After last season’s 4-12 record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thought it was time for a complete overhaul of coaches and management. In addition to firing head coach Greg Schiano and his supporting staff, the team released general manager Mark Dominik, who held the position for 5 years. The Buccaneers have now announced Jason Licht as Dominik’s successor.
Licht was most recently vice president of player personnel for the Arizona Cardinals and he’s held mainly administrative roles in the NFL since 1995, several in scouting and personnel capacities. In the NFL, a general manager mainly oversees player acquisition, negotiations and coaching staff moves, which Licht has a lot of related experience with. Licht has a lot of work to do and will be tasked with helping fill out the team during the draft and free agency. Of course, he’s only part of the group making those decisions, but his experience with scouting will be invaluable, when the time comes. During his tenure in the NFL, he’s helped put together 3 teams that went to the Super Bowl: the Eagles, the Cardinals and the Patriots.
In addition to finding new players, Licht will be involved in evaluating the players that are currently on the squad. This is an important part of his job, one that I think Mark Dominik often failed at. Under Dominik, many of the Buccaneers veteran players were dropped from the roster, most notably Derrick Brooks in 2009. He also supported cutting young players that showed promise and many of those players went on to play well for other teams, after being dismissed by the Buccaneers. Such players include New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and cornerback Aqib Talib.
As general manager of the Buccaneers, Jason Licht will be stepping into a decision-making role. He’ll work hand-in-hand with head coach, Lovie Smith, and the Buccaneers owners to shape the future of the franchise. If he can find a few great players and focus on depth at every position, the future will be bright in Tampa.