In relation to participant acquisition, the Bucs have a sort. Discovering good tradition matches is a transparent precedence for normal supervisor Jason Licht and vice chairman of participant personnel John Spytek. Their 2022 NFL Draft class exemplifies this mindset completely.
Talking with the media on Saturday in his post-draft press convention, Spytek stored coming again to the theme of Tampa Bay’s class having “nice youngsters.”
“I’m a damaged report with the ‘nice child’ proper now,” Spytek mentioned, underneath three minutes into his press convention. To that time, he had solely talked about three of the staff’s draft picks. That solely goes to indicate the extent of character that these newcomers have.
So, how do Licht, Spytek and their scouts go about assembling such a high-character draft class? Whereas the on-field traits will all the time stay essential, the Bucs’ strategy to scouting goes past school manufacturing.
“The tape is actually an enormous a part of it,” Spytek mentioned. “However we’ve form of fallen in love with the method of understanding the particular person, too. Every particular person has their very own story.”
Nice Tales In 2022 Class Exhibit Arduous Work, Ardour For Soccer
While you dig into every rookie’s story, it’s simple to pick the traits that the Bucs’ brass favored about them. Second-rounder Logan Corridor comes from a navy household, whereas fourth-round choice Cade Otton grew up in a household of soccer coaches. Fifth-round decide Zyon McCollum and sixth-rounder Ko Kieft have been each staff captains in school.
Second-round decide Luke Goedeke went from Division III walk-on at tight finish to a full scholarship at Central Michigan. As if that wasn’t spectacular sufficient, he then developed right into a Day 2 draft decide. It takes a sure stage of ardour for the sport to persevere via a journey like that.
“He’s all about soccer,” Licht mentioned. “And when you will have sensible guys which might be as passionate as he’s – all of our picks that we had (Friday) are like that – you’ve bought a extremely good probability to hit on a very good participant.”
Third-rounder Rachaad White adopted an analogous path to Goedeke’s, going from Division II to junior school previous to breaking out at Arizona State. The street much less traveled isn’t all the time a simple one, however White is proving that taking it could repay.
“The adversity that he’s gone via to get there, lots of people – fairly frankly in life – would form of give up and be like ‘this isn’t for me,’” Spytek mentioned about White’s journey to the NFL. “He simply refused to try this.”
Through the pre-draft course of, it’s clear that each Goedeke and White wowed Licht with their love of the sport.
“(White’s) prepared to roll up his sleeves and do no matter he can. He walked into our constructing right here once we had him on a high 30 go to holding a soccer,” Licht mentioned. “I mentioned ‘why do you maintain that soccer?’ He mentioned ‘it’s simply my consolation stage. I identical to to have a soccer with me.’”
In relation to Goedeke, Licht mentioned the Wisconsin native’s hobbies are restricted.
“He’s all soccer. I feel his hobbies are weightlifting,” Licht mentioned. “And it stops there. Perhaps driving tractors.”
The method of discovering the precise tradition matches for Tampa Bay isn’t new this yr, however it hasn’t all the time been this manner.
Arians’ Arrival Key In Bucs’ Tradition Change
When Bruce Arians arrived in Tampa Bay in 2019, he was tasked with turning the Bucs round. That didn’t simply imply turning losses to wins on the sector – it meant reworking the locker room. He and his teaching employees laid the muse in yr one. By the top of his second season, Tampa Bay was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on its residence discipline.
That’s why it didn’t come as a shock when Bucs proprietor/co-chairman Joel Glazer spoke glowingly about Arians’ impression at his retirement press convention in March.
“There isn’t any doubt it was Bruce’s unimaginable management that led us to the highest of the mountain,” Glazer mentioned. “Off the sector, Bruce created a tradition inside our group that had been sorely lacking all through the final a number of years.”
The shift that the Bucs skilled throughout Arians’ tenure as head coach is only one a part of the legacy that he left. Now, in his entrance workplace function and with Todd Bowles as his hand-picked successor, that legacy appears to be like to be carrying ahead in the best way the Bucs construct their roster.