Quarterback Tom Brady made his first NFL appearance for the New England Patriots in a regular-season game against the Detroit Lions in 2000 at the Pontiac Silverdome. So it is remarkable that Brady will be playing his 300th career regular-season game in the city where he first saw action in the NFL. During his press conference on Wednesday, Brady recalled that moment when he was asked to wrap up the game for then-starter Drew Bledsoe because they were trailing the Lions, 34-9, in their Thanksgiving game that year. In that game, Brady completed one of three passes for six yards.

The following season, Brady won the backup job and eventually took over as starter when Bledsoe went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2.

Brady never looked back and led the Patriots to the first of six Super Bowl titles that season. When he gets his first snap on Saturday, Brady will become the third non-kicker to play 300 or more games in the NFL, behind Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Brett Favre, who both played 303 regular-season games in their careers. Brady, for his part, has played in 341 total NFL games, including playoffs.

Buccaneer's eye playoff berth vs Lions

"Yeah, I think it's pretty cool," Brady said of his upcoming career milestone. While he’s not the type to be particular about statistics, Brady stressed that football has become a part of his life for a long time, or 30 years to be exact. “I love the ability to go out there and compete with my teammates, compete for our fans and I love the game,” said Brady, adding that he loves all the relationships that he has built and the memories that he has obtained in playing the game he loves.

The veteran quarterback, who signed a two-year deal worth $50 million with the buccaneers in the offseason after 20 years with the Patriots, also said that he feels blessed to be playing football at age 43. "I'm very blessed to be 43 years old and still doing it," he said. While Brady considered his NFL debut in Detroit as "kind of an insignificant start", Saturday’s game will be crucial for his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady hopes to lead the Buccaneers to a win over the Lions that will secure their first postseason appearance since 2007. The 9-5 Buccaneers have entered the week as a 7.5-point favorite over the Lions (5-9), who have lost four of their last five outings.

Brady speaks about Dungy issue

During his press conference, Brady also talked about his tweet in response to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy’s claim in a recent interview.

When asked about the toughest quarterbacks that he faced as coach, Dungy placed Brady as the sixth-toughest, behind Aaron Rodgers, John Elway, and Steve Young, among others. On his Twitter account, Brady responded to the news article about Dungy’s interview with a picture of the Colts’ 2014 AFC finalist banner. When asked about his tweet, Brady said he was just having fun with Dungy. “Coach Dungy knows I love him. I was just giving him a little grief. He gave me a little grief, I gave him a little grief. It was all in good fun,” Brady explained. Aside from being the Colts head coach, Dungy also worked as Buccaneers head coach from 1996 to 2001.

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