Which 10 Bucs can Brady help the most?

by Gary Shelton on March 21, 2020

in general

Evans could be better with Brady./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

If Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, the Tom Brady, the Pro Bowl and the Greatest of All-Time (or at least, the greatest Bucs' quarterback of all-time), then he's going to help everyone.

Probably, he will make your Sundays go a little better, too.

But that's the greatest asset of a great quarterback. He makes everyone better around him.

Again, history if filled with quarterbacks who didn't measure up in their twilight. Not everyone is Peyton Manning (with Denver, Manning couldn't throw it the way he did with the Colts, but he still reached two Super Bowls).

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Joe Namath was awful with the Rams. Johnny Unitas with the Chargers. Kenny Stabler with the Saints. They ran out of juice long before they ran out of desire. Joe Montana (Chiefs) and Brett Favre (Vikings)) fared better, but neither met the expectations that Brady will have.

So imagine Brady in the huddle, looking around at the faces of his new teammates.

Who, in particular, can he help the most?

Mike Evans, wide receiver: Evans has six straight 1,000-yard seasons, but understand how frustrating it must have been for Evans with an interception-prone quarterback in Jameis Winston. Brady always liked his possession receivers. Evans' yards-per-catch might lessen a bit, but he'll still be huge on third down.

Chris Godwin, wide receiver: Godwin had a breakout year last year with 86 catches for 1,333 yars. With a more precise thrower, he should be able to approach the same numbers. The only downside for Godwin is he may lose his jersey number.

Bruce Arians, head coach: Arians has gotten a lot of credit for being a quarterback whisperer. But what happens when the quarterback has a message, too. No one has won more than Brady.

Byron Leftwich, offensive coordinator: Game-plan days are going to be a lot of fun around One Buc this season. Leftwich had to get frustrated to see 30 drives end by interceptions last year. This year should be better.

Ali Marpet, offensive guard: Here's an interesting notion for you. Most great quarterbacks don't get sacked that often. That's because they read defenses quickly. Marpet is the best of a bunch that gave up 47 sacks last year. They'll be better this year.

O.J. Howard, tight end: The Patriots always used their tight ends well. It's a favorite target for Brady. With Brady, Howard could have nice bounce-back year.

Ronald Jones, running back: There were flashes last season when Jones looked as if he won't be a bust after all. With defenses trying to stop Brady throwing to Evans and Godwin, he could be better this season.

Donovan Smith, tackle: There has never been a consensus on Smith. His coaches praise him endlessly, but his numbers don't hold up. With Brady behind him, Smith should at least be solid.

Clyde Christiansen, quarterback coach: How much better did this guy's job just get? Instead of trying to cure Winston from turnovers, he has to help Brady stave off time.

Lavonte David: David has never made the playoffs. With Brady, that should be the bottom rung of expectations. The other Bucs' defensive players will benefit, too, but David should finally see a post-season.

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