No “Crazy Stuff” Or Ego Clashes

March 26th, 2021

Bill Currie Ford is a Tampa tradition for 60-plus years! General manager Sean Sullivan is a huge Bucs fan and is eager to help fans personally. Shop now at March offers are fantastic! All kinds of incentives! And remember their nationwide lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles. Ira loves his 2020 Ford Escape, cherry red.


Admit it — you’re in awe of what the Bucs have managed to accomplish during the offseason.

Well, there’s 31 NFL teams that don’t exactly share your ecstasy. In fact, they’re downright pissed off.

It’s been almost seven weeks since the confetti fell at Raymond James Stadium and Buc fans are still gazing at the heavens. With the help of some imaginative contract restructuring, Tampa Bay’s most critical free agents are back to defend their Super Bowl title.

If the 2021 Bucs fail to repeat, it won’t be because free agents walked out the door in an effort to cash in. And although Antonio Brown could sign elsewhere, his potential departure shouldn’t be considered a crushing blow.

Tom Brady with old-friend receiver Danny Amendola

If Brown leaves, Tampa Bay could turn to Danny Amendola, who spent five years in New England with Tom Brady. And yes, Larry Fitzgerald is available for a meager return.

Remarkably, the gang’s back together for another shot at the title. While Buc Nation rejoices, NFL history tells us defending a championship is risky business.

Nobody has gone back-to-back since the 2004 Patriots. Corey Dillon ran for 1,635 yards that season to complement Brady’s passing attack, and the Patriots were a stunning plus-10 in turnover differential while winning three postseason games.

The 2003 Bucs felt darned good about their chances to repeat. Their only change on offense came at center, where John Wade signed as a free agent to replace Jeff Christy. The defense, buoyed by the return of Booger McFarland from a broken foot, lost only Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson, who signed with Arizona as a free agent.

No Flashback Ahead

That 2003 season started well enough with a 17-0 victory in Philadelphia, but injuries to Mike Alstott, Joe Jurevicius and Brian Kelly proved to be significant blows.

Brad Johnson threw 21 interceptions instead of 6. Martin Gramatica missed 10 of 26 FG attempts.

Crazy stuff.

The Bucs lost 12-9 to Carolina in OT, despite allowing only 87 yards through the air. The Bucs lost 38-35 to Indy in OT after leading 35-14 with five minutes remaining in regulation. Six giveaways led to a 17-14 loss against New Orleans.

Crazy stuff.

And don’t forget about the off-field tensions that built steadily through the fall. By November, Jon Gruden was so fed up with Keyshawn Johnson that he told a still-productive receiver to stay home: you’ll be paid but we don’t want you around the facility.

You don’t see that every day.

The rift between Gruden and Rich McKay became simply untenable. Gruden didn’t think McKay worked hard enough and McKay couldn’t stomach Gruden’s constant whining about Tampa Bay’s roster.

That kind of disconnect isn’t going to happen here in 2021. Bruce Arians and Jason Licht work very well together. They see the game the same way and their egos are in check.

In temperament, Mike Evans and Keyshawn Johnson couldn’t be further apart. Evans is all about the team. Keyshawn was all about Keyshawn.

Key injuries could derail the quest, especially if Brady is sidelined for a significant period. At the moment, however, it’s hard to deny that the league’s most complete team resides right here in Tampa.

The Bucs don’t have a glaring weakness and the strength of this franchise is the commitment of the players. Friday’s news that Leonard Fournette is returning offers yet another example of how this group approaches the challenge of repeating.

While the 2003 Bucs were finishing 7-9, Brady led the Patriots to a championship. While the 2004 Bucs were finishing 5-11, Brady led the Patriots to a championship. Get the picture? The man knows how to win and how to defend a title.

With or without Antonio Brown, the Brady Gang looks ready to rumble. The rest of the NFC South looks ready to stumble.

There are 31 NFL franchises suddenly looking up at the Bucs with admiration and envy.

Ain’t life grand?

Ira!  … Ira’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the Bill Currie Ford general manager, is ready to help you personally. Just call, email or stop in, one mile north of Raymond James Stadium.

