BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady is ready to head home for the first time as a professional quarterback.
Brady and the Patriots will leave for San Francisco on Friday, the first homecoming for the San Mateo native. The Patriots last paid a visit to the hilly city in 2008, when Brady was recovering from a knee injury that ended his season in Week 1.
So finally, after 17 years in the NFL, Brady gets to go play in his hometown. He'll have plenty of family and friends in the stands, and he may even receive a few cheers from Niners fans who appreciate the future Hall of Famer's roots.
"I'm excited. It'll be nice to see my parents and sisters. Hopefully we go out there and win. It's a special weekend to go out there and play great for our team," Brady told reporters on Friday. "There are lots of preparations still, getting settled in before the game and getting the game plan tightened up. Then we'll try to go out on Sunday and let it rip.
"I still have a lot of family and friends and I'm sure there will be a lot of support from a lot of people. I have a lot of people coming to the game. Maybe I'll hear them in the crowd when we warm up," said Brady.
While Brady is giddy over his return home, he knows this is a business trip for the Patriots, who are looking to bounce back from last Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
"You have to understand that the reason we're going out there is to play a football game. Nothing is more important than that. Everyone is focused on what our job is, which is to put together a great game for 60 minutes," he said. "It's easier to compartmentalize in my 17th year. I've been through a lot of different things with the game, traveling to different places and friends and so forth. But everyone knows we're there to play a game."
So don't expect Brady to go all fanboy if Joe Montana or Steve Young are at the game or they have a chance encounter leading up. Well, only if he can do so during some down time when the focus isn't on game preps.
"It wouldn't be sneaking out to catch him when we're in a team meeting or something like that. But those guys are the reason I love the game," he said. "It was a great time for me to grow up when the 49ers were playing so great, the quarterbacks were so great and so many other great players. I loved them all and still do. The memories you had growing up stick with you, and I'm sure they stuck with all the kids growing up in the Bay Area at that point."
As for Sunday's opponent, many don't think the 1-8 Niners, who have dropped eight straight, will put up much of a fight against the 7-2 Patriots. But don't count Brady as part of that group.
"I'd expect their best. Any time we play a team we're going to get their best shot. I'm sure they're excited to play this week and we are too. You don't take any game lightly," said Brady. "All these teams are so talented, and I've been on a lot of teams where we're playing a team that is 2-12 and we got beat. They've been close in a lot of games and had a lot of leads, they just haven't closed them. We have to start fast, get ahead and stay ahead if we can."
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