-General Manager Jason Licht was on ESPN's Get Up this morning, giving further insight into the team's signing of quarterback Tom Brady. While we heard from Licht in last week's introductory conference call, the conversation predictably centered around the signal caller and his answers. This time, Licht told the story of how Brady ended up pitching both he and Head Coach Bruce Arians as to why he would be a good fit for them in their more-than-90-minute conversation.
"He made it clear in the conversation that he was very, very interested," recalled Licht to ESPN's Mike Greenberg. "It was almost like a recruitment on his part, telling us why it would make sense for him to come to Tampa Bay. The following day we signed him, but it was at that phone call that we felt like we had him."
Much has been made about Brady leaving New England, but if he was going to do it, the Bucs actually made a lot of sense. Not only do they have one of the most collaborative head coaches in Arians, who has helped numerous veterans and young quarterbacks alike, but Brady would also have weapons. Two Pro Bowl receivers and two pass-catching tight ends, among others. Throw in the lack of state income tax and some balmy weather, and it's easy to see what drew Brady to Tampa. Though he probably didn't need to pitch Licht and Arians too much.
-More than that, Licht also commented on the impacts Coronavirus restrictions have had on the pre-draft process with selections taking place less than a month from now.
Though the league canceled all public draft events in Las Vegas, the draft itself is still going on as planned – albeit without the traditional pomp and circumstance. The process leading up to it has also seen drastic changes. Where Licht and his staff would be in daily meetings in the 'War Room' as it's called at AdventHealth Training Center and many other team facilities around the league, they are now forced online to 'Zoom' meetings, FaceTime and phone calls, instead.
But it hasn't necessarily been for the worse – at least for Licht, himself.
"I've been able to sit and watch a lot of tape," said Licht. "More than I normally would this time. I've also been able to pick up the phone and call prospects. It seems like I'm a little bit more in tune to the draft this year than I ever have been."
Licht, as well as most NFL general managers, traditionally rely on their staff to formulate their respective 'big boards' and draft targets. It's just impossible for one person to know everything about every single prospect. Forget the other aspects of being a general manager. But the time alone in his home office has allowed him to be 'hyper-focused' this year. Whether or not his staff appreciates that, Licht jokes, is another story.
"We're all affected by this," Licht said. "The norm is no longer the norm. This is the new norm. You try to find some advantages to any situation."
Licht also said he's had to deal with a lot less knocks on his office door as a result. And when there is a knock, it's a welcome one, usually coming from his kids.
"It's fewer and farther between than it would be if I was in the office," Licht said. "So, there are some aspects to this that I'm kind of enjoying."
-Licht was also asked about the notion of the team signing wide receiver Antonio Brown. Head Coach Bruce Arians already shot down the idea and Licht added that with receivers like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin already on the roster, the Bucs' priorities just simply lie elsewhere right now.