Tom Brady dramatically changed the outlook of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he signed there last year, raising them from the cellars of the NFL to Super Bowl contenders.
Brady’s decision was shocking at the time. He had spent 20 years in the AFC with the New England Patriots, and he was quite comfortable running the scheme under arguably the greatest head coach of all time, Bill Belichick.
However, Brady wanted to put all ‘he’s a system quarterback’ and ‘he’s a product of Bill Belichick’ claims to rest once and for all. He wanted to establish his own identity while also playing for a team where he could see himself being successful for perhaps the final years of his career. Tampa Bay fit the bill.
“I truly believed we would win the Super Bowl and the big reason is Tom Brady… After the bye week it all changed.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 19, 2021
Tom Brady Built The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Up To Be A Super Bowl Team
The Buccaneers were the laughing stock of the league. They hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2007, a 17-10 Wild Card loss to the then Washington Redskins, and they had the lowest winning percentage of any team across the four major sports in the US.
Enter Brady. It wasn’t the perfect start you’d hope for as the Bucs dropped their first game of the season to the division rival Saints, and Brady was far from perfect, throwing two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown.
Your top defender from Week 1 was the Jackrabbit himself!
— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) September 14, 2020
However, you could already see that things were different right from the start. Why did the Bucs sign Rob Gronkowski? It wasn’t just to pair Brady up with his old TE, but it was a move made to bring another championship winning player on to the roster, something that Brady definitely pushed for. Gronk caught two touchdowns in the Bucs’ Super Bowl win.
Why did the Bucs sign Antonio Brown even though head coach Bruce Arians was against it? Tom Brady told him that the Bucs wide receiving core needed a boost, and he had seen the potential him and Brown could have from their one game together in New England. Brown caught a touchdown in the Bucs’ Super Bowl win.
Why did the Bucs sign Leonard Fournette, a running back who never reached the level people thought he would after being selected fourth overall, who the Jaguars had just cut? Brady clearly saw potential in the running game despite Ronald Jones’ excellence, and Fournette more than spelled Jones after he went down with an injury, being the lead rusher in the postseason for the Bucs.
Tom Brady had his hand in every one of these moves and many more throughout the 2020-21 NFL season. Peter King recently wrote a piece talking about Brady’s influence in training camp this year, the Bucs first with him at the helm. One operative told King, “Nobody’s a turd when Tom’s around.”
The Buccaneers have only scratched their potential according to Brady. No training camp or offseason practices last year meant that the Bucs were really trying to figure things out on the fly most of time. Now that they have that this year, the only place to go is up, which is scary to think about considering they just won a Super Bowl.