Tom Brady is already leaning into his on-field reunion with the Patriots. Among the marquee games on the NFL's 2021 schedule is the defending champion Buccaneers' Week 4 game at New England. For the first time since leaving the Patriots, Brady will face the team he helped lead to six Super Bowl victories during his 20 seasons with the franchise.
Via Twitter, Brady made a relatable comparison when alluding to the Buccaneers' upcoming matchup against the Patriots. "It's like when your high school friends meet your college friends," Brady said while including a grimacing emoji.
Brady isn't the only member of his family to chime in his upcoming visit to New England. His father, Tom Brady Sr., created some bulletin board material upon calling into 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.
"We expect to beat the Patriots rather handily," Brady Sr. said, via Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. "I started salivating when I saw that we're playing the Patriots in the fourth game of the season; and we're coming up here to make our record 4-0."
Emotions will surely be running high when Brady returns to Gillette Stadium. And while the narratives surrounding this matchup will likely dominant the pregame headlines, an underrated aspect of this matchup is the on-field chess match that will take place with Brady (along with Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich) and Bill Belichick, one of the greatest defensive minds in football history. While his previous game plans have stymied the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Jim Kelly and Joe Montana (going back to his years as the Giants' defensive coordinator), Week 4 will be the first time Belichick will get a chance to match wits with Brady, the quarterback whom he shared so much success with during the previous two decades.
Besides Manning, Brady probably knows more than any other quarterback as it relates to Belichick's defensive capabilities. In fact, during their appearance together on the NFL 100 All-Time Team unveiling, Brady chose the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII as his former coach's signature game.
"We had two weeks to prepare for an offense that was as good as there was in the NFL (that) season," Brady said. "It was just an incredible defensive performance."