This will come as little surprise: Tom Brady gave the ideal Super Bowl pregame speech before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 earlier this month.
“It was about honor,” Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette told the Pardon My Take podcast. “I got to keep it between the team, but it was a powerful-ass message that we all needed to hear. I think it’s how he delivered it. … It just woke us up, it gave us the spark we needed.
“A lot of guys have motivation that they might be playing for the money or their family or just because they love it. But when Tom said ‘We’re playing for honor’ and for the last names on our back, I think that kind of hit different for us.”
Fournette also recounted how Brady texted the entire team positive reinforcement every day during the week leading up to the game.
“It’d be 530 in the morning because he’s the first person up, that’s just who he is,” Fournette told Pardon My Take.
His admiration for Brady didn’t stop there. Throughout the year, the running back would take a moment to realize who he was playing alongside.
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“You don’t get that too much, to witness greatness up close like that,” he told the podcast. “It was crazy moments like, sometimes in the backfield – this probably during a play – I’ll be like ‘Damn, I’m really playing with (expletive) Tom Brady, this is crazy.’”
Brady will be back in a Buccaneers uniform next season, although Fournette will become a free agent next month, although he’s open to staying in Tampa. The former LSU star said organization brass told players during a team meeting the Monday after the Super Bowl they’d do everything possible to run it back in 2021.
“I think this team,” Fournette said, “we can do something special again.”
Fournette, the 2017 No. 4 overall pick who the Jacksonville Jaguars cut before the season started, signed with the Buccaneers prior to Week 1 and started the final three games of the regular season. He scored touchdowns in three of Tampa Bay’s four playoff games, including a 27-yard rush in the Super Bowl.
A six-time champion with the New England Patriots, Brady secured his seventh title in his 10th Super Bowl appearance – ample experience to know what makes for the proper pump-up speech.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.