Jason Licht Sensed Success With 2023 Bucs

October 6th, 2023

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

One reason the Bucs all of a sudden are getting so much run nationally is that so many in the national NFL media are confessing they were wrong.

The Bucs are in sole possession of first place in the NFC South after four games. Some playoff projections have the Bucs with a near 70 percent shot at making the playoffs.

And not quite a month ago, just about every NFL analyst outside the Tampa Bay area thought the Bucs would be in the mix for Caleb Williams (#CollapseForCaleb).

Licht had a feeling his team wasn’t about to settle for a collapse.

Appearing on Peter Schrager’s “The Season” podcast earlier this week, Licht said he was getting vibes during training camp that the Bucs might do damage this fall.

“I went on record several times in training camp, people kind of were writing us off and I said, ‘I just like the DNA of this team,'” Licht said. “I liked how it was all coming together.

“The players wanted to prove to the world that we still had good players, we still had a good team. So I am not surprised we started off the way we did.”

Notice Licht didn’t say he expected the 3-1 start, just that he is not surprised.

This could be a fun season, for sure. But Joe wants to see growth. If you make mistakes, learn from them and adjust.

While Joe maintains the Bucs were two or three plays from keeping the Eagles’ game a one-score game, the Bucs still got pounded physically by one of the toughest teams in the league.

Did the Bucs learn from that? Have they adjusted and taken the necessary steps to play better against a physical team? The Lions, built and constructed very similarly to the Eagles, will be a good benchmark a week from Sunday on Creamsicle Day.

29 Responses to “Jason Licht Sensed Success With 2023 Bucs”

  1. BillyBucco Says:

    Their gonna play hard no doubt.
    I think they learned what winning football is about while Brady was here and preparation is infectious when you see results like that.
    I just hope the chip on their shoulder continues and they don’t start thinking they will win because somebody else will make a play.
    There is a job to be done. Everybody thinks somebody is gonna do it. Anybody can do it but Nobody does it is a loser mentality.
    Somebody make a difference. Anybody can, so everybody needs to be ready.
    I think the Magic continues with an Orange blur.
    A complete game in creamsicles would be EPIC.
    Bucs 34 Lions 24

  2. Hodad Says:

    Could be a fun season? I’d say it’s been a barrel of fun so far!

  3. Trask To The Future Says:


    Baker Mayfield has really grown on me. I really think Trask has talent and will have a bright future, but when we first signed Mayfield I really hated the signing. I thought he was highly overrated and not cut out for NFL a success.

    If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend searching Baker on YouTube. Watch the “Mic’s up” Vikings game from Week 1. You can’t watch that and not come away with liking the guy. What a great teammate and leader.

    I also suggest you search YouTube for Baker’s recent interview with Rich Eisen. I didn’t realize Rich was so fond of Baker and has been for years. It’s a great interview about Baker taking many of the O-Line guys to the Bahamas after he was named the starter and how he’s really gratefu that Tampa gave him a chance. He apparently sold himself to the Bucs and really wanted to come here.

    It’s really hard not to like Baker after watching those videos and seeing how nice of a guy he is but how much he wants the Bucs to win.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Did the Bucs learn from that? Have they adjusted and taken the necessary steps to play better against a physical team?’

    That I think is the question of the day Joe … Can we beat a physical team? Looking at the Lions 4 games, my answer would be ‘Yes, IF we can get them to make mistakes’.

    Lions have played a tough schedule already, and beaten the Chiefs, Falcons & Packers (the last 2 convincingly). They did it using a ‘balanced attack’ offensively (scored 75 points using 108 runs vs 99 pass attempts) AND playing some excellent defensive football (gave up 46 points in those 3 games) while making relatively few mistakes in the process (1 giveaway each game).

    The 1 game they lost however (37-31 against the Seahawks in OT) was different. Lions gave the ball away 3 times in that game, costing them 2 TDs). Seahawks did a good job of holding Lions running game in-check (27 rushes for 103 yards) & that forced Goff to pass more (he did a good job, 28-for-35 (80%) for 323 yards passing, but threw a critical Pick-6 in the 4th qtr that let the Seahawks go ahead).

    So yes, we have to play physical with them, but most importantly we need to stop their run game & not let them control the clock (and the game). We’ve gotta try to run against them to keep their defense honest, but probably won’t have a huge amount of success there. And oh ya, win the Turnover Battle convincingly like Seattle did.

