What makes a season successful? Is it winning a Super Bowl? No, because that would mean only one team has a successful year. I don’t get why Buccaneers fans had the motto “Super Bowl or bust”.
It depends on the person you ask, but I would suggest this season was a success. The Bucs faced a litany of challenges like, injuries, Covid-19 positives, and off the field drama. Through all that, we stayed sturdy and kept the ship moving forward.
Expectations Too High
Having an expectation of a Super Bowl will almost always guarantee heartbreak. Going to the Super Bowl is usually the peak of a great team and not the start of something great. Fans simply can’t be mad at not winning a Super Bowl as it’s nearly impossible to go back to back. Every championship team gets lucky, and in 2020 the Buccaneers had incredible injury luck, as they were fully healthy throughout their playoff run. Not taking anything away from that team, but it shows the obstacles that most NFL teams face through the season.
Stars in the Making
This Bucs team is very young at about all but a few positions. This roster got a lot of crucial reps and saw tons of development. Look no further than Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield Jr. who have taken the league by storm and have become one of the league’s best safety duos. Tristan Wirfs is on pace to go down as the best offensive lineman in Buccaneers history, he is elite at every phase of the game and is a great character for the locker room.
Vita Vea still looks like a problem for any team facing us, and he signed a team friendly deal during the season to stick with the Buccaneers for another couple years. Besides the quarterback, this team has a very young roster, and they still seem to be hitting in every draft. When comparing the roster to the rest of the NFC South the Bucs clearly have an advantage, and even if Tom Brady retires, there is no quarterback in the division that would scare me currently.
Building A Winning Culture
Culture in football is the most important part that flies under the radar. Teams that have it win no matter what, the Patriots, known for the “Belichick way” which brought six Super Bowls to New England is a perfect example. In the 2020 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted two players from the University of Minnesota. This may seem just like a coincidence, but it has set the corner piece for the culture here. Every time the defense forces a turnover, they “Row the boat”, which is what PJ Fleck, Minnesota coach who founded the mantra, says before every game. This culture brought Minnesota’s its most successful seasons ever, and now it’s doing the same for the Bucs. Before the Rams’ playoff game, the stadium ran a hype video narrated by Winfield Jr, that highlighted the row the boat mentality and said “when there is a storm, you have to keep rowing”. This is a direct quote from PJ Fleck and shows the culture that we have developed. So, next time you see the Buccaneers “row the boat”, just remember it’s more than a Celebration.
What We Can Take From This Year
The Buccaneers only won one Super Bowl when they had the dominant defense in the early 2000s, but when people look back at that era, they remember all the teams that were good and not just the Super Bowl winning one. This season had records being broken, limits being surpassed, and I think that will makes this season memorable.