Disrespect Runs Beyond The Roster

March 2nd, 2024

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There’s no brain drain going on at One Buc Place — and Jason Licht wants an explanation.

Licht cherishes the input of his crack front-office staff. Assistant GMs John Spytek and Mike Greenberg are trusted aides whose informed opinions and analysis have been essential elements in the franchise’s recent success. Mike Biehl and Rob McCartney, two grinders who have a combined 23 years of work at One Buc Place, share Director of Player Personnel duties.

Bucs GM Jason Licht enters his 11th season.

While Licht is in no hurry to see them walk out the door, he remains puzzled why his GM tree hasn’t grown branches throughout the NFL. In his mind, teams should be lining up to steal away a talented brain trust that has contributed significantly to a Super Bowl victory and three consecutive division titles since 2020.

Licht is onto something here.

Assistant GM John Spytek.

Spytek, entering his eighth year with the organization, and Greenberg (entering Year 14) are very good at what they do. Licht makes the final call when it comes to building the roster and working the salary cap, but he relies heavily on a staff he built and nurtured.

When, Licht wonders, will these trusted associates get an opportunity to flourish somewhere else with a higher profile?

The answer is simple … it’s the Bucs.

It was easy to overlook this organization during the dark days, when the Bucs went 12 years without making the playoffs. Prime-time TV exposure was minimal as Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter roamed the sidelines.

For three seasons, the Bucs were relevant on the national scale because Tom Brady was under center. Suddenly, the Bucs were a different animal because the GOAT called Tampa home.

Then Brady called it a day and the national media called the Bucs losers. Vegas oddsmakers pinned the over-under win total for the 2023 season at 6.5. Despite a 4-7 getaway, Todd Bowles directed the team to nine wins and another NFC South crown. When the Bucs trounced the Eagles in the opening playoff round, the vast majority of the national chatter focused on the defending NFC champions and their fall from grace.

It seemed like nobody beyond the Bay area wanted to acknowledge the compelling story playing out in Tampa with Baker Mayfield and a young, hungry football team.

While the Lions and Texans generated headlines last fall, the Bucs found themselves buried in the NFL weeds. Despite Philadelphia’s late-season freefall, the Bucs were underdogs at home in the postseason.
No surprise there. Disrespect and the Bucs go together like Ybor City and Cuban sandwiches.

The Raiders were favored against the Bucs in their Super Bowl matchup. The Bucs were underdogs to the Chiefs when they met in the NFL’s showcase game. When the 2003 schedule was released, Tampa Bay was assigned a Week 1 matchup at Philadelphia.

“The last six Super Bowl champions have opened at home,” Jon Gruden said. “I don’t see why we need to break that trend.”

This long-established lack of respect for the franchise could hurt the eventual Hall of Fame case of Lavonte David. A national football website recently ranked Baker Mayfield the league’s 20th-best quarterback, four spots behind Anthony Richardson of the Colts, who completed 50 passes in an injury-plagued rookie season.

No respect, no respect at all.

Maybe the Bucs should put up a mural of Rodney Dangerfield at RayJay.

Special Guest Bucs GM Jason Licht; Ira Shares Bucs Combine Buzz, Dissects The Licht Interview, And More

Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red)! He loves it!

18 Responses to “Disrespect Runs Beyond The Roster”

  1. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    I think you put it correctly: a lack of respect. It’s not DISrespect, it’s a lack of.

    We’re a small market team. The Dallas Cowboys are on primetime whether they are good or not. The Bucs are basically the Cardinals, the Panthers, or the Colts–if we’re not doing well, the national audience doesn’t even know what our uniforms look like.

    The Bucs will most likely always have the small market thing against them, but winning solves everything. If they keep winning the division–hopefully with better than a 9-8 record–they’ll get the respect they deserve.

  2. Hodad Says:

    Perhaps if we had beaten the Lions, and Texans during the regular season we would’ve been talked about more, and them less? Let’s not also forget rookie Stroud broke some passing records against us that day Ira. Sorry, the Lions, and Texans completely out played us in both games. Don’t know why you would pick those two teams as examples of us being disrespected?

