The most ballyhooed game of the 2021 season is undoubtedly the Week 4 matchup between Tom Brady's Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bill Belichick's New England Patriots in Foxborough.
The past relationship between the seven-time Super Bowl champion QB, his former coach, the local fans, Brady's former teammates, and a cacophony of other connections offer a cornucopia of storylines ahead of that Oct. 3 date.
We've heard from several of Brady's teammates about what that matchup will be like in Week 4. Now Brady added his voice to the chorus.
Celebrating his latest Lombardi victory with his new team at the White House on Tuesday, Brady spoke with Jim Gray for SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports radio. The interview is set to run on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET, but Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald got a sneak peek.
During the interview with Gray, Brady is asked about returning to Foxborough. TB12 responds by noting it's "the last time probably in my career" he'll play in front of those Patriots fans at Gillette.
"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," he said, via Guregian. "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."
After the schedule was released, Brady simply commented on the matchup with his former team by tweeting, "It's like when your high school friends meet your college friends 😬." However, his comments to Gray dug much deeper. Brady acknowledged returning to a place he won six Super Bowls will come with a lot of attention, but he's focused on continuing to build something new in Tampa.
"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," said Brady. "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.
"Our team at the Bucs has done some really cool things over the course of last season, that I really want to see, how committed we are to improving those processes. I thought we got really good toward the latter end of the season, and I thought we were still an ascending football team."
If there is one game that doesn't include your favorite team to circle on your 2021 calendar, Brady's return to Foxborough should be that tilt.