People always talk about how Brady is “the greatest of all time,” in large part because he won a bunch of Super Bowls (which, if you need to be reminded, are team achievements).
Quarterbacks always seem to get too much credit for what the team does. Now Brady is getting a MAJOR upgrade in roster talent over last year… especially on offense.
Here’s a quick glance at key players on New England’s 2019 roster vs the current 2020 Tampa Bay roster:
2020: Ronald Jones II and now Leonard Fournette
2019: Sony Michel
Even before the Fournette signing, the Bucs had an edge. Sure, it seemed like an advantage for Michel, but Sony played in 16 games last year and had 912 yards and 7 TDs (3.7 ypc). RoJo had 724 and 6 TDs (4.2 ypc) in partial time (he only had 6 games with more than 11 carries and 1 game with more than 14) and RoJo had another 300 yards receiving. Now they’ve added Leonard Fournette, a #4 overall pick who had 1152 yards rushing to go with 76 receptions last year on a team that was tanking. The Bucs have good compliments for the position, and Fournette is in a contract year and will be out to prove himself after being the only thing Jacksonville had on offense. This could very well be his best year as a pro.
2020: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin
2019: Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu
Other than Moss, Mike Evans is HANDS DOWN the best receiver Brady has ever played with. Godwin is a young stud that had 1333 yards and 9 TDs last year and is still getting better. Compare that to an undersized try-hard and a WR who’s career is basically over (and his best season ever was 838 yards and 4 TDs while having the best WR in the league to draw coverage away). Sanu hardly did anything, was cut, and was a big mistake.
2020: Rob Gronkowski, OJ Howard
2019: Ben Watson
A Hall of Famer in Gronk and a 1st round pick in Howard vs a 39 year old that came out of retirement. This is A MAJOR upgrade and Brady gets another to go back to another double TE powerhouse!
2020: Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet
2019: Isaiah Wynn
Draft pick investment: Here are the draft rounds of Tampa Bay’s players: 2,2,3,4,6 Compare that to NE: 1,4,6,UDFA,UDFA
2020: Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, William Gholston
2019: Lawrence Guy & Danny Shelton
Talent clearly on Tampa’s side here (Both NE guys are retreads from other teams that were better on the Patriots)
2020: Jason Pierre-Paul, Devin White, Lavonte David
2019: Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins
I thought LBs might be an advantage for NE, but Tampa has guys drafted #15 overall, #5 overall and an all-pro/pro bowl 2nd round pick in his prime.
2020: Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting
2019: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty
Clearly in New England’s favor, but Tampa has a pair of young corners that were both 2nd round picks
2020: Jordan Whitehead, Justin Evans
2019: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung
Clearly in New England’s favor again, but TB has 2nd and 4th round picks invested in their young players
New for Brady in 2020:
– a well respected and very experienced coach who was AP coach of the year TWICE, took his team to a Super Bowl, and won 2 Super Bowls as an assistant coach.
– a massive security blanket with his favorite receiving target of all time
– an outstanding double TE combo to support his predisposition for short throws
– the best receiver tandem he’s ever had
– a fantastic, multi-dimensional run game
– a more talented offensive line
– a defensive coordinator (Todd Bowles) that is highly experienced (20 years in NFL), highly successful, and even won assistant coach of the year. He’s also been a head coach for 4 years and won a super bowl as a player.
– solid defensive line talent
– possibly the best group of LBs in the NFL
– a starting defensive backfield comprised of 3 second round picks and a 1 fourth round pick
– a team infusing talent from the #14 draft spot and even after the trade for Gronk, this team still had it’s draft picks for rounds 1 through 6.
Last year Tampa Bay had the #1 passing offense in the NFL with 4845 yards. Overall, they were #3 in total yards. They had THAT MUCH talent on offense… but their QB was the problem. They cut him and the best job he could find was QB3 behind an over-the-hill QB and a gadget player in New Orleans. Even with Jameis at QB, this offense thrived. Now the Buc’s offense is READY TO GO and the players are in their prime.
THEN you add both a “hall of fame” TE (maybe the greatest of all time), one of the most talented backs in the league, and the “greatest QB of all time” to that offense… WOW!
Not only that, the two people you are adding have played together for the Gronk’s entire career and will need no time to get up to speed. With this amazing QB this offense should simply be one of the absolute greatest to ever grace the football field. Ever.
If Tom Brady doesn’t “win the Super Bowl” this year you have to seriously question if Tom could have ever tasted his amazing TEAM SUCCESS without Bill Belichick.
Meanwhile the Patriots lost other key players such as Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy, Stephen Gostkowski, Danny Shelton, and Phillip Dorsett. The big signing was Cam Newton, but other than that, no big name splashes. They also led the league with 6 opt-outs, and this includes Don’a Hightower and Patrick Chung.
If the Patriots are somehow good without Tom Brady and all of their personnel losses, and the Bucs (who were 1 game away from avoiding a losing season) don’t have a massive SERIOUS improvement, this pretty clearly shows that Brady’s success was more about him having the good fortune of being on Bill’s team that it is about him being “the GOAT.”