TAMPA, Fla. — The potential for history in Tampa Bay is lurking like a gator peeking above the surface of the water.
No NFL team has ever won a Super Bowl in their home stadium.
No quarterback has more Super Bowl victories than Tom Brady.
With Raymond James Stadium hosting Super Bowl LV next year, and Brady bringing six Super Bowl championships worth of experience to the Buccaneers, it's hard not to get giddy with excitement at the thought of what that could potentially mean.
The pieces are in place for the Bucs to make a legitimate Super Bowl run. And that includes tight end Rob Gronkowski.
But, how did those pieces all fall into place to begin with?
GM Jason Licht joined 10 Tampa Bay Anchor Ryan Bass and Rob Higgins, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee, on the Tampa Bay 55 podcast on Thursday to shed light on how the Bucs landed arguably the most iconic quarterback of all time.
“We felt that the opportunity to get Tom Brady, if it’s there, would really help this team in a number of ways," Licht explained.
He added that he liked what he saw out of the now 42-year-old Brady last season. After all, he led the Patriots to yet another playoff appearance, something the Buccaneers haven't done in more than a decade.
"This isn’t any negative toward Jameis [WInston], it’s more of a just, ‘calling it like it is.’ Tom Brady’s one of the best, if not, the best quarterback of all time, and we still felt like he has it, he has gas left in the tank.”
With gas left in the tank combined with high expectations, Licht saw the opportunity there for the taking.
So, how did it feel when he learned he got the quarterback he set out for?
"Well, it was a big sigh of relief because the build-up and just the angst of wondering if this was going to come to fruition. Since the end of the season and we started evaluating quarterbacks, he was the number one option for us," Licht said. "Number one, we didn't know if we was going to leave the Patriots, and number two, if he did, if he would choose Tampa."
After free agency opened, though, those questions would soon have answers.
Licht drove to his head coach Bruce Arians' house for a call that would transform a franchise.
"So, when we finally had the call, I drove over to Bruce's house that evening and we had a call with Tom, and when things went really well on the call between the three of us, Bruce and I had a beverage, so it was a fun night that we'll never forget," Bruce remembered, the joy in his voice as obvious as the heat of a Tampa Bay summer.
The defense is what Licht said he was most excited about from last season. He felt the Buccaneers lost a lot of close games that could have gone either way. He alluded to the fact that he knew his team was close.
Now, they're closer than ever before with the additions of Brady and Gronk.
So, what would it feel like if the Buccaneers made history? How would it feel to win a Super Bowl in your home stadium?
To put it mildly, Licht simply said, "Well, that would be awesome."