Head coaches and general managers from around the league took to the podium today in Indianapolis for the start of the NFL Scouting Combine. Bucs’ head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht had their chances too so we’ll have more on them later.
However, what was most interesting from today was what Licht said on Fox Sports 1. When asked what he looks for in a franchise quarterback, Licht made it clear that on-field traits are the important factors, not making a mention off any off-the-field matters.
“First and foremost he has to have great football character,” Licht said. “Leadership, intelligence, and [Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston] have that. An extremely competitive guy [is] extremely important. Above all, his play on the tape has to show that he is worthy of being labeled that.
“Between myself and my staff, we’ve seen all the quarterbacks in this year’s draft play several times live and when you see them live you can see how they interact with people, you can see how they interact with the coaches, you can see how genuinely intelligent they are, you see a bigger scope of them when you see them live.”
Many scouts have not been shy to voice their opinions on the difference between the two in Winston and Mariota, giving a clear edge to the Florida State product for his play on the field. We may not know who Licht gives the edge to just based off of his quote above, but the team does have a favorite.
And if you have followed along for some time, you may have an idea.