TAMPA, Fla. — "Keep the receipts." That's the modern phrase for having a long memory- especially on social media.
Bucs receiver Cyril Grayson did just that. During last year's game against the Panthers, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady threw a deep sideline pass to a wide open Grayson. The ball hit Grayson in the helmet and went out of bounds. Negative tweets flooded Grayson's news feed, and he remembered all of them.
Sunday, Grayson, a former all-American track star at LSU who didn't play college football, made the game-winning touchdown catch against the Jets. This week, he re-posted a video of the incompletion with a montage of tweets saying that could be his last chance to catch a pass from Tom Brady. Grayson said he wasn't bitter about the tweets. He was just trying to have the last laugh.
"I mean, it sucked. That it became meme. People talk trash about you and stuff like that," Grayson said. "But I don’t think that I let it define me. I think that was the point of it. It wasn’t the people who were saying what they were saying. That didn’t really get to me. It was more like I have a sense of humor, too."
Grayson has gone up and down from the Bucs practice squad since joining the team in 2019. He had one catch that season and zero in 2020. With fellow receiver Chris Godwin out for the year with torn ACL and Mike Evans slowed by a hamstring injury, Grayson's getting more chances to make plays. He's made ten catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns this season.
"It started last year, you know. He did some good things for the team, and it continued in the offseason," Tom Brady said after practice. "Then in training camp, really got a shot, and made some plays in the New Orleans game. And just has kinda kept it up."
Cyril, 28, recalls Brady yelling at him after a dropped pass in practice. But the future Hall of Fame quarterback was quick to tell him why.
"He said 'The reason I’m so hard on you is because you have this talent. I just want to pull it out of you. I see that in you, and I just want you to see that in yourself,'" Grayson said. He said his story is not about being a star. It's about not letting anything get in the way of his dream.
"People can say 'No.' People can try to deny me. But if I have my mind set for it, then I can do it. That’s what I want people to take from me."
The Bucs (12-4) finish the regular season Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers (5-11). Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m.