Tom Brady is not letting the heat get him down. The New England Patriots quarterback, who is currently in his 20th NFL training camp, is battling oppressive heat during his team’s full-pads practice in Boston, but he’s grateful for the opportunity.
Brady told reporters he’s having a “great time” on the field despite the 90-degree heat and that fact that he’s an “older” player. The six-time Super Bowl champ said he is happy to still be playing the sport he loves at age 42, per ESPN.
“I have a great time. I love the sport. I’ve been playing it since I was a kid. It’s hard for me to imagine doing anything else in life. I love playing ball, so to still be out here at 41, soon to be 42, it’s a pretty great thing for me.”
Brady, who turns 42 on Saturday, is looking to become the first quarterback to ever start all 16 games of a regular season at that “advanced” age. But he’ll still be shy of being the oldest starting quarterback in NFL history. According to Sports Illustrated, former football star Steve DeBerg actually holds the record as the oldest starting quarterback in history. DeBerg started for the Falcons at age 44-years-and-279 days-old back in 1988.
To get ready for the upcoming NFL season, Brady revealed that he bulked up his 6-foot-4 frame a little bit during the offseason so he can take more punishment on the field.
“I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more and I worked pretty hard at that.”
Brady acknowledged that, as with every NFL season, turnover on the Patriots team could make a subsequent Super Bowl trip challenging, but he noted that the coaches, veteran players, and other team leaders have the ” responsibility” to get everyone on the same page as they attempt to continue what the team has done successfully for years.
Brady added that the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski will be especially challenging because he’s irreplaceable.
“It’s not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree,” the Patriots star said. “You’ve got to find guys that come in that want to put the work in and want to try to contribute.”
Patriots.com notes that amid the oppressive heat and humidity at Patriots Training Camp, the team closed out their first full week with a two-hour practice that featured a few too many dropped and tipped passes. Left tackle Dan Skipper said the steamy weather was no excuse for sloppy play. Skipper noted that “every day” is hard in the NFL and that it doesn’t matter what the weather conditions are.
“You gotta treat every day like its 54 degrees, breezy and perfect,” Skipper said. “Weather doesn’t matter. Conditions don’t matter. It’s about going out playing every day and getting better.”
Indeed, returning player Ben Watson noted that NFL teams all over the country are dealing with training camp heat right now and he added that it’s part of the game—and part of their job.
As for Brady, he may be feeling the heat for a few more seasons. The NFL champ has teased in the past that he wants to continue to play the sport he loves until age 45.