The Buccaneers have kept several key pieces in place for 2021. One of the players who decided to stick around predicts that, if this trend continues, another Super Bowl championship will be on the way.
“If we get everybody back, I guarantee we’ll win it again,” David said on the I Am Athlete podcast.
The Buccaneers franchise-tagged receiver Chris Godwin, and they’ve re-signed David, linebacker Shaq Barrett, and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Other key free agents include defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, running back Leonard Fournette, receiver Antonio Brown, and kicker Ryan Succop.
While it won’t be easy to climb the mountain again even if they all return, the key factor in making it happen with or without all players back is quarterback Tom Brady. For him, the driving force isn’t No. 2 but No. 8.
For No. 7, David explained that the aftermath of the Week 12 loss to the Chiefs was the key.
“Tom Brady came in after that game and said he was glad we got that performance out of the way,” David said regarding the home loss to Kansas City. “He said we were going to get this right, and not lose another game the rest of the year. That was it. Our whole mindset shifted and we knew we were going to play them again.”
The Bucs didn’t lose another game, and they got the Chiefs in the championship. And the Bucs used a great defensive approach to prevent the Chiefs from repeating.
“The way Kansas City played their games, it’s all predicated on [Patrick] Mahomes,” David said. “You mess him up, and they can’t do anything. . . . They couldn’t match our level. We were on some ‘f–k you, we’re beating the sh-t out of y’all.’ A lot of what we did, was drawn up on the fly. You have to have that trust in people. We were just loading one side, flushing him away from his strong side, and it was a sack or pressure every time.”
After starting the season 7-5, the Buccaneers finished 8-0. Once the schedule is released in May, they’ll likely be installed as the favorites in every game they’re due to play.
It won’t be easy to win it all again, but the focus and determination that Brady brings makes it not a foolish proposition — and it already makes Brady one of the best free-agent acquisitions of all time.