Bucs Star Describes Playing With Both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning

Shaquil Barrett

Getty Shaquil Barrett won a Super Bowl in Denver with Peyton Manning before winning one in Tampa with Tom Brady.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett gets to quarterbacks like few others in the NFL, but his ability to join forces with the right quarterbacks is arguably more uncanny.

Barrett won a Super Bowl in 2015 the season with the Denver Broncos alongside recent Hall of Fame inductee Peyton Manning. The seventh-year veteran struck gold again last season in winning a Super Bowl with the Bucs and Tom Brady.

“It’s amazing man, just to see their leadership and the way that they go about their business on a daily basis,” Barrett said of Brady and Manning in an Aug. 6 press conference. “It’s just amazing to be a part of and then try to take anything from them because they have been doing this (for) really long at a high level. You want to try to do whatever you can to imitate any of that type of success — it’s just been amazing to watch. I’m happy that I was able to play with Peyton, and I’m happy I’m able to play with Tom and win a Super Bowl with both of them is pretty awesome as well. Hopefully we keep working, doing what we have to do so we can be in the same position as last year.”

Barrett’s first ring in his second season in the league and before he became a starter. He played in all 16 games and 36 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

His improvement showed in the following seasons with seven sacks and 65 tackles in his final two years in Denver. He took off in Tampa with 19.5 sacks 58 tackles in 2019 followed by an eight-sack, 57-tackle campaign in 2020.

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Manning Ribs Brady in Hall of Fame Speech

Manning jokingly said time will catch up with at his own induction ceremony someday.

“And speaking of rivals, my friend Tom Brady is here tonight. By the time Tom Brady is inducted in his first year of eligibility in the year 2035, he’ll only have time to post his acceptance speech on his Instagram account,” Manning said.

Brady, who has played another five years since Manning’s retirement, poked fun at Manning the day before the ceremony to jokingly explain his reason for attending the event in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7.

“I just need to make sure he’s really done. Can’t risk this guy coming back,” Brady wrote on Twitter on Aug. 6.

Brady sat  Manning’s section at the event with former teammates of Manning’s from the Indianapolis Colts. When Brady played for the New England Patriots, he went up against Manning and those former Colts players many times between 2001 and 2011.

“I’m not sure how my Colts teammates will handle that, but that means a lot that he’s taking the time,” Manning said on the Fox broadcast of the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 5.

In regular season games, Brady went 8-4 against Manning’s Colts and 3-2 against Manning’s Denver Broncos teams. It didn’t go as well for Brady in postseason matchups, as Manning held a 3-2 edge over Brady.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who coached Manning in Indianapolis, said Brady and Manning became closer than fans would think.

“It wasn’t as adversarial as everybody thought it was,” Arians said during the Bucs Aug. 6 press conference. “When you’re two guys in the stature they’re in, they’re about the only guys you can talk to. So, yeah, I think it speaks a lot about Tom. It was his idea to get us all up there. We’ve got a couple of coaches going up Saturday for some other guys, and the rest of us will go up Sunday and we’ll all come back Sunday night.”

Notably, Bucs quarterback coach Clyde Christensen and offensive consultant Tom Moore worked with Manning in Indianapolis, too.


Arians on Manning’s Influence

Arians sees Manning leading two teams to Super Bowls as part of why Brady left New England for Tampa.

“Yeah, I think that’s one of the things he wanted to accomplish when he made his decision, and we actually talked about it,” Arians said on Aug. 6. “And he did it, so let’s do it again.”

Arians coached Manning for three seasons in Indianapolis from 1998 to 2000. Since Arians served as the quarterbacks coach, Brady couldn’t glean too much from Manning regarding his time with Arians.

“Peyton really has never played in this (offense),” Arians explained. “All the verbiage we used in Indianapolis is totally different, so that part of it really didn’t help.”

Ultimately, Arians sees Manning as part of one of the greatest NFL families ever — starting with Archie Manning — and one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.

“Peyton’s contribution is as big as it gets,” Arians said. “Taking two teams to the Super Bowl, and all the things that he’s done, but he’s a better teammate and a better friend than he is a player, which speaks volumes.”

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