The schedule for the 2021 NFL season will be released on Wednesday night. But Tom Brady already knows when he's facing his former team. According to Bleacher Report, Brady will return to New England in Week 4 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the New England Patriots in a Sunday Night game on NBC. This will be the first time Brady will face the Patriots since signing with the Buccaneers last year.
When Brady left the Patriots for the Buccaneers, it was a little surprising considering he won six Super Bowls with the team. "There were a lot of things that really were intriguing to me about the organization – the players, and the coaches, and the willingness of everyone to try to accomplish the goal of what playing football is, which is to win," Brady said after signing with the Buccaneers last year. "I'm going to try to do everything I can in my position and what I'm responsible for to make that happen. And I've got to trust that everyone else is doing the exact same thing. In that part, it's no different than what I've experienced for 20 years in my own role."
It turned out to be a great decision by Brady as he led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win in February. The Patriots, on the other hand, finished the 2020 season with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
"We worked hard throughout the course of the year to improve, to try to move to a higher level, which we did – again, still fell short of where we wanted to be, I'm not saying that – but I appreciate everybody's effort and we all learned a lot," Belichick said during his end of season press conference January. "I certainly learned a lot as a coach. I had to coach and do things that I've never done before, do things differently, and I learned a lot about our players."
The Patriots will be a different team from what they were in 2020. Cam Newton, who was the starting quarterback last year, returns, but the team signed a slew of free agents. Some of the notable players joining the Patriots this year are linebacker Raekwon McMillan, tight end Hunter Henry, defensive back Jalen Mills and wide receiver Nelson Agholor.