Buccaneers make it clear they are where they are because of Tom Brady


At this point it's pretty clear, all Tom Brady does is win.

Sunday will be Brady's 14th conference championship game, which is pretty remarkable considering he's been a starting quarterback for 20 NFL seasons (really just 19 since he tore his ACL in Week 1 in 2008).

After finishing 7-9 a year ago, Brady turned the Bucs around and have led them to the NFC title game in his first season with the team.

Speaking via Zoom Wednesday, wide receiver Mike Evans, who has been with the team for seven seasons, made it known it's because of Brady.

“He’s the greatest player to ever play the game,” he said. “You add him on any roster, and I’m sure the outcome would be somewhat like this. He always gets his team to the playoffs. He’s a winner. He’s a natural-born winner, leader, all that. At this point in his career, he’s just playing chess, and we’re definitely very happy he’s on our side.”

Last year, Tampa led the league with 41 turnovers, this year they only had 17. Brady, obviously, had a lot to do with it.

"That was a major emphasis – that and eliminating penalties," head coach Bruce Arians said. "Getting more disciplined was a huge part of our offseason. Obviously, Tom [Brady] doesn’t turn it over much, but we’ve hammered everybody about protecting the football – anybody with their hands on the ball. That and penalties.”

Running back Ronald Jones noted how important Brady has been with preparation.

"He always pulls us to the side and gives us things to look for," he said. "Even at practice, we’ll see a look and he’s like, ‘Yeah, expect this, too.’ It’s also like having another coach out there. You can never have too many words of wisdom from him.”

Tampa Bay will travel to Green Bay Sunday and Brady is looking forward to the challenge.

"The Packers were in the NFC Championship game last year – lost a tough one to San Francisco – and I know the type of team they are and what they’re capable of," he said. "They’ve got a great offense – one of the best in the league – really talented defense, really well coached. That’s how it should be – the two best teams in the conference should be getting together and seeing how it all goes down. I’m excited for it – we’ve still got a lot of preparation. We barely got started in practice today. We’re going to need two more good days and then we’ll be ready to go.”