FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady hopes to still be at the top of his game in 497 days.
The New England Patriots quarterback — born 1 year, 4 months and 10 days later than Peyton Manning — was quick to point out Wednesday that he’s younger than his Denver Broncos counterpart.
Brady’s declaration came one question after a reporter brought up Brady’s age and followed up with "no offense."
"He’s always been someone I’ve really looked up to and studied and admired." Brady said of Manning during his weekly news conference. "I mean, he is older than me and has more playing experience than me. Maybe when I’m his age, I’ll be playing as well as that."
Brady’s jab notwithstanding, the Patriots quarterback said he has maintained a strong relationship with Manning through the years. Sunday will mark the 16th time the two quarterbacks have faced one another, and Brady holds a 10-5 record over his rival. Brady was asked how often he communicates with Manning off the field.
I mean, he is older than me and has more playing experience than me. Maybe when I’m his age, I’ll be playing as well as that.
"A little bit from time to time," Brady said. "We’ve always had a good relationship. He’s done a great job with his team, and he’s got them playing really well.
"Every week, it’s so consistent — you just count on a great performance from him every week. I think that’s something that I have a lot of respect for. It’s not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of people who have played that don’t do it on a consistent basis, so when you see someone who does it at a high level, I have a lot of appreciation for that. I understand what it takes, and it’s not just a daily commitment; it’s a life commitment. Every decision you make is a conscious decision to try to help your team win, whether that’s in March or that’s in September or whether that’s in November.
"You can’t just flip the switch when it matters. You’ve got to try to communicate that to all your teammates that the competition is always on. It never goes away. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, and I’ve always respected him because he’s always someone who has chosen to get better, and he’s using the guys with him, and he’s obviously a great leader to encourage the rest of those guys to do the same."