buccos Says:

    I still say if one of the Georgia D-lineman fall to us that you have to take him. You build from the trenches!

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Blame the CBs all you want for the Rams loss Joe….

    The thing that really “jumped out” for me in retrospect of that game was the – LACK OF PASS RUSH!

  18. SlyPirate Says:

    Pickgrin … 3 points by the offense in the first half didn’t help, especially when the Bucs only lost by 3.

  19. GOB Says:

    This should scare you bucs fans. If Licht really believes that injury was the singular reason his secondary sucked, he’s delusional. The bucs secondary overachieved during the superbowl run. Even completely healthy, I believe they would’ve struggled. It was a mistake then to bring the entire secondary back, and short of Logan Ryan, it’s a mistake this year.. I’d be very surprised if Licht doesn’t draft a DB in the first two rounds.

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

    GOB, you are correct. I hope they don’t believe that “the secondary is fixed”! The only times they were all healthy last year (1/2 of cowgirls & rams), they weren’t diggin’ graves. The defensive coordinator turned head coach still asks “cover corners” to play off of the ball too much. The unfortuitous blitzing & lack of pass-rush doesn’t help, either. They MUST know that they need some better talent at the CB positions!