Tom Brady on playing the Patriots: 'I’m not going to reminisce'

Rick Stroud
Tampa Bay Times

Tampa, Fla. – Tom Brady said he didn’t get much sleep after arriving home at 3 a.m. Monday morning following the Bucs’ 34-24 loss to the Rams.

“I got home this morning and my son said, ‘Dad, I’m so sorry you lost. Those refs, I’ll tell ya, those refs didn’t help you out at all!’” Brady said during his weekly Let’s Go! podcast with Jim Gray.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

“I said, ‘Benny, your dad tried hard, man. Sometimes, you don’t win them all.’”

But if there’s one game Brady wants to win, it’s against the Patriots in his return Sunday to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., where he played for 20 seasons and won six Super Bowls.

As expected, he generally downplayed the emotion that may be surrounding the game. But he acknowledged it will be an unusual experience running out of the visitor’s tunnel.

But rather than making it a sentimental journey, Brady said his focus will be on getting back in the win column after seeing the Bucs’ 10-game win streak snapped in Los Angeles.

“I know that home locker room. I know that home tunnel. I know which way the wind blows. I know everything about that,” Brady said. “I know the way it smells. I know what the night games are like. I know what the fans are going to sound like. … I’m not going to be thinking about 20 years of history. I’m going to be thinking about one night of football. …

“Both teams are going to be fighting and clawing for a win and it’s not going to be easy. I know what this team is all about. I’ve sat in that meeting room. I’ve heard the scouting reports. I know exactly what they’re going to attempt to do to us and I know it’s going to be a challenge for our team.”

Among the other highlights about his return to New England:

On whether his teammates will want to win this game for him:

“I’m not the first guy that’s going back to a team where he played in the past. We’re pretty motivated. We’ve got a really resilient group of guys. We had a lot of tough losses last year. I think I learned a lot about my teammates last season. We have a lot of the same teammates this season but it’s a different year, so if we want to win, we’ve got to earn it.”

On how he thinks Patriot fans will greet him:

“Well, I wouldn’t except any homecoming. I think they’re there to root for their team. Their team is the Patriots. I certainly have had a lot of people cheer for me over the years. I’ll have a lot of family there and I have a lot of friends who want to go to the game. They’ve asked me about tickets for six months. So there will be a lot of excitement from them in the stands. But I think the home crowd at Gillette is a great crowd and I think they’re going to cheer for their team, as I would expect them to.”

On lessons he learned from Bill Belichick:

“Twenty years of being there and obviously he’s a great mentor for me. Yes, there’s definitely great lessons I’ve learned from him and he’s a great football coach and he does a great job for his team. Any player, I would just hope that their coach gives them everything they’ve got. I’m sure every coach wants every player to give them everything they’ve got. I think that’s what makes a great relationship.”

On his dad’s comments that he feels vindicated after winning a Super Bowl with the Bucs:

“I’ve actually prepared a statement that I wanted to say and it’s really all that I have to say on the subject. ‘Comments made by Thomas Edward Brady, a 77-year-old insurance company CEO who should know better at this point in his life, don’t necessarily reflect the views or positions held by his son, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. Furthermore, should Tom Sr. continue to speak out on behalf of his son without the express, written consent, Junior reserves the right to eventually put him in a home against his will.’ …

“I do want to say one thing about my dad. I have the greatest dad in the world. He’s the most loving, caring, honest man in the world.”