The Difference Was Tom Brady

May 18th, 2021


Late last week Joe brought interesting information on how the Bucs made their run to the playoffs, and ultimately a Super Bowl title.

First was confession from park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking, tequila-shooting, smartphone-phobic, waffle-grilling, trophy-throwing, roller-coaster-scared, numbers-rules-peeved, Bucs-Super-Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.

He still didn’t know Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians’ playbook at “midseason.”

The next day, Joe had a chance at Bucs rookie minicamp to ask Arians about Brady’s comment. Arians busted out laughing and said Brady was right. He did struggle until the Chiefs game right before the bye.

Then there was the element Brady mentioned about his knee, claiming he had major postseason knee surgery. Did you see Brady limping at all last year? Joe never noticed.

So John Breech of CBS Sports wrote this weekend on Brady:

The scary part here for other teams around that NFL is that despite the fact that Brady was hurt and despite the fact that he didn’t know the playbook, the Buccaneers still won the Super Bowl. Now that he’s healthy and has been in Arian’s system for a year, it’s actually kind of scary to think about how good the Buccaneers might be in 2021.

There are a number of factors at work here. First, how many quarterbacks could put their team into playoff contention without knowing the playbook? That’s just about mind-blowing to Joe.

For the better part of 2020, on a gimpy knee, Brady willed the Bucs to win. He didn’t know the playbook, so he likely relied a lot on guile and experience and smarts to put guys in position to make plays. And Brady had the guys to do that; make no mistake.

This is Michael Jordan, Bob Gibson, Ray Lewis kind of stuff, man. Brady willed this team to win.

Even when he was not at his best, he found a way. Whether it was Jordan hitting a jump shot or Gibson finding a way to get a batter to ground out when he’s got nothing left, or Lewis putting a team on his back, Brady had something within him and found ways to win games, getting the ball to the right people at the right time.

Extraordinary stuff.

And it was the little things that likely put the Bucs over the top when Brady was struggling. Like him telling receivers to keep pumping their arms to throw off defenders, or sitting in on offensive line meetings telling his blockers he needed 2.3 seconds to get rid of the ball and where they should block, stuff like that.

Does any of that happen with Teddy Bridgewater?

The more Joe thinks about it, what Brady went through last year (at 43!), and what he did for this organization and his teammates, the more Joe is convinced we witnessed one of the greatest quarterback seasons in NFL history.

29 Responses to “The Difference Was Tom Brady”

  1. Leighroy Says:

    It’s an amazing feat for sure. Another example, how many other qbs would have completed that TD to AB with the HoneyBadger covering him running the wrong route in the “big game?” Still gets it done with his 99 awareness and 99 accuracy (Madden-style ratings).

    Maybe I just have 30 years of Bucs fan PTSD, but this is all too surreal and I’m scared to death that a clock is going to strike midnight and we all turn back into pumpkins and mice. But until then, sky is the limit!

  2. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    “We witnessed one of the greatest quarterback seasons in NFL history”

    Whats even more remarkable is this unbelieveable ride isnt over yet

    2021 is gonna be very entertaining …….. TB12 is humble enough to get everyone to believe…. its unbelievable

  3. Youngbucs Says:

    This should get interesting cry more haters! With your loser love and loser mentality’s!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only thing stopping Brady is injury or a weak Oline…..I believe we can rule out a weak Oline…

    And then, there’s our Defense!!!

  5. lambeau Says:

    I expect a lot more from the offense this year, now that Btady has melded his style with BA’s, he has Gio Bernard, and he’s familiar with all the receivers. This year should be truly epic–maybe 15-2?

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    John Breech is right when he said “it’s actually kind of scary to think about how good the Buccaneers might be in 2021.” I’ve been saying for months that this 2021 unit could go down as the. not one of the, but THE, greatest team in NFL history. And, no doubt, it’s all because of Brady. His name should go up in the Licht House’s Ring of Honor the first year after he retires (hopefully not for another 2 or 3 years).

  7. geno711 Says:

    I see Jordan different than Brady. Jordan was just the best talent around when he won the Championships. He was the GOAT because of his athletic ability and his will to win. When he came back to Washington and tried to win it was by trying to replicate his athletic ability – not his leadership skills.

    Brady won last year because he was the best leader ever with average athletic ability. He is the current football GOAT because of his leadership and his will to win.

    Brady is greatest team leader ever.

  8. Casual Observer Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Truly an amazing story continuing to unfold in Tampa. Please stay healthy.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Only Joe would compare Teddy Bridgewater to Tom Brady.

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:


  11. ArmchairGM Says:

    Brady’s legacy is absolutely insane and keeps getting better. My favorite part right now is that he’s got other QB’s thinking the grass is greener on another team. He made the transition look that easy when he’s really making the biggest career move of his life, learning a new city, new teammates and a new playbook that’s notoriously difficult to master your first season. Looking forward to what Brady can do in season 2.

  12. Joe Says:

    Only Joe would compare Teddy Bridgewater to Tom Brady.

    Not sure how you did the math on that.

    Had the Bucs not gotten Tom Brady in free agency, it was down to bringing Jameis back or signing Teddy Bridegwater. If you want to blame anyone about that, throw rocks at Bruce Arians. He hatched that idea and spoke openly about it.

  13. Buczilla Says:

    We are lucky to have Brady and I’ve run out of words to describe how happy I am that this dude decided to come here. Can we start the damn season already please?

