FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s safe to say Tom Brady’s talent level did not drop off now that he’s in his 40s.
The New England Patriots quarterback torched his first-team defense, going 10-of-12 in a full-team scrimmage Friday morning after he was given a lighter workload Thursday on his 40th birthday. Meanwhile, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went 14-of-36, so there is no quarterback controversy in Foxboro just yet.
“I woke up today feeling like I did yesterday morning, the day before that,” Brady said Friday after the scrimmage. “So, it’s good. It’s nice that so many people came out and wished me a happy birthday. It was very nice. I had a lot of support and it’s fun to be on the field.”
Brady, who says he wakes up pain-free despite playing a contact sport for a living, says hasn’t considered retirement at all as it appears there’s no end in sight for his football career.
“I’m really blessed to play with such great teammates and coaches,” Brady said. “To have the opportunity to come out and play every day is something I always cherish. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and hopefully that’s given me a lot of experience to do the right thing and help our team in the best way I can. Part of being a veteran player is helping the young guys with the learning curve. We’re working hard to accomplish a lot of things out here as camp goes on. A lot of situations today. It’s good to have the experience and it’s still great to have a love for the game and my teammates and my coaches. It’s fun every time I come out here.”
Brady, despite his many accomplishments, was still teased about his advanced age Thursday.
“So many of these guys are so young,” Brady said. “They keep me young too. I got a nice birthday cake from Jimmy (Garoppolo) and Jacoby (Brissett). Jacoby wrote “old” on it as my age. They have a lot of fun. I had so many people that sent me notes, and it was very thoughtful.”
There are few quarterbacks who have played at a high level into their 40s. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is one, and Brady has talked to the former Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings legend about what he did to prepare as he got older.
“I’ve become friends with Brett,” Brady said. “(Former Patriots tight ends coach) Brian Daboll coached him with the Jets and became friends. Brian Daboll was here. Brett and I found a way to connect through Brian, and he’s always been someone I’ve looked up to. I really enjoy it. I just loved his style, admired him for so long. We talked about certain things. He was incredible playing as an older quarterback. He still had a great love for the game. He was a phenomenal player. I’ve always looked up to him.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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