For the first time since leaving the New England Patriots and joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady will return to Foxborough and Gillette Stadium this upcoming weekend. On Sunday night, he'll stand on the visiting team's sideline and square off against the team that he spent 20 years of his career with.
Brady's return will surely bring about a complicated mixture of emotions. The 44-year-old will return to New England as the reigning Super Bowl champion, but it will be difficult to forget all that he accomplished in Gillette Stadium with the Patriots.
Although he's comfortable with the environment he's coming back to this weekend, Brady did explain why he won't be using this game to think about his past success. Instead, the Buccaneers quarterback will go into the contest determined to bounce back from Tampa Bay's loss this weekend to the Los Angeles Rams.
"I know that locker room, I know that home locker room, I know that home tunnel, I know which way the wind blows, I know everything about that [place]," Brady told Jim Gray on their "Let's Go!" podcast on SiriusXM, per ESPN's Jenna Laine. "I know the way it smells. I know what a night game's like, I know what the fans are gonna sound like. So in some ways, that'll be really unique. I've never had that experience going to, you know -- it'll be a first time for me being on the other sideline.
"I'm not going to necessarily reminisce. I don't think this is the moment for that. I'll have plenty opportunities to reminisce about my football career -- none of it, none of which I really care to do right now because I'm so much in the moment. I'm not going to be thinking about, 20 years of history. I'm going to be thinking about one night of football, a Sunday night game coming off a really tough loss."
The Buccaneers quarterback also shared that he'll have a plethora of family and friends in attendance on Sunday, but isn't exactly treating the game against the Patriots as a reunion.
"I wouldn't expect that -- a homecoming," Brady said on the podcast, per Laine. "I mean, I think they're there to root for their team, and their team is the Patriots. I think they're gonna cheer for their team as I would expect them to, and I think if they know anything about me, they're gonna know that I'm going out there to try to win the football game, so I think they'll respect that about me.
"One thing I learned from the Patriots -- (Bill) Belichick would say, 'Listen, if you love football, then, 8:30 on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium is the place to be."
Those that aren't able to be in Foxborough will surely be watching on NBC or at least following along when Brady makes his return to New England this weekend. His Buccaneers will square off against the Patriots at 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday night.