The talk of the off-season surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has of course been the addition of quarterback Tom Brady. We’ve heard from plenty of players and personnel around the team about their impressions immediately following the news. Now though, Brady and his teammates have been working together, and we’re getting first thoughts about playing with the GOAT.
Appearing on the SnapBack Sports Podcast, Buccaneers running back and 2019 special teams captain Dare Ogunbowale discussed his thoughts leading into meeting Brady, and how it’s been thus far working with the all-time great.
“When I first met him it was just crazy. You just grow up watching him, I remember fourth grade watching him win a Super Bowl. You don’t really think you get those opportunities when you’re that age, and being able to do it now is pretty unreal.”
Of course, following the signing of Brady came the trade Tampa Bay made to bring in former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Many have questioned just how impactful the often injured tight end can be after missing a full year of NFL action. Earlier this off-season Gronkowski actually leaned on the time off as a positive, and Ogunbowale certainly doesn’t see any degradation in the tight end’s game.
“He looks good,” said Ogunbowale. “You realize why he’s one of the best tight ends to ever play, if not THE best.”
Adding Brady and Gronkowski to the roster is great, on paper. The results on the field are going to be what dictates whether this off-season goes down as a success or a failure however. This fact is being directly impacted currently by the cancellation of many off-season activities.
To try and remedy some of these lost snaps, the team has been getting together for private workouts where Brady and his teammates focus on chemistry and getting on the same page before training camp and whatever form of preseason they might see.
“Those workouts have been great though,” Ogunbowale said. “We’ve gotten really comfortable with each other. Chemistry is coming. Getting a lot of timing, that’s the big thing with not being able to obviously have OTAs. Those workouts have been real good and - um - like I said, it’s crazy to be playing with Brady.”
The biggest change everyone is hoping to see with the new-look Bucs offense is going to come in the turnover margins. In 2019, the Tampa Bay offense led the league with 30 interceptions and added six fumbles to go with those.
SnapBack Sports Podcast host Jack Settleman pointed out the actual upside considering Tampa won seven games despite the extremely high amount of self-inflicted wounds. Something Ogunbowale responded to with optimism about the 2020 offense, but also the 2019 defense which is returning every single starter from one year ago.
“That speaks to the defense, for real. We put the defense in some tough situations and they somehow get off the field, and now this year if the offense takes care of our business we’re going to be a scary team, for sure.”
All of this build-up and all of the workouts are leading to one thing of course. The goal of winning a Super Bowl, and the opportunity to become the first team in NFL history to win a Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium.
“That would be wild. That’s the goal, man. At the end of the day that’s always the goal, but yeah, that would be crazy to make history that way too.”
There will be more coming here on Bucs Nation from Dare Ogunbowale’s conversation, but you can check out all of his comments on a wide array of topics, by checking out the SnapBack Sports Podcast.