Tristan Wirfs has made a bold claim that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go 12-5 in their first season since Tom Brady's retirement. In each of the past three seasons, the Buccaneers made the playoffs. In 2020 - Brady's first year in Tampa Bay - the Buccaneers won their second-ever Super Bowl.
After Brady's retirement and some other player changes, the Buccaneers aren't really being given much chances to succeed in 2023. But when asked on the Vikes Verified to predict the Buccaneers' record, Wirfs said 12-5.
Wirfs believes the Buccaneers can do well even without Brady
In 2023, the Buccaneers will have a new starting quarterback - it will be either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask.
Mayfield is a veteran in the league, while Trask - a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft - spent two years learning under Brady. Earlier this offseason, Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged losing Brady wasn't easy.
However, Bowles also highlighted he was confident his team could still do great in 2023. “When you replace a player of that magnitude, first of all, you don’t replace him. You lose aura. You lose the expectation of being great.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be great. You just have to do it more as a team. We did it as a team when he was there, but he was such a great player and a great person that you focus all on that. And now that that is gone, the perception is that everything else is gone when really it isn’t.
We have a lot of good players on our team on both sides of the ball. We have some pieces to fill, but we have a lot of good football players on our team. And we just have to understand that and not go with the so-called outside narrative and do what we have to do to win ball games," Bowles said in March.