Football season has been officially over for a little over a week, and the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are champions. There was a common denominator between these two teams. Veteran leadership.

Alabama saw many of its high-profile players return for their senior year, and they clearly lead the team. You can look at a guy and tell what kind of commitment he has to his team.

Devonta Smith led the team with a quiet charisma. He played spectacular individually, but he was more about the team’s success throughout the season. Smitty very clearly was committed to the championship cause for Alabama. He wanted to come back into the game after dislocating his finger in the national championship, while already having 215 yards and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Mac Jones was doubted heavily. He never tried to do too much or make the play about himself. Jones just did his job to the highest level he could every game with team success in mind.

Getty Images

Najee Harris simply wanted it more than opposing defenders. In the SEC Championship, it was evident how much drive he was playing with because he just seemed to find a way to cross the goal line every time he touched the ball, scoring 5 touchdowns. The offensive line featured veterans Alex Leatherwood, Landon Dickerson, and Deonte Brown who brought the pain each and every week. The defense had senior Dylan Moses and three-year starter Patrick Surtain II leading it.

Alabama never missed a beat because they had leaders all over the field on both sides of the ball. These guys had been there, and they showed the young guys how to commit to success. The way they carried themselves conveyed the Alabama standard. Of course, all of this leadership begins with the greatest coach of all time in Nick Saban.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an entirely different roster than they did a year ago. Tom Brady brought with him a rag-tag group of guys, some who had rough backgrounds.

Leonard Fournette was formerly a locker room problem in Jacksonville because he did not believe in the team and wanted out. Antonio Brown had massive amounts of issues with his former teams. Even a guy like Ndamukong Suh has a rough past. Under the leadership of Brady, there were no stories of these guys causing issues. Brown and Fournette proved to be valuable assets for the Bucs in the playoffs. There’s no doubt Brady’s leadership and football wisdom had an effect on their commitment to winning a championship.

Having leaders who have played for the highest stakes before gives teams a definite advantage. This can also be seen with Alabama Basketball’s success right now with the leadership of Herbert Jones and John Petty III. The results of the 2020 football season display how leadership decides a team’s championship potential.

Get our free mobile app

Alabama Crimson Tide All-Time Rushing Leaders