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Patriots assistant Ivan Fears: Tom Brady is the greatest, but right now he’s the enemy

Mike Florio, Charean Williams and MDS pick their Week 3 offensive and defensive players of the week, the best rookie performer and top coach of the week.

Patriots assistant coach Ivan Fears has been in New England even longer than Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Fears was already on the coaching staff even before Belichick was hired, Belichick kept him around, and he’s had his current position of running backs coach since 2002. And Fears has some thoughts about facing Brady this week.

Fears gave Brady plenty of credit for all he accomplished with the Patriots, but Fears said that this week, with Brady and the Buccaneers coming to town, the Patriots have to view him as the enemy.

“I love Tom Brady. I always have. I spent 20 years with the young guy. I am very honored to have been a part of the team with him. I still think he’s the greatest. But right now, that SOB is the enemy. However you put it, he’s coming in, he’s the enemy. I still love him, I think he’s a great person, but we’re not going to be sharing any love when it comes to game time. We’ll share that love afterwards, when it’s all said and done,” Fears said. “I think he’s a great person, hell of a leader. I miss him as a person. Right now I’m happy for him, for the success he’s had. And I’m looking forward to trying to beat his butt. That’s what counts. That’s all that matters right now. We’re going after each other.”

That may be the sentiment of tens of thousands of Patriots fans inside Gillette Stadium when the Buccaneers-Patriots game kicks off on Sunday night.