  5. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I’m 100% behind you with that statement, Trask to the Future. If we didn’t draft Trask, I would have been jumping for joy. I really liked Mayfield and how he got treated in Cleveland was disgraceful by them. I’m very torn about this situation, but I want what’s best for our beloved Bucs, so I’m not going to root against him for sure. He is definitely growing on me more.

  6. garro Says:

    Hmm interesting point Joe. Have we learned, improved, adjusted? Hope we are doing the self scouting etc that Bowles mentioned.

    The good news despite getting out physicaled by the Fleagles is that we now have a clearer idea of what needs to get better. That was my only positive take away from that one, aside from our kicking game.

    Go Bucs!

  7. garro Says:

    I’m with you DR. Stopping the run is still a problem for us I think. Hope i am wrong though.

    Go Bucs

  8. Mike C Says:

    Washington takes Philly to OT in Philly (river boat Ron my @ss, go for 2 bro!), than the BEARS absolutely destroy Washington……..? Smh IDK

  9. stpetebucfan Says:

    @Mike C “.? Smh IDK”

    Don’t know if you had a chance to listen to the late Chris Thomas on the radio. He was my all time favorite radio sports personality, locally or nationally. He had the answer to your questions. And he loved to gamble or at least loved the “science” of handicapping.

    Thomas said, “NFL stands for No Freaking Logic”.

    The beauty of a draft, a salary cap, and a determined effort to create balance and competition.

    Regardless of what you think of the NFL overlords…starting perhaps with Pete Rozelle….they were right about trying for balance.

  10. Kevin V Says:

    Old Bears fan here-until we relocated. I loved my physical’85 team. That team was more physical than most. Then along came Bill Walsh and his West Coast offense. They were tough and exploited our weaknesses. We can’t out physical Philly yet. I think we can attack their defense more effectively though. Make their big men run. My .02.

  11. stpetebucfan Says:

    “Notice Licht didn’t say he expected the 3-1 start, just that he is not surprised.”

    I think Joe nailed it with this sentence!

    Two things can be true at the same time. A lack of expectation does not preclude a quiet belief and hope. Two things can be true at the same time.

    BA was the one who changed the culture at OBP but Tom Brady was absolutely the icing on BA’s cake. They BOTH deserve a TON of credit. Saying Brady was the GOAT in his first year and a distracted over the hill vet by his 3rd does NOT diminish Bradys achievements on the field and with the culture when he arrived.

    As Rod points out anybody who didn’t realize that Brady came here as a mercenary is “mentally ill” (pick out any insult of the many/insert here) implying that nobody should expect “loyalty” or gratitude for the team that ENABLED his 7th SB.

    Baker has turned out to be an actual NFL QB. Kyle Trask has shown that he too can be an NFL QB, he’ll just have to wait his turn to prove it. The fact that one has ALREADY begun to succeed does not mean the other is a failure or not good.

    “Fans” always wish to see their teams with rose colored glasses. I certainly do!
    Why not be positive and have fun, isn’t that the point of cheering for your team to begin with?

    I get “honest” opinions of players/coaches/management and they vary greatly.

    But I honestly do not understand some. A poster I shall not name because I consider him a friend and fellow writer away from JBF seems to have lost his mind in his negativity towards Baker. It’s as if Baker must have whizzed in his Wheaties!

    Yes the team is 3-1 and a LOT will happen in the remaining 13 games for EVERY team in the NFL. Be prepared for a Bucs losing streak, for Baker to have a multi-interception game, for disappointment. That does not mean there’s a continuing need to diminish the achievements to this point in the season!

    At least like Licht be prepared for success! There’s always time for recrimination at the end of the season.

  12. HC Grover Says:

    Can we please beat the Lions first.

  13. Tbbucs3 Says:

    If Baker proves that he can be the QB for not only this season but for future seasons the Bucs need to move on from Trask….Licht using a 2d round pick in the Tom Brady era on a QB whos gonna sit for 5+ years was a huge miss.

  14. Duane Says:

    A lot of comments above focus on Mayfield, and he has certainly performed better than lots of talking heads projected. But the Bucs team is actually built to do well as long as the quarterback isn’t losing games by inaccurate passing and too many turnovers, and as long as the game planning doesn’t put too much on the shoulders of the quarterback. That’s the kind of team that Coach Bowles and Dave Canales sought to build and it appears that they’ve done it.

