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The PewterReport.com Roundtable features the opinions of the PR staff as it tackles a topic each week that involves the Bucs. This week’s topic: Is Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady already worthy of being inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor?

Scott Reynolds: Yes, Brady Already Belongs In The Bucs Ring Of Honor

What is the Bucs Ring of Honor? I see it as public recognition for legendary performance playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The enshrined get their names permanently affixed to the inside of Raymond James Stadium as a salute to their service to the Bucs organization. In my mind, players (and coaches) eligible for the Bucs Ring of Honor should have helped contribute to Tampa Bay making the playoffs or winning championships, and/or setting franchise records as one of the best at their position to suit up in a Buccaneers uniform. Despite playing just one season in Tampa Bay so far, quarterback Tom Brady meets both of those criteria.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today

Under the harshest conditions – no offseason, no preseason and a truncated training camp – Brady shined in his first season with the Bucs. He helped Tampa Bay go 11-5 and end a playoff drought that went back to 2007. Brady was instrumental in helping the Bucs win three playoff games on the road and Super Bowl LV. He was also the MVP in Super Bowl LV. Not to mention the fact that he set a new franchise record with 40 passing touchdowns in a season. He added three more scores on the ground to give him a total of 43 TDs. That’s the most touchdowns in a single season by a Bucs player in team history.

In just one year, Brady broke Bucs records, won a Super Bowl and was the game’s MVP. He’s already done more than some players that have played for the organization for multiple seasons. I’ve been asked before about Gerald McCoy’s worthiness for the Bucs Ring of Honor. It’s not my call, but I wouldn’t endorse his candidacy because it doesn’t meet my criteria. McCoy never played for a playoff team and he didn’t leave his mark on the Bucs’ record book. Yes, he was voted to the Pro Bowl six times, but that’s an individual accomplishment. I think McCoy was a very good player, but not a great player. There’s no doubting Brady’s greatness as a Buccaneer – even after just one season. Brady already deserves to be in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Mark Cook: Not So Fast My Friend

While like all Bucs fans and most members of the media, I marveled at the ability of Tom Brady to take a floundering franchise, put it on his back, and take it to the NFL mountain top last season, however, I can’t say that Brady is worthy of Ring of Honor accolades – just yet.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

QB Tom Brady – photo by: USA Today

There has to be some criteria to being selected and I believe longevity should be one of these. While what Brady did in 2020 was nothing short of remarkable, to be bestowed such an honor there needs to be a longer resumé than just one season. We can’t just start throwing in one-year success stories within the franchise. While clearly Brady had a 20-year run of success prior to coming to Tampa Bay that has proven him to be the best to ever play the QB position in the NFL, those 20 seasons in News England can’t have any bearing on his worthiness as a Ring of Honor member for the Bucs.

Now if you ask will he eventually be inducted, yes, of course I do, But I also believe there is a lot more of  we saw in 2020 still to come from Brady. Two more years and another Super Bowl title would cement it for me. But it has to be more than one season of success, or in my opinion, it really cheapens the honor and is a slap in the face to the ones ones who are current members that played or coached for a number of years. There are still quite a few players who, while they didn’t have the immediate success of Brady, meant a lot to the franchise and the community, and put up outstanding numbers. Yes, Glazers, I am talking about James Wilder specifically. But two more years of playoff football and another trip to the Super Bowl and I’ll be the first banging the drum for Brady’s induction.

Jon Ledyard: Doesn’t Get More Impactful Than Brady’s 2020 Season

There are no written criteria for the Bucs Ring of Honor, but if there were I would happily adhere to those. If such a thing were written by the organization, it would likely include more than one year of playing time with the organization. That’s an understandable mark that would give some credence to longevity being critical to making the Bucs Ring of Honor.

