(CNN)Tom Brady is busy preparing for possibly the most hotly anticipated fixture of the NFL regular-season calendar this weekend — though you wouldn’t have guessed having listened to him.
The prodigal son returns on Sunday as Brady will once again run out at Gillette Stadium, but not under Bill Belichick as a New England Patriot.Having spent 20 years and won six Super Bowls in Foxborough, Brady will line up against his old coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, Brady was in no mood for sentimentality — only focus — as the Buccaneers seek to bounce back from a 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams that ended a 10-game winning streak.
“I’m not going to necessarily reminisce,” Brady told Jim Gray on the ‘SiriusXM Let’s Go!’ podcast.Read More”I don’t think this is the moment for that. I’ll have plenty of opportunities to reminisce about my football career — none of it, none of which I really care to do right now because I’m so much in the moment. “I’m not going to be thinking about, you know, 20 years of history. I’m going to be thinking about one night of football, a Sunday night game coming off a really tough loss.”It will be obviously a fun week. There’s a lot of build-up, a lot of hype and I know it’s been going on for quite a while. I’m excited to go play a football game,” Brady added.That time for reminiscing may still be a way off too, with the 44-year-old saying earlier this month he could play until 50.Sweet smell of vindicationDespite his reluctance to venture down memory lane, Brady admitted that arriving at a place so familiar, from the other side of the fence, will be a special experience. “I know that locker room, I know that home locker room, I know that home tunnel, I know which way the wind blows, I know everything about that. I know the way it smells. I know what a night game’s like, I know what the fans are going to sound like,” Brady said.”So, in some ways, that’ll be really unique. I’ve never had that experience going to New England, going to be a first time for me being on the other side-line.” Belichick and Brady congratulate each other after a game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2015.Brady and Belichick’s partnership underpinned an unprecedented era of success for the Patriots, simultaneously forging Brady’s status as one of the greatest athletes of all time.Since parting ways, Brady has gone on to claim his seventh championship ring — guiding the Buccaneers to a convincing victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in his first season in Florida — while Belichick’s Patriots, without their legendary signal caller for the first time since 1999, finished the season with a losing record and failed to make the playoffs. Speaking ahead of the game, Tom Brady Sr. did not mince his words when asked if he felt any vindication for his son following his departure from New England.”Damn right,” Brady Sr. told Tom Curran on the Patriot’s Talk podcast.”Belichick wanted him out the door and last year he threw 56 touchdowns. I think that’s a pretty good year.”Curran followed up asking, “Does Brady feel the same way?””Damn right,” Brady Sr. answered.’He’s a great mentor for me’Brady Jr. was slightly more diplomatic when discussing his former boss.”Well, I have 20 years of being there and obviously he’s a great mentor for me,” Brady said.”I think there’s definitely great lessons I’ve learned from him. He’s a great football coach, and he does a great job for his team. And, you know, any player, I think they would just hope that their coaches give them everything they got. “I’m sure every great coach wants every player to give them everything they got. And I think that’s what makes a great relationship.”
Following that defeat to the Rams, the Bucs arrive in Foxborough with a 2-1 record, with the Patriots sitting on a 1-2 start to the season. Belichick’s side fell 28-13 at home to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, with the Patriots leaving themselves too much ground to make up following an early 0-14 deficit.