Assistant GM John Spytek: Bucs Became A Better Running Team This Weekend

April 27th, 2024

Bucs assistant GM John Spytek.

A lot of Bucs fans for months have hollered and screamed and stomped and snorted wanting the Bucs to take a page from Michigan and play smashmouth football, demanding the Bucs retool their offense accordingly.

While the Bucs did not make wholesale changes, the Bucs certainly focused this draft weekend to improve their run game drafting a center, a guard and a running back with three of their first six picks.

So after the draft concluded, Bucs assistant general manager John Spytek was asked if the team became a better running team this weekend.

“I absolutely think we did,” Spytek said. “I think when you get a player the caliber of Graham [Barton] and when you add a road grade mentality of Elijah [Klein] and what Bucky [Irving] can do.

“I think we can be a lot better. I think we need to be a lot better. We have to be more balanced. We have to have people respect our run game. I think that should be the goal of every offense, personally [but] I’m not a coach.”

Think Joe was being flippant referencing the ground-and-pound style of Michigan? Think again. Spytek played linebacker at Michigan. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

“I always felt like when I played, if you lined up and you didn’t know if it was run or pass that made your job a lot harder as a defense. And that’s the goal,” Spytek said.

We shall see. Spytek did mention he expects the Bucs offense to run a lot of 11-personnel under Liam Coen.

59 Responses to “Assistant GM John Spytek: Bucs Became A Better Running Team This Weekend”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Great interview and insight into what a STRONG culture behind the scenes at OBP !

  2. Rod Munch Says:



  3. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Bring in Gabriel Murphy, Fabian Lovette, and Curtis Jacobs pls ffs.

  4. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Idk how Gabriel Murphy just slid from a 3rd 4th rd pick to undrafted but as a fa no harm done bringing him in.

  5. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Vikes already signed Murphy

  6. shak Says:

    so far udfa: marcus banks DB and Tyrek Funderburk CB

  7. shak Says:

    LB Kalen DeLoach

  8. shak Says:

    Marcus Banks


    Mississippi State

    Tyrek Funderburk


    Appalachian State

    Zack Annexstad


    Illinois State

    Judge Culpepper



    Kalen DeLoach


    Florida State

    Zack Mathis


    North Dakota State

    Daymond Williams



  9. Olboy Says:

    I see we got Trask some competition

  10. MadMax Says:

    meh, we’re nothing….go ahead….carry on

  11. shak Says:

    John Dietl


    Shorter University

  12. Tbbucs3 Says:

    The DeLoach pick up has lots of upside

  13. MadMax Says:

    Thank you shak….you the man….i cant even try to keep up anymore totally wiped out now lol

  14. MadMax Says:

    We all did our homework, did our best and performed very well….i only drink beer so heres a SALUTE! as im chugging it…. 😀 Wish I could buy one for everyone….

  15. Irish Laughter Says:

    Jason did an outstanding job once again. Simply put, the Bucs will win the Super Bowl. We are as solid as the 20-21 team and better off in many ways. Buckle up and lets go. Keeping it real in Ireland.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Brad Culpepper’s son a DT has been signed to a FA contract

  17. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    I don’t necessarily think it was Bucs fans hollering for a Michigan style run game; it was Bowles demanding that’s how this team plays. And then you had Canales calling unimaginative, up-the-gut runs every first down.

    It’s not that fans demanded this play style, but if this coaching staff wants that style, we need the proper players.

  18. shak Says:

    This day three seemed like two day threes wrapped in one. It was long and boring.

  19. shak Says:

    Cincinnati EDGE Daniel Grzesiak is signing with the Buccaneers as a UDFA.

  20. shak Says:

    OL Avery Jones

  21. matthew veal Says:

    I think we’ll miss spytek when he moves up somewhere else. Kinda lije when McKay was gm, turns out we had several good ones on staff

  22. David Says:

    Absolutely. 3 new guards and a new center on the team along with MAUCH one year older and hopefully coming out of the weight room.

    An explosive elusive, running back and a very good blocking tight end.

    plus an edge rusher, a very dynamic receiver, and a nickel DB.
    Sure seems like a good draft.

    I’m still worried about ILB but beefing up the line to improve the offense was the way to go

  23. Dave Pear Says:

    Belonzo Chatangrin remains unsigned, as does Fiddle Faddle – go get them Jason!

