The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a huge splash this offseason by adding Tom Brady to their roster. Brady, who thrived with the New England Patriots, is the greatest player of all time. Even though he is 42 years old, Brady brings a decorated resume and wealth of knowledge. Yesterday, the Buccaneers added Rob Gronkowski to their roster, who is one of the most talented TEs in NFL history.
Now, the Buccaneers find themselves a popular choice to win the Super Bowl. Just last year, they were an afterthought in their own division. According to a Sports Illustrated article, the Buccaneers’ odds to win the Super Bowl went from 50/1 to about 15/1 after adding Brady. After adding Gronkowski, the Buccaneers’ odds jumped up to 9/1 in some places. However, while I believe that the Buccaneers will make the playoffs, they won’t win a Super Bowl, and there are three main reasons why.
First, sports fans will now be able to answer a popular debate: Was the Patriots’ success because of Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? Bruce Arians is a solid coach, but he is nowhere near the caliber of Belichick, a hall-of-fame coach. While Brady doesn’t need to depend on a coach, the rest of the team does. The Buccaneers missed the playoffs last season. Granted, Jameis Winston didn’t help by throwing so many interceptions, but adding Tom Brady, or even Gronkowski, doesn’t solve every problem the Buccaneers have.
Also, the NFC South is a tough division in the NFL. The Panthers usually start hot, but they fall off late in the season. The Falcons have enough weapons to make a playoff run, and they added Todd Gurley. The Saints have had their hearts broken in the playoffs for the last few years, but they still retain a potent offense and solid defense. The NFC South is so much harder than the AFC East, and Brady won’t have easy wins to pad his record. The Buccaneers will teach Brady how to lose, something he’s not good at.
Lastly, the Buccaneers are battling gaps in talent and time/injuries. Brady isn’t getting any younger, and he has shown signs of age. Gronkowski has taken plenty of rough hits and hasn’t played in a year. How will this affect his play? How will the chemistry work with only one football to throw around to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard? Also, the Buccaneers still need some help on defense, and their run game isn’t elite or spectacular. Like I mentioned above, adding a QB and TE shouldn’t make them this popular.
The inflated draft odds for the Buccaneers is a classic example of being a “prisoner of the moment.” The Buccaneers are a talented team, but there are plenty of great teams around them. Tom Brady had excited bandwagon fans in New England, and it looks like he and Gronkowski are bringing them to Florida. Fans need to think rationally, not just with the nostalgia of the past.