Before Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette played a key role in Tampa Bay defeating the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV, he was highly motivated by Tom Brady's pregame speech.
Fournette told the Pardon My Take podcast that Brady's speech, one that was about honor, "woke" the team up.
"I got to keep it between the team, but it was a powerful-(expletive) message that we all needed to hear," Fournette said. "I think it’s how he delivered it. … It just woke us up, it gave us the spark we needed.
“A lot of guys have motivation that they might be playing for the money or their family or just because they love it. But when Tom said ‘We’re playing for honor’ and for the last names on our back, I think that kind of hit different for us.”
Fournette, who accounted for 89 rushing yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, also recalled Brady sending him and his teammates the same text message every night leading up to the Super Bowl. It was a simple three-word proclamation "we will win."
“It would be 530 in the morning because he’s the first person up, that’s just who he is," Fournette said. "You don’t get that too much, to witness greatness up close like that.
"It was crazy moments like, sometimes in the backfield—this probably during a play—I’ll be like ‘Damn, I’m really playing with (expletive) Tom Brady, this is crazy.’”
Immediately following the win as the celebratory confetti covered Raymond James Stadium, Brady—after accepting his fifth Super Bowl MVP trophy—told the media that he would be returning for another season.
"Yeah we're coming back," the quarterback said. "You already know that."
While Brady will be back, Fournette becomes a free agent in March. However, Fournette wants to stay with Tampa Bay.
Fournette was selected as the No. 4 overall pick in 2017 NFL draft as the No. 4 overall pick by the Jaguars. After his release prior to the start 2020 season, the Bucs signed him ahead of Week 1. He started the final three games of the regular season.