Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Moving on to 2021 Already? | S.S. Mailbag

This week, Bucs fans refuse to bask in the glow of the Super Bowl LV victory and move on to such 2021 topics as the next NFL draft and the Bucs' plans in free agency

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Last Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, 31-9. In the process quarterback Tom Brady played in his 10th Super Bowl, and won his seventh. Everyone knows that, and yet it still sounds ludicrous when I say it out loud as I'm typing this. Ten Super Bowls. Seven rings. Those numbers may never be topped.

The matchup of Brady and young Chiefs phenom Patrick Mahomes was the top storyline heading into Super Bowl LV, though it's fair to say the Buccaneers' defense stole at least a good share of the spotlight before it was all said and done. Brady himself called it the "ultimate team effort." Indeed.

So while Brady was lining up another ring for his bejeweled hands, Rob Gronkowski was winning his third and playing in his fifth (he was on injured reserve for a fifth Super Bowl in New England), Jason Pierre-Paul was improving to 2-0 in Super Bowls, as was Shaq Barrett. Antonio Brown and Ndamukong Suh both got their second crack at a title and won for the first time. LeSean McCoy is the only player who will be able to wear rings from each of the last two Super Bowls, as he was with Kansas City last year when they won SBLIV. However, he did not actually play in either game. Steve McLendon was inactive for his only other Super Bowl appearance, and it was a loss, so he took two steps in the right direction on Sunday.

And then you have 39 Buccaneers who played in their first Super Bowls and earned their first rings, plus another three who were active but did not take any snaps, another seven who were on the 53-man roster but inactive for the game, 14 more on the practice squad and seven more on injured reserve. They all share in the glory.

View photos from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl LV championship parade from February 10, 2021.

While I'm appropriately awed by Brady's ever-growing list of unmatched accomplishments, like most fans I am particularly happy for those players getting their first taste of Super Bowl glory, and in many cases just the playoffs at all. And it's hard not to be especially glad that Lavonte David is now a champion.

David, of course, is the longest-tenured player on the Buccaneers' Super Bowl roster. There are others, like Brady, who have been in the league longer but nobody on this team has been a Buccaneer longer. It took nine seasons for David to get his first postseason exposure, and then four more games to get his first ring.

David continues to play at such a high level that he should have quite a few seasons to add to his own career accomplishments. For now, though, he has played in 141 games, including the postseason, which is the 10th-most in franchise history. The 138th of those 141 games was his first playoff contest and, of course, the 141st was his first Super Bowl. Does that make David the one player in franchise history who had to wait the longest for either of those two experiences?

Actually, no, though it's close. The top 10 players in team history in terms of games played (postseason included) are Ronde Barber (251), Derrick Brooks (235), Dave Moore (197), Paul Gruber (185), John Lynch (173), Mike Alstott (168), Tony Mayberry (164), Shelton Quarles (158), Warren Sapp (149) and David (141). Moore, Gruber and Mayberry never played in a Super Bowl, but they did appear in playoff games for the Buccaneers.