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I don’t mind it, it makes the successes even sweeter.
    We’re undefeated in Super Bowls and average about 40 points while allowing only 15 in the big game.
    And if you’re a long time fan, then you know that this team has historically shot itself in the foot way too many times.
    We play better as the underdog.

    I feel no shame.

  4. Bosch Says:

    Hey Moose! Rocko! Help the judge find his checkbook!

    – Rodney Dangerfield, Caddyshack

  5. Dave Pear Says:

    Let’s all remember who the Head Coach is – an overrated defensive coordinator who doesn’t even do that well anymore, whose players respect him so much he’s ranked 26th of NFL coaches in the recent survey. He lost with the Jets, he lost with Tom Brady, and his cumulative record with the Bucs is 18-19.


  6. SenileSenior Says:

    Living in Tampa Bay beats the hell out of living in such metros such as DFW, Houston, Atlanta or Miami. We have all the amenities with a greater sense of community here. That might be why many are happy to remain “under the radar” here.

    Go Bucs!

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    Stop whining, Ira. Do your job. Get David his due.

  8. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Win more games. Simple as that. The NFL isn’t a charity.

  9. Saskbucs Says:

    Yeah, didn’t really care through the down years but now it’s frustrating as a fan. The work Licht and his staff have done, the consistent winning for the past 4 years is worthy of much more recognition. Tampa is 1 of 6 franchises with multiple Super Bowls this millennium.

    I was young when they beat the Raiders, I didn’t remember or understand about opening the season the next year on the road. That is wild! Has that happened again since?

    This goes without saying but man would it be nice to win a 3rd Lombardi in the next couple years. Makes me want to mortgage the entire future right now and get Lavonte another one. Force some of these people to start paying attention.

  10. Saskbucs Says:

    Show Me the TDs… there are like 4 teams in the league with more wins in the last 5 years than the Bucs. How much more winning do you want before some more respect comes their way? When is the last time the Cowboys, Broncos, Steelers were in contention? A bunch of stories franchises haven’t done anything in awhile and they always get their due anyway.

  11. D Kilmer Says:

    Ira as usual, you are spot on. However, I think you have to look at the disrespect. The Bucs were simply awful on a few long stretches. Yes they also resurrected, under Dungy, Gruden, to a degree but not long term. They got rid of a HOF qb in Steve Young. Obviously the track record is poor. They are in a small market and many fans come to root for the other team.
    Oh and this year, even you were not predicting a good record, neither was I and many other people around this area much less the press.
    I believe the press likes to talk about Baker , both good and bad. To his credit people in the media were saying some good things about him this year, maybe not enough and , let’s face it , it was only 1 year.
    So yes the Bucs do get disrespected I think because they have been largely inconsistent as an organization over the years. The sad part, people like Mike Evans, Lavonte David, don’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve. That is the real travisty here!!!.
    The Bucs need to do their part, by being a top notch organization day in day out. Yes, today is center stage for this organization. To be good they need to sign Evans and Mayfield, otherwise, the organization is what everybody thinks they are, the Yucs. That in my opinion will speak volumes. You can only ignore greatness for so long, but first you must maintain it.

  12. I remember 21 Says:

    Fun fact: Our Bucs are one of only four teams to have an undefeated record in the Super Bowl and one of only 2 teams (Ravens) to be undefeated with multiple visits (both 2-0).

    While I hope it’s not personally detrimental to them, I’m so glad we haven’t lost Greenberg or Spytek. They are unheralded keys to our success as far as team building goes. I’d go as far as to say they may be better at their jobs than Licht is at his. The organization better be making it worth their while. They started to get attention from other teams this offseason, and I’m sure that’s only going to continue. Do right by these guys. If they want to move up, work with them on a path. If they’re content where they are, show them the money.

