Players Added For A Playoff Run

May 2nd, 2024

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

While most of the football world thinks the Bucs are a second-rung team playing in a lousy division, the shot-caller of the Bucs seems to think otherwise.

In talking about the draft with popular sports radio and television personality Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio yesterday, Jason Licht suggested one reason he drafted the players he drafted last weekend is he was looking for rookies to make an impact and maybe get the Bucs a step further than last year.

Or perhaps, beyond.

It sure didn’t seem like Licht’s goal for the 2024 Bucs in 2024 is settling for a division title.

Adam Schein: I love what you guys did on Day 2. And I thought there was kind of a theme — tell me if I am onto something — you drafted players who I think can play for you and contribute for a really good football team right away, from winning football teams. You got an edge, a pass rusher from Alabama. You got a safety, a deep need from Georgia. You got a receiver who I love and I think fits in instantly with your team and your offense from Washington who made big plays in big spots. Is that a fair analysis on the common theme and denominator on what you guys were able to do on Day 2 of draft?

Jason Licht: Well, I was hoping nobody would figure it out but it sounds like you did, Adam.

Schein: We cracked the code Jason, let’s go!

Licht: (laughs) Yeah, I felt like our team had a lot of needs. And it’s OK to have a lot of needs. We made a pretty good run last year. Surprised a lot of people and made it to the divisional round and gave the Lions a run for the money. But I felt like, we felt like if we could add some players that can contribute this year and can help us in some degree, we can improve our team and try to reach the ultimate goal which is to get to get to the Super Bowl this year and win the Super Bowl. I think we got closer to that with these players. Now we have a long way to go before the season starts. But they all have a right mindset, that’s for sure. And we think we drafted A-plus football character guys.

This is why the Bucs get so frustrated with national media. It’s like they’re committing some unethical act by giving the Bucs street cred for winning and being a couple of plays from the NFC title game.

The Bucs bring back their biggest hitters from a season in which they surpassed low expectations (again) and the reward is… more predictions of being a basement dweller.

This, even though the Bucs are a three-peat NFC South champ.

Why? You know, Kirk Cousins is God. So much so the team he signed with went out and drafted a quarterback in the first round.

31 Responses to “Players Added For A Playoff Run”

  1. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Barring injury we win this crappy division again.

  2. Pewter Power Says:

    If this team had Jordan Whitehead that Detroit game would have turned out differently. It’s horrible Bowles saw fit to bench him on that play at the end of the rams game a couple years ago.

  3. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    The Bucs have improved on paper. Expectations are higher for every team this time of year. Forget the media. Hopefully the Bucs take care of business on the field and the media attention will take care of itself. Make them eat crow BUCS!

  4. Bucnjim Says:

    In the modern NFL, your QB better be able to scramble or at the very least move around in the pocket. It’s been my belief that is exactly what has held Trask back as well. Cousins will struggle if he is just a pocket passer teams will tee off on him. This should give the Bucs another great opportunity to win the division.

  5. heyjude Says:

    Jason Licht – “We made a pretty good run last year. Surprised a lot of people and made it to the divisional round and gave the Lions a run for the money.”

    Yes we did! Jason is on it and keeps receipts. And yes, the Falcons got Cousins but obviously were not too sure about that now, and decided to get Penix.

  6. JimBobBuc Says:

    If the Bucs want national media attention, make splash plays with personnel moves in the offseason (like Cousins did for Atlanta). During the season, we need some big wins. If the run game elevates to just average, then play action will open up and Godwin plus McMillan will get lots of targets in the slot. Whitehead replacing Neal is a huge add, and opens up the defensive playbook and maybe Bowels will stop with the Charmin-soft zone.

  7. catcard202 Says:

    I am sorry…but winning the weak & rebuilding NFC South with base-line .500 W/L regular season totals the last 2 years is nothing to pound your chest about. (8-9 / 9-8)…Getting by a PHI team in the 2023 playoffs (that had been imploding from within for 2 months) is not a reason to pound the chest either.

    Taking the Lions to the brink, was commendable – no doubt…But that DET team really mirrors the Bucs franchise, in that that they are a team/organization learning to finish out playoff games & climb the ladder towards making a SB run. (step by step, fighting off the inner demons that have doomed them in the past)

    Let’s be frank…20+ Owners in the league would have fired Bowles & Licht at Thanksgiving, after the 3-1 start was followed by a 1-6 slide through the end of NOV….When the Bucs were on a glidepath to a Top 5 pick in the draft, 100% looking like new blood & a new leadership direction was needed to re-energize the fanbase.

