It has been 23 days since the Buccaneers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy following their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It has been 22 days since Bucs’ quarterback, Tom Brady, began thinking about the next one.
In an interview with Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times, Bucs quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said it was no later than 8 am the morning after the Bucs won their second Super Bowl in franchise history that he heard from the 43-year-old signal-caller who was already talking about the potential of the 2021 team.
“The second thing he said: ‘I was just sitting here thinking, and I think we can really be better next year. I think we’re going to be a better team.’ He was already excited about the next year. It’s amazing. That’s how his mind works.”
There is no surer bet in the NFL than fans complaining about officials and Tom Brady playing in the Super Bowl. Since the 2011 season, Brady has led his team to six Super Bowl appearances in nine years, winning four of them. In his first season in Tampa, the team played with a notable disadvantage having to learn to play with each other without the benefit of preseason games or a traditional offseason. They won the Super Bowl anyway. With those hurdles in the rearview mirror, it’s reasonable to think that this Bucs team, albeit not the exact same, will be better in 2021.
Of course, the Bucs have some key free agents on both sides of the ball including Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. In addition, decisions will have to be made on guys like Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette. That shouldn’t change Brady’s or the team’s expectation for next season and that is Championship or bust.
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The foundation of that confidence is, of course, Brady himself. Plenty of talented teams have experienced success, even Super Bowl success, and not been able to maintain that momentum, for one reason or the other, entering the next season. We all know by now that the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls was the Patriots, led by Brady, during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Three teams have gone to at least two consecutive Super Bowls since, Kansas City (LIV, LV), New England, (LI, LII, LIII), and Seattle (XLVIII, XLIX). Of course, Brady led the Patriots to three-straight Super Bowls with a loss to the Eagles sandwiched between two victories and he was the reason why the other two failed to repeat.
Can Brady help Tampa buc(k) the trend? I wouldn’t bet against him.