At 42 years old, Tom Brady is the oldest non-kicker in the NFL.

So, perhaps it's fitting he's become the New England Patriots' Yoda.

Brady was asked Monday about the development of wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who as an undrafted rookie has turned heads at training camp catching passes from a quarterback 20 years his senior.

"He's done a great job and he's taken advantage of his opportunities," Brady said, before morphing into an ancient philosopher.

"I think that's really what we try to stress to anybody: The football doesn't care how old you are, whether you were drafted or not. The football doesn't care how much experience you have," Brady said. "It just knows, when I let that ball go, it's got to be in the hands of the guy who it's intended for.

"So, if that happens to be him, it's him. If it's Julian (Edelman), it's Julian. Whoever it is, it doesn't matter in football."

That's right, Jakobi. The football doesn't care about you. But you can still become one with it.

What Brady is getting at, of course, is that the Patriots' offense is a meritocracy: If Meyers is open and Julian Edelman is covered, Meyers is getting the ball. And if Meyers outperforms a seasoned veteran, he'll earn playing time, even if he is an undrafted rookie.

Brady can attest to the benefits of this meritocracy, having wrested the starting job from star QB Drew Bledsoe in 2001 despite being a 199th overall pick.

Shining at training camp and delivering in games are two different things entirely, so Meyers still has much to prove, starting Thursday night in the Patriots' preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.


But the Patriots rookie has a wise guide in his QB.

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