Mike Evans highlights Tom Brady's immense impact on Bucs' success

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How big is Tom Brady's impact on Bucs? Mike Evans quote sums it up originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

How much of a difference can one player really make in a team sport like football? If we're talking about Tom Brady, the answer is ... a lot.

Just ask wide receiver Mike Evans, who suffered through six seasons of futility with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Brady arrived in 2020. Since then, the Bucs have gone 29-9, won a Super Bowl title and remain undefeated in the postseason after dispatching the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday's NFC Wild Card matchup.

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Tampa Bay has plenty of talent on offense and defense outside Brady, but Evans insists the team's success all starts with No. 12.

"I don’t ever take it for granted," Evans said after Sunday's win. "When he came to this team, I knew he was going to change the franchise. He’s done that and then some.

"He makes sure we’re all ready to play, he makes sure we know what we’re doing and he makes sure we’re giving it our all. That’s all you can ask for as a leader."

Brady learned from veteran leaders like Drew Bledsoe, Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi early in his NFL career as the New England Patriots won three Super Bowl titles over his first five seasons.

Brady's early success and subsequent failures -- only Jim Kelly has lost more Super Bowls than Brady (three) -- gave him an acute sense of what it takes to win at the NFL's highest level and helped him hold players accountable as a leader in New England.

The 44-year-old has taken the same approach in Tampa Bay, and it has paid massive dividends for a talented but inexperienced Bucs team that was in the midst of a 12-year playoff drought before he arrived.

Evans has become one of Brady's most trusted targets in Tampa Bay, with a whopping 30 touchdown receptions (27 in the regular season; three in the postseason) over their two seasons together.

"Always can count on him. Dependable. Tough," Brady said of Evans after the wideout caught nine passes for 117 yards and a score in Sunday's win. "He's an amazing player, and he's doing great stuff for us. Always comes through."

Brady's Bucs should face a stiffer challenge next weekend when they face the winner of Monday's Arizona Cardinals-Los Angeles Rams NFC Wild Card matchup in the Divisional Round.

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