Tom Brady looked like a young man on the field in Cleveland on Sunday. He told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning that he felt like one, too.
One day after throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns, posting a quarterback rating of 127.7 en route to a 33-13 win over the Browns, Brady was asked if having four games off to start the year might have benefited him in any way.
Might his body feel a little more fresh now than if he had played through the first month of the season?
"I would have much rather have been playing," Brady said. "Hard to say. I feel pretty good. Every week I feel pretty good. I think at the end of the Denver game last year, at the end of the season, after that game -- well, I was a little sore after that game -- but I felt pretty good going into that game. I’ve talked at length about how I have been feeling over the years. I feel better now at 39 than I did when I was 29.
"I think it’s due to a lot of things. I feel like I am in a good routine, and if I play a game like yesterday I feel like by Wednesday practice I am geared up and ready to go. It’s not like I do a ton of running anyway. I just kind of stand in the pocket, drop back and make the throws. You have to take some hits from time-to-time. For the most part, quarterbacks can stand in there and play a long time. For me it's tough to tell."
Brady drew some attention during his postgame press conference on Sunday, insisting that he felt rusty in some ways and that there were plenty of things upon which he could improve. Though his performance was about as clean as could have been imagined, he doubled-down on that postgame sentiment Monday.
It wasn't so much the physical nature of the game that required some adjusting. It was the mental side of things that felt a bit clunky at times.
"Some of the identification, some of the things that I was seeing to help the offensive line out, to help us and our receivers kind of get on the same page with certain routes that I wish I could have got to," Brady replied when asked what he could have improved on. "It was just taking me a little bit longer to kind of see some of those things. Normally I would be very sharp. Sometimes I was kind of trying to diagnose the front and the coverage. I think those things will hopefully will get a little better next week."