TAMPA, Fla. – Even on the water, it seems the connection between seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and his receivers cannot be denied.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a boat parade Wednesday to celebrate their first NFL title in 18 years on a sun-splashed day with thousands of fans lining the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa.
At one point, Brady was captured on video tossing the NFL's Lombardi Trophy from his boat across the water to a shirtless Cameron Brate in another boat. That brought wild cheers from fans and players.
Brady threw two of his three touchdown passes in the team's 31-9 Super Bowl victory over the Kanas City Cheifs to Rob Gronkowski, who teamed with Brate to form one of the best tight end tandems in the NFL this season.
As the parade came to a close, coach Bruce Arians said the Bucs could easily repeat as champions if the team stays intact. Brady has already said he'll be back, and Arians is determined to hold on to several other key players, too.
“We have the best coaching staff in the NFL. And we damn sure have the best players in the NFL,” Arians said. “We're going to keep the band together.”
Mayor Jane Castor had emphasized that people attending the parade needed to wear masks outdoors and observe social distancing rules.
It appeared many abided by the mask order but many others did not. There were also dozens of people on private boats, kayaks and other watercraft crowding the river to catch a glimpse of the team. They were directed to stay at least 50 feet (15 meters) from the boats carrying players.