FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, hugs coach Bill Belichick after the AFC championship NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Foxborough, Mass. Brady is an NFL free agent for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old quarterback with six Super Bowl rings said Tuesday morning, March 17, 2020, that he is leaving the New England Patriots. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Patriots get ready to welcome back Tom Brady as the Bucs QB

New England Patriots (1-2) will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at home Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8:20 p.m.

Sweet Home New England

Tom Brady will be back in New England. Yes, you read that correctly. This Sunday’s game will be both Brady and Rob Gronkowski’s much-anticipated return of their former team since departing the Patriots in March 2020.

This will be Brady’s first return in his career to the team he helped conquer 17 division titles, 13 AFC Championship Games and six Super Bowl wins.

The questions that remain in everyone’s minds: How will Patriot fans react to seeing Brady play for a different team in their home stadium? How will the Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick’s interaction with Brady go? Can the Patriot’s new QB take home the win against Brady?

For all of Brady’s career, until signing with the Bucs, he was coached under Belichick. Brady has spent most of his adult life working alongside Belichick and calling Foxborough, Massachusetts home. So It’s hard to deny that this Sunday will be an emotional game for sure.

Battle of the Quarterbacks

With Brady on the other side, it’s Mac Jones’ time to shine as this season’s rookie QB for the Patriots. The 23-year-old recent college graduate from the University of Alabama was the fifteenth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones passes against Ohio State during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Accomplishments at Alabama

  • In his senior year, he led Alabama to an undefeated season and national championship.
  • In 30 games, he went 28-2 and 15-1 as a starter.
  • Heisman Trophy runner-up. (2020)
  • Passed 42 touchdowns in one season. (2020)

Jones’s NFL career so far consists of making 737 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and three interceptions.

Belichick’s Thoughts

Belichick talks about the challenges Jones faces from starting as a rookie QB, how he’s dealt with the pressure pretty well and as a young player, he still has room for improvement.

Belichick acknowledges the talent the Bucs have and how he sees the patriots improving.

“They have a really good team, they have a very good offensive line, a lot of experience in the running back, receiver and tight end positions, a lot of depth there,” Belichick said. “A very talented offensive football team, a very talented defensive football team. That’s why they’re as good as they are.”

“We need to improve just overall as a total football team, but certainly offensively,” he said.

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