Tremendous Bowl 2021: How did Tom Brady flip Tampa Bay Buccaneers into contenders?

Tremendous Bowl 2021: How did Tom Brady flip Tampa Bay Buccaneers into contenders?

Venue: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Date: Sunday, 7 February Time: 23:30 GMT
Protection: Construct-up on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport web site from 23:00-23:30. Dwell on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport web site and BBC Radio 5 Dwell from 23:00-03:00, plus reside textual content protection on-line and in-play clips.

After successful a file six Tremendous Bowls in 20 years with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady grew to become a free agent for the primary time final yr.

He sought a brand new problem, and selected to go away essentially the most profitable crew of the NFL’s fashionable period for one of many least profitable – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs had been internet hosting Tremendous Bowl 55 on the finish of the season and had simply signed the person extensively considered the best quarterback of all time.

May he actually lead Tampa Bay to the large recreation in his very first season, making them the primary crew to play a Tremendous Bowl in their very own stadium? It appeared too good to be true.

It wasn’t – not with Brady steering the ship. The Bucs have defied the chances to achieve the NFL showpiece and the league’s three-time Most Beneficial Participant, now 43, continues to defy Father Time.

What sort of a crew did Brady be a part of?

Fashioned in 1976, Tampa Bay had been purchased in 1995 by the Glazers, who additionally gained possession of Manchester United in 2005. The Bucs received Tremendous Bowl 37 in January 2003 however didn’t win one other play-off recreation till Brady arrived. The truth is, they’d not reached the post-season in any respect since 2007.

Bruce Arians grew to become head coach in 2019, and after Jameis Winston threw 30 interceptions in a single season en path to a 7-9 file, it was time for Tampa Bay to select up a brand new quarterback.

Arians mentioned this week, “You possibly can’t hit a house run until you are going to swing for one”, and the Bucs lured Brady. He then satisfied them to carry former Patriots team-mate Rob Gronkowski out of retirement.

“It is loopy what Tom Brady has achieved,” mentioned BBC pundit Jason Bell. “He inherited just about the identical crew and also you see the soar [in performance]. Individuals discuss in regards to the ‘Patriot Approach’, however some say it is the ‘Brady Approach’external-link due to the way in which he challenges these gamers and the way they’re accountable to him.”

Brady the ‘lacking piece’ for the Bucs

Brady joined a brand new crew throughout a pandemic, with coaching closely restricted and pre-season video games cancelled, and Tampa Bay misplaced the season opener to the New Orleans Saints.

However the Bucs improved to 6-2 and made Antonio Brown the newest member of the ‘Brady Bunch’. The star extensive receiver stayed in Brady’s home throughout a quick stint with New England in 2019.

BBC pundit Osi Umenyiora mentioned that Brady “could not have picked a greater scenario to go in to”. With Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, he now had three of the NFL’s finest receivers to throw to, he was being protected within the pocket and was taking part in for an offense-minded coach like Arians, who noticed Brady as “the lacking piece”.

“I knew how good a crew we had and what we had been lacking – that perception we had been ok,” Arians mentioned this week.

“Till you are with a man of [Brady’s] stature, you actually do not know his character each day. He is simply one of many guys and does a fantastic job working with youthful and older gamers. It is like having one other coach on the sector.”

Arians has even let Brady name performs, and Tampa Bay received their final 4 video games of the common season to complete 11-5 and safe a wildcard spot within the play-offs.

Brady had 40 landing passes for the season – the second-highest within the league and his profession – and adopted that up by serving to the Bucs beat three division winners on the highway.

Is Brady the GOAT?

Umenyiora was within the New York Giants crew that beat New England at Tremendous Bowls 42 and 46, and when Brady left the Patriots, he was amongst those who felt coach Invoice Belichick deserved a lot of the credit score for his or her success.

However Brady is making ready for a tenth Tremendous Bowl whereas the Patriots have had their first shedding season since 2000. So again in October, Umenyiora apologised to his outdated adversary on The NFL Present.

“I at all times knew Brady was a very good participant,” Umenyiora mentioned this week. “However I needed to see him do it someplace else, in a unique system – and he did.

“He is the best participant we have seen in soccer.”

Jason Bell charges former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor as the best whereas ex-San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice was voted the all-time finest in 2019.external-link Brady has surpassed his childhood idol Joe Montana by taking a second franchise to the Tremendous Bowl. Montana, who received 4 titles with the 49ers, fell one recreation wanting the large recreation after becoming a member of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

Now Brady goals to emulate Peyton Manning by changing into solely the second beginning quarterback to win the Tremendous Bowl with two totally different groups, whereas additionally reaching the outstanding accolade of successful extra championships than any single NFL franchise.

How is Brady nonetheless on the prime of his recreation?

Brady places his longevity right down to his coach Alex Guerrero, and in his 2017 guide, ‘The TB12 Technique’, Brady defined how Guerrero’s idea of ‘pliability’ prevents muscle damage and the way his weight-reduction plan reduces irritation, though a few of his claims have been dismissed as “doubtful science”.external-link

“The work I do with my physique coach Alex is essential to my success,” mentioned Brady this week. “I understood {that a} actually necessary facet of performing properly was all the things I put into my physique and the way I took care of it.”

Guerrero’s crew privileges had been revoked at New England however he is mentioned to have an workplace in Tampa Bay’s facility.external-link

Dave Hamilton, the Bucs’ director of efficiency science, informed the BBC: “Tom has his personal methods and processes. He does a fantastic job with vitamin, getting the suitable relaxation – sleep is an enormous half for him.

“He has a crew and we be sure that we combine and get the related data to and from one another, in order that we’re all on the identical web page.”

Whereas Brady’s numbers declined in his final two years in New England, this season’s type reveals he nonetheless has elite arm power.

And he isn’t achieved but. This week he mentioned he is open to taking part in past 45.

Further reporting by Jo Currie

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