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    Does any of that happen with Teddy Bridgewater?

    who knows…

    but it sure aint happening with JW!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  15. SteveK Says:

    Once Brady pulled off the 28-3 SB, I was in awe of witnessing an all time great. Now that he is a Buc, it brings me immense joy to watch other NFC organizations and QBs have outward dysfunction that was likely sped up by Tom Brady’s 2020 season, combined with how the Bucs embraced him and supported him with resources. Other QBs, cough: Russ, Rodgers, Brees (retired), have all had major issues w their teams. Go Bucs!

  16. SteveK Says:

    Brady was an all time great prior to the 28-3, but that was unfreaking-believable. The Falcons got too cute and refused to run the ball and the clock. Go Bucs!

  17. SteveK Says:


    You guys are the damn best! Florio wrote an article on PFT about Ron Wolfe and “diva QBs”. The “Tom Brady effect” is more than just the cure all for ty e team he is on, but it is also having a rippled effect across the league with QBs asking out and trying to gain more power. Nobody can flex on a 44 y/o goat 🐐🙏🏆

    P.s. do you have any thoughts about using emojis for your long, elaborate, descriptive tiles for TB12 and Peacock loving PKing? That would be hilarious, but I can also totally see Joe having a “get off my lawn moment” with having to deal with emojis?

  18. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When Bucs fans were debating who should be the QB after the 2019 season- the discussion pretty much included re-signing Jameis or trading for Carr or signing Bridgewater or maybe drafting a QB – signing Brady was not on fans’ radar and after it happened, nobody was looking back on the other options.
    So yeah, there’s the GOAT and everyone else, so why bring it up?

  19. Joe Says:

    So yeah, there’s the GOAT and everyone else, so why bring it up?

    Because it nearly happened. All Brady had to do was say “No.”

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    @TBBF … “And then, there’s our Defense!!!”

    Thanks TBBF. Tom Brady is THE GOAT & that to me says it all. You don’t get that moniker by being second best.

    But all I seem to come across in the national sports media especially is about the Bucs’ OFFENSE; how great it was in 2020 and how incredible it’s gonna be in 2021. IMO the story of the 2020 playoffs was the Bucs’ DEFENSE just as much as its’ offense. And especially important was how our offense & defense fed off each other in virtually every game: defense generated 9 TOs in the 4 games. Our offense scored 6 TDs & 1 FG off of those, and the 2 other TOs came at the end of the games. That’s as close to perfect COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL as there is IMO.

    And to top it off, our Special Teams completed the trifecta with Succop going 9-for-9 on FGs and 12-for-13 on XPs.

    The story of the 2020 Bucs is everyone making big-time plays, when big-time plays were really needed. I’m hoping that by keeping this ‘band’ together, we see the same thing in 2021.

  21. Swampbuc Says:

    I realize Tom said he didn’t know the playbook. It’s Tom Brady. His “not knowing the playbook” means he probably had more knowledge of it that most other quarterbacks know theirs, and more than anyone else put into the same situation.

    I hated him with the Pats because all he did was win.

    Now I love him for the same reason!

    Go Go GOAT!

  22. BucsMinisiterFuller Says:

    Did we all forget the Atlanta / Patriots Superbowl
    How much were they down by in the 3rd quarter?
    He led that team to 19 unanswered points in the 4th quarter.
    Then another 6 in OT.
    How old was he then 39, 40?

  23. TampaTown Says:

    Brady should have been the league MVP last year

  24. Buckaroo Boozie Says:

    Joe, it’s refreshing to have you acknowledge TB12 as the Greatest QB EVER…
    Now how about dropping the snarky, disrespectful diatribe Moniker and
    Just refer to MR. BRADY as “The RING LEADER”
    Man up already newsie!

  25. SlyPirate Says:

    The question was: What other QB (in history) could lead an offense to the playoffs without knowing the playbook?

    Answer: Favre. That guy could walk onto any team, any day, and play winning backyard football.

  26. Buc4evr Says:

    The most amazing SB run in the history of the NFL for a whole host of reasons. Seems to be lost on the media.

  27. All lives matter Says:

    What about our own defense? Just Brady’s presence played a huge factor on our defenses readiness.

    iron sharpens iron

  28. David Says:

    This coming year as poised to be historic, barring injuries.
    5000 yards passing.
    Evans and Godwin over 1000 yards receiving.
    Defense 17 or under.
    Offense 35 and over.
    I predict 14-3
    BUT…. if they stay hungry throughout the season, avoid injuries, see the D line get after it like they did in the playoffs…
    Winning every game is a possibility.

    Rams and Bills are the toughest on the schedule as of right now.
    Don’t ask me why but I think Carolina is going to get better and better. They see them twice in three weeks at the end of the year when they might not be playing for much… could be a problem

  29. Gordon Says:

    Tom Brady is outstanding. He has more than enough money to be happy without playing football. However he truly love the game and tries everything possible to win every game. I watched every Bucs. game in 2020 on TV and I knew that it would take time for him to learn the new system and he did. Now I will attend all games in Tampa Bay and the Bucs, Patriots game at Foxboro because I admire and enjoy watching him. Also in my opinion the Bucs have made very great decision to rehire all the 2020 players and also they did an outstanding job selecting many other great players in the draft and in other ways. I would think the Bucs are a very great team and could win the Super Bowl again!!!!