The 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champions — which means they must be pretty talented.
While the team is certainly down a few starters at the moment, the Buccaneers return all of their starters from last season’s team. In addition, they’ve since added a few notable pieces, including former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman has plenty of experience playing for stacked teams. The 33-year-old cornerback was a member of the 2013 and 2014 Seattle Seahawks. The squad advanced to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, winning one at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
However, after appearing in just two games with his new club, Sherman had a bold claim for the Buccaneers during halftime of their Week 5 win over the Miami Dolphins — this is the most talented team he’s played on.
Leonard Fournette — who was a member of last year’s team — had a resounding response to Sherman’s comment (Warning: Video contains NSFW language).
“This s*** different,” said Fournette.
Dating back to Week 14 of last season — including the postseason — the Buccaneers have now won 12 of their past 13 games.
Of the key contributors on offense, the Buccaneers feature former All-Pro players in Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin. On the defensive side of the ball, the unit features from All-Pro selections in Ndamukong Suh — a former Defensive Player of the Year — Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, Lavonte David, Shaquil Barrett and Sherman himself.
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Brady Is Not Slowing Down
To top it all off, the Buccaneers feature a 44-year-old quarterback in Tom Brady who isn’t getting worse — he’s just getting better. After leading the Buccaneers to a 7-5 start last season, Brady has grown more comfortable in his new surroundings.
Brady is coming off of a Week 5 performance that saw him throw for 411 yards and five touchdowns against the Dolphins. That’s the first time Brady has accomplished the feat during his long NFL career.
Since Week 14 of last season — including postseason — the 22-year veteran has thrown for 37 touchdowns and six interceptions. Over the first 12 games of last year, Brady had thrown for 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Evans — who is now in the midst of his second season playing with the legendary quarterback — said on Monday, October 11, it’s “unreal” watching what Brady is doing at his current age, via Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.
“All the time,” Evans says. “What he does is crazy especially at his age an the play he’s been able to sustain for such a long time. It’s unreal and I don’t think we’ll ever see it again.”
Considering Brady’s weapons and offensive line — offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs hasn’t allowed a sack in a full calendar year, according to Stroud — it doesn’t appear as if he’s slowing down any time soon.
Buccaneers Dealt Another Major Injury
Tampa Bay’s injuries just continue to pile up.
During the team’s Week 5 victory over the Dolphins, captain Lavonte David suffered an ankle injury. While the prognosis could have been much worse, he’ll still be out for some time, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
“Bucs LB Lavonte David suffered a low-ankle sprain in Sunday’s win and is expected to miss some time, source said. That means he’s out Thursday and week-to-week after that,” Rapoport tweeted.
In addition to the absence of David, the Buccaneers are still awaiting the returns of Gronkowski, Carlton Davis III, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Antoine Winfield Jr. — all of whom missed Tampa Bay’s win over the Dolphins on Sunday.