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“We’re going for two, and we ain’t stopping!”

That’s the motto that Bucs head coach proclaimed at the boat parade the week following the team’s second Super Bowl win in franchise history.

“We have the best coaching staff in the NFL and we’ve damn sure got the best players in the NFL,” Arians said drawing a huge amount of applause. “Anybody that says, ‘Run It Back,’  Bulls–t. That was Kansas City’s bulls–t. We’re going for two. We’re going for two and we ain’t stopping.

“We’re going to keep this band together and they know how to win. … You beat every damn thing we lined up against you. You did it the right way. We did it the right way. We physically kicked their ass!”

Bucs head coach Bucs Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: USA Today

You have to admire the confidence of Arians at that moment. And remember this was long before the Buccaneers were able to find a way in a salary cap-strapped offseason to bring back all 22 starters – and then some.

There is little question that Tampa Bay will be one of the favorites to win next season’s Super Bowl.

But will they?

History says no.

In the 55-year history of the Super Bowl, dating back to 1967, its been done just seven times.

And in the modern era of pro football it’s been even less frequent.

Over the last 25 years it’s been done once. By who? You guessed it – Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

But a big thing to note, as great as Brady is, and with a remarkable 20-year dynasty, Brady and the Patriots repeated as Super Bowl champs just one time (2003, 2004).

Even with the greatest quarterback to ever lace up a pair of cleats and with arguably the best head coach of all time in Bill Belichick, the duo managed to repeat just once in their time together in New England. The Patriots failed to repeat in five other instances when Brady was there.

If that doesn’t convince you it’s a tough row to hoe, then you probably believe the earth is flat, Bigfoot is real and Nickelback is a great rock band.

It won’t be easy, folks.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The Bucs front office “superhero duo” of general manager of Jason Licht and vice president of football operations Mike Greenberg have already overcome the biggest obstacle – returning all of the Super Bowl starters. You have to go back to the late 1970s and the Pittsburgh Steelers to find a team that accomplished that. And that was long before free agency that has made it nearly impossible to achieve such a rare feat.

Another reason for Bucs fans to believe it can and will be done, is the man under center.

Brady came to the Buccaneers after spending 20 years in virtually the same playbook with many of the same coaches, yet stepped into the huddle in Tampa Bay without the benefit of any offseason work. That included no preseason, new faces everywhere he looked and a different coaching staff. All he did was lead Tampa Bay to a world championship.

I’m not sure enough has really been made of that fact. Hollywood studios would pass on that script if it came across their desk for not being believable enough.

It was truly an amazing feat.

And unless there is some sort of crazy talent drop-off by Brady or an injury, he and this offense should be even better in 2021.

That thought and realization is enough to keep opposing defensive coordinators across the NFL from getting a lot of sleep this offseason.

Next, add in a coaching staff that also returns intact. As impressive and important as it was for the Buccaneers to return their starters for 2021, it might be of equal importance that there was no coaching turnover other than assistant wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El leaving for a promotion to become the Lions receiver coach.

Make no mistake, if the Bucs do in fact repeat as champs, or even just not implode, they will lose some coaches to head jobs elsewhere after this season. But for now, they are all back. And that’s good news for the organization and its fans.

Even with all the positives, football has a way of breaking your heart. Ask Patriots fans who saw their team lose twice to the Giants in Super Bowls. Including one that prevented Brady and New England from achieving a perfect 19-0 season.

Somewhere in heaven, Don Shula is still smiling and sending the helmet-catch-trapping David Tyree good vibes from the great beyond. And somewhere else Belichick is still sticking pins in a voodoo doll of Tyree that he had sent to him from New Orleans.

Bucs Vea

Vita Vea, Bruce Arians and Jason Licht – Photo by: USA Today

You can also ask Bucs fans how football can break your heart. While Tampa Bay might not have been as big a favorite to return to the Super Bowl in 2003 as this Bucs team is for 2021, who saw a 7-9 season coming following the win over the Raiders in San Diego?

Bad bounces, bad calls, bad injuries and bad attitudes can derail a promising season really quick.

Just ask the 49ers who were a fourth quarter away from beating the Chiefs in the Super Bowl in 2019, to a 6-10 record the next.

But this Buccaneers team defied the odds in 2020, so why not 2021?

While history suggests it will be a tall task to repeat, I’m not betting against Brady, Arians and this organization.

“We’re going for two, and we ain’t stopping!”

Go get’em Bruce. Pewter nation is behind you – even if history isn’t.

Bucs Cannon Blast

Table of Contents

• I’ve occasionally talked on the Pewter Report podcast or even written a few times about some of my favorite players to cover. Warren Sapp, Adam Humphries, Demar Dotson, Alan Cross and a handful of others were all great guys to deal with in the locker room. Guys that made this job a dream truthfully.

Bucs NT Akeem Spence and PR.com’s Mark Cook

But it hasn’t always been sunshine, sprinkles and unicorns.

So here is my list of my Top 5 least favorite guys to cover in my 11 seasons in no particular order and the years I covered them.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (2011)
Winslow just wasn’t a good dude. He rarely, if ever, spoke to the media and if he did it was usually just fluff. While I didn’t particularly like covering him or had a lot of respect for him, I can’t say anyone saw what his criminal future would hold. Yikes. Not good. Not good at all.

G Ted Larsen (2011-13)
Maybe Ted just didn’t like me. Or anyone really. He was better than Winslow with the media, but was pretty much an awful quote and I don’t know anyone in the media who was able to develop any type of relationship with him. Kind of just a standoffish player who always answered our questions like we were digging into his dating life or trying to find dirt. Calm down, Teddy.

