Jason Licht Talks Roster Philosophy, Deven Thompkins

December 20th, 2022

GM Jason Licht

Year 9 of the Jason Licht regime has seen a quality roster be coached into the NFL sewer. But this Bucs club has an NFC South-leading life raft down there floating around with the league’s 13 other losing teams.

All this losing isn’t Licht’s fault, though Joe sees a sect of fans blaming the general manager.

Regardless, Licht is the team’s fearless front office leader and took a rare moment to share roster-building philosophy on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

Licht talked how much he values versatility and that it shapes his decisions. He said he believes “teams that have the most versatility on their rosters are the best teams in the league.”

Versatility has been a big part of Licht’s drafting. Just look at this year’s draft haul. Logan Hall, Rachaad White, Cade Otton, Zyon McCollum and Ko Kieft all were considered versatile players at their positions, multi-skill guys.

Licht also talked about another versatile rookie, an undrafted guy whose moment had arrived: returner/receiver Deven Thompkins.

“Really impressive for weeks now and it was just time,” Licht said of Thompkins taking over for ousted Jaelon Darden. ” … If he does what he does in practice for us … then we’ve got something pretty special for us as a role player on our hands.”

Joe is very comfortable with Licht at the helm. He’s earned Joe’s trust and respect.

Joe’s hope is that Licht is given more influence and power when it comes to hiring and firing coaches.

42 Responses to “Jason Licht Talks Roster Philosophy, Deven Thompkins”

  1. Jmarkbuc Says:


    A punt returner is what he wants to talk about?

    Time for an end to the JLicht Experience.

  2. HC Grover Says:

    The Bowzo Bunch will blame ABB “Anybody but Bowzo”.

  3. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Licht has underperformed like a Neanderthal would in a Geometry class.

    1.Jensen goes down and Licht signs nobody-Tretter rated #6 Center in NFL.
    2. Hicks goes downand Licht signs nobody-HOF’er Suh was available.
    3. Licht drafts Goedeke high(Epic reach) and he FAILS MISERABLY
    4. Logan Hall and JTS drafted high-BOTH FAIL MISERABLY
    5. Bucs fire Darden-6th rated returner-Thompkins was abysmal vs Bengals

    Joe may want to let Licht off EASY-BUT I aint having it-LICHT DESERVES a TON OF BLAME.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    JL should be comfortable having difficult conversations with the G’Boyz
    about the coaching.
    It’s Christmas already and the team has not clicked,

  5. WillieG Says:

    Joe’s hope is that Licht is given more influence and power when it comes to hiring and firing coaches. — Why? Who is he tight with? Who do you think would be on his radar?

  6. D-Rok Says:

    Licht deserves some of the blame, this year, for taking no action when it was obvious to most fans that the O-line NEEDED some help before Game 1.
    I think it would be very helpful, at least to this fan, if some simple, concise explanation would have been offered as to why the O-line wasn’t addressed. I know he doesn’t have to explain anything to us fans, but in the interest of transparency…

    I will give Licht a pass on whom was drafted. Overall, he’s drafted some gems that have been excellent starters.

    I’m STILL wondering why Rudolph is on this team.

  7. BucU Says:

    Let’s be clear. This epic disaster which is the 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is a complete organizational failure. EVERYBODYS hands are dirty from Licht to Bowles to Brady and the 52 others in the locker room.
    But Licht wanted to discuss the merits of Devin Thompkins???? This is truly a bizarro world season.

  8. The Anomaly Says:

    quality roster?



  9. Bucanero Says:

    BucsFanSince76, my respect to you Sir but would you please be more balanced in your assessment. All your 5 points may be true but all of them are negative.

  10. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    I do not see ANY positive from Lichts’ player personnel decisions this season-from draft to player acquisition in the free agent market , so sorry Bucanero if my negativity is spot on as you agreed , but there are no positives and that is why Licht must be held accountable.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    my only grip was the hunt for special team players and tryon is trash and Hall needs to play DE

  12. Rayjay1122 Says:


  13. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Is everyone at One Buc Place delusional? They’re so versatile the team is 6-8 and would be nowhere if not for the PU division.

  14. chris l Says:

    Not blaming jason licht but a part of the offense’s problem this year is there is zero speed. we need to get younger and faster overall on this team. i hope it happens with a new coaching staff.

    also kind of ironic but bruce arians had a ton of issues beating the saints and rams yet bowles is 3-0 this year. albeit two were last minute wins but the rams game we were the better team overall (all phases of the game included). saints game we def got lucky but you still need to capitalize. whoever would have thought we would be 6-8 if you told me we would have been 3-0 vs the saints and rams this year.

  15. Jersey Bucs Says:

    With everything that has happened to this point, every post on multiple websites, every assessment by fan and ANALyst, every quote by anyone from this organization with the courage to offer an excuse or hope for what has happened here…the real question is? What will any of us do, if for some unearthly reason ownership brings EVERYONE back? You know we’ll be watching this train wreck live and in living color, or comfortably at home, we’ll be wearing the our new 2023 jerseys, and we’ll be lying to ourselves about a fresh start.

