New Bucs tight finish Kyle Rudolph has seen and performed all of it in his 11-year NFL profession. He’s simply lacking one main prize: a Tremendous Bowl ring. That’s why he’s in Tampa.
“At this level in my profession, what I used to be on the lookout for when it comes to a group and a company, all the things is about successful. The one factor I haven’t performed up to now is win a championship. And that’s all I need to do,” Rudolph stated Wednesday. “It has been very evident the primary two days right here, that’s the final aim. All the pieces that we do individually, or collectively as a group, or collectively as an offense, is about reaching that final aim. It has been careworn quite a few instances.”
That’s the Tom Brady impact at work.
Since Brady’s arrival in 2020, Tampa has been a vacation spot. He introduced Rob Gronkowski together with him that yr. Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown later signed on as nicely. All of them performed a task within the Bucs successful Tremendous Bowl LV that season.
In 2021, the Bucs saved their championship group intact, largely on the hope of returning to contend for one more one. And in 2022, they’ve maximized their window with Brady by including some key free brokers trying to win all of it for the primary time of their careers. Rudolph is amongst that group.
Rudolph, Fellow Veterans Look To Earn Their First Rings With The Bucs
After all, each participant’s dream is to win a Tremendous Bowl. And the older a participant will get, the extra the belief units in that they don’t have for much longer to attain that dream.
It’s not like Rudolph hasn’t been shut previously. The primary two instances he made the playoffs in Minnesota (2012 and 2015), the Vikings suffered first-round exits. However in 2017, the group earned a first-round bye, then used the “Minneapolis Miracle” to beat the Saints within the NFC Divisional Spherical. However the magic ran out within the NFC Championship Sport, with the Vikings falling to the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Eagles.
The veteran tight finish’s most up-to-date shot at his first ring got here in 2019, when he caught an extra time landing towards the Saints to ship Minnesota to the NFC Divisional Spherical. It was there, although, that the Vikings’ season got here to an finish by the hands of the 49ers. Rudolph hasn’t performed in a playoff sport since. He stated Wednesday that getting again in place to win a Tremendous Bowl doesn’t simply fall into your lap. It’s earned.
“Clearly, [the Bucs] got here up simply quick final yr however, you’re retooling the group every year and now we now have to begin from floor zero and construct again as much as that,” he stated. “You don’t simply get the chance to be again within the divisional spherical, you need to earn it. So, for me coming right into a tradition like that, to be round that sort of vibe, that was what I used to be on the lookout for.”
Rudolph isn’t the one veteran free agent Tampa Bay signed who’s on the lookout for his first ring. Akiem Hicks, Keanu Neal and the newly signed Julio Jones all have the identical story.
“I talked to Julio as we speak as quickly as he walked out on the sector,” Rudolph stated. “He stated ‘I actually considered coming down right here and seeing you go down there and a few of the different items that they’ve added. … Let’s do it. Let’s go do all the things we are able to to attempt to win one.’
“I believe it simply speaks volumes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer group. It speaks volumes of the tradition, of Coach [Todd] Bowles. Everybody is aware of that’s why you’re coming right here.”
Three ‘First Days’ In A Row And A Heat Welcome For Rudolph
Whether or not it’s beginning a brand new desk job or becoming a member of a group with championship aspirations, an adjustment interval is predicted. For Rudolph, it’s already been a busy few days since arriving in Tampa.
“Actually sort of a whirlwind of 36-48 hours. Getting down right here. Going via the bodily, then assembly everybody within the constructing from coaching employees to gear employees, energy employees, soccer employees. That was sort of Monday for me,” Rudolph stated. “Then, yesterday, a whole lot of the fellows had been round and now you get to fulfill your teammates and the fellows you’re going to be working with, whether or not within the tight finish room or the offense room usually. After which as we speak, to return out and get on the follow area. So, it was sort of like three ‘first days’ for me in a row.”
As the brand new man on the town, Rudolph has already been surrounded by options, recommendation and connections. And it’s solely made his adjustment interval simpler.
“Probably the greatest issues about soccer and professional sports activities usually, it’s sort of a household of individuals. Inside two to 4 hours of reports breaking that we had been coming down right here, so many individuals reached out about locations to reside, faculties to ship the children,” Rudolph stated. “Connecting with not even Bucs gamers, however Lightning gamers. I reside in Minnesota, so it’s all hockey guys up there. Plenty of the Lightning guys are up there. I can’t converse extra extremely for my first three days down right here and the nice and cozy welcome not solely I’ve had, however my household’s had – and my household’s not even right here but.”
Establishing a powerful tradition is a significant factor in constructing a championship group. It’s why Rudolph can seamlessly transition into a brand new metropolis with a brand new group. And it’s solely going to assist him, his fellow newcomers and the remainder of the group come along with the frequent aim of elevating the Lombardi Trophy subsequent February.