Wednesday, January 19

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski laugh at Bill Belichick, Patriots with Buccaneers heading to playoffs

Tom Brady has been serious business getting the Buccaneers to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years as their starting quarterback in 2020. But you can bet he’s enjoying the fact that the Bucs have a chance to win the Super Bowl. 55 while his former team, the Patriots, have been eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 2008

It might be easier to think that Brady is chuckling at his current fruitful situation in Tampa Bay versus how bad Bill Belichick had it in New England without him thanks to tight end Rob Gronkowski by his side for so long. Brady convinced Gronkowski to come out of a brief retirement and take part in what has been a fun journey playing in the NFL again.

You may remember the story Gronkowski shared during his time as a studio analyst for Fox NFL. There was a time when Belichick and the Patriots were about to trade Gronkowski to the Lions. Gronkowski explained that he avoided the trade by saying he pulled out before it really was.

MORE: Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots?

After Gronk shared the story, he let out the most contagious laugh, proud of how he stopped the Patriots. There should be a lot of “ha ha,” in how he also enjoyed proving, along with the Brady, that he was nowhere near worn out or washed out from his last days in New England.

Since Gronkowski retired, the Patriots have had an absolute void receiving tight end for two seasons. Since Brady and Belichick parted ways, they’ve ruined the QB to the point of being defiant by avoiding the top position in the NFL’s free agency and draft. They joined Jarrett Stidham as an offseason starter, only to end with a broken Cam Newton.

Belichick needed one of his best seasons as general manager to overcome the loss of intangibles from Brady, who helped the Patriots overcome a variety of offensive problems near the end. That did not happen. He spent the offseason investing heavily in versatile defensive players young and old, all the while seeing stalwarts like Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung opt out and healthy veterans show their age.

Jakobi Meyers aside, once Julian Edelman went down, the Patriots were operating a recovery receiving body for Newton. His backfield and offensive line were riddled with injuries and there weren’t enough suitable replacements. And so much for the genius of Belichick and Josh McDaniels that they suddenly transformed the recycled and tired Newton into lost gold.

MORE: The Patriots’ future looks bleak behind the Bills, Dolphins and even Jets

Brady, meanwhile, saw the red and pewter carpet rolled out for him in Tampa Bay. Jason Licht is a strong candidate for executive of the year, but in reality, Brady was also a very good general manager, much better than Belichick in 2020. His needs for a new right tackle and more running back depth were met. Even with the Bucs’ strengths as a tight end and wide receiver, he convinced them that both Gronkowski and Antonio Brown were necessary additions, which has been fortuitous.

Brady’s arrival launched a super-looking team, while Belichick ended up operating with a team shell, especially offensively. With a whole new environment with his first new coach, Bruce Arians and his first new offense with Byron Leftwich, getting Gronkowski was critical. He had someone with whom he could re-create his Patriots’ offensive glory days, to ease the transition without the burden of sometimes limiting “Patriot Way.”

Brady and Gronk, who didn’t need anything the Buccaneers paid them to be financially prepared for life, are two rare superstars who do it for the love of the game and to compete. at the highest level. The Patriots near the end didn’t give them that opportunity, and once they clinched a Super Bowl 53 win over the Rams, it was clear they had to go elsewhere to get that winning feeling again.

They also needed to have fun playing again. The Bucs are reaching their video game offense potential backed by a full defense, just in time for the playoffs. There are also some young and hungry personalities around him, who have been great for rejuvenating Brady and Gronkowski.

Brady and Gronkowski won’t rest until their team gets another shot at Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. But enjoying their success thus far has to be a little sweeter knowing that they made it their way away from Belichick and the fast-fading Patriots. Imagine how much they would laugh if they also won a ring without the Patriots.

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