    The NFL is mediocre garbage at best. The Jags at 6-8 are close to top 12 power ranking, per nfl. com!!! Vikings at 11-3 and Cowboys at 10-4 are two of the least impressive teams ever with those records…especially when have the league is 8-6 or worse. Apparently, those officials from Sunday nights game had money riding on the outcome, based on their idiocy. This league owns the fans, and they know it.

    Insanity, doing the same thing over and over…while expecting a different result. Thus is the life of myself and every backs bucs fan.

  16. Jmarkbuc Says:


    The floor is yours… enlighten us.

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Time to clean house starting with knucklehead Licht, sick of this clown passing on legit P5 talent for these little school nobodies that just waste time; great pick with the guy who took the year off in JTS

  18. Rick Says:

    He’s a pretty good GM but lots of these picks have been busts as well. We are missing critical pieces of depth because of wasted picks like Darden and Vaughn. Jury still out and there is time but right now the Joe Tryon and Logan Hall picks aren’t looking great either. And don’t even mention Kyle Trask.

  19. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Agreed Joe Jason has done a great job with the roster.

  20. A40train Says:

    This team is soft. No fight in the dawg, no discipline and no heart. Starts with leadership.. the oline is patch work and can’t put a complete game together. The defense is soft and can’t put a full game together .Hall had shown nothing and was a reach.. JTS can be good with a good coach( not on the team obviously) He has the tools just needs to stop taking himself out of the plays. No veteran leadership on this squad and no accountability.

  21. Bucamania Says:

    Licht’s decisions in the draft and free agency since the SuperBowl have been HORRIBLE. Let’s not forget Licht traded up in the 4th round to pick Jaelon Darden. What a joke.

  22. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Letting JPP and Suh walk gutted the veteran leadership on the defensive side , not to mention losing two guys who were warriors and played hurt and hardly ever missed any games.

  23. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Jason Licht paid more for Akiem Hicks than what he would have paid for HOF’er Ndamakong Suh-let that sink in for a moment-Licht paid more for an often injured player than what it would have taken to keep a HOF’er that knew the defense like the back of his hand and NEVER misses a game. Really??

  24. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Jaelon Darden was immediately picked up by the Cleveland Browns. Ask yourself which team is better-Browns or Bucs?? Oh that is right , we lost to Cleveland-scratch that question.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our new punter is versatile…….he performs kickoffs and is one of the better tacklers on ST….(unfortunately)

  26. ben Says:

    When lineman were hurt at the beginning of the year Licht set on his hands and let the 3rd string players take over the line . Licht failed this year by doing nothing

  27. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Coaching staff sucks. With a gold coaching staff this team would be 10-4 right now. Those are facts.

  28. Dreambig Says:

    Devon Tompkins looks promising but do we even have a special teams coach? How many kickoffs on Sunday did that dim whit catch the ball in the end zone and run it out to get tackled on the 15 yard line? Let the damn ball go and let the offense start on the 25.

  29. captivajim Says:

    Licht & he trusted advisor BA have made bad decisions going back to last spring when they did not replace Cappa & Marpet with proven players.. Then the compounded those mistakes by replacing Jensen with a rookie center..
    then they tried to replace Gronk with Rudolf !!

    Not good decision making in my view….

  30. ocala Says:

    I have been a big Jason Licht fan, but if he keeps Bowles then he has completely lost his way as a GM.

  31. Hodad Says:

    Devin Thompkins would’ve been a chess piece for a team like the Chiefs, but he’s stuck on a team who’s O.C. is playing checkers.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    BucU … This epic disaster which is the 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is a complete organizational failure. EVERYBODYS hands are dirty from Licht to Bowles to Brady and the 52 others in the locker room.’

    You win the prize BucU.

  33. Defense Rules Says:

    This team lost its leadership and has no depth, leaving it extremely vulnerable to injuries. BA deciding to retire as late as he did (30 Mar) didn’t help and pretty much sealed Bowwles’ fate for this year too. Like BucU said … ‘EVERYBODY’S hands are dirty’ & this is a ‘complete organizational failure’.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … if Licht doesn’t have the power to hire & fire assistant coaches, who does?

  35. gotbbucs Says:

    Thompkins would be integrated into the offense and could have carved out a role weeks ago if they would have pulled their heads out of their respective butts at final cuts before the season.
    That’s, I guess, if Brady and Leftwich would have had the foresight to use him. Brady would rather be surrounded by old recievers with zero upside like Julio Jones and Breshad Perriman.

