How Difficult Was Tom Brady’s Performance Last Season?

May 22nd, 2021

Bucs QB Tom Brady.

One of the smarter NFL analysts out there has Bucs ties. So when he talks about the Bucs, Joe listens.

Former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms, who led the Bucs to the playoffs in 2005, fielded a weird question from a listener to his podcast, “Unbuttoned.”

Someone sent in a question asking, “How many QBs could have won the Super Bowl last year with that supporting cast?”

Initially, Simms wasn’t sure what the question meant. Did the question mean how many quarterbacks could have beaten the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, or how many quarterbacks could have turned around a loser of a franchise?

Simms admitted immediately his first answer to what quarterback could have beaten the Chiefs will get him in a lot of trouble.

“My first through right off the bat, half the league, for sure,” Simms said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt.”

Simms said the Bucs played so well that night at The Licht House, were so loaded on offense and the defense played so lights out,that even the likes of Kirk Cousins could have beaten the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

However, Simms said if the listener meant if Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht decided to go out and get another quarterback other than Brady, his pool of quarterbacks to pull off what Brady did in one season is about as shallow as a kiddie pool.

“That’s not easy,” Simms said of Brady taking the Bucs and willing them to a championship. “The leadership, getting everybody going, getting [teammates] to believe” was a monumental task.

Simms believed there were possibly seven quarterbacks in the NFL that may have led the Bucs to a Super Bowl championship (none named “Kirk Cousins”) under the same conditions and circumstances Brady had.

“I’m still going to put [Pat] Mahomes in there,” Simms began. “I’m going to push Josh Allen [in]. But you know me, I’m a Josh Allen-lover.

“I am going to say [Aaron] Rodgers and I am going to say [Russell] Wilson. I am going to say Kyler Murray, too — I am. … And I would probably say [Matt] Stafford and Matt Ryan.”

Simms pointed out that it wasn’t like Brady knew Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians’ playbook right away.

“Bruce Arians made statements that, yeah, Brady was struggling with the offense,” Simms said. “I’m not picking on Tom Brady here.”

Simms made it clear last year showed why people refer to Brady as a farm animal.

Joe is of the mind the pool of quarterbacks who could have pulled off what Brady did is damn slim. Yeah, Aaron Rodgers would have been a good quarterback but the guy is a choke artist in the playoffs. Excellent quarterback, no doubt. Hall of Famer. But man, he always seems to find a way to lose a playoff game. The polar opposite of Brady.

Mahomes? That’s a good choice. He would have won the Bucs a Super Bowl. Maybe Allen, too.

What Joe thinks Simms is trivializing a little bit (though he acknowledged it), Brady’s street cred immediately had the full attention of his teammates if not coaches. Brady talked, his teammates took action. Yes sir; no sir.

Would Allen or Rodgers (forget about Stafford) have commanded the locker room like Brady? Unlikely.

53 Responses to “How Difficult Was Tom Brady’s Performance Last Season?”

  1. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Outside of Brady I only see 2. As an almost 30 year Buc fan and knowing the talent level we’ve had the last few years, I only think Joe Montana And Peyton Manning could’ve done what Tom did this year. Unfortunately, our losing culture was predominant over anything and any other QB, especially, a young good QB would’ve fell short amongst the great talents deaf ears. Brady has literally changed the culture here and I think it will be changed for many years to come from top to bottom. Love it so much!

  2. sasquatch Says:

    Brady is the only QB in the league who could have taken that team to the Super Bowl. No other QB would have changed the culture of the team within one season. Brady made those guys believe. The only other modern day QBs that could have done that at any point in their careers are Peyton Manning and maybe Drew Brees. Brady is the GOAT for a reason.

  3. sgrd0q Says:

    I do not believe any other quarterback could have pulled this off with a new team under the circumstances. The fact that Brady did it is borderline unbelievable.

  4. Hawk Says:

    Before you start throwing QBs (or **any** player) into the Buccaneer lockerroom to change the culture, think about what that culture was. Before Brady, the Bucs had *8* losing seasons in their last *10* with zero playoff games. They were *last* in their division *7* times. And I am not even going to pile on with the draft picks, trades, and free agents.
    Sorry, but Peyton isn’t even in the conversation. Before he went to the Broncos, Denver had only *2* losing seasons in their last 10. And went to the playoffs *4* years in that span. The Broncos were not drowning in a losing culture. Then it took Peyton **5** seasons to win the Super Bowl. He was a player that helped get them ‘over the hump’, not a game-changer. (It could be argued that a half dozen QBs could have won the SB with that Denver team)
    Brees is a maybe, but his ‘field general’ is more of a lieutenant. The first sign of trouble, and players would have started losing hope again. (I put Rogers in the same category)
    Mahomes? Yes. (The kid made some sick throws in the SB. If his receivers had played as well as him, they probably wouldn’t have had a goose egg in the TD column)
    The others listed don’t have enough ‘aura’ to change the culture that was living comfortably at OBP.

