The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the 2020 season with 14/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Those odds lengthened to 20/1 during the season and still were at 10/1 as the postseason began. (Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.)
In short: Few believed Tom Brady actually could lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl title in his first year with Tampa Bay.
But Brady obviously believed -- and so did his head coach, Bruce Arians.
As the Bucs celebrated their 31-9 trouncing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 on Sunday night, Arians turned to Brady and recalled what he said to the quarterback in their first conversation after Brady left the New England Patriots to sign with Tampa Bay in free agency.
"You come, and we’ll win the Super Bowl," Arians told Brady back in March, according to NBC Sports' Peter King.
Arians elaborated on his initial talk with Brady to King after the game.
"That [first] day we talked, Tom said he knew we had the talent," Arians said. "I just told him, ‘You gotta get them to believe.’ He did. And it came to fruition."
That's a remarkable conversation given the circumstances at the time.
Sure, the Bucs had a talented wide receiver duo in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and a hungry, up-and-coming defense. But Tampa Bay was coming off a 7-9 season and hadn't reached the postseason since 2007. The team didn't have Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown or Leonard Fournette at that point, and Brady had to get up to speed with a completely new offense after an underwhelming 2019 campaign with the Patriots.
Brady and Arians both had faith in the process, though. The legendary QB helped establish a culture of winning (despite a 7-5 start to the season), and his talented supporting cast did the rest, ripping off eight consecutive wins en route to an incredible Super Bowl title.
Brady's relentless pursuit of success played a huge role in his six championships with the Patriots, and it was no different in Tampa Bay.