    And Dave Pear is right, the coach has something to do with how we’re looked at by the media and the league. I know we have historically been shown a lack of respect (or disrespect if thats your opinion) by the league and NFL fans at large. But to my mind there are reasons we lost the “Brady effect” (and attention) so soon after he left. And number one amongst them is our coach has the personality of a wet dish rag. Always has, probably always will. Yeah I know, I know, “behind closed doors” he’s some funny, charming, witty, cursing, Svengali type, but as far as the other 330M Americans that don’t work/ play for the Bucs or aren’t part of the local pen & mic are concerned, he’s about as emotional and engaging as a corpse. All we keep hearing about is how much he’s respected by the players, SO much respect… I don’t see it. For reference, the current AND preseason situations with Evans, the DW45 trade request right before the season, the Godwin wife fiasco, and now the coaches ranking. Some sites say he was ranked 26th, some say 28th (there were a LOT of B- grades), but either way… If he was ranked 28th, the four coaches below all got fired FYI. We should all strive to be so respected!

    Why are we looked at differently than the Lions? One, I think they’re a better team, but they don’t have many if any household name, big personality, type players. It’s the coach! The guy makes you want to run through a brick wall for him! He gives engaging press conferences that generate buzzy quotes. And he’s a damn good head football coach. For reference, he was 3rd in the coaches rankings with an A+ grade (one of only 3 to achieve that). The difference is pretty clear. The Texans have the number 2 draft pick rookie QB who looks like he’s gonna be a stud for years to come. He broke multiple league wide records. And he’s a nice, well spoken, respectful young man. We had a QB on his fourth? team in 2 seasons who made less money than the Ravens’ kicker. He can also be a little annoying/ abrasive in public and commercials if we’re being honest. Again, the difference is pretty clear.

  13. BakerBucs Says:

    Campbell is a helluva coach? Really I find him very annoying I don’t find bowles annoying he just doesn’t seem to run his mouth with B’s like a lot of coaches.campbell is like 4th & 2 repeat & rinse they lose & walks off the press stage like a little spoiled boy that made stupid choices over & over with the same result this is prime example why they lost in conf.finals which shud of been the bucs finals not the lions.i wud b willing to bet the lions were 1 & done

  14. Why Not Says:

    For those who keep saying the Tampa Bay market is small, please let that myth go. It’s the 12th largest television market in the country, which places it well in the top half of the NFL. Our problem is losing. If we could just consistently win, the Bucs media profile would be much greater.

  15. garro Says:

    Great as always Ira!

    Too bad and borderline criminal that you are so right about the lack of respect and recognition of our team and its players. Richardson is just one of those QBs who could not have done what Mayfield did this year.

    I am so sick of it and it is more than just the media and odds maker wise guys unfortunately. We are constantly having to play against the opponents and refs and their ridiculous penalty calls. I don’t think the Chiefs have to do that, or the Fleagles or the Niners.

    At least three time this year the broadcast crew joined in and agreed on holding calls against our O line when the defensive players simply fell down! They can’t give us any respect for fear of incurring Roger’s wrath?!?

    Go Bucs!

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

    Brady saved Licht, his tree and many coaches; Belacheat and his coaches for that matter too!

    LVD, Paul Gruber, Simeon will sadly be relegated to the ash bins of history. Has Lynch gotten into Canton? I’m still mildly surprised that Lee Roy got in the H.O.F., given his career was so brief and the team he played on.

    The SB champs opening on the road was complete and utter disrespect. However, opening Filthadelphia’s new dump with an a$$ whippin’ was almost as fun as closing the Vet Landfill with one. Maybe this N.E. bias will die with their newspapers, not likely however.

    Keep doubting our guys. They suck when they hear how good they are anyway.

  17. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Complaining makes it better. You’ll see.

  18. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    But I get what you’re saying. Lee Roy was arguably the greatest DE who ever played but took awhile to get to the HOF. Ronde is arguably the greatest CB who ever played but had to wait on the HOF. It’s the Bucs. We’re the Bucs so screw em. In many ways Mayfield is in the right place. But given how all of us unemployed coaches and GMs who cooment here treat Trask, so is he. We’re in the foxhole together. Let’s go for 4.