By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has a Super Bowl to play on Sunday. A freaking Super Bowl. That’s the type of once-in-a-lifetime experience that requires every last ounce of energy and attention for most players who make it to football’s ultimate game.READ MORE: Frates Family Kicks Off Ice Bucket Challenge Month
But Brady? He’s got some experience in this game, and it’s more like a 10-times-in-a-lifetime experience. So he’s able to compartmentalize his thoughts rather easily.
In fact, while speaking to the media on Thursday for the final time before kickoff, Brady looked ahead to the forthcoming offseason for the second time in as many days. In this discussion, Brady — unprompted — brought up how he’s looking to significantly improve at least one part of his game for next season.
Yes, next season. When he’ll be 44 years old.
“Agility-wise, I want to work on my speed this offseason, try to get my speed up a little bit,” Brady said when asked how his 43-year-old self would compare to his 39-year-old self. “I see all these guys running around. I gotta make a few of those plays. So I gotta, you know, I’ve already started thinking about kind of how I’m going to train. So, I’d say that’s the one thing that I want to always keep working on.”
Not many 43-year-old quarterbacks set out to get faster for their age-44 seasons. Mostly because there have only been a handful of 43-year-old quarterbacks. And they’ve all stunk.READ MORE: 'I Was Terrified': Woman Fends Off Coyote In Provincetown With Stick, Saved By Nearby Fishermen
Brady, though, decidedly has not stunk. He did develop a foul stench in the second half of the NFC title game, when he threw three interceptions, but perhaps his 43-year-old bones had grown too cold in that wintry Wisconsin air.
Over the course of the season, though, Brady was excellent. He threw 40 touchdowns, the second-highest single-season total of his career, behind only his then-record-setting 2007 season, when he threw 50. He reached his highest single-season yardage total since 2015, whe he was a spry 38 years old, and he posted his best passer rating since 2017, when he was the league’s MVP at age 40.
Brady’s dedication to constant improvement has obviously worked out fairly well for him, and even though he’s old enough to be the father of some of his receivers (looking at you, Scotty Miller), he doesn’t plan on letting off the gas any time soon.
“I continue to be a student of the game. And I think that’s how you can continue to make improvements,” Brady said. “You can’t ever think that you’re satisfied; you gotta continue to build and grow and learn and evolve. And some things are gonna challenge you, but you gotta fight through those things.”
Brady concluded: “From my standpoint, there’s always room for improvement.”
Fair enough, Tom. Fair enough.MORE NEWS: PMC Riders Raising Money In Honor Of Fall River Boy Recovering From Cancer
In a certain time in history, the world would laugh at a 43-year-old who set out to get better at professional football for the next year. But at this point, we’ve all stopped laughing and just accepted the fact that Tom Brady tends to be capable of doing anything he sets out to do.