The Patriots QB is coming off his worst statistical season in close to a decade. And he will be 37 years old when next season begins — Social Security-eligible in NFL years.
Sure, blame can be placed on inexperienced receivers, losses of key weapons to injury, free agency and prison, and even Brady’s own injured and oft-swollen hand. But something else appeared off in 2013, especially for a three-week stretch when New England lost two out of three games in the middle of the season. A bump in the road for the future Hall of Famer, or a sign of things to come for a QB whose team just drafted a QB earlier this month?
Brady threw for 4,343 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 60.5 percent of his passes — down from 63 percent in 2012 and 65.6 percent in 2011. The Patriots signal-caller told King that he feels better at 36 than he did when he was 25. The three-time Super Bowl winner said he works all offseason to stay durable, which has worked, save for the 2008 season when he missed nearly the entire season with a torn ACL.
"It’s all very well-researched," Brady told King. "But that’s for the other guys to figure out. 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. Does it work? You be the one to judge. Watch me play. Then draw your own conclusions."
Brady was at his best in 2013 when Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen were on the field with him. Their durability, as well as the development of the Patriots’ young receivers, will have a substantial effect on the success of New England’s offense in 2014. Brady also will be pushed by another young quarterback, second-round draft pick Jimmy Garoppolo, though Brady doesn’t appear to be bothered by the selection.