On the 2021 NFL schedule, there's one game every fan has circled on their calendar: Tom Brady's return to Foxboro.
Brady and the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will visit the New England Patriots for a Week 4 showdown at Gillette Stadium. It'll mark the 43-year-old quarterback's first time taking on his former team since he left in free agency a year ago.
For the most part, Brady has kept quiet about the anticipated Bucs-Patriots matchup. He did, however, speak about the homecoming during a SiriusXM Town Hall event hosted by Jim Gray.
“There’s a lot to happen between now and then, and obviously I know the challenge of beating a great team like that, a great organization, great players, so many friends that are still on the team that still are my brothers,” Brady said, as transcribed by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “Unfortunately, we’re going to be on different sides of the stadium this time around.
“I’ve got a lot of familiarity playing in the stadium. You know, we’ve got to first get to training camp and see where we’re going to be and then get through the first three weeks of the year, but I’m sure it’ll be a great opportunity for me to go back to a place I know as well as anyone. It’ll be a great day for football.”
Indeed it will be.
Brady, of course, is no stranger to playing on the big stage. Throughout his 21-year NFL career, the seven-time Super Bowl champ has gotten used to the anticipation that precedes marquee matchups.
“I’m not naive to the fact there’s some marquee games you always look at over the course of the season, a matchup of places guys have been versus where they’re at now,” Brady told Gray. “You know, brothers playing one another, or former Super Bowl teams going — when we played the Giants in the regular season, it always felt like it was a little more when I was with the Patriots. So, naturally, there’s just more buildup, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be a game where we’re going to prepare like we’ve been preparing."
We're going to go out on a limb and say there's just a bit more excitement leading up to Brady's return to New England than any other regular-season game in his career. Still, you can bet Brady will be preparing for the Oct. 3 event like any other game on the schedule.
You can listen to Brady's full interview when the town hall premieres July 21 at 6 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.