    Oh wait, word came out that Belonzo also has a passion for pole vaulting, while Fiddle Faddle enjoys 4-dimensional contact chess. So scratch them.

    Shagrus Piltz just got an eligibility extension so not available.

  24. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think it was a very good draft. First two icks should pn out, and fill big needs.
    Only two misses.
    Tykee isnt gonna hold up in coverage. Too slow. Hes a Lber Mini me.
    And such good DEs and IOLs available.
    Bucky Irving is too small and slow.

    But Barton, Brasell,Jalen, Klein all should help.
    Our 7th rd Te may even help out.

  25. shak Says:

    Nolan Potter


    Northern Illinois

    Chris McDonald



    Antonio Grier



    Brendan Gates



    Avery Jones



    Daniel Grzesiak



    Rashad Wisdom



    Xavier Delgado



  26. Miller5252 Says:

    Hey Joes, heck of a job keeping us all up to date with what the Bucs did over the draft!! You guys continue to do a great job and the way you kick out the stories 2 minutes after the player was drafted is impressive. Thanks again guys!! Keep up the great work!!

  27. Joe Says:


    Hey Joes, heck of a job keeping us all up to date with what the Bucs did over the draft!! You guys continue to do a great job and the way you kick out the stories 2 minutes after the player was drafted is impressive.

    Thank you for the kind words. Wish sometimes could be quicker Takes a while to gather up info and find photos. Often, when the story is about to publish, Bucs media relations says the player is ready on Zoom. There goes 10 minutes! LOL

  28. Brandon Jeff Says:

    Capt. Tim, I noticed on a previous post that you played O’Line. Myself and others on here have often questioned the effectiveness of moving players around on the offensive line.
    I would like to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of this strategy.

  29. Greg Says:

    Wow, didn’t realize one of our weaknesses was that we didn’t run enough 11 personnel last year, thank God this draft is fixing that little bastard of a counting problem they must of had!

  30. YaYa Winfield Says:

    Hey Capt Tim what do you do for a living? My guess is you’re not paid by the Bucs as a scout or GM. The guys paying millions to research these players and know more about football than you ever will could care less about your informed opinion. So many of these posters are such narcissists thinking they know more than the professionals that get paid for their services. SMH!

  31. Crickett Baker Says:

    Spytek just got a promotion to assistant GM. He’s not going anywhere soon.

  32. Ricki Says:

    They might all be busts but Capt Tim is such a loser.

  33. BigMacAttack Says:

    HEY JOE, You guys have done a great job covering the draft and the prospects leading up to it. I appreciate you guys hard work and always have. I’m interested to hear your takes on the Bucs’ draft, both of you separately if possible, after you get some rest and recuperate. You’ve been pounding it hard. I feel it was a great draft and Jason with his team hit all the major needs with the picks they had. Patience paid off well for them and it’s going to be a good season ahead.

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    Ricki, Capt Tim is awesome and been around here forever. We all have our opinions and I may not agree with him but respect his. Dude has been through some adversity and I’m thankful he’s still with us. Go Bucs!!!

  35. Dave Pear Says:

    BigMacAttack –

    110% with you. I call him Colonel Tim. He’s got great content and is a fun dude. For others, the message is, this is supposed to be fun. Get some. Or grow thicker skin. Or just drink more.

  36. shak Says:

    Shaun Peterson Jr



  37. Chad Stone Says:

    I think the first 3 picks were on point. I am not an expert, but I am going to throw this out there. With our last pick in the 3rd round I would have taken the TE Sanders out of Texas. I think he could have given us more than the receiver from Washington. Next in the 4th round, I would have taken the big RB from Wisconsin for a short yardage/goal line back. The kid from Oregon is too similar to White in my opinion . I would have them taken WR Rice in the 6th, as I think he could still push for the #3 or #4 receiver and would have ended up taking the Guard out of K State in the 7th. Of course, I think we basically got those same positions, but in different spots or different types of players in those spots. That being said, hats off to Licht and the Bucs, they got better this weekend!

