Patriots

Lavonte David explains why Tom Brady is 'perfect guy' for Buccaneers

Lavonte David explains why Tom Brady is 'perfect guy' for Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't advanced to the NFL playoffs in 12 years, and only the Cleveland Browns have a longer active postseason drought. Being associated with the Browns in anything playoff-related isn't ideal, but the Buccaneers should be optimistic heading into the 2020 season.

Tom Brady left the New England Patriots in free agency to sign with the Buccaneers in a move that brought instant relevancy and excitement to a franchise in desperate need of both.

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The path to Super Bowl LV won't be easy for the Bucs, and even winning the NFC South will be a challenge. The New Orleans Saints have won three straight division titles, and they are the favorites to claim the division crown again in 2020.

However, oddsmakers are confident Brady and Bucs will be quite competitive next season. Tampa Bay has -177 odds to make the playoffs and it's tied for the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl LV at the DraftKings Sportsbook.

There's plenty of playoff buzz in Tampa Bay, and the players are eager to get to work with Brady.

"I've been itching [to be in the playoffs] for a very long time, the past eight years," Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said Tuesday in a conference call. "Having somebody come in who has that winning pedigree, it's going to be a lot to learn from. He's going to have a lot of knowledge for us, a lot of knowledge for me, just helping me be a better leader, be a better teammate, and help us find all those little things to help us get over the hump, help us get over the edge.

"What he brings is that winning mentality, that attitude, knowing what it takes to get there and knowing what it takes to win it all. That's what all the guys in our locker room want. He's the perfect guy for us. I know a lot of guys are going to be leaning on him. I know we've got a lot of guys in our locker room who love to soak up knowledge from older players and gain an advantage. I feel like he's going to bring that edge that we always needed."

The addition of Brady wasn't the only impactful move Tampa Bay has made this offseason.

The team also upgraded its offensive line and brought back several key members from last season's defense, including Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. The Bucs also have the No. 14 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which they can use to give Brady another talented weapon on offense, or to bolster a defense that finished 2019 very strongly.

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NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

NFL Rumors: Patriots may ask CB Joejuan Williams to play safety in 2020

If Joejuan Williams sees significant playing time in 2020, it may not be at his primary position.

The New England Patriots have asked the second-year cornerback to become more versatile on defense this season, posing Williams this challenge, per ESPN's Mike Reiss

"Can you be the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary?"

As Reiss wrote, that could mean Williams staying at cornerback, moving to safety or some combination of both.

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Why move Williams around? The simple reason: New England is stacked at cornerback, with reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore leading a four-man rotation with Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones.

The Patriots also are deep at safety -- Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are the experienced starters with veteran Adrian Phillips and rookie Kyle Dugger joining as newcomers -- but Williams may be able to carve out a hybrid role as a slot cornerback or roving safety.

New England's second-round draft pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound cornerback could take a cue from McCourty, who spent three NFL seasons as a cornerback before successfully transitioning to safety during the 2012 season.

Williams contributed just one pass defensed in nine games played last season, though, so he if wants to see more action in 2020, he'll need to add more skills to his tool box.

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady takes shot at Charles Barkley after 'The Match'

Tom Brady engaged in plenty of trash-talking with his opponents Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods during "The Match" on Sunday. But they weren't the only ones going back-and-forth with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

NBA legend Charles Barkley was a commentator for the charity golf match and didn't hold back from letting Brady hear all about his lackluster performance through the first few holes. On the seventh hole, however, the ex-New England Patriots quarterback birdied a par-5 with what was unquestionably the best shot of the day to silence Barkley. 

The real mic drop from Brady came after the match, though, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB jabbed Barkley for his inability to win a championship during his NBA career.


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Boom, roasted.

Of course, the trash-talking was all just good fun. And it provided phenomenal entertainment while those involved in "The Match" helped raise more than $20 million to go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.