Offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs is ready to fill the void left behind by legendary quarterback Tom Brady and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2023.
Back in February, Brady announced he was retiring from the NFL “for good” after a 23-year career with the New England Patriots and Buccaneers. His decision came following a torrid 2022 campaign in which the seven-time Super Bowl champion struggled with issues in his personal life.
The Bucs struggled on the field as they finished with a losing record of 8-9; although they somehow emerged victorious in the NFC South. Their unlikely trip to the playoffs was swiftly ended at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round of the playoffs, closing the door on Brady’s career in the process.
While his final campaign was somewhat forgettable, Brady ultimately altered franchise history since his 2020 signing, leading Tampa Bay to Super Bowl LVII glory in his first season with the team. His retirement has shrouded the organisation in doubt going forwards, particularly with a clear leadership void emerging.
Wirfs protected Brady for three years after being selected by the Bucs in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, earning a First-team All-Pro selection in 2021 and following that up with a 2022 Second-team All-Pro nod. With Brady gone, the two-time Pro Bowler hopes to become a vocal leader rather than letting his performances do the talking.
“We had Tom,” Wirfs told the “Vikes Verified” podcast earlier this summer. “Tom is an incredible leader. He’s an incredible person. You could put him up there with the best leaders of all time. He was very vocal. He’d bring the whole team up and give a little speech after practice. He’d bring the whole offense up.