In 2021, as world champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a lot of teams gunning for them. Every team will give the Buccaneers their best shot.
Tampa Bay begins defense of its title on Thursday night at home against the Cowboys in the first regular-season game of the 2021 season.
Last season, with the addition of Tom Brady, Tampa Bay had a bullseye on their backs, but after winning a title, the bullseye definitely got bigger.
“Getting the guys that we got, obviously, you’re going to have a target on your back,” Buccaneers corner Sean Murphy-Bunting said on Sunday. “The media is behind us. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, they have Tom Brady, they’re this that and the other,’ but at the end of the day, we have to prove it. We have to show up every day. We have to put in the work. Nothing is going to be handed to us. Nothing is going to be given to us. Just having that mindset and going to get it each and every play no matter who you are.”
After winning a championship, players get paid, do a lot of appearances, and sometimes, they come back less motivated, or “bigheaded” with bloated egos, but according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, that’s not the case with his team.
“I mean, our team knows it’s about winning,” Arians said. “It’s not about individual stats; it’s not about fantasy leagues. It’s just about winning ballgames and winning championships. So that part of it is really, really easy. For me, it’s more about managing their workloads than their egos.”
Tampa Bay brought back all of the key components from last year’s championship team. This is a very talented football team. In addition, the schedule seems manageable, as they play all the teams in the NFC and AFC East.
However, just like with any team, health will be important. Brady is 44 years old and starting his 22nd NFL season, so at some point, he will have to start acting his age, or maybe not. At this point, he still has not fallen off the cliff.
Brady was solid in the playoffs, but the defense was even better, which won this team a championship. Can the Buccaneers repeat? The talent is there, but it won’t be easy. However, the last team to repeat was Brady’s Patriots in 2004, so maybe the G.O.A.T. can do it again.
On Monday, the Buccaneers announced that defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Suh was placed on that list last Saturday.
In addition, the Buccaneers waived kicker Jose Borregales.