On Sunday in Super Bowl LI, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney will face an all too familiar foe.



Over his 15-year career in the league and stints with five clubs (Colts, Chargers, Cardinals and Falcons), Freeney has squared off against the New England Patriots a whopping 14 times (including playoffs). In those meetings with the Patriots, he’s tallied 4.0 sacks.

Freeney has witnessed first hand Tom Brady‘s development into one of the league’s elite quarterbacks. At Super Bowl LI Opening Night, Freeney spoke about Brady’s growth on the field.

“He’s so calm. When he first got in the league, you could make a move and he all of a sudden he’d get shook in the pocket, and I’m not going to say happy feet, but somewhat of happy feet in the beginning of his career,” Freeney said. “Now, there’s nobody even rushing him, he’s in there just taking his time patting the ball and he can do that because he has so much confidence. He’s done it for so long. He trusts in the guys. He trusts in his scheme and when you win all those games — that’s why you can be as comfortable as you can be and the way he is in the pocket.”

Freeney, who is one of only two Falcons players to win a Super Bowl title (Super Bowl XLI with Colts), had three sacks in the regular season. With Freeney’s longstanding history with Brady, can the Falcons‘ defense halt the veteran quarterback’s production come Sunday? We’ll see.

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