    So far, the Bucs are passing on slightly less than 52% of the snaps. Even if the rushing yards are not great, the fact that we are still getting it done with a balanced offense is exactly what the coaches wanted … and it’s working.

    Baker Mayfield is doing his job. He is not blowing up the stats sheet for quarterbacks, but that is just fine. Mayfield ranks just 18ths in passing yards, and the Bucs offense is ranked 20th in points for – neither stat is eyepopping.

    The real interesting stat is defense – we are 7th in the league in points allowed. That comes both from great defensive performance, but is is also aided greatly by the offense not turning over the ball – only 3 turnovers (2 INTs and one fumble lost) to 10 by the opponents.

    I recall JBF just before the season began poo pooing Todd Bowle’s emphasis on turnovers as an important stat for defenses. JBF claimed that sacks mattered much more than turnovers. I beg to differ – when you have a defense that gets 10 takeaways, while the offense is only giving up 3 – that IS in fact the margin of victory in our 3-1 season start. We’re getting a decent number of sacks too ranking #12 in the league, but we’re #3 in interceptions.

  15. Duane Says:

    bbucs3 – not so fast on Trask being a wasted pick.

    He only barely lost out to Mayfield, and that Mayfield is doing good means that Trask would likely also be doing good if he was the Bucs starter.

    Also, this will be a long season and we have a no. 1 quarterback and a no. 1A quarterback … the former of which could easily get injured and miss games or even the rest of the season, and then the 1A comes in to win games.

    Keep in mind that the current starter of the excellent first place San Francisco 49ers team was Mr. Irrelevant a year ago, third on the depth chart, and did not start a game until Week 16 last year … and went on to win 4 of 5 games. Somebody whom nobody expected to ever play a snap.

    Until Kyle Trask is called upon to start in multiple games, nobody knows how well he will do.

  16. doolnutts Says:

    In what was supposed to be a down year being able to compete is a HUGE deal. 45% of our cap is allocated to folks not even on the team. This is how you correctly build a team not tanking and praying to god for some rookie qb who might not even work out. A season like this builds your culture and if we can keep this core together and just keep adding to it we will be dangerous. Saints were the only worry in this division and we just punched them in the mouth. I think this division is ours for the foreseeable future. Jason Licht is the man.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike C … Never want to play a team when they’re desperate. And 0-4 Chicago was big-time desperate for a win against Washington.

  18. Capeceiskaput Says:

    The 3-1 start makes a huge difference. If they go 7-6 the rest of the way they get to 10 wins which should win the division. The Saints I think are about to implode. The Panthers still have a long way to go. Biggest threat are the Falcons. The Falcons can finish over .500 if they do one simple thing. Get rid of Ridder and put in Heinicke. The longer they stick with Ridder the better chance the Bucs have. If they put in Heinicke sooner, then I think they will turn things around faster and be a threat to win the division. Heinicke is not a top 20 QB but he can win some games, throw the ball down field and is capable of putting a team on his back, something that Ridder is incapable of at this point. I really don’t know what Arthur is thinking on that Ridder situation but I hope he keeps thinking it for our benefit.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Beat 2-3 good teams and I’ll support Mayfield more for this year.

    Making the playoffs won’t be enough…we’ll need to get deep into the playoffs to win me over…since our division is so bad. Show we deserve the playoffs and I might support Mayfield next year.

    But…giving him a big contract after one year? I am cautious.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think a healthy Carr would have made a difference for the Saints…but it wasn’t to be for them. If he returns healthy, then things might change, but it will likely be too late. Certainly the Carr we played against was not healthy. They would have been better off playing Winston, taking the loss, and giving him time to heal.

    I do not feel the Panthers or Falcons are any good at all. Falcons seem to be winning home games, but all of their gameplay has been subpar to the Bucs.

    Bucs are betting .500 at home, but are rocking it in away games.

    At the moment, we appear to be the best of 4 subpar teams. Until we beat good teams, that’s likely how it will remain. Our schedule is mostly light games…peppered with a few good teams.

    I think we can easily get 10 wins…assuming we don’t self destruct after the bye week. We’ll walk into the playoffs.

    We just have to prove we deserve to be there.

    That being said…most of the team is playing with heart and determination. That can even be said of Mayfield.

