Brady Sr. made it clear that he is as excited as many others are for that showdown — and that he is very confident his son will emerge victorious.
“I saw the schedule come out last night, and I started salivating when I saw that we play the Patriots in the fourth game of the season,” he said. “We’re coming up there to make our record 4-0.”
The Buccaneers are “licking their chops to come up there and kind of take the Patriots down a notch,” Brady Sr. added with a chuckle.
Brady Sr. did mix in praise for his son’s former team. Describing the Pats as “our second-favorite team” these days, he said: “It’s been our home for 20 years, so we love Boston. It’s been a very special place in our heart for so many years.”
Nevertheless, he was blunt in his assessment of how the Week 4 contest will play out.
“We expect to beat the Patriots rather handily, frankly,” he said.
“From my take on it, I think it’s going to be great,” Brady Sr. said of that matchup. “I get to have a favorite team in the AFC and a favorite team in the NFC. And then they play on the fourth week of the year. I’m thrilled for this.”
The younger Brady opted to have a little fun on social media. Going back to Gillette Stadium to play his old team will be like “when your high school friends meet your college friends,” he tweeted, adding a nervous-smile emoji.
If Brady gets a mixed reaction from fans in New England, that won’t come as a surprise or a disappointment to his father.
“I think that the fans at Gillette will embrace him until the opening kickoff, and then they’re going to boo the hell out of him, which is great,” Brady Sr. predicted. “I think the fans appreciate everything he did for them for 20 years, but at the same time they’re Patriots fans, they’re not Buccaneers fans.”
Adding an extra layer of potential intrigue to the game is the possibility that Brady could have a chance to break Drew Brees’s record for most NFL passing yards. He trails the former New Orleans Saints star, who retired in March, by just 1,154 yards but would need to average almost 400 yards over the first four games to break the record in front of former coach Bill Belichick.
Breaking the record at Gillette Stadium would be “a little cherry on top” of his son’s return to Patriots Country, Brady Sr. said, adding that “it will be fun” if it happens.
It wasn’t the first time Brady Sr. has provided some noteworthy material for New England fans. In 2015, he predicted that Belichick and his son would part ways, saying at the time: “It will end badly. It does end badly. And I know that because I know what Tommy wants to do. He wants to play till he’s 70.”
In January, after Brady helped the Bucs win the NFC championship game, he said of Belichick, “I’m guessing he’s on a little bit of a hot seat right now.”
Brady Sr. emphasized Thursday that his son does not harbor any major ill will toward the team he led to six Super Bowl wins in nine appearances. He also dialed back just a bit the “play till he’s 70” prediction.
“It’s not a matter of walking out of town and being unhappy,” Brady’s father said. “He had a happy 20 years there, and a most successful 20 years there. Now he’s in another place with another opportunity to win, and that’s really great.”