Tom Brady talks Patriots, Bill Belichick ahead of return to New England: ‘They know I wanna kick their butt’ –

Have you heard Tom Brady is playing the Patriots this week? Here’s a better question: How could you not have? The Buccaneers will meet New England on Sunday night in one of Week 4’s most anticipated matchups, and Brady faced all kinds of questions about the homecoming after Thursday’s practice. The reigning Super Bowl MVP touched on everything from Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft to the Patriots defense he once rooted for, but he made one thing clear above all: “They know I wanna kick their butt.”Asked early in Thursday’s press conference whether his relationships from a 20-year run in New England have been a factor in preparations this week, Brady insisted his attention has been on the football field.”I haven’t thought too much about it,” he said. “I’m gonna try to do what I always do: Go be a great quarterback … I know all those guys; they’re some of my great friends, (and) they will be for the rest of my life. I know a lot of coaches, players, the owner, the staff, (and) 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.”Brady said he thinks Sunday’s showdown will be a “very, very, very tough game” in large part because of the Patriots defense. While he admitted he hasn’t watched much of Mac Jones, New England’s post-Cam Newton successor at quarterback, he still holds Belichick’s defense in high regard. Pick Six Newsletter Crafted By The Best NFL Experts Get the day’s big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings. By submitting my email I agree to receive the “Pick Six Newsletter” and other marketing and promotional emails from CBS Sports, which may include information from our affiliates and/or partners’ offers, products and services. For more information about our data practices consult our Privacy Policy See All Newsletters Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe. Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox. Sorry! There was an error processing your subscription. “I think you put great preparation with great players, it makes for a great defense,” Brady said. “And they have one of the great defenses in the league.”As for Belichick himself, Brady recycled some of his past remarks about the coach, expressing gratitude for what he learned over the course of two decades in New England but ultimately redirecting attention to the Bucs.”I really enjoyed my time in New England,” he said. “At the same time, I’m super excited about what we’ve done here. A great group of coaches here … The last 18 months have been very fulfilling in a lot of different ways … I still have a lot of great friends (in New England), but they know I wanna kick their butt this week, so they’ll know exactly how I’m feeling once I’m out there.” Pressed to revisit the conversations that led to his departure from the Patriots, specifically in regards to reports that Belichick didn’t go above and beyond to re-sign the quarterback, Brady downplayed the tension while hinting Tampa Bay always wanted him more.”All those things are super personal, and we had a great relationship,” he said. “I think everything was handled the right way. It was handled perfectly. I think everyone understood where we were at … The people who really bet on me, I wanna do really well for them. And (Buccaneers general manager) Jason (Licht) and (coach) Bruce (Arians), I think them coming into my life, saying, ‘Hey, we really want you to be here,’ has been an amazing thing for me.”2021 Tom Brady jerseys now available Can Tom Brady win his eighth Super Bowl at age 44? If you’re a Brady fan, it’s time to get a new jersey featuring No. 12. Shop red, pewter, and gray jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, and more here. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. 

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