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Due to delays in Los Angeles with the Rams and Chargers stadium, Super Bowl LV was relocated to Tampa. No NFL team has ever played in a home Super Bowl but that hasn’t stopped the Bucs going ‘all-in’ in a bid to re-write NFL history.
Tom Brady (aka The Goat)
Without doubt the greatest Free Agency signing the Bucs have ever made, Tom Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer which still seems barely plausible. A chance for the 43 year old veteran to finally prove to the doubters that he can win the big one under a different Head Coach. After 20 seasons with the Patriots which included nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl Rings and four Super Bowl MVP awards, one of the greatest players to ever play the game will be taking to the field wearing a Bucs uniform. Crazy times.
Of course, if the Bucs had a space at the Quarterback position, then what happened to the previous incumbent?
There is nothing unusual seeing Winston suited up for a Bucs versus Saints clash. What will be unusual is that instead of wearing the pewter and red of Tampa, the former Heisman Trophy winner will be in the black and gold of New Orleans. Unceremoniously dumped by Bucs Head Coach, Bruce Arians, when Brady became available, Famous Jameis was picked up by the Saints. Winston may be behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill on the roster but the reality is the former Bucs Quarterback will be the main man if Brees gets injured. Unlikely to see action in the season opener against his former team even just the sight of the former Bucs number one overall draft pick in a Saints uniform just adds another dimension to an already tasty match-up.
Other Notable Signings
The Brady Effect
Signed for his talent, experience and leadership qualities, another advantage of having a legend at Quarterback is that other players want to play with him.
As if the sight of Brady in a Bucs uniform will take some time to get used too, imagine the sight of the former Patriot’s long term partner in crime alongside? Step forward WWE 24/7 champion Rob Gronkowski. The three time Super Bowl champion, NFL 2010 All-Decade Tight End and recently unretired ‘Gronk’ is back in the league and will be displaying his multiple talents in Tampa. Crazy times indeed.
The 2017 fourth overall pick was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars in August. Despite a lack of cap space, the Bucs still managed to sign the Running Back to a one year contract. An instant upgrade at the Running Back position, a combination of the former Jag, 2018 second round pick Ronald Jones and veteran LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy, Brady should have the running game which Winston very rarely had.
The Defensive Front Seven
No new signings here but just as important for Tampa was the retention of the defensive front. Lavonte David, Devin White, Vita Vea and William Gholston were already under contract. 2019 sack leader Shaq Barrett was re-signed under the Franchise tag. Jason Pierre Paul, Ndamukong Suh signed new short term contracts.
Defensive Co-ordinator Todd Bowles must be delighted to keep his guys together for the new season.
No more garish outfits with ridiculous digital alarm clock font and a welcome return to the glorious Super Bowl uniforms. Throw in a bonus, glorious all-pewter outfit and it’s all go in Tampa. We just need a throwback creamsicle to complete the line-up……..
The Bucs new season kicks-off later today in Louisiana as Tampa visit Divisional rivals and current Divisional Champions, the New Orleans Saints. A stand-out clash amongst the excitement always generated in week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.
The Mercedes Benz Superdome is known for it’s passionate fan base but will be eerily empty as a result of COVID. The conspiracy theorists are having a field day. This game, on paper anyway, appears to be Tampa’s toughest road trip. The empty stadium automatically favours the Bucs and sends Brady on his way to his seventh ring is the claim from the conspiracists. Of course, if you ignore the fact that a Ryan Fitzpatrick led Bucs team won in New Orleans in the season opener in 2018 and that Jameis Winston won his first NFL game in the New Orleans home opener in week 2 of 2015 then the conspirancy theorists may have had a point!
Both Tampa and New Orleans will be looking for a fast start. The Bucs to prove that they are genuine contenders this season and the Saints to prove that they are still the dominant force in the Division.
What a time to be a Bucs fan.
Fire those cannons!
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