As the sports cliche’ goes, “sometimes the best move, is the one you don’t make.” And in this case, it appears that the Bucs owners, the Glazer family, made a smart move in keeping embattled GM Jason Licht. This is because, Licht’s previous relationship with their new head coach, Bruce Arians, while they were in Arizona, was crucial in Arians’ decision to come out of retirement and fill the Bucs vacancy.
On the NFL Network Tuesday night, insider Ian Rapoport made it very clear that Arians was only considering a return to coaching for one job for one main reason:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 8, 2019
“My understanding is Bruce Arians considered only this job because of Jason Licht,” Rapoport said to host Andrew Siciliano. “No doubt some of the reason that they moved on from Dirk Koetter, is because they could get this guy….one of the premier offensive minds….obviously did wonders with the Arizona Cardinals and this move does make a lot of sense,” he continued.
With Tampa Bay making Arians’ hire official on Tuesday night giving him a four year deal, there can be no doubt that Licht should be lauded.
And so, too should the Glazers.
They stuck by a GM that had been in charge of the front office for four 10-loss seasons in five years. And with the pressure mounting to clean house, they could have easily fired Licht with Koetter nine days ago. However, they gave an indication before this season began that the owners believed in Licht’s off season moves. His trading for DE Jason Pierre-Paul and drafting the likes of DT Vita Vea, RB Ronald Jones and DBs M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis in last April’s Draft obviously convinced them he should be kept. So, they extended his contract through 2019.
Now, obviously, they could have easily still gotten rid off Licht and paid off that one year, but it was a symbol at the time that was later confirmed by this one week coaching search.
They believed that their GM could help them become better in several different ways, including helping them find a new coach, if needed.
When Tampa Bay went 5-11 for the second straight year under Koetter, it was needed.
And now, a coach who has tremendous successful track record with quarterbacks and winning games as a head coach in the NFL is coming.
Sure, the lure of working with QB Jameis Winston is big. So too, is being able to put most of Arians’ staff back together from when they were in Arizona, which likely will include former defensive coordinator and recently fired Jets coach, Todd Bowles.
However, credit is due.
Arians is the Bucs coach, because Jason Licht played a serious role in making it happen and that’s because of a move the Glazers didn’t make.
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