By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports writer
TAMPA- The impact of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ signing of Tom Brady May be as significant off the field as it is of him on it.
Yes, the Buccaneers are getting away from the 30 interceptions thrown last season by Jameis Winston, who served as Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback the last five years, but Brady brings a whole different dynamic to the franchise. After winning six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, there’s a sense of excitement throughout the Buccaneers’ fan base that hasn’t been there since Tampa Bay hoisted the Lombardi trophy back in 2002.
It’s been a whirlwind of an off-season for everyone in the country, as the nation battles the COVID-19 virus that’s raging throughout the world. Though the fight continues to limit the spread, news continues in the National Football League and the biggest still to date is Brady signing with Tampa Bay. Why the Buccaneers? Brady had a streaming press conference via a conference call and he didn’t provide a straight answer on why he ultimately chose the Buccaneers.
What we can take from why he might have chosen Tampa Bay lies more within the returning roster on offense, including a very talented wide receiving corps. That group is led by two Pro Bowl wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, both who broke the 1,000-yard mark in 2019. Throw in tight ends Cameron Brate and OJ Howard and Brady might have his best collection of talent since he teamed up with Randy Moss back in 2007.
Jersey and merchandise sales have been soaring for Tampa Bay since Brady’s signing but the biggest eye opener for the franchise is the amount of season tickets being sold. The Buccaneers at one point had a waiting list with over 7,000 awaiting to be spoken to in regards to the 2020 campaign. That’s the impact that comes with Brady, who has over 7-million followers on his Instagram. In comparison, the Buccaneers’ handle has just under 1-million followers.
Will the move amount to victories in the win column? Nothing can be one hundred percent certain when it comes to checking off wins. Tampa Bay has one of the harder regular seasons slated when you take a look at their opponents. Facing NFC South opponents like the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are also on tap in 2020. Ouch.
All the faith will have to be put in the hands of Brady, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht, as the Buccaneers embark on an exciting new chapter of the franchise’s history. There haven’t been many of those times since the 2007 season, as Tampa Bay has gone 12 seasons without a playoff appearance. Can Brady and Arians lead the Buccaneers to the promised land of Super Bowl LV in Tampa, FL in 2021? Time will tell.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.