Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin was the guest author for this week for Peter King’s Football Morning In America column for NBC Sports. Godwin revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes information about his football career, his biggest games and of course, Tom Brady.
The message Godwin conveyed in the well-written column was to be grateful and approach life with a positive attitude. Godwin’s story starts in little league football where his size limited him to playing offensive line and linebacker the first three years because he was too big to play wide receiver.
That experience in little league football also started his love and admiration for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and owner Malcom Glazer – Photo by: USA Today
In that first year, I was put on a team called the Bucs. I didn’t know anything except I was on the Bucs, and I loved football. That was right around the time that I started to pay attention to what the NFL was. I became a Bucs fan. And it was in that same year that the Bucs won their first Super Bowl. That’s the first Super Bowl I watched. What do I remember about it? I was captivated. There’s Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Jon Gruden—that’s my team! They played great and won the game, and then I was really a Bucs fan.
Watching the game in my house in Delaware that day, it looked so awesome. I thought, “These guys are doing exactly what I do, but they’re bigger and they get paid for it and it’s on TV. Man, I want to do that!”
Godwin was shocked by the irony of being drafted by the Buccaneers after his junior season at Penn State.
Then the phone rings. I see the Tampa area code: 813. I’m thinking, “No way. The Bucs! It’s coming full circle!” I mean, I had absolutely no idea Tampa Bay would draft me. So I went to the team that was my first team as a kid, the team that helped me fall in love with football.
Godwin was given the franchise tag this offseason but didn’t spend any time in his column addressing money or his contract situation. Instead, the team-first receiver recalled the first interaction he had with new Brady in March 2020 after he signed with Tampa Bay when Brady slid into Godwin’s DMs on Instagram.
I had just gotten engaged. And the greatest player of all time is DM-ing me wishing me good luck with my engagement and saying he’s excited to play with me! That was just shocking to me. I get drafted by Tampa, never thinking I’d ever have a chance to play with Tom Brady, and now, in the prime of my career, he’s gonna be my quarterback.
Godwin detailed his most important play of the season – which wasn’t even a catch. Earlier in the playoffs Godwin had dropped four passes in a victory over Washington, but at Green Bay he came huge with five catches for 110 yards. And when the game was on the line, it was Godwin who got the ball. Although that opportunity came in a strange and different way.
This was our 19th game of the season. I had not run the ball once. We were trying to run out the clock with a 31-26 lead at the Green Bay 43-yard line. Third-and-five. We had a five-wide personnel grouping on the field. I said to Mike Evans: “Mike, what are we doing? We got no running back on the field!” We cannot throw this ball. It’s insane to throw it. An incomplete pass would stop the clock, and we’d have to punt back to Aaron Rodgers.
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: USA Today
So the play-call came in, and it was a play we hadn’t run in a game . . . a two-point conversion play. I would never have thought they’d try it with five yards to get, at a crucial point of the championship game. But the call was a toss-pitch to me. So let’s go.
I went in motion. Everything felt normal. But when Tom tossed me the ball, everything was in slow motion. Once I caught it, I looked and . . . you know how the first-down marker’s a yellow line on TV? I was seeing the yellow line on the field of where I needed to get to. It was like this weird phenomenon of being in slow motion, seeing the graphic on TV, like the yellow line, and then moving in slow motion. Then I took a couple steps and I finally reached the first down. We needed five yards. I got six.
I had this rush of emotion of like, “Oh my God, we’re going to the Super Bowl. Nothing they can do about it.” From what I had been through—not only the entire year but specifically through the postseason and those struggles—it was so incredible for my coaching staff to have the faith in me in that moment. They put the ball in my hands to send us to the Super Bowl. It was surreal for me. Then we won the Super Bowl, and there’s nothing more surreal than that.
Click here to read Godwin’s entire Football Morning In America guest column.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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