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Bucs GM Jason Licht says its business as usual ahead of NFL Draft

With a head coaching change and roster moves ahead, Licht has reiterated that the team's philosophy hasn't changed.

TAMPA, Fla. — The NFL Draft is a little over a week away and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' front office is working around the clock to ensure a good draft day.

During a Tuesday press conference, Bucs general manager Jason Licht said although the team has a new head coach in Todd Bowles, the philosophy has not changed, "we still want to bring in good players."

"We feel good about where we've ended up," Licht said. "Looking forward to the 2022 season."

Where have they "ended up?" you might ask? 

The Bucs have re-signed a huge group from their 2021 Super Bowl team, including Tom Brady, Breshad Perriman, Leonard Fournette, Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen and many others. However, with this returning group, there's still no word on a re-signing of veteran tight end Rob Gronkowski and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

"It's always fluid," Licht said. "You know, leave the door open."

With Bowles now leading the Bucs, Licht said not much has changed since the defensive coordinator took over — just more meetings. The two go back to when they were both a part of the Arizona Cardinals organization.

As far as how former head coach Bruce Arians is doing. He's still around. Licht said in Arians' front office position, he's still in meetings and he's involved in putting the final touches on the draft. 

Looking into who the Bucs are eyeing in the NFL Draft, Licht said being no. 27 in the lineup gives a lot of room for change and you don't know who will be available.

"You don't know what players are going to come down yet. You don't know if you're gonna be in a position that you're gonna want to move up or really move back yet."

He said it's a week-of, couple-days-before decision.

Overall, Licht said he's excited about the draft. Although they're picking late in the rounds, the Bucs GM trusts their process. 

"You have to trust your board," Licht said. "You can't push players of a perceived need too high just because you need that position... As a general manager, my staff, we have to have our eye on the future too."

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