  36. Bucanero Says:

    In hindsight letting Suh walk was a mistake but Licht drafted and added a quality veteran to replace him. Things didn’t go as planned that’s a fact. Rachaad White and both rookie TE’s seem to be legit draft picks IMHO. Camarda was not a sexy pick but he has won us games. About Darden, he was too risk averse and showed nothing special, average at best. Goedeke ok yeah but you cannot tell me Licht cannot build an O-line from the draft because he built one of the better units in the league which dismantled due to injuries, retirement and free agency. I feel like little bit of a perfect storm came to the Licht house this year but regarding Suh, yeah, he should have brought him back. Guy made plays when required. Incredibly smart individual and football mercenary whose productivity has decreased. I think Licht can stand by his calls. The Bucs on paper where a Super Bowl favorite.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Complain all you like. Bowles wins these last 3 and he is back as our HC next year. Lose just one of them? And he is packing bags.

  38. University of Seffner Says:

    I agree with you Joe. Jason Licht has earned my trust as well. It’s fair to say that we kept him through his growing pains. To those who want him fired, Jason Licht has not been all that bad in the 2nd half of his tenure here. He’s not perfect by any means, but consider these facts, and some questions I have for you:
    1. Who would you bring in as his replacement? General Managers like Bill Polian don’t just grow on trees. Licht is not at the same level as Polian, at the same time you could do worse than him. I’d rather have him than us still riding with Mark Domnik as General Manager.
    2. Licht has drafted the following players: Mike Evans (Future Hall of Famer), Chris Godwin, Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa, Tristan Wirfs, Vita Vea, Carlton Davis, Jordan Whitehead, Mike Edwards, Antoine Winfield Jr, Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, Robert Hainsey, Jake Camarda. All those players there are solid. Sure, Licht has had his fair share of misses, at the same time, he has shown he can find quality players in the draft. To be fair, the jury is still out on the rest of the 2021 and 2022 Drafts.
    3. Licht could’ve dismissed the efforts to get Tom Brady, but he didn’t. Brady obviously liked what he saw here, signed the contract, and we were Super Bowl Champions at the end of the season. Do you seriously want to ax the guy who played a role in getting the GOAT in here?
    4. Licht managed to get almost all the Super Bowl 55 Team resigned in the 2021 Off-season, we won the NFC South, and if we didn’t have the injury bug that year, we might’ve been able to get by the Rams in the Divisional Round, get by the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, and with the way on how Joe Burrow’s Offensive Line was in 2021, I’m pretty sure that our Front 7 could’ve won us the game in the Super Bowl because the Bengals Offensive Line that year looked a never ending swinging gate with how many times Burrow got sacked in 2021. Realize that we came really close to being back-to-back Super Bowl Champions, and again Licht managed to keep the nucleus together.
    5. In Free Agency, Licht has been able to find quality players there as well: Shaq Barrett, Cameron Brate, Jason Pierre-Paul (trade), Ndamakong Suh, Logan Mankins, Brent Grimes, Leonard Fournette, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, Ryan Jensen, Shaq Mason (trade).
    6. Perhaps the best decision which Jason Licht made was hiring Bruce Arians as our Head Coach because he turned our culture around from the Lost Decade.
    So anyways, you could do worse than Jason Licht as General Manager. You don’t just ax someone and not have a quality replacement in mind.

  39. Weston Says:

    Licht is the best GM we’ve ever had and its not even close.

    You can’t blame him for this year’s roster with the turmoil that was going on in the offseason/training camp. Brady had one foot in, one foot out. Marpet unexpectedly retired. Gronk retired. Jensen got hurt. Arians retired and forced these coaches on him at the last minute. We are basically missing 3 pro-bowlers on the O-line, and he’s done a great job at having quality, unheralded backups ready to go. He hits on the draft FAR more than he misses, and seems to get better as he goes. He’s made really solid trades. He pulled the trigger on TB12, swallowing his pride on Jameis.

    We are lucky to have him.

  40. Uncle Urk Says:

    JL has done a good job. He just doesn’t like to cut bait on his misses. Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Nelson, Gio Benard, Donnie, Perriman, Gabert, erc… All players that we know have maxed out. This players, except Donnie are wasted roster spots. Nelson for example, Shaq got hurt and everyone called forJTS to step up. Nelson is older, been on the team and in the league longer. Noone is saying anything about him stepping his game up. It’s his time and you wouldn’t know he is even on the team. I read all the comments about JTS. When was the last time you heard Nelson on the sack, Nelson on the tackle, Nelson with the pressure? I’ll wait.

  41. Whybucswhy Says:

    @uncle urk one was a first round draft pick, and one was a fourth round draft pick. One was highly touted and the other was a project. Both are underperforming massively. Jason licht lets JPP and Suh walk in free agency and the heir apparents/ free agents haven’t been able to meet prior production. Jason licht also deserves some blame for handing out terrible contracts to Cameron Brate AND Donovan smith. Let’s not mention the Roberto aguayo debacle when Tyreek Hill was drafted shortly after.

  42. al Says:

    I still havent forgiven Licht for trading up in the 2nd round years ago for roberto aguayo