  5. RuKa44 Says:

    From the active QBs list, no one but Brady could have turned this franchise around in 1 year without a pre-season.
    It is required more than talent. The cred that Brady has no one else has. Mahomes still doesn’t have the necessary cred, as he is still so young and been in the league 3 years.
    This is why what Brady did is unique: only him could have done that

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    I think Russell Wilson would have had a better chance than just about any other active QB to do what TB12 improbably did with the Buccaneers in 2020.

    Maholmes is an obvious choice as well – but Wilson has a good bit more experience in the NFL than Maholmes and likely could have ‘adapted’ better to Arians offense in just a few months (with no spring or early summer workouts)

    Wilson would be awesome in Arians offense btw. His long ball is among the best in the league every year.

    If Brady retires in 2 years – maybe that would be the perfect timing for Wilson to come available somehow.

    Keep seeing people talk/pipedream about Rodgers coming here after Brady – but I’d much rather have Russell Wilson.

  7. Ron says Says:

    As I said when we first got Brady he is the best head coach in New England, so he is the one who orchestrated the team to the level it was playing. There is a difference of accountability to a coach on the sideline and one who is actually playing with you and has his own accountability. The team is very talented and has a lot of players who step up in the presence of Brady and became coaches also, the veterans we had all step up and help others on the team. This is the reason why people wanted to come back cause most organizations are businesses but this was a team who played as a team each helping each other.

  8. capecodder Says:

    What about Scam Newton or Jason Stidham?
    Coach Bill is a moron.

  9. BA4President Says:

    No one else could have gotten the wan to buy in like Brady did. No one.

  10. Louis Friend Says:

    Joe, you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth if you’re saying Rodgers choked against the Bucs last year. He had his team in position to win, had a drop at the goal and an incredibly bad decision by his HC not to go for it on 4th.

    If he choked, then the Bucs defense didn’t have a great stand at the end – it wasn’t their great play. It was Rodgers choking. Either way – c’mon.

  11. Youngbucs Says:

    Whaaat no soiled messiah?????? We’re told constantly here he could have done it.

  12. ClodHopper Says:

    Only the goat could have done this. Now effing way a person as selfish as Rodgers could have changed this culture. The culture would have eaten him alive. BA fought the culture the entire time he was here. It took Brady’s help to start the change.

    We could have won some games with a lot of qbs but only the goat could get us a championship in only one year.

  13. Winny Testaverde Says:

    I can think of only two legends that could have pulled this off…Chris Simms and Major Applewhite…not necessarily in that order. The F outta here with this nonsense. Too many intangibles to count…but just plug and play, right Simms? I tried to like Simms as a lifelong Bucs fan…but I never quite could…”sacrificing his spleen” or not.

  14. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I get the question. With this cast of players. Unfortunately without Brady the Bucs don’t have this cast of players. No AB, no Gronk, no Lennie. That’s 4 Super Bowl touchdowns btw. Maybe no Suh. So it’s a moot point.

  15. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Jameis Winston would have won the SB with those weapons and that Defense. I have no doubt about it.

  16. Youngbucs Says:

    1sparkybuc be careful what you smoke dude.

  17. DoooshLaRue Says:


    And with JayMiss’s knack for leading a team and making good decisions we probably would have went 20-0 and won the SB by 60 points.

    I really miss having all that potential at the QB spot.

  18. alton d green Says:

    hey sparky; you forgot one thing. Biden got 80 million votes!!

  19. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Yeah, Bucs would’ve dominated with Jameis. Add in 10-15 more picks and 3-4 more fumbles and you have complete domination……

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    @Sasquatch says : “Brady is the only QB in the league who could have taken that team to the Super Bowl. No other QB would have changed the culture of the team within one season. Brady made those guys believe.”

    I absolutely agree, and could not have said it better.
    If Tom Brady had of not come to Tampa, no way we would have went to, much less won a Super Bowl.

  21. Kentucky Buc Says:

    These are some of the same thought processes I started seeing from some fans and apparently the coaching staff in Brady’s last few years. The thought that the team could do it with all kinds of different guys at QB when in fact the opposite is true. Brady has won with a revolving door of cast members with Brady being the constant. In the last 20 years of NFL football there is only one common denominator.

  22. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Hey Alton, Biden got 84 million votes, and Jameis still would have beaten KC with those weapons and that D. No other QB in the NFL knew the playbook and most of the players like he did.

