Quarterback Tom Brady will meet Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots for the first time since leaving in 2020 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But what is the mood like in both camps and what will it come from?
Week 4 of this year’s NFL season should have Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and numerous fans of the New England Patriots marked red on their calendars. After all, nothing less than the return of the prodigal son is on the program!
Quarterback legend Tom Brady, commonly known as the GOAT, returns to the place where he earned that semi-official title for more than 20 years. Only this time, unlike before, he won’t wear a silver helmet, but a copper-colored one. It will be an unfamiliar feeling. For everyone involved.
Unsurprisingly, Belichick didn’t have an awful lot to say about Brady’s return. He just made it clear in his weekly appearance on The Greg Hill Show on WEEI, “Well, I think we’ve already said all about that.” He was referring to Brady’s sensational exit from Foxborough in the spring of 2020. “There were a lot of factors that played into it – he looked at his options and then made his decision. We weren’t as good an option as Tampa. You’d have to ask him about all of this , but it was never about our not wanting him anymore. That much is certain. “
Tom Brady: “Belichick was a great mentor”
And Brady himself didn’t get much out of it either. He said in his podcast “Let’s Go!” from SiriusXM Radio on Belichick simply: “I was there for 20 years and obviously he was a great mentor to me.” Brady added, “And yes, there were definitely some great lessons I got from him. He’s a great football coach and he does a great job for his team.”
Among other things, Brady obviously learned from Belichick not to communicate too much through the media and not to provide ammunition to the writing guild. A lesson that, however, did not reach Bady’s environment.
Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., recently took on a different tone. On NBC Sports Boston’s Patriots Talk podcast , he said, “Belichick wanted to get rid of him.” He added: “Tommy is very happy that he left because it was pretty obvious that the Patriots regime felt that it was time for him to move on.”
These were comments from which Brady Jr., however, emphatically distanced himself.
Tom Brady: Physio sharply criticizes Belichick
Brady’s longtime companion and controversial physio, Alex Guerrero, meanwhile, offered even heavier guns and attacked Belichick head-on: “As an outsider, I think that Bill’s emotions or feelings have never evolved with age,” he told the Boston Herald . What did he mean by that? “I think when Tom was in his late 30s or early 40s, Bill was still trying to treat him like a 20-year-old guy he drafted. And I think all the players saw that Tom was just different . “
And: “He’s older, so he should be treated differently. And no player would have minded if Tom had been treated differently. That’s typical Bill. He never developed further. You just can’t turn a 40-year-old like a 20 -Treat year olds. That doesn’t work. “
So far Belichick has not reacted to these statements, but said in 2020 on the subject of further development: “Over the last 20 years everything we have done has been with the thought in the back of our minds of how we can best shape the situation for Tom Brady.” Another current reaction cannot realistically be expected. Rather, he praised his former protégé: “Look, I have so much respect and appreciation for everything Tom has done here for me and our team,” but then restricted in his typical way: “We are preparing we’re about to play Tampa Bay and that’s our focus.”
It does not seem to anyone that Brady will break Drew Brees’ all-time passing yard record (regular season) at Gillette Stadium, where he and New England have always been a force for two decades – he is 68 yards short so really interested. Brady himself does not expect a ceremony in honor of him: “I would not expect a very friendly reception,” he said on the podcast to Jim Gray. “I think the fans will be there to cheer on their team. And their team are the Patriots.”
Tom Brady vs. Patriots: Two highs at stake
In addition, the mood in both camps should be manageable after the performance of the past few weeks. The Patriots are at 1-2 and run the risk of losing their third home game of the season – with Brady as Starting QB, they only lost three home games twice in one season (2002, 2006). The Bucs, in turn, suffered their first loss of the season at the Rams and looked quite sluggish for their part.
Now it comes to the first duel between Brady and the Patriots, in which Belichick will have to ask himself for the first time how exactly Brady can be stopped. In countless trainings this should have been difficult enough, now it comes to an emergency. If Brady wins, however, he would only be the fourth quarterback after Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who would have beaten all 32 NFL franchises.
Belichick’s first approach should be tight coverage and a good pass rush, like the Rams did a week ago. And then it is important to stop the run that the Bucs still (too) often bet on.
Tampa, on the other hand, will send exotic lightning bolts towards Mac Jones, Brady’s alleged heir, as the other teams have successfully done so far. On paper, the Bucs still have significantly more fire power on receivers and tight end – Rob Gronkowski will also play against the Patriots for the first time, although his return does not make quite as many headlines in the run-up to the encounter.
If the Patriots fail to put together a brilliant defensive game plan, then the home fans will be presented with a familiar picture in the end: that of a victorious Tom Brady.