Tom Brady knows it won’t be easy for the Buccaneers to repeat as Super Bowl champions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Minicamp
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No team has won consecutive Super Bowls since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. The quarterback of that team is the quarterback of the next team that will try to do it. On Wednesday, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady explained to reporters the difficulty of winning back-to-back championships.

“I think the assumption [that it won’t be difficult] comes from the belief that it will just be exactly like it was last year,” Brady said. “I think that’s what you’ve got to not fall into is that, ‘Oh, this is the way it worked last year, so this is the way it will be this year.’ The reality is everything is different. The teams will approach you a little bit differently. You’re kind of the team everyone is watching now, so there are different degrees of expectation. There’s more external noise, there will be more people that will be wanting to come to games [and] more opportunities to do things outside of football. I think the reality is that you’ve got to stay focused on what’s really important. How do you improve? How do you get better from week to week, day to day? Improve your routine, improve your communication with your teammates [and] with your coaches. Not allow your mind to really fall into this position that you make this assumption that just because you did something in February that you’ll do it again next February because that’s not the reality of football – it’s way too competitive.

“Even the games we won last year were very razor-thin margins. One or two plays make the difference in every game. From how I feel about it and how [Bruce Arians] has talked about it with our team — he’s done a great job of keeping us focused, keeping the intensity there, allowing us to continue to work out together and communicate and make improvements that we need to make because I feel like we’re not finished projects. It was really our first opportunity to play together last year and there’s a lot of opportunity for us to grow into something that could be very different. We’ve got to improve the things that we did well, and we’ve got to certainly build on a lot of things that we didn’t do very well. All those things can be improved. I think that’s a commitment to a daily process of trying to improve. That just comes from working at it and we’ve got a lot of guys who like to do that — a very competitive group of guys.”

Brady’s right about the razor-thin margins, especially in the single-elimination setting. The Saints were poised to take a two-score second-half lead in the divisional round against Tampa Bay before safety Antoine Winfield Jr. ripped the ball out of the hands of tight end Jared Cook, sparking a dramatic change in momentum. And in the NFC Championship, Brady’s back-to-back-to-back second-half interceptions opened the door for the Packers to potentially steal the game.

Simms and I discussed that on a recent episode of PFT Live. How differently would the Buccaneers and Brady be viewed if the Packers had managed to parlay Brady’s meltdown into a win after falling behind 28-10 early in the third quarter? The Bucs would have had a very different offseason if the past several months had consisted not of trophy-tossing but soul searching. Would all of those starters have re-signed, or would they have wanted/needed a fresh start?

The point is that it very easily could have gone very differently for the Bucs last year. This year, it could go very differently than it did last year. Brady’s awareness of the potential pitfalls a year after winning a Super Bowl could help the Bucs avoid some of the problems that have kept every team since the 2003-04 Pats from repeating. Even then, it won’t be easy — as evidenced by the fact that, after seeing it happen eight times in the first 39 Super Bowls, no one has done it in nearly a generation.

14 responses to “Tom Brady knows it won’t be easy for the Buccaneers to repeat as Super Bowl champions

  1. What if? Yes, a fun game to play. Here’s one: What if Bill Belichick had drafted D. K. Metcalf instead of N’Keal Harry?

  2. It is a new year and a different schedule. Some teams got better, some got worse. Tom knows every year is a clean slate for every team.

  3. I love Tom, but statistically, it is unlikely the Bucs will repeat. It’s all about injuries. Last year, the Bucs were relatively injury-free. The odds are that will not happen again this year, and they will lose key players for long stretches of/the entire season. It’s the biggest reason why no team has repeated since 03-04.

  4. This is another example of why Brady is the GOAT. He’s not going to let his team get too full of themselves. He’ll keep his and their noses to the grindstone. With Brady, this isn’t just words–he’ll enforce it. Because of Brady, Tampa has a much better chance to repeat than most other teams would.

  5. Given that EVERY player and coach from last year is returning, Tampa Bay is the odd-on favorite to repeat, but it will still be very difficult.

    Every other team in the league now has film on the Brady-led Bucs that they didn’t have last year. The Chiefs are healthy and may have fixed the O-line problems.

    I don’t know how it happened, but the Buxs have one of the easiest schedules in the league. The only tough games will be (maybe) the Rams, Colts, and the Titans.

  6. Brady has the offense clicking, but to win a championship, a team needs a great defense. Brady had that in New England…and now he has a great defense in Tampa Bay.

  7. I don’t know how it happened, but the Buxs have one of the easiest schedules in the league. The only tough games will be (maybe) the Rams, Colts, and the Titans.

    The schedules are predetermined 4 or more years except. For I think 2 conference games and 2 out of conference games. (I may be wrong on that. The division winners will play each other.

    Point is you can see your teams schedule for the next for years except for a couple of games.

  8. The Bucs won last year as a Wild Card. They drew Washington in the 1st round, then a weakened Saints team. But their aggressive play calling, the Packers cautious play calling, and big games by new Bucs Fournette, Gronk and Brown (all recruited by Brady) put them in the Super Bowl. Again, aggressive play calling, this time on D to take advantage of KC’s injured OL, resulted in a Lombardi Trophy.

    Last year the stars aligned. They should win their division this year and their schedule favors them getting a bye. They actually should be in a better position this year but that’s why they play the games.

  9. The Rams defensive line can generate interior pressure that has always been Brady’s kryptonite. If the Rams offense is slightly better than it was last year, the Rams should be Tampa’s biggest challenge to make it back to the SB. Washington football team is second but their offense is questionable.

  10. The Bucs are a good team, a veteran seasoned team and throw in that the division for them will be a or should be a Royal Flush cakewalk, split the remaining games at worse they are at 11 wins, it will come down to health and and who they draw in the playoffs, looking back WFT gave them all they wanted and had KC had a OL better than average then who knows, MaHommes ran for his life that whole game, that said it seems every time we have a SB winner they automatically are the favorites but then as always it never really plays out that way, that’s why they play the games, right? Anyway I know I’m ready to see how it all plays out

  11. Surely rings are not the only measuring stick for the GOAT. Otto Graham has 7 rings. Bill Russell has 11 rings. But they never even get mentioned in the great GOAT debate.

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