Free agency has been the first clue to Bucs’ coaches

by Gary Shelton on March 15, 2016 · 5 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Martin was second in the NFL in rushing last season.

Martin was second in the NFL in rushing last season.

Tuesday, 6 a.m.

It is the first sign of hope. It is the first hint of failure.

It means that reinforcements are on the way. Or that money is being thrown into the street.

It can mean the final piece of a turnaround. It can be Simeon Rice or Hardy Nickerson, Brad Johnson or Joe Jurevicius, Greg Spires or Chris Hovan. Or it can be the last act of a desperate man, a fishing trip that ends up with Alvin Harper or Byron Leftwich, Anthony Collins or Michael Johnson, Bruce Carter or Cato June.

Year-in, year-out, the Bucs have grasped at this player or that one to help them. In the 25 years of NFL Free Agency, and the
three years of Plan B free agency before that, the Bucs have

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Barry McDowell March 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

We keep blaming Lovie for those disasters 2 years ago but doesn’t the GM have some culpability also? Meaning he should be held accountable for this year’s also.


Gary Shelton March 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Two years ago, Lovie had the final say in the building. Licht has just arrived. But Lovie was new, and he had spent his year away from the league scouting the players he wanted. Johnson was his. McCown. Collins. I’m all for holding Licht responsible afterward.


Cecil DeBald March 15, 2016 at 9:04 am

Other than the head coaches that are defacto GMs, how do “good” head coaches have more success with free agents than “bad” head coaches? Is it because they do a better job of coaching them up? Is it because, being “good” they have more influence over free agent selection? Or is it the other way around – a coach that somehow ends up with a bunch of good free agents becomes a “good” coach because their record is better – think Lovie with all his free agents having banner years with the Bucs…



Gary Shelton March 15, 2016 at 9:20 am

Cecil: the whole key to football is getting the matchups you desire so your players play to their advantages.Almost all players have limits. Alvin Harper wasn’t tough enough to go over the middle, for instance. No one is bust proof, but you rarely find Belichick relying more on a free agent than he is capable of or, say, a run-stopping safety in deep coverage. It’s the essence of coaching.

Good coaches seem to coax good seasons from average free agents on a regular basis. Put 10 athletes out there and have a draft between Lovie — who I like personally — and Belichick. You know who will win.


Cecil DeBald March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Thanks, Gary, that helps explain things in my simple mind anyway!



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