BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady will turn 37 in August, and he’s heard all the whispers about him getting too old to be the dominating quarterback he was just a few years ago.
Those whispers turn to his completion percentage last season, .605, the lowest percentage for Brady since 2003. He also threw just 25 touchdowns in 2013, his lowest total since 2006.
But even with birthday number-37 just a few short months away, Brady will have none of this “getting too old” talk.
“You know, you don’t have to suck when you get older,” Brady told MMQB’s Peter King last week as he made his way to Gillette Stadium for an early-morning workout.
“It’s hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy. I feel better today than when I was 25, and I know that’s hard for people to believe, but I do,” Brady said. “I work at it. Basically, I work all off-season to prepare my body to not get hurt. I can’t help the team if I’m on the sidelines. I’ve got to be durable.”
Per usual, Brady has been hard at work this offseason with mechanics doctor Tom House and has had a few throwing sessions with a few of his receivers in California. He won’t give away his training secrets, but says those critics saying he doesn’t have “it” anymore can draw their conclusions when he takes the field this season.
“I’m not going to give away any state secrets. I’m not here to be king of the weight room. I do things to make me a better quarterback, whatever they are,” he said. “Does it work? You be the one to judge. Watch me play. Then draw your own conclusions.”
Brady has always said he wants to play into his 40’s, and that hasn’t changed after a pair of AFC Championship losses the last two seasons.
“There’s nothing that can wake me up at 5 o’clock in the morning on a Thursday morning in May like getting ready for a day of football. I want to play a long time,” Brady told King. “There’s nothing I like doing that’s close to football. What’ll I do when I’m done playing? I don’t know, but I know it won’t be nearly as fun. I can tell you neither me nor Peyton [Manning] will probably be very far from the game of football when we’re done.”
It’s now been nine years since Brady and the Patriots hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of a season, and Brady places a lot of the blame on himself.
“It’s hard to win. Thirty-two teams are working hard to try to win it every year, and we’ve been close … 14-2, the Super Bowl in 2011, the AFC Championship Game in 2012 and 2013. You get to those games, and you have to play your best to win, and we haven’t. I haven’t,” he said. “We had too many opportunities we missed last year in Denver. And then what it comes down to is only one team really had a great season at the end.”
Before he can take the field in search of that fourth Super Bowl ring, Brady has his big charity event first. He will host his annual “Best Buddies Challenge” this weekend, a three-day event that includes a flag football game at Harvard Stadium and a bike ride to Cape Cod that raises money to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Just last week, Brady was on hand for a charity event in Houston for Best Buddies which raised $850,000.
Part of that near-million dollars raised includes $100,000 a man bid for a spot to play in Friday’s flag football game.
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