The highly anticipated return of Tom Brady to Foxborough is finally here, although Brady would rather keep the hype outside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization. Ditto with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, as the duo will square off against each other in Week 4 for the first time since Brady left New England for Tampa Bay.
Brady doesn't view this as facing off against Belichick, nor does he want to look back on all the good times he had with his former head coach.
"I'm not going to necessarily reminisce," Brady said on the "Let's Go!" podcast this week with Jim Gray. "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 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."
Belichick felt the same way about Brady, not addressing the matter much in his press conference with Patriots reporters Monday. In typical Belichick fashion, he had little to say on the matter -- but his respect for Brady is sincere.
"I'm not going to go back and rehash all that," Belichick said. "We've talked about that, and really the focus is on the game here, and look, I have so much respect and appreciation for Tom [Brady] and everything he did here and for me and for our team, and we're just getting ready to compete against Tampa this week, and we're going to keep our focus on that."
Brady felt the same way about his former head coach, who he won six Super Bowl titles with in his two decades with the Patriots.
"Well I have 20 years -- I have 20 years of being there and obviously he's a great mentor for me," Brady said. "And yes 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."
Brady and Belichick will get all the questions this week, but it's clear the two have mutual respect for one another. Whether they're still on speaking terms is a story that may be told another day.
2021 Tom Brady jerseys now available
Can Tom Brady win his eighth Super Bowl at age 44? If you're a Brady fan, it's time to get a new jersey featuring No. 12. Shop red, pewter, and gray jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, and more here.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.