S Mark Barron (2012-14)
I didn’t dislike Barron as a person or a player. But as a reporter, he was intimidating, seemed angry all the time and had little use for the media. He wasn’t a fun interview. I do love the fact he once kicked Brian Price’s ass in a team meeting when Price ordered him out of his seat. But Barron, a Mobile native, once told me he preferred Dreamland BBQ over Saucy Q’s. Sorry, I can’t trust anyone with that opinion.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: PewterReport.com

WR DeSean Jackson (2017-18)
Jackson was just a strange bird. He never had much to say of substance to the media and always acted like it was chore and didn’t want to be bothered. He rarely showed his face during the week for media open locker room and when he did it was usually with his back turned and headphones on as to not be bothered. Of course when you had such little impact and production on the field as he did here, I suppose I wouldn’t have much to say either.

WR Alvin Harper (1995-96)
I covered Harper in my radio days, and part time for Pewter Report – then Buccaneer Magazine – but man, what a jerk. I really had high hopes when he was signed as a free agent but he was a knucklehead in the locker room and off the field. He was just an all-around bad signing, who failed to live up to expectations on the field. After the final game of the 1996 season I was talking to wide receiver Courtney Hawkins in the post-game locker room about his pending free agent status when Harper and I got into it. He kept interrupting every question I asked Hawkins with smart mouth answers. We ended ups nose to nose yelling pretty loud at each other, enough that a couple players and the Bucs P.R. staff had to step in. Let’s just day I wasn’t sad to see him leave Tampa Bay.

Last Laugh

Mental note made: Turn off your cell phone when interviewing players via Zoom.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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fredster
fredster(@fredster)
6 months ago

Ted Larson was a sucky interview? He was a sucky player that’s for sure. Lol.
I always thought Jackson was a few bricks short of a load. He seems kind of low IQ to me too.

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  fredster
6 months ago

Larson was a serviceable guard the first time he was with the Bucs and then that idiot Smith blew up the line. Old age caught up to him.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
6 months ago

Yes, repeating as Super Bowl champs is very hard, not because of “history” but just because it is very hard in a highly competitive league whose rules are designed to favor turnover in performance season to season. “History” said the Bucs should not have won the two Super Bowls that we did win, and in both the 2002 and 2020 regular seasons few predicted a ring for the Bucs that year. But we did. People – mostly media pundits and fans – put way too much emphasis on “history”. Players and coaches and front office people all know better than… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Naplesfan
Dave
Dave(@bucball02)
Reply to  Naplesfan
6 months ago

Not saying that the Bucs were overwhelming favorites to win the SB in 02 and 20’. But in both seasons, the Bucs had the 5th best odds to win the SB. And both were trendy SB picks in both seasons. I can remember at least 10 nfl analysts or experts that had predicted the Bucs to win the SB last year. And even more in 02. So to say that essentially nobody thought they could win the SB either year is a little off

danielob
danielob(@danielob)
6 months ago

Don’t know about the earth being flat, but bigfoot IS real! There goes your credibility. ( or mine, ha ha).

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
Reply to  danielob
6 months ago

And Trump really won the election.

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  drdneast
6 months ago

Hillary too. And COVID didn’t come from China.

EricNV
EricNV(@ericnv)
6 months ago

Why the hate for Nickelback, Mark?

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
6 months ago

Hey Mark, enjoyed your column and also your observations about who the worst Buc players were as far as media access.
I covered the Bucs in the early 80s for a group of weekly rags and the worst player I ever ran into was Hugh Green. He wouldn’t talk to anyone and just ignored anyone who asked him a question. Little wonder he acted the same way with all the children he fathered and wouldn’t pay child support to.
There’s a special place in hell for deadbeat like that.

Buc76
Buc76(@jjjj)
6 months ago

start with winning the division and getting the #1 seed. That will make a huge difference.

thewbacca
thewbacca(@thewbacca)
6 months ago

I used to know a relative of Alvin Harper and I get the impression he was a jerk outside of football too.

inspecto
inspecto(@inspecto)
Reply to  thewbacca
6 months ago

He was a waste on the field and glad it was only one yr.

Runole
Runole(@runole)
6 months ago

Not enough is made of the cold hard fact with tumultuous offseason handicaps the BUCS to my knowledge received no consideration of even making the playoffs after their fifth loss. Doubt many of those repeat failures were faced by others after their initial SB win. As someone else mentioned the Bucs had to do it the hardest way possible as a wild card. They are better this year and will not suffer the handicaps of last season. They have plenty of reasons to be optimistic for a repeat. Compared to last season they sit in a much better spot to… Read more »

aredsoxfan1
aredsoxfan1(@aredsoxfan1)
Reply to  Runole
6 months ago

“the BUCS to my knowledge received no consideration of even making the playoffs after their fifth loss” That is a ridiculous statement and complete revisionist history. The Bucs lost their fifth game in week 12 and sat at 7-5 with complete control of a playoff spot. After the division leaders the top teams were: Rams 7-4, Bucs 7-5, Arizona 6-5 The Bears, Vikings and Niners were all 5-6. Basically these 6 teams were vying for 3 wild card spots. With the bye week next and an easy stretch of games after the bye, nearly everyone had the Bucs as one… Read more »

Dave
Dave(@bucball02)
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
6 months ago

No kidding dude lol. A few people have been pulling the “nobody gave the Bucs a chance” card. I won’t name names lol. But aside from the Chiefs and Saints, we were the 3rd most picked SB participant last year. For crying out loud, 3 of the 4 GMFB hosts alone picked the Bucs to be in the SB. So to hear people insinuate that nobody gave the Bucs a chance is just comical. The Pats players used to do that in the early 2000’s, to try and keep themselves motivated. And i always found it funny back then too

Last edited 6 months ago by Dave
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