  8. BucU Says:

    Being an underdog suits this team just fine. I remember starting out 3-1 last year going into the bye. The league was buzzing over the Buccaneers. After reading the press clippings we proceeded to go 1-6 in the next 7 games.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    If the Bucs can improve on their running game and get to the QB on defense, then they can compete well into the post season.

  10. ocala Says:

    Bucs have a real chance to go very deep in the playoffs, but that is dependent on the team staying healthy and this draft class hits a homerun or two.

  11. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree. Don’t worry about the press. Just help these budding stars develop.

  12. Beeej Says:

    How we played Detroit in the FIRST game, vs how we played Detroit in the SECOND game, shows all you need to know about the progress of the team

  13. Bee Says:

    If the ball is in Mayfields hands again for the final drive in the playoffs do you really trust him to score or throw a pick to end the season? Whitehead can’t help that. The defense did all they could but the offense needs to score more consistently. It’s that simple.

  14. Tucker Says:

    That’s why you play the game all the speculation is just to fill up space go bucs!!

  15. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    catcard202 Says:
    Let’s be frank…20+ Owners in the league would have fired Bowles & Licht at Thanksgiving, after the 3-1 start was followed by a 1-6 slide through the end of NOV….When the Bucs were on a glidepath to a Top 5 pick in the draft, 100% looking like new blood & a new leadership direction was needed to re-energize the fanbase.

    Any owner that fired Licht several years after the BUCs won a Super Bowl with a team that Licht built should be drug tested.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    “You got a safety, a deep need from Georgia”

    How was safety a “deep need”????

    Winfield Jr is the best all around Safety in the league – Whitehead is a plus starter….. and Izien was surprisingly solid as a rookie in his Nickle role…

    If Tykee is a true baller – then its all good and gives Todd Bowles a chess piece to play with and hopefully confuse offenses by putting 3 interchangeable safeties on the field.

    But the “deep need” at that spot in the 3rd rd was Guard.

    I trust Licht’s judgement that Tykee is a better football player than any Guard he could have chosen at that spot – but there were at least a couple/ few good Guards still on the board at that point in the 3rd rd.

    Just Sayin…. Selecting the Georgia Safety at that spot was more of a bpa/luxury pick than a “need” pick.

    We’ve got 3 confirmed backups vying for the starting LG job this year. THAT constitutes a “need”.

    I envision Todd Bowles literally pounding the table in the Bucs draft war room and demanding the Tyree Smith selection once the clock started on pick #89.
    Probably didn’t happen that way – but its fun to imagine….

  17. Joe Says:

    If this team had Jordan Whitehead that Detroit game would have turned out differently.

    This makes a lot of sense.

  18. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Anyone who discredits the accomplishment of winning your division in the National Football League and especially 3 years running is too lacking in understanding to even debate with them.

  19. JustVisiting Says:

    BucU Says: “Being an underdog suits this team just fine.”

    That works up to a point, but it’s also my one real concern re Mayfield. To get to the top, you have to keep bringing your best game even when you’re no longer the underdog.

  20. Bucscoott Says:

    he will play nickel back also grow up!

  21. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Great article Joe!! so true… nice big time school picks, pressure is nothing to these kids!! Go Bucs!

  22. BillyBucco Says:

    Literally every NFL team is littered with guys who have CHIPS ON THEIR SHOULDERS.
    It’s about whether you practice hard and play smart because of that chip.
    It takes a determination to get better because of the doubt.
    That’s why you have to LOVE the game and practice the way you want to play.
    A highly competitive guy still has FUN in practice.
    I really like what Licht and Spytek are building here.
    Let’s hope it translates.

  23. rrsrqnc Says:

    I do not see but I am not a GM, any team that got leaps and bounds better than the Bucs, especially in the division. If these players take the next step and that wasn’t there ceiling last year, Bucs will compete. I expect the Lions to continue to be the darlings of the NFC, sprinkle in the 49ers and the Packers, Giants, Cowboys and Eagles as a given, they will draw all the media attention. While Bowles and company quietly take care of business.

  24. ModHairKen Says:

    They got more physical with Whitehead and Braswell on Defense and Barton and Klein on OL. They got rid of underperformers.