But until such stipulations are clarified in writing, Brady should be a lock for the Bucs Ring of Honor. In a COVID-impacted season in which he didn’t even have time to get a full grasp of the Bucs offense until late in the regular season, Brady was magnificent. He was easily the team’s MVP in leading the formerly disaster-ridden franchise out of a losing culture and all the way to their second Super Bowl ring. Yes, plenty of players and coaches deserve credit, but none more than Brady. In an offense that has always put a massive burden on the quarterback to be great, Brady was among the best in the league.

And, although he had a great group around him, Brady’s weaponry wasn’t flawless in 2020. It was probably Mike Evans’ roughest season, partially due to injuries. Chris Godwin missed more than four games with various ailments, and Antonio Brown didn’t play until Week 9. It took Brown awhile to get the offense down after that, and then he was injured for much of the playoffs. O.J. Howard tore his Achilles in Week 4, after becoming one of Brady’s favorite targets. And the Bucs running back room dropped more passes than any group in the NFL.

Brady was brilliant despite it all, putting up massive numbers, leading the team to multiple comeback victories and saving them in the wild card round while almost everyone else in red and pewter struggled that day. Yes, the defense was critical to finishing the job in the playoffs, but they never would have gotten there if not for Brady. It’s hard to argue against his 2020 season being Ring of Honor worthy if there is no requirement for longevity in order to make the list.

Matt Matera: Of Course, Brady Transcended The Bucs’ Turnaround

Before answering about Brady, a quick question. Did you know that the Miami Heat have Michael Jordan’s jersey number retired? Yes, the Miami Heat, who have all-time greats such as Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal with their jerseys in the rafters of the American Airlines Arena, also have Jordan’s numbers 23 up there. For those that didn’t know, Jordan didn’t play a game for Miami. What Jordan did, though, was transcend the game of basketball to the point that it made other teams shutter at the idea of another player wearing 23. Now, back to Brady. Brady actually played for the Bucs, and in less than one year brought the Bucs to new heights that they couldn’t have dreamed of reaching. Like Jordan, Brady transcends the sport, and he actually played for the team that will retire his jersey.

For starters, Brady is responsible for getting Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette here. That’s just the beginning of it. He didn’t just show up and expect to be great. Brady instilled a work ethic and an aspiration for greatness that this team always wanted, but never believed they had until he showed up. You can’t find that looking at a box score, so let’s bring in the stats now. Brady’s 40 touchdown passes was a franchise record. It took him one year in a season that canceled the offseason workouts for him to accomplish it. Mike Evans had 13 touchdown receptions for a franchise record with 12 of them coming from Brady. Coincidence that he had one of his best years with Brady? I think not.

By the way, Brady was also the Super Bowl MVP for the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV win at home. He’s entering a season where the Bucs are expected to win the division and contend for another Super Bowl again. Should he at least get the Bucs to the postseason, while along the way breaking the NFL’s all-time passing record, then how do you not retire his number? He’ll accomplish offensive milestones that weren’t even thought of in this organization until Brady got here. You can’t have the unquestioned Greatest Of All Time, who you also won a championship with, and not have him in your Ring Of Honor. You just can’t. Let common sense prevail.

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skyrider
3 months ago

Of course he is , especially after putting Gruden in with Dungys team.

scubog
Reply to  skyrider
3 months ago

Dungy simply passed along Wyche’s team.

Captain Sly
Reply to  scubog
3 months ago

Truth! Okay not entirely but definitely the Bucs Core group.

SufferingSince76
3 months ago

Way off base, Mark. Brady isn’t just some one year wonder. He belongs in the ring now. As does Arians.

Larry
Reply to  SufferingSince76
3 months ago

Hell Yeah!!! Who could have done what he did for this franchise and this city. NO ONE!!! It doesn’t get any more deserving that Tom Brady.

bucballer
Reply to  SufferingSince76
3 months ago

Arians?

SufferingSince76
Reply to  bucballer
3 months ago

Yes, Arians. He’s just as deserving as Gruden.

