Sunday night’s homecoming wasn’t thoroughly joyous for Tom Brady.
Yes, Brady did lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an important win over the Patriots and he was able to catch up with a slew of old friends. But the hard-fought victory and postgame exchanges came at the end of a challenging week in which Brady was forced to supplant a wide range of emotions.
Not only was Brady returning to the place he called home for two decades, but he also was going up against teammates with whom he’s experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Brady understandably did not enjoy that aspect of the primetime game at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s not as enjoyable as some people would think,” Brady said on his “Let’s Go!” podcast, as transcribed by the Tampa Bay Times. “I look over and I think about (receiver) Matt Slater out there, and I look at (linebackers) Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower and (safety) Devin McCourty. And I look at (offensive linemen) David Andrews and Shaq Mason — just some amazing people that I’ve gone to war with.
“And the reality of sports is, sometimes you go different places and now you’re sitting on the other sideline. You want those guys to do so well because you know how important it is to them, you know how much it means to them.”
Brady added: “Those are my guys, man. Those are the other warriors I went to battle with for so long. I’ve had a lot of battles over the years with different teams. There’s a lot of mutual respect in pro sports, but I’m glad I’m through with the one last night.”
The future Hall of Fame quarterback will reunite with another bunch of old pals Sunday. Miami Dolphins with New England ties include Jason McCourty, Jacoby Brissett, Elandon Roberts, Adam Butler, Justin Coleman and head coach Brian Flores.