Members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making it clear that the return of QB Tom Brady from a short-lived retirement immediately made everyone involved part of a “championship or bust” franchise for the 2022 NFL season.
While speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Buccaneers star pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett admitted he “wasn’t ready for life without Tom yet” and also said that “hopefully we can send him out on the highest note possible.”
“But if it is his last ride, I’m going to make sure I do everything I can to send him out on top of the mountain,” Barrett added during his comments.
Like Barrett, linebacker Devin White earned a ring alongside Brady by helping the Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV.
White also addressed media members on Wednesday and assured everyone that those inside the team’s locker room understand the mission in front of them.
“It’s Super Bowl. Right now, it’s Super Bowl or nothing,” White remarked, according to the league’s website. “We know that. I’ll say that in front of all the cameras. That’s the only goal. That’s what we want. That’s what we after. We know we’re not there yet because it’s a long season, long way to go. But that’s what we’re fighting for.”
Brady has a job waiting for him at Fox whenever he’s ready to call time on his once-in-a-generation career, but there’s still no guarantee the upcoming season will be his last as an active player.
The campaign could merely be the 44-year-old’s “last ride” with the Buccaneers, and White and Barrett seem to be preparing as if that will be the case one way or another.