    Tell me why this team can’t make it to the Super Bowl. Because of Detroit? Nah. They will slide. SF? Nope. Money is going to get in the way. Dallas? Yeah. Right. Dak is distracted. The Coach is watching the home sales in the area. Philly? Weak mentally.

  25. Alstott to Canton Says:

    Let’s just hope if we make the playoffs again this year the defense don’t give up three touchdowns in a row and Mayfield throw an interception with the game on the line. I’m sure he learned from forcing that pass, and hopefully this defense stays healthy and learns how to stop teams in playoffs. If so we will do very well because I don’t see us getting dethroned by the Dixie chicks or the sorry a** saints ( fu** who dat nation)

  26. stpetebucfan Says:

    I’m growing weary of all this “weak division” crap. The NFL site that has last year’s records has an interesting stat. Net points…the difference in points given up versus those scored.

    I think it’s fair to say that “overall” the AFC is stronger and a bit deeper than the NFC. But we saw what that meant in the Bucs SB win…NOTHING.

    Before the season in the NFC EVERYBODY was on the Niner’s bandwagon…along with the Eagles and some thought the Cowboys were great. They did win 3 more games than the Bucs but got their arses handed to them in their own stadium by a team the Bucs beat in Lambeau.

    It’s the freaking NFL!!! On any given Sunday. I’ve seen the Bucs choke against poor teams and ROOKIE QB’s more times than I wish to admit. I’ve also seen the Bucs beat some excellent teams.

    It’s not College Ball where teams have 2-3 really tough games a year and 6 or 7 against the “Little Sisters of the Poor”.

  27. catcard202 Says:

    BucsFanSince1996 – I’ve been a Bucs fan 1976…The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league/business…Don’t fool yourself into thinking that owners aren’t looking at the bottom line as much as the W/L record.

    The organization made season ticket holders sign up for 2yr deals after 2021…TB12 left after 2022…2023 was the last of the golden goose egg revenue….You damn well bet had Bucs not been in the hands of the Glazers (who haven’t fired a coach in season ever – unlike many other Owners)…& 2023 had not turned a corner in DEC/JAN…. Bowles, his staff & potentially Licht could have all been on the block.

    Fact is, Bowles pissed away TB12’s final year (2022) & sent him into retirement with his only losing season of his GOAT HOF career….Bowles then scape-goated/ran out the Lefty led OFF staff (after Bowles ditched the Arians’ “risk it / no biscuit” vertical scheme & allowed TB12 to influence the OFF towards a 2019 NE dink&dunk)…After that Lefty led staff had SB winning season & had put up big stats/scored points in bunches in 2021 before losing to the LAR due to Bowles DEF calls in the waning seconds of the Rams game.

    Following those moves – he then fumbled the OC hire – settling on a guy that had never called plays in the NFL before (which made the 1-6 slide mid-OCT through end of NOV 2023 look even worse – as Canales was still getting his sea legs calling plays & looked overwhelmed at times)…Not too mention that the FO was left trying to restock the player cupboard w/ $85M in dead money Cap eater to pay off the TB12 “all-in” years. (which is why the Bucs targeted Baker in the 1st place…He was CHEAP…& they knew #2 was not a NFL ready QB1)

    It wasn’t a good look for the organization & fan discontent was growing ever more loud, day by passing day….Merch sales were down as Baker was not seen as a true QB1 thru mid-season (after coming to Tampa as a 3rd 2nd chance #1 overall pick – with a bottom of the charts QBR in 2022 & a 4th team ~1yrs time).

    To say a majority of owners wouldn’t have pulled the plug to reboot the franchise, is laughable, given all the above. Bowles & Licht were damn lucking they had the Glazers patient approach vs MANY other Owners through out the league.

  28. Carl Says:

    Sorry, the biucs won’t make the playoffs this year. I’m not being negative just stating the truth. I’d give the over under at 6 wins.

  29. drdneast Says:

    To bad Licht didn’t use the same philosophy in 2021 as he did this draft or the Bucs would have had a better chance of winning back-to-back SB’s. Instead he drafted two developmental stiffs who were riding the bench at the end of last season.

  30. Bakersnumber1fan Says:

    When I met whitehead on draft night at Ray jay I thanked him for coming back to Tampa and getting rid of that bum Ryan Neal. He laughed 🤣🤣

  31. Gipper Says:

    Really like the idea of Barton playing next to Wirfs. Licht needs to find a true CENTER via trade before the season starts. Have to believe there are some decent 2 and 3 year backup guys looking for an opportunity to start.