  38. Stanglassman Says:

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Undrafted Free Agents

    QB – Zack Annexstad, Illinois State
    RB – D.J. Williams, Arizona
    OG – Xavier Delgado, Missouri
    C – Avery Jones, Auburn
    DL – Daniel Grzesiak, Cincinnati
    DT – Judge Culpepper, Toledo
    LB- Antonio Grier, Arkansas
    LB – Kalen DeLoach, FSU
    CB – Chris McDonald, Toledo
    CB – Tyrek Funderburk, Appalachian State
    DB – Marcus Banks, Mississippi State
    S – Rashad Wisdom, UTSA

  39. Stanglassman Says:

    Peterson wasn’t on the list but Spytect said they were signing about 15. So it makes sense that this list is short a few players. He said the next morning you find out a few changed their minds so you could add or lose a few by Sunday. People used to laugh at people like me who follow UDFA. Since a few are starters and on the 53 roster last year more people are realizing its importance.

  40. Woodenman Says:

    Capt. Tim , Dave Pear, Rod Munch Talk about the 3 stooges. You guys should be on TV .

  41. Cometowin2 Says:

    Ditto on the praise for the Joe’s coverage on the draft. Well done!

  42. Bobby Says:

    I’ve done some research on Bucs new RB Bucky Irving. He is tough between the tackles, shifty, very very quick and shifty between the tackles. He has enough top speed to take to the house on a 100 yard field. I’m officially predicting the Bucs just drafted a STUD RB. Rashad White…Im putting your starting job on notice for week 1 of this regular season. Still alot of time remaining in off-season. You better be working your tail off. Because “Buc Wild Irving” is coming for your job as RB1. Bucky will be the Bucs starting RB on week 1. Great Job SpyTek, Licht, scouting department. You guys got the team a steal. Bucky aka “Buc Wild Irving” will be be a stud RB. He reminds me a little bit of the Great Great Warrick Dunn and a little bit James Wilder all in one package. Lets Go Bucs!!!

  43. Bobby Says:

    By the way I need to correct my previous message, James Wilder is greatest Buccaneer Running Back in team history. Dunn and Alstott come right behind. I’m sorry James. My apologies for implying otherwise in my previous message.

  44. RagingBrisket Says:

    Should be a GM. Maybe even for Tampa

  45. Hopein1hand… Says:

    Better? We shall see. I don’t claim to know better than any poster or the Bucs but it looks like the Bucs left a lot of men on base so to speak in this draft. They have too much unfounded confidence in building the run with late, off-target picks. Getting better in the run game than the past two seasons is not a high bar. One would need to dig a hole to make the past two seasons of performance a bar to jump over. It’s been laying flat on the ground. 31 teams can just walk over it for two years straight. This looks like #29 in the league in 2024 better to me. Not what it takes to make running the ball your first option/offensive identity.

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    Hopein1hand … ‘This looks like #29 in the league in 2024 better to me. Not what it takes to make running the ball your first option/offensive identity.’

    Pretty much agree with you, but still too early to tell what identity Coen is shooting for. Personally I like the idea of being able to present a relatively balanced attack (just to keep the defense guessing as much as possible), but our strength continues to be in the passing game.

    The running game has made a formidable comeback in the past several years with a number of teams, but the Bucs aren’t one of them. Our ‘weapons’ (Evans, Godwin, White, Otton, etc) scream ‘passing attack coming your way’ to opposing defenses, and I don’t think that adding Bucky Irving changes that message. But only time will tell.

  47. Dave Pear Says:

    If only….

    If only Jason Licht would consult with resident genius.

    I know, right?

    How would he choose?

    My suggestion? Look for the poster with the most words per post, while at the same time leaving doors open for outs, so no one could ever catch them being wrong.

    Find that person, Jason. It should be pretty easy.

  48. Capt. Tim Says:

    Hey Guys,
    Thank you for the kind words. Appreciated.
    And for those of you who dont agree with my opinions. Thats ok. But please go into JoeBuc archives, and read my draft anaylasis. You think you are upset wiyh my opinions on the two lil guys they drafted this year, red the comments when I said JTS,Logan Hall, Venon Hargreaves, Noah Spence, and others were gonna be bust. There was a ton of people calling me an idiot.
    But heres the facts. While a few guys I thought would be good players werent, I have never been wrong about a player busting. Never. I prediced Kancey wouldnt hold up due to his size- so that ones still to be decided. I hope he proves me wrong. I really like the guy.
    I hope Tykee and Bucky both prove me wrong. I hope they go on to be be all pros. Im first and foremost a Bucs fan, and being wrong doesnt hurt my feelings.
    But, despite the “ scouts making Millions”, the Bucs have drafted top picks that are absolutely bust two of the last three years. And I called them both the minute they were drafted. You think the Bucs would hire me.
    Of Course, I seldom say who they should pick. Thats the hard part. I just watch the tapes, and can tell who wont work out.
    Im really happy with this draft. Only two misses is pretty good. They are gonna regret missing out on Adisa Isaac- but hey, lifes full of regrets.
    Thanks again for the kind words guys. I love coming here and talking football with all of you. Even the ones who think Im one of the 3 stooges.
    Oh, a Wise Guy! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

    Great job this week Joe!

