Written by: Johnny Dean
The Buccaneers’ general manager gets a lot of grief for the way he has built the team. Is it all deserved? I personally don’t give Jason Licht much attention since the drafting of Roberto “the non kicking” Aguayo in the 2nd round. There have been busts like Austin Sefarian Jenkins and his addictions to everything but football. There have been booms like Ali Marpet, Alex Cappa and Vita Vea as well.
What Have You Done For Me Lately
I’m not going to include the free agent signings in this simply because free agents are a flip of the coin in the first place. You overpay to get them and you never know if they are just chasing money or actually willing to put in the effort. I am going to base this on a what have you done lately approach and try to factor in development if any. The latter of this will be easy, nothing was done at all in development before Bruce Arians. That my friends is totally on coaching staff.
The original plan for Licht was to build the offense. This started by drafting Mike Evans and to an extent Jameis Winston which by most accounts was a Glazer pick. Jason Licht does get credit for some solid picks, Evans, Marpet, Godwin etc. He has found some hidden gems as well, Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate come to mind. All of which helped pull the Buccaneers offense out of the cellar and into a Top-10 offense! Inspite of the lack of development by the previous coaching staffs. Oh i almost forgot about the big 2018 draft bust that was Ronald Jones. Hows that looking in year two?
Now it’s time for defense, well here is where the case for lack of development begins to show up. In two seasons Licht has drafted 6 DBs. At the beginning of the season some said they looked like busts. Yet with development, the secondary has shown improvement each week, almost like Vea and Cappa. The main thing that Licht has done was bring in a guy who can develop this talent, Bruce Arians.
The first stage of this teams development is almost complete. The second stage has been addressed in most positions of need. With Licht and Arians working together on this, I honestly would not be surprised if the Buccaneers were the talk of 2020 throughout the league. Or maybe it really is all on Licht?
Photo credit: NBC Sports