    There is the passage of time to consider too. The team should get better as the season progresses. The OL should improve. The DL should perform better. Even QB play should improve.

    So they may well make themselves worthy to be in the playoffs.

    I love just about every area of the team. My only questions remain with QB. Sooner or later, Mayfield is going to face a defense that comes after him hard and does it properly. How he responds to that will decide whether I buy into him.

    To be fair…I do not expect him to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. I would be entirely happy with a Brad Johnson superbowl year performance. Minimal mistakes when the going gets tough.

    Do that and I am sold.

  21. PbnJ Says:

    I’ve lived a Bucs life. That is, they’ve grown up under my watching eyes. I was there, young but there, in the Big Sombrero from the beginning. Both my physical life & fandom life have introduced me to pain. Both have shown promising moments and then fallen apart, but they’ve also delivered a couple impossible, improbable seasons. Still, the pain lingers longer than jubilation, and I’m enjoying the moment while not getting carried away.

    Check with me in early December and I’ll be ecstatic to be wrong now, but I have no confidence this will continue. I want to lose perspective and dream big, but Todd Bowles is still Todd Bowels. He’s among, seemingly, the best people the NFL offers & I like rooting for him. Just don’t expect anything different from me until they prove they’re something different sans Brady. I will continue to have no confidence in Bowles after coaches like Wyche & Raheem burned deep wounds in my heart. Maybe it was one of the others that started a season on fire or showed tremendous promise before ultimately letting us down in the late 80s early 90s. Perkins? Doesn’t seem right. Damn sure wasn’t Bennett, though.

  22. MadMax Says:

    I remember saying to go after Baker, offer him 4-6 mill and see what happens….the post is in the search function somewhere, (I just cant get it to work), and ladedadeda, lookie lookie lol. I knew he just needed a better team and another fresh start. Now Mr Licht on these late rd draft picks, and the undrafted, dude is golden there. It also says a lot about our coaching.

  23. matthew a veal Says:

    IMO Licht has drafted good receivers, special teams and linemen. the bucs have always had good linebackers, good tight ends and talented quarterbacks.
    Bowles added defensive backs to the mix.

    Pretty good combination.

    if only we had Dungy drafting the running backs, .

  24. Bobby Says:

    Bonzai, who do you think is greatly responsible for our 3 wins? Mayfield has impressed everyone in the nation except you. Are you one of those guys marching in a parade who asks “Why is everyone else marching in the wrong direction??”

  25. PewterStiffArm Says:

    To me, this Detroit game is the biggest measurement of our success early in the season. We weren’t ready for Philly, and it showed. For whatever reason we aren’t known to have home field advantage at RayJay. Even with Brady under center we struggled. If we can beat the Lions, look out. After that, the trip to Buffalo looks like the most difficult environment. Let’s come out swinging with the Creamsicles, go BUCS!!

  26. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Bonzai – you constantly talk about how you feel, yet consider that few, if any of us, care how you feel. Try having better comments that don’t involve your feelings. Whether you like Baker or not means nada.

  27. geno711 Says:

    For people taking shots at Bonzai, sometimes he has been a better prognosticator than most of the rest of us. In January 2019, 7 out of 8 Joebucs fans wanted Licht fired. Bonzai stuck to his own analysis.

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:
    January 1st, 2019 at 7:49 am
    The claim that Jason Licht sucks is a false claim. He’s probably the best GM we’ve had outside of Rich McKay…and he might even be better than Rich by the time all is said and done.
    It is not the GM’s job to get wins, so blaming the record on Licht makes zero sense. His jon is:
    – Choose Coaching Staff (with owner approval)
    – Balance the Salary Cap
    – Fulfil the Vision of the Team that the Head Coach desires
    – Sign Free Agents to Cap Friendly Contracts
    – Draft 3-4 Good players per year (on average)
    – Work team beneficial trades

  28. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Bonzai, I’m sure Mayfield lays awake at night longing for your support… probably time to consider joining another team if your going to activity root against the 3-1 starter

  29. BAKERSBucs Says:

    I see pessimissum & optimism that’s called balance keep some negativity to keep these players grounded.i 1 see baker everywhere rite now I don’t know if it’s good or bad for his mindset I hope it’s good cause everywhere he goes is praise he was on pat McAfee today at I car wash before that then at Okla as a speaker before their game today Holy crap he is all over the place I hope it keeps him grounded I’m a huge fan since college days