What’s up y’all? It’s Playoff Lenny.
Matter of fact: Lombardi Lenny.
To be honest, I normally don’t do stuff like this. I’m one of those head-down, get the work done, play the game type of person. But this year, this season, this team, and these guys??
It’s been special, man.
A lot of people been asking me what it feels like, after everything I’ve been through, to be a world champion. And honestly ... I still don’t even know what to say. It doesn’t even feel real.
But here’s what I do know: People always say that it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.
I feel that now more than ever.
And since we got the job done and got that ring, that’s all I think about. Not the game itself. Not anything that happened on the field. I think about the journey. Everything I’ve been through. Everything we’ve been through. And the joy that we took, as a team, in the whole process. Because that’s what got us here.
That’s why we’re world champs.
I don’t think people understand how challenging this season really was. I mean, I had my own ups and downs trying to adjust to a new offense and really just finding my role. But we had ups and downs as a team, too. And what made it even tougher was that — and this is something not a lot of people realize….
We had to socially distance just like everybody else. We had league protocols to follow. Family members to protect.
And on top of that … none of us wanted to be the dude who got TOM BRADY sick!
A lot of the things we would have normally done as a team, we didn’t get to do. We didn’t have no team dinners. We couldn’t chop it up and play cards on the plane. We couldn’t go out together when we were on the road. We couldn’t do nothing, man.
So we had to make sure we could find ways to still lean on each other and really just have fun and be ourselves.
Because we knew that was what was going to make us successful.
None of us wanted to be the dude who got TOM BRADY sick!- Leonard Fournette
It’s like I always say: One day, when we’re all retired and we’re looking back on our careers, we’re not gonna talk about the games. We’re gonna talk about the times we spent together off the field. About how we built these relationships that’ll last a lifetime.
And when I look back on this past season, honestly, there wasn’t one defining moment.
It was a bunch of little things along the way.
It was competing in practice against the other running backs — having our coach throw us passes and seeing who could make the most one-handed catches. (You know me and Shady dominated.)
It was going home after practice and putting my headset on and playing Call of Duty with guys like Mike E. and Chris G., trying to figure out how Ryan Jensen got so good at sniping. (Seriously, Ryan is nice with it….)
It was sitting in the cold tub or on the trainer’s table and just talking about family and fatherhood, trying to gain some wisdom from the older vets to be a better man.
But most of all, it was the locker room.
That was our time, man.
And we were lucky to have the kind of guys we had. Because I really needed them this year. It was a tough one for me.
It started when I got cut by the Jaguars. I was confused. I mean, I don’t care who you are or what you do. When somebody straight up tells you they don’t want you anymore? That hurts. And even when I found a new home in Tampa, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. It was a big adjustment, and it was really an up-and-down year for me, just trying to find my role in the offense. Playing time was inconsistent. Sometimes I didn’t play at all.
But I just put in the work, kept my faith and family close, and stayed positive. My family and my kids were always there for me unconditionally, no matter what our record was or whether I was playing.
The guys really helped me with that. I mean, I needed a guy like Gronk in our locker room more than ever. And we were the only team that had one. Cause ain’t nobody out there like Robby G. That’s my dawg, man. I mean, just google “Rob Gronkowski dancing” and get back to me. Like, he be doing moves that don’t even make sense. But he makes it work. You saw him at the parade….
That’s what it was like in the locker room all season. Whenever I got down on myself or things got tough for me, there was always somebody there to keep things loose and give me the perspective I needed, whether it was Robby G doin’ what he do, or the rest of us just sitting around telling jokes and gettin’ on each other.
I needed a guy like Gronk in our locker room more than ever. And we were the only team that had one.- Leonard Fournette
I mean, you had me, Shady, Shaq, D-White — Tom would even get in there sometimes — and we would just get on each other. I’m talking a full-on roast. Usually it was just telling old stories about when we played against each other either in college or earlier in our pro careers, or about who got put on their back in the last game or who got shook in practice or whatever.
But the guy who talked the most was probably JPP. And you know how hard we went back at him.
I still don’t even know if he could wear all seven of Tom’s rings….
But JPP’s my guy, man. Two-time champ and future hall-of-famer.
That’s my brother.
And I think that’s what’s rare about this team. We mess with each other, but it’s all love. A lot of us were new to the locker room. We came in just before this season. But still — through Covid, with no off-season, no training camp, no nothing — we found a way to grow together and become a family.
After we beat the Chiefs, I was one of the last guys to join the celebration in the locker room because I was so busy with postgame interviews. But when I got there, guys were still celebrating. D-White had them ridiculous ski goggles on, Gronk was just dancing and acting wild, and Tom was just sitting at his locker like he done been there plenty of times before — so it was just another day for him.
And it was pretty cool for me, to just sit back and watch everybody, knowing what we had all been through to get there.
You probably wanna know about the after-party, right?
Listen … where do you go when you can't go to the club?
You go to THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM.
For real. They had it all set up for us. The whole team was there. Players, coaches, wives, families — everybody. They had Migos performing. And for the first time all season, we were all together in a nonfootball setting. As a family. As brothers. It felt like we were making up for all the times we didn’t get to have together during the season.
And I remember looking around and just seeing everybody together and realizing … this is why we’re here. It’s because of these guys. It’s this camaraderie, and the fact that, yeah, we came to work every day and handled our business … but we enjoyed the ride, too. And I think it’s that joy that put us over the top and led us to being world champs.
Dreams really do come true. And this season just proves that you don’t control the adversity that comes your way, but you do control how you respond to it. I appreciate all my teammates, my family, and everybody who has supported me during this season, this journey, and throughout my entire life. These moments we’ve shared have made me a better player, father, and human. I’ll never forget them.
So that’s it. I’m throwin’ up the deuces like my guy Toine Winfield. Lombardi Lenny bout to be Off-season Lenny. Family Time Lenny. And then?
It’s back to work.