FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass news is your Local Sports Authority.
It may only be week four of the NLF season, but this Sunday night's game in Foxborough may be the marquee match-up of the year.
Tom Brady leading the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers against his former team, the New England Patriots.
"I’m pretty familiar with who they are and what they do," Brady said.
That may be the understatement of the year. For two decades, Tom Brady faced the New England Patriots’ defense in practice on a daily basis.
On Sunday night, for the first time, he'll face the Patriots as the starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"They're a lot of great players. Obviously, well-coached. They all play hard, tough, smart. I know those guys really well," Brady said.
Brady speaking on Thursday, saying his throat was tired from screaming at practice.
Despite reports that Brady and Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick did not see eye to eye towards the end of his time in New England, the quarterback called his former head coach a great mentor.
"We had a great relationship. I think everything was handled the right way. We handled everything as gracefully as we could. We had an amazing time, and it was handled perfectly," Brady said.
Both Brady’s Bucs and Belichick’s Pats are looking to bounce back from week three losses. TB12 says that takes precedence over any type of reunion.
"I haven't thought too much about it. I’m just going to do what I always do, and be a great quarterback. I understand the opponent. They're some of my great friends, and they will be for the rest of my life, so, I know a lot of the players, owners, coaches, staff. It will be great to see them after the game. But until then, I’m focused on going to win a football game," Brady explained.
But Brady said there's no doubt that his time as a Patriot shaped him as a person and player.
"20 years in New England was incredible. I learned a lot. I came out here for a year and a half I learned a lot. I have nothing but incredible thoughts, memories, and emotions to all of the football experiences I’ve had," Brady said.