Tom Brady Sends Message To Patriots Ahead Of Return To New England

'They'll know exactly how I feel once I'm out there'

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Unsurprisingly, Tom Brady is all business as he prepares to face his former team for the first time.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback fielded a number of questions about the New England Patriots on Thursday in his midweek news conference.

“I still have a lot of great friends (in New England), but they know I want to kick their butt this week,” Brady told reporters in Tampa. “They’ll know exactly how I feel once I’m out there.”

Earlier this week, Brady admitted on his “Let’s Go!” podcast that he’s been anticipating this game ever since he first saw the Bucs’ 2021 schedule 18 months ago.

“I think preparing is one thing,” he said Thursday. “I think playing is a whole other thing. (The Patriots have) a lot of great players. They’re obviously well-coached. They all play hard, tough, smart. I know those guys really well. They’re great friends. It’ll be fun to compete against them. I’ve done it on the practice field quite a bit. But obviously, a game’s going to be quite a bit different.”

He added: “I’m just going to try to do what I always do — go be a great quarterback. Obviously, I understand the opponent and I know all those guys. They’re some of my great friends. They will be for the rest of my life. I know a lot of coaches, players, the owner, the staff. It’ll be great to see everyone after the game. But up until the game, I’m focused on trying to go win a football game.”

The Patriots have imported several new defensive players since Brady left town in March 2020 — Matt Judon, Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips, Jalen Mills, Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore — but many familiar faces remain, including longtime captains Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty.

“They’re really well-coached,” Brady said. “Obviously, they’ve got a lot of great players, smart players. They’re going to be in the right spot. They prepare really well. Obviously, being there for a long time, I know how well they prepare, and I think if you put great preparation with great players, it makes for a great defense.

“They have one of the great defenses in the league. Dont’a, Kyle (Van Noy), Ja’Whaun (Bentley). Matt Judon’s a great player. Obviously the guys up front — Lawrence (Guy), Deatrich (Wise) — I know those guys real well. Jon Jones, Devin, Kyle Dugger, Adrian. J.C. (Jackson)’s a great player. Jalen Mills, I’ve played against. So I’m pretty familiar with who they are, what they do.

“We’ve just got to go do a great job against it. But they’re going to make it challenging. It’s going to be a very, very, very tough game.”

With Brady at the controls, Tampa Bay ranks tied for first in points scored through three weeks (34.3 per game). The Patriots’ defense ranks fifth in points allowed (17.0).

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
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