Bucs Not Satisfied Winning Just One

Jon Gruden might be the perfect coach to prevent the Bucs from becoming satisfied with winning a Super Bowl. The 39-year-old coach has continued to challenge his team on a daily basis and his intensity seems infectious. But even without Gruden's prodding, the Bucs are a motivated bunch. Having experienced the spoils of a world championship, they want to win it again.

"Until last year, no one on this team had won a Super Bowl before. And I think sometimes it's like man walking on the moon," said Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson.

"Sometimes, you don't ever think it's going to happen. You sit there and talk about it and we had so many guys who have had such great individual success, we've had guys who've made playoff runs, guys beaten in championship games and you never really reach that level. You hate to say that it's too far out there. But now you know it can be achieved. It's a big difference there."

The Bucs are keeping their exact routine during training camp from last season.

"I've got the same room that I had here last year," said Johnson. "I room with John Lynch and it doesn't feel like we ever left. It's been a fast year and everything that took place is awesome and it makes you want to get back to that same level. But it all begins here."

But Johnson warned that while the Bucs have enjoyed the view from atop the NFL, their vantage point in training camp is the same as 31 other teams.

"Jon, last year, he pushed us into thinking it could be accomplished and it was accomplished and now you know you can achieve at the same level," said Johnson. "But at the same time, you saw what happened to New England last year. They did not make the playoffs. You look at the Rams and they did not make the playoffs. The script can be flipped real quick. You've got to be humble about the game."

"We're going to have to create a new chemistry all over again," said Lynch. "It's never completely the same and that's the challenge.

"I like the fact of being someone that everyone's gunning for and being on top. We're champs until someone takes it from us and we don't want to relinquish that."

With 10 of the 22 starters over age 30, the Bucs feel an urgency to successfully defend their Super Bowl title. According to McKay, 13 players will become unrestricted free agents after the 2003 season, including defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

"You hear a lot of people say the year after the first (Super Bowl) is the hardest year," said Lynch. "We're all aware of that. It's hard to get there. We've got tremendous leadership from our head coach who's never going to let us get complacent.

"I think it motivates you that much more. Because before, you were shooting for something and you really didn't understand what it meant, what it was all about. Now you understand and know how good it feels to be a champion and never have anyone take that from you. To me, there's more certainty as to what you have to do to get there. To me, it's pretty simple. We're going to know along the way if we're on the right path or if we aren't and got to get a hold of things real quick."

Bucs Blitz Top Stories