The season was 2002, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on top of the world after winning their first NFL championship, but little did they know it'd take nearly 20 years to duplicate the feat. It would've undoubtedly taken much longer if not for Tom Brady, who signed a two-year deal with the club last offseason and brought some familiar faces with him, namely future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski and, eventually, former All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. The offense was stacked and that left Chris Godwin to carve his way into Brady's heart as a consistent target, which he mostly did.
Godwin battled issues with drops in 2020, but finished the year with 840 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, yet he recently made clear the production of he and his teammates -- offensive and defensive -- was only part of the story as to how Brady could walk onto a team and, with no offseason, win a title in his very first year.
It's because he made them believe they could.
"I think the biggest thing that he brought was just the mentality of expecting to win over hoping to win," Godwin said, via The Pat McAfee Show. "We've had a bunch of talented guys for years but could never really put it together. The history of the team kind of creeps into your mind. You go into games like, as a competitor you're like, 'Yeah we can win this.'
"But really you're just hoping to win. But this year we approached every single game like, 'We damn sure can win this game.' ... Once the playoffs hit there was no doubt in our mind that we were going to win."
Godwin isn't simply speaking figuratively, by the way. Brady literally sent nightly texts to his teammates in the days leading into the clash against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, guaranteeing they'd win the game. They went on to throttle the Chiefs in impressive fashion , you can believe he knows what he might be leaving behind -- quarterback-wise -- should he head elsewhere in 2021. You're simply not going to find a seven-time Super Bowl-winner and five-time Super Bowl MVP anywhere else in the NFL, because Brady is it.
And because of him, Godwin no longer hopes he can win -- he knows he can in Tampa.