Among the many offseason narratives floating around the NFL, one that almost everyone at the national level seems to be in agreement over is how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are cooked.
It's hard to call it a hot take since it's been on the table getting cold since March. In the aftermath of Tom Brady retiring, the Bucs have been buried more times than it's worth counting. Peter King dubbed them the second-worst team in the league and Todd Bowles is a staple in every hot seat list out there.
At basically every turn, from signing Baker Mayfield to players being sold off in mock trades, the Bucs are being laughed at.
Fans have grown tired of this weird negative obsession that the national media has with the team, but it appears that so too have the players.
Tristan Wirfs says Tom Brady is 'one guy'
One of the most consistent criticisms surrounds the idea that without Tom Brady the Buccaneers stand no chance to be taken seriously. After all, even with Brady last season the Bucs turned in a horrible season that harkened back to the frustrating Dark Ages of the 2010s.
While the constant harping on the Bucs is annoying, it's easy to see why some might assume that without Brady the team will be even worse.
Talking with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Tristan Wirfs took a bit of a shot at Brady and the cult of personality surrounding him.
“It’s nuts. We’ve got a lot of great players still,” Wirfs said. “It’s not bad to put a chip on our shoulder, I guess. I’ve seen the narrative. But we lost one guy.”
That’s a leadership move right there. Wirfs isn’t being disrespectful of Brady or what he meant to the Bucs, but he’s also not afraid to barb a legend in the name of defending his teammates.
Wirfs isn’t wrong, either. Losing Brady obviously hurts, but he wasn’t the only talented player helping make the Bucs competitive. Guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Lavonte David, Devin White, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Vita Vea are all still in Tampa Bay and looking to use their. Pro Bowl talents to prove the doubters wrong.
Now headlining the class of talent in Tampa Bay is Wirfs, who appears to not only be embracing the chip on everyone’s shoulder but is stepping up to fill Brady’s leadership shoes in the process.