The departure of quarterback Tom Brady left several holes to fill for the Buccaneers heading into the 2023 NFL season. Obviously Brady’s play on the field will be missed, but it’s his leadership that leaves the biggest void.
The question is, who will step-up and take over that leadership role? The answer is offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.
“We had Tom, Tom is an incredible leader. He’s an incredible person. You could put him up there with the best leaders of all time. He was very vocal. He’d bring the whole team up and give a little speech after practice. He’d bring the whole offense up.”
“Obviously, I’m not even close to that level to do that now, but I want to say a couple things — how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. Just how practice went — just little things. I’ve been trying to do that more. Trying to be somebody that the younger guys can kind of lean to or ask me questions about whatever. It is weird, I still feel young, but going into Year 4, I’ve been to the Super Bowl, been to the playoffs, been to the NFC Championship, I’ve done stuff.”
Wirfs has been impressive on and off the field since being drafted 13th overall in 2020. Since then he’s been an All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowler and of course a Super Bowl champion. Now he looks to add to his resume by switching positions and filing the leadership void left by Brady’s departure.
“I’ve really been doing my best this offseason throughout all these OTAs and throughout this minicamp just to be a little bit more vocal. Because I feel like even through college, I’ve never been an extremely vocal leader. I’ve always been kind of a lead-by-example kind of guy – go almost under the radar. I feel like now it gets to a certain point where now I kinda got to take over.”
Up until now Wirfs has led by example on the field, now he looks to use his voice as the leader in the locker room as well.
Watch the Vikes Verified podcast with special guest Buccaneers’ offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs below!