  49. adam from ny Says:

    @Dave Pear:

    don’t forget Shlameal Shmoggingham…

    he has some real upside and can be tucked away on the ps or stashed in an equipment closet like they did with sean tucker

  50. geno711 Says:

    Capt. Tim, Good job on some of your guesses.

    I get worried about smaller guys too. But Brooks was smaller, Dunn was smaller, Winfield was smaller, Kancey was smaller.

    i am unaware on the week that they were drafted that you had anything positive to say on Wirfs or Winfield or that you predicted them as good/best bets.

    By the way, Sean Sullivan, is the guy I remember having the worst takes that year. The year we picked Tristen Wirfs his big two takes were:
    1. Take Jason Peters instead of drafting an OT.
    2. Take Isiah Wilson the guy out of the league in 2 years.

  51. toad bowels Says:

    Love Spytek and wish the Bucs made him available to the press more to talk football. I could listen to him all day, the guy is very knowledgeable.

    Love the UDFA signings and I hope young Culpepper can show some traits of his well-known Dad who made himself into a stud player on our D Line. Brad Culpepper was stout against the run and always a tough competitor.

    I think that a few UDFAs can again make the team and/or practice squad this year.

  52. D-Rok Says:

    @adam and Dave Pear,

    Don’t forget Iwanna P. Freely, QB, from Pepperdine. He’s never played QB, but he did try out for the national team in the javelin, so he projects as a strong arm for the go routes.

  53. D-Rok Says:

    Agree with all who think JBF was an awesome site for draft info.
    Joes, we extend a laurel, and a hardy handshake. Well done, mates!

  54. stpetebucfan Says:


    Is #teamnegative so desperate you need to scream at us your entire post?

    I sense your desperation because your predictions and observations keep getting exposed by results!

    Is Todd Bowles the next coming of Paul Brown or Mike Tomlin…nah but he could be Tony Dungy.

    Bowles success—two time NFC South Division Champ…DC for an SB winning team, with some serious challenges talent wise last season! Remember according to you he has manure at QB!!! So I post what he HAS accomplished now as the leader of #teamnegative you can post what he has yet to accomplish.

    Just a reminder to all and I include myself in this group of not respecting the quiet man with no flash at all’s actual accomplishment.

    Dungy’s overall record as a NFL head coach was 148-79-0 and that includes a . 668 winning percentage in the regular season (139-69-0) and of course a freaking Super Bowl which we in Tampa thought he could not do. HE HAS SCOREBOARD on all of us who doubted him. Are we going to do the same thing with Bowles? Remember TD had talent Bowles has yet to field.

  55. MadMax Says:

    Haha, we’re all just a bunch of nobodys…. I been a nobody for 10 years here, maybe 12…. My feeble mind forgets lol….what fid i just walk into this room for, oh my keys, wheres my keys…screw it ill just walk 😂

  56. orlbucfan Says:

    I’ve been a devoted Bucs fan for 45 years. Never wore a stupid bag over my head and made it through the Dark Ages. I sure don’t care if I’m just a fan cos I’m just a fan, AND I LIKE IT! Go Bucs!!

  57. Stanglassman Says:

    This years UDFA seem to be nothing to get excited about. I hope we get a few surprises. We were able to compete with guaranteed money contracts last year. It appears like the wallet was closed this year. Some teams pay more to their UDFAs and it seems like an unfair advantage. Guaranteed money should be capped.

  58. Ed McSherry Says:

    Every mock draft had Graham Burton going before pick #26.

    Jason Licht definitely deserves credit for Graham Burton (and guard-candidates to compete) that was the biggy, the “Bowles-fix;” run-game plays, only with run-blocking, now, hope.

  59. Ed McSherry Says:

    Correction: Graham “Barton”