FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have combined for nearly 60 seasons of experience in the NFL. They've won five Super Bowls together. They've been to two more. They are the most successful quarterback-coach tandem in league history.
Yet when Thursday night arrives, before their most recent championship banner is revealed, before the five massive replica Lombardi trophies are put on display, they will be nervous.
"Yeah, well, Opening Day is always a time where you have a lot of questions, butterflies," Belichick said on Tuesday. "Yeah, I think that’s part of opening day. A lot of unknowns on our team, a lot of unknowns on their team, a lot of unknowns when the two collide. So, we’ll see how it goes."
Brady and his teammates aren't expecting to be on the field to see the unveiling of the franchise's fifth Super Bowl banner. They'll be in the locker room, preparing, waiting, as the anticipation builds.
"Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think everybody does [get nervous]," Brady said. "Everyone works hard and it’s very unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen. We, as players, feel like that, too. We’re prepared, we’re confident, but you’ve still got to go out there and do it, and you’ve got to do it against a team that you’ve studied but not much this year. You know they’re working on stuff, we’re working on stuff, we try to execute at a high level and they do, too. Yeah, there will definitely be nerves and being anxious, but that’s part of football."
And for two of the best to ever perform their jobs, even after all these years, it's still a part of the deal on opening day.