As the last quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back Super Bowl championships, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady knows it's not easy to repeat.
The Bucs won 31-9 over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV this past February and since then Brady has had the opportunity this offseason to share advice with his Tampa Bay teammates.
“I think the assumption comes from the belief that it will just be exactly like it was last year," Brady explained when speaking with local media last week. "I think that’s what you’ve got to not fall into is that ‘Oh, this is the way it worked last year, so this is the way it will be this year.’ The reality is everything is different."
Brady won back-to-back championships with the New England Patriots during the 2004-2005 seasons. So what does Brady mean that "everything" will be different for the Bucs in the 2021 season later this fall?
"The teams will approach you a little bit differently," Brady said. "You’re kind of the team everyone is watching now, so there are different degrees of expectation. There’s more external noise, there will be more people that will be wanting to come to games [and] more opportunities to do things outside of football. I think the reality is that you’ve got to stay focused on what’s really important."
The Bucs just wrapped up a three-day mandatory minicamp, in which Brady was mostly limited in practice as he continues to recover from an off-season knee procedure. Brady explained how he and his team can improve after winning a Super Bowl already.
"Improve your routine, improve your communication with your teammates [and] with your coaches," Brady said. "Not allow your mind to really fall into this position that you make this assumption that just because you did something in February that you’ll do it again next February because that’s not the reality of football – it’s way too competitive."
The biggest thing that Brady and Co. have going for them this offseason, is well, a true offseason. Entering last year, the team hadn't spent much time together due to limited workouts over the summer and no preseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brady explained how critical a full offseason will be for the Bucs.
"Now we’ve got 15 months invested in one another as opposed to three months," Brady said. "I’d rather be 15 months in than three months because I believe that the continuity in football is the key to winning. The more continuity you can have over a long period of time, there are just so many situations that come up over the course of the season that you’re not able to sort through – you’ve got to rely on a lot of past history. I think 15 months is better than three months."
In addition to being able to have an actual offseason, Brady shared another advantage that his team has: a veteran head coach, Bruce Arians.
"From how I feel about it and how B.A. has talked about it with our team – he’s done a great job of keeping us focused, keeping the intensity there, allowing us to continue to work out together and communicate and make improvements that we need to make because I feel like we’re not finished projects," Brady said. "It was really our first opportunity to play together last year and there’s a lot of opportunities for us to grow into something that could be very different."