  23. Flying Dutchman Says:

    Loaded roster yes. The real question is how many of those QBs would dare come to the Suckaneers. Sometimes a job well done is not even noticed. That’s what Brady did. He got the guys so pumped and mentally prep for the super bowl that people think a talented rookie could’ve done it as well. No, being that dominant against the Chiefs was Brady’s leadership making it look easy. I remember people talking about this Bucs team as an all star team without chemistry. Not an album the gmfb crew said. Well, you got the avocado tequila album cover and all 22 plus back. How’s that for a greatest hits compilation?

  24. WillieG Says:

    I think Brady, and Brady alone could’ve pulled it off. Would our free agents stay if the Bucs brought in another QB? Maybe Wilson, or Rodgers. Ryan? I doubt it. Stafford? Doubt that too. Josh Allen, Murray? No way.

    And if Wilson or Rodgers did sign, they wouldn’t command the same level of respect that 6 rings commands.

    So yeah, Brady, and Brady alone.

  25. MRRR Says:

    Sparky is right. Look at all of those games James won when he was here.

  26. MRRR Says:

    Joe is our president and TB12 is our QB. Life is good.

  27. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Oh JayMiss knew that playbook alright.

    He mastered throwing that “quick” out right to the LBs!

  28. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I agree with *almost* everything you said Joe. I think every player on the Bucs played/worked harder bc they were in awe of the GOAT. What other QB can command that level of respect? IMO, Payton definitely could have; he got more attention when he left the Colts than Brady did. Bress definitely. Mahomes probably.

    But I disagree a little on Rogers. I am not sure he is not a choke artist – could be, hard to say. But the DC and HC had more to do with our win in GB than Rogers. That late 1st half TD by Scooter was CRAZY bc of the D play call. And you can’t call Rogers a choke artist when the HC takes the ball out of a future HOFers hand with the game on the line AT the GOAL LINE!

    Matt LaFluk should have been fired. OMG, did I ever cheer that play!

  29. Trey Long Says:

    Sorry Phil is dead wrong. Only
    Been done twice for a reason
    Montana, Favre etc couldn’t. Mahomes maybe in his 2nd year but last year with no preseason?
    Only the GOAT 🐐

  30. sasquatch Says:

    1sparkybuc Says:
    May 22nd, 2021 at 7:21 am

    Jameis Winston would have won the SB with those weapons and that Defense. I have no doubt about it.

    Was this is a joke?

  31. Buczilla Says:

    Mahomes and Wilson for sure. Maybe Rodgers if his head was right. None of those other dudes have proven a darn thing outside of being talented. Brady accomplished one of the most amazing feats in sports history, so even though I like Simms, he is far off the mark here.

  32. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Nope, no joke. Check the franchise records for QBs. The first two are either Winston or Brady in every category. The lone exception is the single season record for interceptions, that’s Vinnie at 35.

  33. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Put the crack pipe down Sparkles. That sh:t will kill ya.

  34. sasquatch Says:

    1sparkybuc Says:
    May 22nd, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Nope, no joke. Check the franchise records for QBs. The first two are either Winston or Brady in every category. The lone exception is the single season record for interceptions, that’s Vinnie at 35.

    You are smokin’ a fatty bud. You don’t win a SB with Jameis-level turnovers. Plus, the difference in last year’s team was culture, and Jameis would not have changed that, at all. He was part of the problem. Good riddance.

  35. geno711 Says:

    Every quarterback a little different. Certainly Brady did it.
    Could have Wilson, Rodgers or Mahomes. I think it is possible for a few of those guys but we will never know.

    Could higher turnover guys won with the rest of our team. Odds – 1 in 200,000. We saw what happened with that type of guy. Do not need to ever see that again!

  36. sasquatch Says:

    The only part of this question that matters is which QB could have changed the culture. That doesn’t happen by completing passes. That happens through a kind of leadership that few possess. Wilson, no. Rodgers, no. Mahomes, no. Brady is the only QB in the league that could have changed the culture in such a way that the won that SB. Who else has done what he’s done? Nobody.