Captain Sly
Reply to  SufferingSince76
3 months ago

Yep why stop there let’s include Bowles, Leftwich & Harold Goodwin while we’re at it.

SufferingSince76
Reply to  Captain Sly
3 months ago

Ha ha. Funny. The man assembled a solid coaching staff and is a players coach. Anyone who brings a Super Bowl to this team deserves it. Don’t act like the Bucs have been tearing it up every year and he’s just another coach. A freaking miracle, it was.

Benjamin
3 months ago

I am with Mark Cook on this one. Is Brad Johnson in the Ring of Honor? no, but why not he was the QB of a Super Bowl winning team and without Brad the 2002 Buccaneers team does not win the Super Bowl. Now If Tom at the very least gets the Bucs to the playoffs every year he plays in Tampa then yes will for sure deserve to be in the Ring of Honor. Now I am not trying to minimize what Tom did to this team and how insanely hard an challenging it was to. Believe me I… Read more »

bucballer
Reply to  Benjamin
3 months ago

Brad Johnson coming to the Bucs did not transform the entire team. Brady coming did! I don’t recall players from around the NFL wanting to play with Brad. Brady has transformed the entire organization from head to toe. He didn’t just win a SuperBowl with our beloved Bucs but transformed the entire organization.

bucballer
3 months ago

Yes

drdneast
3 months ago

I’d put him in just to irritate the Patriots.

scubog
Reply to  drdneast
3 months ago

Got a point there DrD. Now, if he goes into the HOF as a Buccaneer. As the little lizard says, “serendipity”. Since we already have three coaches (McKay, Dungy & Gruden), banners and are about to enshrine a forth (Kiffin), I expect if the team excels this season like we expect, Bruce Arians too will be so honored. There’s little doubt that Tom Brady was the catalyst for the team’s 2020/2021 success and contributed much more than his on field performance. It wasn’t always spotless. The championship was a team effort, not some spectacular one man show a la Larry… Read more »

Captain Sly
3 months ago

NO No no! ROH is more hollowed than one player who had one amazing season deserving to be immortalized in Bucs History. Believe me I already know the objections “but it’s Tom Brady” ahem even Tom Brady himself will tell you this was a team effort. So unless we’re talking about putting the entire team into the Bucs ROH this conversation is just Cannon Fodder. Cheers!

fredster
3 months ago

Yes, I’d put Brady in if was up to me. Broke records and won Super Bowl. End of discussion. Lol. I agree Mccoy doesn’t belong. The guy was not involved in playoffs, Super Bowl, or setting records. Unless rolling on the ground like a sissy all the time, helping up the opposing team that’s kicking our asses, and missing 16 games in 5 years because always hurt is a record. Lol.

OneBucPerson
3 months ago

Why not? The legacy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is now eternally linked to the career of the greatest pro football player to ever live, I’d say that more than warrants enshrinement into our ROH. Hell, since he’s been a 1st ballot HOFer for over decade you could make a strong argument that we should retire #12 in his honor as well. Unlike other HOF players who only spent a year or 2 with us at the end of their respective careers Brady actually significantly impacted the team as a whole and lead us to our 2nd title.

eaustinyoung
3 months ago

Absolutely. He had the best single-season performance of any Bucs QB in history and made history as the oldest, best, and most accomplished QB to win us a Super Bowl. They also went through a Murderer’s Row of future HoF QBs in Brees, Rodgers, and Mahomes. A home Super Bowl to boot.

Ron Potter
2 months ago

Sure, put Brady in the RoH. But if we’re going to have this talk, then we should include others who made a significant impact to get us to the SB and win it! Devin White? Sack Barrett? SMB? Tristan Wirfs? Donovan Smith? Ali Marpet? Mike Evans? Chris Godwin? (I’m not including Scotty Miller on this list but Scotty feels just as important as Dexter Jackson was back in the day). LVD is a lock so I’m not including him on this list of players worthy of debate for helping us bring the SB trophy to Tampa and as a result,… Read more »

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