The Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed the crown jewel of the offseason by securing star quarterback Tom Brady in free agency. It has put into the fold the six-time Super Bowl champion to lead the charge offensively for at least the next two seasons. There has been plenty of reactions to the move over the last couple of weeks, which include soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson, who believes that there another aspect to the Buccaneers that could be a considerable difference-maker next season aside from star wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Buccaneers land Tom Brady
The Buccaneers have moved forward with Brady as their linchpin to their offensive game plan under head coach Bruce Arians.
It puts forth what should be an intriguing offensive game plan with the 42-year-old heading the charge in the passing game. Brady has two bonafide Pro Bowl talents in Evans and Godwin to depend on greatly.
The former Texas A&M product has established himself as one of the best wideouts in the league as he’s tied Hall of Famer Randy Moss with six straight 1,000 receiving yard campaigns to being his career and is the youngest to reach 7,000 receiving yards. Evans is also the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards.
Meanwhile, Godwin is coming off a breakout year that saw him post 86 receptions for 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Brady has to legitimate top-tier talents in the passing game to depend on to push the offense forward. However, the former Dallas Cowboys great head coach believes there is another game-changing factor in Tampa Bay.
Jimmy Johnson is a strong believer in the Bucs defense
Since Brady signed with the Buccaneers, the attention has been on the offense with Brady under center to lead the charge with their strong group of skilled-position talent.
Johnson has taken that dialogue in another direction as he voiced on Fox Sports that he believes Tampa Bay also possesses a highly-effective defense that could be a huge factor next season.
“I’m not surprised. I kind of saw this coming the last couple of years. I think [Tom] Brady going to Tampa [Bay] is a great fit. He’s got a great supporting case, but they got an outstanding defense as well.”
The Buccaneers’ defense was often overlooked last year due to the struggles that quarterback Jameis Winston had with turnovers. Tampa Bay ranked first against the run, which was a historically strong unit in that regard as the 1,181 rushing yards given up is the fewest in franchise history outside of the 1982 strike-shortened season.
They had allowed more than 100 rushing yards three times last season while finishing the season on six straight games with opponents notching fewer than 90 rushing yards and 3.0 yards per carry or worse. On top of that, the Buccaneers are bringing back Shaq Barrett, who led the league with 19.5 sacks along with Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh.
The pieces are in place for Tampa Bay to take a significant step forward in the 2020 campaign to be a playoff contender in the NFC.
Could the Buccaneers be Super Bowl contenders?
With Brady now in the fold, the attention will shift over to the Buccaneers’ chances to compete for more than just the playoffs.
Tampa Bay had fallen just short last season, but it was clear that they have some promising pieces in place to be a factor in the NFC. The addition of Brady gives them a proven quarterback that has a strong track record of limiting his turnovers throughout his career.
That alone could be a significant factor in helping move their offense forward in the passing game while third-year running back Ronald Jones could take the mantel as a workhorse option in the backfield.
There is still much unknown in terms of how the offense will look with Arians’ aggressive playcalling and Brady’s steady play, but it’s clear that they could move significantly in the right direction. Only time will tell how far forward they will push in the 2020 campaign behind their re-energized group led by the six-time Super Bowl champion.