The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell short of defending their Super Bowl title last season, losing in the divisional round of the playoffs to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams. They are going to make one more run at things with Tom Brady under center this offseason after he flirted with retirement earlier in the offseason.
Things will be a little different with Bruce Arians stepping down as head coach as well. He will be replaced by Todd Bowles, so some of the operations will remain the same, especially with Brady back leading the offense.
They have the luxury of playing in a relatively weak NFC South where the Atlanta Falcons are rebuilding, the Carolina Panthers are stuck in purgatory and the New Orleans Saints undergoing some changes of their own this offseason. However, some people are worried about them heading into the 2022 season.
One of those people is Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin. Irving made an appearance recently on ESPN’s First Take and is not sold on Tampa Bay being taken to the Super Bowl by Brady right now.
“I’m worried about the start of the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
Irving does make some solid points in his analysis. Brady is the ultimate motivator and as Irvin pointed out, that is one of the things that makes him so special. Alas, this offseason, it isn’t something that Irvin has seen as much of.
There have been plenty of athletes that have said once you start contemplating retirement, it is time to step away. Brady not only contemplated it, he was away for a few weeks with no plans of playing. He changed his mind, but stepping away from training camp for a little while also raised some eyebrows.
There is a lot of talent on this offense still even with Chris Godwin sidelined as they still have Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Cameron Brate and Leonard Fournette. But, as Irvin said, the offensive line is a bit of a mess currently and that will normally spell trouble for any quarterback, let alone one who is 45 years old as Brady is.
Keeping him upright is of the utmost importance to the Buccaneers finding continued success on the field this season. If they are unable to do that, Irvin’s concerns may quickly become validated.