FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For Brady, it was an emotional week and it culminated with a win at his old stomping grounds, Gillette Stadium. The game was a lot closer than many people thought. The weather made it interesting and, of course, the homecoming for Brady. There were a lot of emotions mixed in and it may have affected his performance since he didn’t throw for any touchdown passes.
Brady ran out from the visitor’s side onto the field at Gillette with a roar of cheers from the crowd. But once the game started - it was all business. In fact, when Brady went on the field for his first offensive series, some fans actually booed him. Brady didn’t have his best performance last night, but his team came out on top. After the game, he hugged Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels and then spoke about the emotional homecoming.
“That was pretty cool,” said Tom Brady. “This has been my home for 20 years, my kids were born here. It’s just a great town, great city, great area. I love it up here. I have so many people that I have relationships with. But this was about this team coming up here to win. This wasn’t about one player.”
After the game, Brady did meet privately with Bill Belichick in the locker room for about 20 minutes. He wouldn’t talk about what they said, but did say he has a lot of respect for his former coach.
“I would say so much is made of our relationship,” said Brady. “You know, as I said earlier this week, from a player’s standpoint, you just expect the coach to give you everything he’s got, and I’m sure as a player that’s what he was hoping from me. But nothing is really accurate that I ever see. It’s all kind of – definitely doesn’t come from my personal feelings or beliefs. I got a lot of respect for him as a coach and obviously a lot of respect for this organization and all the different people here that try to make it successful.”
All the talk about the Brady bowl, but the Patriots rookie quarterback continues to make a name for himself. Mac Jones did something that Brady didn’t do last night---and that was throw two touchdown passes. Brady didn’t throw a single touchdown pass. Jones also had one interception, but the rookie from Alabama continues to impress, especially when he’s under the bright lights of Sunday night football.
While the focus all week was on Brady returning to Foxborough, but Jones said his focus was on practice and following McDaniels’s game plan. Jones threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. Not stellar numbers, but he was facing pressure from the Buccaneers defense all night, and Jones kept his poise in the pocket, making crucial throws while taking big hits. Jones even got high praise from his head coach who said he fought hard and played well.
“Mac’s a good player,” said Belichick. “He knows how to compete he can learn things tonight like we all can…so we will.”
“I think just focus on what’s important now is kind of what I tell myself,” said Jones. “And on Tuesday, that was practice. On Wednesday, it was practice, Thursday, practice, Friday practice. So I just try to focus on how I can get better in the past week and block the noise, and everyone tried to block the noise. I wish I could’ve played a little better so that we could have won, but it is what it is. Hats off to the other football team for getting the win.”
Jones said he also did talk with Brady briefly after the game. He congratulated Brady on the win and Brady told him to keep his head up and keep working. As the Pats fall to 1-3, they will try to rebound next weekend in Houston against the 1-3 Texans.
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