  37. Oneilbuc Says:

    Lol 😆🤣 this what I be talking about . I saw a statement that Brady and only Brady alone could win a superbowl last year . They way yall feel about Brady if yall felt that way about God He will be please with yall !! Stop the worship please Brady never made one tackle or sack or interception last year. He didn’t rush for 989 yards are caught 1 touchdown pass. I get it he played well for a guy his age with all these weapons . But yall try to act like he had the exact same team and plays that Jamies had .lol 😆🤣 I know yall hate Jamies but we know Jamies didn’t have a running game like this the past 4 years . We know they didn’t even call this many run plays to 1 runningback in 4 years. The bucs kept a top 5 offense every year Jamies was on the team. I think it was maybe 1 year when they were ranked 10th in offense . And to think they did that with no running game . I will never believe that he was the main Problem with this team. Remember the last 5 years that defense was ranked at the bottom of every stat that a defense can have but Jamies was the problem lol 😆😂🤣 . How many 32 ,30, 29th defenses that were on the bucs teams 🤔 . Lol 😆🤣😂

  38. gp Says:

    Help me out folks…
    I can’t even think of a quarterback in NFL history that could have pulled that off!
    We had/have the talent for sure.
    But that rotgut losing culture was enough to suck a lesser quarterback in and down with the ship.
    Once again, Brady has proven why he is called the GOAT!

  39. Oneilbuc Says:

    So give credit to the hold team and I got to give credit to the coaching staff for changing that no risk it no biscuit trash offense. And I give credit to the GM for bringing in all these free agents and in the 2020 draft class.

  40. gp Says:

    You are correct when you say that Jameis was not the main problem.
    The point is…
    He was incapable of correcting that problem AND contributed to it with bad decision making.
    Get with the program dude!
    Jamies is DONE!

  41. Kentucky Buc Says:

    What the h3ll is a hold team ? Jibberish

  42. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Curious what the opinions here would be if Winston was white and Brady was black. I don’t do drugs and senility is still a few years away for me yet. Without even looking I’d say the top 6 offenses in franchise history were from 2015 to 2020. Tom Brady was only here for one of them. For a time, the only bright spot on the team was the pass production, and that was mainly on Jameis Winston. Blame him for the interceptions, but give him credit for the points scored and the yardage. Tom Brady would not have 7 rings if he had played for the Bucs the last 6 years. He might not even have one.

  43. Youngbucs Says:

    Here come the excuses the offense was trash he’s black that’s why he’s not here smh.

  44. Youngbucs Says:

    I been telling him for the longest it’s whole team not hold team. At first I thought it was a typo but he does it every time.

  45. Youngbucs Says:

    Oneilbucs who gonna blame this year? Sean Peyton his play calling? The saints organization is gonna be trash now right? No it’s gonna be they oline? No it’s gonna be they run gm? No it’s gonna be their kicker? No I got definitely this time it’s still gonna be the Bucs fault got it.

  46. Youngbucs Says:

    By the way you forgot number 1 in turnovers those 5 years with gms missed who does that?

  47. gp Says:

    Curious what the opinions here would be if Winston was white and Brady was black.
    Absolutely no difference whatsoever.

    Except maybe for you!

  48. Oneilbuc Says:

    You bring up race with me but I like the Kyle Trask pick and I believe he’s a white quarterback right ?? Lol 😆🤣 and it will be the same thing if they try to develop him like they did Jamies.

  49. sasquatch Says:

    Once again… no other QB would have changed the culture the way Brady did. Period.

    The whole team still gets credit, as does the coaching staff and front office. Licht especially gets credit for assembling the talent that made this a place where Brady wanted to finish his career here. But Brady was the difference and no other QB would have turned them around like that.

    If you ask me if a different QB could win it with this year’s team, I’d say yes. They now know what it takes to win.

    And, no, this has nothing to do with skin color, Mr. Sparkles. Jameis Winston set a record for pick 6’s and that had nothing to do with anything except poor decision making which had nothing to do with his son. Duh.

  50. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Some will never get it. The whole team dynamic is different if Brady doesn’t come to Tampa. Gronk is either still retired or on whatever team Brady went to. No AB. No Lombardi Lennie. Probably no Suh. Do they draft the same without TB ? Let’s face it. What top notch free agents wanted to come to Tampa before Brady ? Small market. Few prime time games. Culture ? Casual fans just found out who Lavonte David was last year. Guys want to play where Brady’s at. He’s a free agent magnet.

  51. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Only Tom Brady

    He brought in the FA players he wanted

    Those players were not Arians type of guys and never would have been in the roster if Brady didnt demand it

    Only Brady had the clout and power to demand to rip up and throw away BA/BL twins playbook when we were 7-5 at the bye week

    Combined Evans and Godwin had 1 reception in the Superbowl, would that ever had happened if they wdrent running Brady’s offdnse”

    Kobe Faker

  52. sasquatch Says:


    They weren’t running “Brady’s offense”… Jeez. Did they make adjustments to incorporate elements that Brady felt more comfortable with? Sure, just like you’d do with pretty much any QB with a decent resume.

  53. sasquatch Says:

    alton d green Says:
    May 22nd, 2021 at 7:53 am

    hey sparky; you forgot one thing. Biden got 80 million votes!!

    He did. If you think otherwise, you’re part of a delusional cult of democracy destroyers.