Tom Brady of the New England Patriots answers questions during Super Bowl LI media availability at the J.W. Marriott on Feb. 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Bob Levey/Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed a softer side this week talking about his dad. Asked by a child who his hero was, Brady was quick to answer it was his father, Tom Brady Sr.

"Who's my hero? That's a great question," Brady said. "Well, I think my dad is my hero because he's someone that I look up to every day."

The elder Brady has been in the headlines quite a bit in the lead-up to Super Bowl 51, during which the Patriots will face off against the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback revealed this week he's been struggling as his mother, Galynn, has reportedly been ill, which prompted him to speak emotionally about his father.

"You just have different things that your family goes through in the course of your life, and it's been a challenging year for my family, just for some personal reasons," Brady said to the Boston Globe. "It'll be nice to have everyone here watching us this weekend... My mom and dad have been so supportive my entire life and it's nice to be here to show them and try to make them proud."

Brady has expressed numerous times this week a deep affection for his father, who has publicly defended his son form controversies ahead of the big game. Brady Sr. slammed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for hitting his son with a four-game suspension this season over the so-called Deflategate saga.

"I think any parent kind of understands that. They'd rather take the slings and arrows in the heart than have their kids take it. For what the league did to him and what Roger Goodell constantly lied about is beyond reprehensible as far as I'm concerned," Brady Sr., 72, said in an interview in late January ahead of the big game. "He went on a witch hunt and went in way over his head and had to lie his way out in numerous ways and the reality is that Tommy never got suspended for deflating footballs. He got suspended because the court said that he could, Roger Goodell could do anything he wanted to do to any player for any reason whatsoever."

The quarterback later said with a laugh that his father was now banned from talking to the media. The quarterback's parents have been married for more than four decades living in the same home in San Mateo, California. After his parents largely weren't able to attend games this season, Brady said he was happy they would be able to make the trek to Houston for the big game.

"They're going to be here this weekend, which I'm very excited about, to see everybody. I've got a big group coming," he told the Globe.