Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is currently one of the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite his age, he’s playing like a man 20 years his junior. So what’s Brady’s secret? How does he play at such a high level at an age when most players are long retired?
Tom Brady’s illustrious career
Brady is known as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Over the course of his career, the University of Michigan alum has won six Super Bowl championships. Here are his career statistics:
- 215-61 career win-loss record
- 531 career touchdowns
- 176 interceptions
- 73,050 yards passing
- 7.5 yards per attempt
- 30-10 career playoff record (the most career playoff wins of any quarterback)
- Three-time NFL MVP
- 14-time Pro Bowl selection
Peyton Manning may go down as a better field general and Aaron Rodgers may be remembered as a better pure passer. But it’s hard to imagine either ever being remembered as better than Brady. His perpetual victories when it matters the most — the playoffs — is what keeps the QB above the competition.
The oldest NFL quarterbacks right now
The league’s oldest quarterback is Brady at the ripe old age of 42. While the California native is well into middle age, some other NFL players are close to his advanced age, including:
- Aaron Rodgers, 35
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, 36
- Derek Anderson, 36
- Philip Rivers, 37
- Matt Cassel, 37
- Ben Roethlisberger, 37
- Matt Schaub, 38
- Eli Manning, 38
- Drew Brees, 40
Shockingly, the two oldest players on the list, Brees and Brady, are also two of the best. Rodgers is still elite and Rivers is playing at a high level. The rest of the lot are either injured, benched, or spot starting as backups.
The average NFL career lasts 3.3 years. This makes it even more impressive that these players can compete so late into their careers. But Brady is the oldest of them all. How does he do it?
Why Brady doesn’t feel like the oldest QB in the NFL
There are three reasons why Brady plays like a younger athlete:
1. The NFL protects quarterbacks
If a defensive player contacts a quarterback at any time when they don’t possess the ball, it’s essentially a penalty in today’s NFL. Quarterbacks have never been more protected. This prevents signal-callers like Brady from getting injured as often as they once did, thus prolonging their careers.
2. Brady is well-conditioned and well-fed
Brady famously stays in tremendous shape and eats an incredibly clean diet. He doesn’t veer from his routine often as he repeats the same workouts and meals almost every day. As CNBC reports, the Patriots star trains four to five days a week, focusing on “movement drills” such as planks, shoulder exercises, squats, and lunges.
Brady often gets a massage post-workouts in order to “increase his blood flow and flush the lactic acid that has built up in order.” This helps the quarterback’s muscles recover faster. After every workout, Brady eats the same breakfast, avocado and eggs.
3. The Patriots have a great offensive line and a talented cast around him
Not only do the Patriots have a solid offensive line that allows Brady to stay upright and not scramble out of the pocket too often, but they also surround him with talented position players, like Sony Michel and Julian Edelman.
The bottom line is that Brady’s goal of playing until he’s 45 doesn’t seem too far out of the question. He’s already excelling well past his expiration date, so who’s to say he can’t go for another three years?