Tom Brady returning to New England for one of season’s most highly anticipated games

Go away it to resident comic Invoice Belichick to offer a little bit of levity heading into arguably probably the most publicized regular-season recreation in NFL historical past.

The usually close-to-the-vest Belichick was fast with a joke after he walked as much as the rostrum for his Wednesday morning press convention.

“What’s occurring? Obtained any tales this week?” Belichick mentioned with a smile.

Nicely, Invoice, maybe you’ve heard Tom Brady is returning to his NFL residence of 20 seasons on Sunday evening when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) go to the New England Patriots (1-2) in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Brady, 44, received six Tremendous Bowl titles with the Patriots earlier than capturing his seventh final season in his first season with the Buccaneers. The three-time NFL MVP and 14-time Professional Bowl choice is also 68 passing yards away from transferring previous Drew Brees (80,358) for probably the most in league historical past.

“Tom’s had an unbelievable profession,” Belichick mentioned. “There’s not sufficient superlatives and adjectives to go with him on all the pieces that he’s achieved and continues to attain, so yeah. It’s unbelievably spectacular.”

Belichick mentioned Tampa Bay’s offense has Brady’s fingerprints throughout it, saying it’s the one “he’s run his complete profession.”

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians wasn’t going to let that remark slide.

“I feel (the Patriots) copied a number of ours, so it’s most likely the identical,” mentioned Arians, who was Peyton Manning’s quarterbacks coach with the Indianapolis Colts starting in 1998 earlier than serving as an offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2001-03), Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-11) and Colts (2012).

“Ask them which movie they watch each week, they’ll know. They at all times picked ours up and watched it, so it’s the identical factor.”

Along with Brady’s return, the Patriots can even see a well-known face in Rob Gronkowski. The five-time Professional Bowl tight finish performed a major function in serving to New England win three Tremendous Bowl titles throughout his 9 seasons with the crew.

“I respect all the pieces they’ve finished and I’ve a ton of respect for them,” Belichick mentioned of Brady and Gronkowski. “However this Sunday we’re on reverse sides of the sphere and we’re going to do what we are able to to not make them benefit from the evening.”

Brady threw for 432 yards and had two touchdowns (one passing, one dashing) in Tampa Bay’s 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams final week.

Gronkowski sustained injured ribs that prevented him from taking part in in a couple of sequence. Preliminary X-rays have been damaging, and he was in a position to end the sport.

Gronkowski, operating again Giovani Bernard (knee) and outdoors linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) didn’t take part in apply on Wednesday. Carlton Davis (stomach/ribs) was a full participant on Wednesday, whereas fellow beginning cornerback Jamel Dean (knee) was restricted.

Just like the Buccaneers, the Patriots are getting into this high-profile recreation off a loss. New England fell 28-13 in opposition to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday to fall to 8-11 since Brady left the crew.

The Patriots turned to Cam Newton to switch Brady final season, nevertheless the top end result was the crew lacking the playoffs for the primary time since 2008. Newton was launched in favor of rookie Mac Jones previous to the beginning of this season.

Jones accomplished 30 of 51 passes for 270 yards with one landing and three interceptions in opposition to New Orleans. Jakobi Meyers reeled in a season-high 9 catches for 94 yards final week.

The loss was extraordinarily expensive as versatile operating again James White sustained a reported season-ending hip harm. The pass-catching again was second on the crew in receptions (12).

Damien Harris has crew highs in carries (45) and dashing yards (176) for the Patriots, who traded Sony Michel to the Rams final month.

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