Chris Godwin on Buccaneers returning every Super Bowl starter: 'Familiarity guarantees nothing'

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers famously spent the offseason regathering their Super Bowl-winning squad for another run.

The Bucs returned all 22 starters from their Lombardi victory -- unprecedented in modern times -- and most of their reserves. For a club that took time to gel last season, the thought process is sound: Another year of chemistry building, and this squad could be the first to win back-to-back championships since Tom Brady's New England Patriots in 2003-2004.

As a guest writer for NBC Sports' Football Morning In America, Tampa receiver Chris Godwin noted that while he's thrilled most of his teammates are back, there is still work to be done.

"No one knows what kind of impact that will have, when you bring all the players back," Godwin wrote. "But I think it's a really good thing because we felt like we hadn't played our best ball, even in the Super Bowl. We scored 31 points, but it wasn't a great game for our offense for four quarters. We know we can be better. And I think we will be better. Our offseason gives us a really good opportunity to do that. But anybody who comes in saying we're automatically in great position to win again because we brought everyone back? You're lying to yourself. Familiarity guarantees nothing except giving us a good starting point."

Godwin is spot on.

The franchise-tagged receiver's comments on the offense having room to improve in 2021 echoed Rob Gronkowski's earlier this offseason.

It took time for Brady to gel with his receivers, which led to several stumbles to open the season. The Bucs winning eight straight games to earn the title, including four postseason tilts, provided glimpses of what they can produce. Tampa scored at least 30 points in each of its final seven games, including the Super Bowl.

With Godwin returning, Mike Evans gearing up for his eighth-straight 1,000-yard season, the O-line having another year to build chemistry, Gronk back, O.J. Howard returning from injury, and pass-catching maven Giovani Bernard added to the backfield, the Bucs have the firepower to be even more explosive this season.

On paper, the Bucs should be a favorite in a winnable NFC.

Godwin knows that Brady won't let the Bucs rest on their laurels.

"As for Tom, we've thrown a few times this spring," the wideout wrote. "His arm is so live. What I appreciate about him is the ball he throws is so receiver-friendly-the touch, and putting it right where you want it. I think, mentally, he has a good feel for the fact that he knows everyone isn't like him. Because he's like, "Okay, on to the next one." But he's not forcing his attitude onto anyone. Now, if we get to training camp, and guys keep saying, Remember this and that from last year? Then he'd say something. But I don't see that happening. We know what the mission is."

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