FOXBORO, Mass. — At 41 years old, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn’t taking anything for granted on the football field.
Brady was informed Friday during his weekly news conference that he and Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers will set a record for the oldest combined age of starting quarterbacks in a postseason game Sunday when their teams compete in the divisional round of the playoffs. Combined, Brady and Rivers, 37, are 78 years and 198 days old.
“Nice!” Brady said. “Nice and old.”
Brady will break his own record shared with former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning set in January 2016.
“That’s a pretty good one right there,” Brady said. “That’s pretty cool. It’s just fun to be around — I’m out there today practicing and it’s whatever degrees out — 10 degrees, 15 degrees and I’m sitting here just playing with my friends, throwing the football around.
“I think it’s just a great blessing to be able to do it and do it here for this team, which I’ve loved to do. Philip’s been on the same team. It means a lot. We all work hard to get to this point. These things aren’t guaranteed, very tough to get to this point in the season. Every team four months ago thought they’d be playing in these games. The reality is, that’s not the way the NFL is, so we’re very fortunate and we’ve got to go out and try to take advantage of it.”
When Brady brings that level of enthusiasm, it’s easy to have fun on the Patriots practice field.
“I mean, yeah,” wide receiver Chris Hogan said. “You know what? At the end of the day, we get to go out there and play football in the playoffs. Guys work their entire career and never get to these games. Playing here, a lot of guys have been so grateful to be able to play in a lot of these games, and I think you have to not take that for granted and go out there, work really hard and have as much fun as you can. Enjoy the moment and try to play as well as you can on Sunday.”
The weather in Friday’s chilly practice mirrored Sunday’s forecast. Meanwhile, the Chargers have been practicing in sunny Los Angeles all week.
“It’s very similar to what we’re going to get on Sunday so just knowing how many layers you’ve got to put on and how you’re going to feel,” Brady said. “We didn’t have the nice, warm heated benches out there like we will on Sunday. It’s cold and that’s just part of this time of year.
“But it’s good to be playing when it’s cold out. It’s good to be playing this time of year in Foxboro. The weather changed a little bit yesterday. It snowed at the start and then got sunny and then got cloudy, then got windy, then got sunny and it’s just a bunch of different things. Just to practice in it, we’re prepared for it and hopefully, we can use some of the things we’ve learned to our advantage.”
It’s currently set to be 26 degrees at kickoff in Foxboro.
Thumbnail photo via Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports Images