Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers features two of the NFL's marquee stars, quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
Mahomes, however, said Wednesday he doesn't consider himself to be on Brady's level just yet.
"He's someone that's a global star," Mahomes said. "For me, I just try to be myself and go out there every single day and put in the work and try to win football games. All that other stuff kind of comes with it. For me, I just try to be a normal guy and live it up with my teammates and have fun doing it."
Brady won six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots before he signed with the Bucs this spring. Mahomes can't match Brady's accomplishments, but he does have one Super Bowl victory and a regular-season MVP, and he only recently turned 25.
The two faced each other three times while Brady played for the Patriots, with New England winning twice. One of those victories was a 37-31 overtime triumph in the AFC Championship Game in January 2019.
Mahomes said he was still struck Wednesday by what Brady told him after that game.
"He just grabbed me after the game," Mahomes said. "I was kind of leaving the stadium, and they had obviously been celebrating going to the Super Bowl. He just talked about how he respected how I did everything the right way and stuff like that. It's just cool to have a guy of that stature who's won championships it seems like year in and year out that has respect for your game as much as you have respect for his. It was definitely a cool experience that I was able to know that I was doing things the right way early in my career."
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday he is grateful for Brady's gesture toward his young QB at the time.
"[Brady] came by the locker room, and I just can't tell you how much I appreciated that. And Patrick did, too," Reid said. "It was a respect thing. I just really thought that was great. That was a tough game. He just said, 'Hey, keep being you and things are gonna work out.' And I think that just those simple words -- that's big for a young guy to hear, especially from somebody that great."
Mahomes and the Chiefs (9-1) faced the Brady-less Patriots in Week 4 this season. He said that experience was strange, like playing against Brady with the Bucs (7-4) will be this week.
"I think I was as surprised as everyone was when he wasn't going back to New England and he was going to Tampa Bay," Mahomes said. "But he's in a great spot. They've got a lot of weapons there and Coach [Bruce] Arians is a great coach, and they're winning a lot of football games. For us, we're just going with the same mindset as if we're going to play any other great football team and we're going to have to battle every single play.
"I don't think it's going to feel very much different. It's still a very good football team that's playing really good football and winning a lot of football games. So we know it's going to be a great challenge for us, and we're excited for it."
Information from ESPN's Jenna Laine was used in this report.