16 Responses to “No “Crazy Stuff” Or Ego Clashes”

  1. kyle Says:

    The whole transformation of the team is still mind boggling to me. I still am in shock that we have Brady and just won the Superbowl. The past 10, 12 years as a fan has been miserable. Just one crotch kick after Gonna enjoy why it lasts!! LFG Bucs!

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    It is a Bucs World in 2021 and every other NFL team is living in it. “1-2-3 DOMINATE” GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Does anyone realize that every single player on the roster right now has a ring?

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    Excited as hell for next year, worried a little for the future.

    I could not have cared less about Fournette coming back. All he does is allow Arians to foolishly pull Rojo from a game the first little mistake he makes and put a lesser player in instead. Luckily, Fournette isn’t costing this team crap, so if he continues to treat the regular season like a vacation from going hard, they can piss him down the drain.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    First time in League history all 22 starters have returned on a Super bowl winning franchise.

  6. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    We pretty much was without OJ Howard last year. Hope he bring another dimension to the offense this year. A few DL lineman and a decent returner and this team might be better than last year. Hope Vaughn can pick up his game a pass catching 3rd down back.

  7. Elita Vita Says:

    This years theme should go from “Raise the Flags” to “Back to Glory”!!!

  8. Doctor Stroud Says:

    “Keyshawn was all about Keyshawn.” That’s a good one, Ira! Don’t forget that hilarious line from Keyshawn to Chris Simms: “Your ball spins funny”. So many egos, so little checks!

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Gruden throwing a hissy fit because McKay wouldn’t sign a washed up Andre Rison would be like Arians throwing a fit because Licht wouldn’t sign Fitzgerald — 3 years from now, that’s how washed up Rison was, that the already washed up Fitz would need to hang around for 3 more years to be that washed up.

    Anyways Fitzgerald, Amendola — no thanks, both are completely washed up and not worth a roster spot. Bring back Brown if you can, he can step in and be a legit #1 when Godwin or Evans get hurt as they do every year. If they can’t figure out how to bring Brown back, or if they get some intel he’s becoming an a-hole again, then maybe look to the draft. Maybe, hopefully, Tyler Johnson is ready to step up to be the #3 guy, but I don’t want to bet my season on it. Also the ridiculous notion that the one trick pony Scotty Miller should be that is silly. I like Scotty as the #4, the same way I liked Humphries as the #4, they give you a mismatch there, but move them to #3 where they need to spot start, and well, just look at that Chicago game last year.

  10. Hope springs eternal Says:

    Since you mentioned Amendola, how about him as a third down receiver out of the backfield. He runs great routes, is tough physically, great hands and sure knows Brady.

  11. lambeau Says:

    Eric Mangini was with the 2004 Patriots and told Cowherd today repeating is hard because success is like a martini–it relaxes you. Think Brady is the best antidote to that one could have.

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    Damn Ira, you had to bring up that 2003 Indy game. I was traveling for work and watched it in Tallahassee. Not only did I stay up later than I should have for the next morning’s meeting, but it put me in a terribly foul mood. But, as you say, I see little chance of that recurring after this year’s SB victory. I’ll wager the Bucs record this year will be better than last, and they will easily win the Division. SB LVI baby!!!

  13. TheShaz Says:

    IMHO The Bucs were “Just good enough” to win the Super Bowl

    With a full offseason for the same (not counting rookies) group back together.

    I do not think we saw the best this offense can offer. Defense depends on the front 7 getting pressure and the young secondary to continue to improve.

    I am giddy over 2021.

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again consider how amazing it is to be a Tampa Bay Sports Fan!!!

    Our Hockey team not only won the Stanley Cup, they are backing it up this year with outstanding play overmatching most of their opponents easily.

    Now our SB defending Champion Bucs have every chance to do what the Bolts are already this season….show up and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt which team is the best in the NFL.

  15. #1bucsfan Says:

    Let’s goooooo. I know our O-line did a fine job keeping Brady up but that has to be the #1 priority again this season. Keep his pocket super clean. I know he played lights out last year but it does scare me a little having a 44 year old guy back there. Can he take a legit hard hit and get back up ? Gotta keep Brady clean

  16. MarkR Says:

    The biggest difficulty in repeating for any NFL team is loss of players from the team’s previous successful roster. So far, we’ve got that covered but we must obtain some depth on the OL & DL to counteract loss of player time due to injuries.