FOXBORO — Tom Brady has served as a role model of sorts for Aaron Rodgers, even if he didn’t use those words when on a conference call with Patriots reporters Wednesday.
He’s studied Brady, specifically his pocket movement. He’d like to remain with one team for the duration of his career, as it appears Brady will be able to do. He marvels at Brady’s longevity in a league that has beaten up on both of them.
But Rodgers knows that doing anything Brady has done, including playing into his early 40s is no given. For anyone who thinks Brady has changed the game for everyone at the quarterback position and how long it can be played, Rodgers (who turns 35 in December) says pump the brakes.
“I think to some extent, definitely [he has],” Rodgers said. “But Tom... He’s an outlier. He’s a unicorn. There’s not many like him.”
Brady has been front-and-center — particularly on social media — promoting his TB12 brand, his method for training and his diet. Though not every quarterback can or will want to follow that method now that it’s out there, Rodgers said the idea that diet matters is one everyone can agree on and one he’s applied to his own approach.
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“We all have ways of taking care of ourselves, but I think it’s a great reminder about how important diet is to your overall performance,” he said. “That’s one thing the player in 2018 understands a lot more than in 2005 when I got in the league and obviously when he got in years before that. There’s a way you take care of yourself that allows you to be in a position to play as long as you want.”
So how long would Rodgers like to play? Does he have his sights set on 45 the way Brady does?
“If I still love it like I do now and my body feels good,” Rodgers said, “I think all of us would love to be able to pick the time that we go out.
“Obviously it’s difficult in this day and age and not everybody can stay in one spot and be able to kind of write their own final chapter, but that’s definitely the goal.”
But, again, Rodgers knows it’s about more than want-to, just as it’s about more than diet.
“Tommy’s been able to do what he’s done not just because he takes care of himself,” Rodgers said, “but because he’s performed at a high level year after year.”
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