The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs held their final virtual media conferences, Thursday, before Sunday’s Super Bowl LV.
Age was a primary topic of discussion. As the oldest Head Coach to make his Super Bowl debut, the Bucs’ Bruce Arians was asked about the challenges of coaching at age 68, and what it takes to stay current. “If you’re not looking for new things every year, you’re falling behind. There’s really nothing new in this game. But you have to adapt to stay ahead in this game.”
As the oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl, the Bucs’ Tom Brady was also asked about how the 43 year old QB compares to younger versions of himself. Tom stressed the importance of continuing to think about how he needs to train, and added “There’s always room for improvement.” We also learned that Tom has been getting in to practice at about 6:15 each morning. Brady pointed out that there are just three days left in the season. Regarding facing the Chiefs, “This is a game that’s really gonna challenge us. They haven’t lost in a long time. We gotta be ready when the ball is kicked off. There’s about 70 plays left in the season. There’s not a lot of margin for error. Our execution should be at the best. Concentration. Focus. We gotta make the plays.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid was asked about the chance to make history by repeating as Super Bowl Champions for the first time since the Patriots in 2004 and 2005. “I’m aware of it because of the media. I’m old, so I’ve heard it before. When you’re in the middle of it, I don’t think you appreciate it as much. Afterwards maybe we can reflect on it.”
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce added, “We’ll worry about that feeling if we get the opportunity to win this game. Right now we’re really focused on the ‘now.’ We’re not focused on the past or the future. Nobody’s really thinking about the legacy or what it would mean. Everybody’s just fired up about Sunday.”
Another historic element of this game is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the first to play the Super Bowl at their home stadium. Travis Kelce addressed this issue, saying “The level of focus and determination goes up when you play at someone else’s house. Everybody’s gonna be fired up for this one. Both teams are gonna be locked in doing everything they can to win the football game.”
Another theme involved questions about other players and coaches. Coach Arians was asked to comment on Chiefs QB Pat Mahomes. “He’s unique. He’ll run out to the right and then throw all the way across the field to the left. You teach players not to do that. But he’s a better player than most.”
Travis Kelce was asked about Coach Andy Reid. “What he does best, he challenges the guys to meet expectations. The past two weeks we’ve had the full game plan. A lot of guys are banged up, but we’ve gotta get our work in. Coach Reid does a great job of making sure we’re as ready as we can be.
Tom Brady, who impressed the media with his uncanny Rob Gronkowski impression earlier this week, shared effusive praise for his teammate. “He’s one of the most unique people. Everybody wishes they could come back in their next life as Rob. He’s really positive, a real high achiever. When you’re down and out, you want to be with him. For both of us, we rely on each other for a lot of things.”
Travis Kelce was also asked about playing against Tom Brady and the Bucs. “Going up against a great QB like Brady, you just have to be able to control what you can control. Win the turnover battle. Going up against an offense like that, you just gotta put up points so you’re not behind going into the fourth quarter.”
Brady was also asked about getting his jersey number 12 from Chris Godwin when he joined the team. Brady was ready to take the number 7 jersey, but “Chris was so cool about it, he was amazing. He’s a stud no matter what number he’s wearing. I’m just appreciative he allowed me to use it.”
Brady also took some time for self-reflection, looking back on his incredible career. “I think just being grateful for all the blessings in my life I’ve got, I just try to do the best I can do with every situation. Any time you get a chance to realize your dreams, I’m just so appreciative of all the people that have helped me along the way, I just hope I can give back the same way. I try to give younger players what they need. I’m very grateful and very appreciative.”
Another theme of today’s questioning involved family. Travis Kelce was asked about his father. “He’ll be in attendance. Papa Kelce will be there. I’m just trying to get him a third one (brother Jason won a Super Bowl trophy in Philadelphia). As long as my family are proud of me, what else can I ask for?”
Tom Brady was asked a question by a ten year old reporter who wanted to know about Tom’s family traditions, and how he planned to celebrate a victory on Sunday. “The best part of winning is being able to celebrate with family. If we get the job done, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing.”
On a more somber note, Coach Andy Reid ended his comments to the media by saying, “My heart goes out to the Schottenheimer family.” Former head coach Marty Schottenheimer was recently moved to a hospice facility near his home in Charlotte, NC. Schottenheimer is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Stay tuned to Florida National News for coverage leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.