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Matt Ryan says Tom Brady is his longevity role model

New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after their 30-23 win at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is 31, eight years younger than the other starting quarterback in Super Bowl LI, New England’s Tom Brady. Ryan wants to emulate Brady by continuing to play at an MVP level for as long as Brady has.

Asked today if he can see himself playing at Brady’s age, Ryan answered, “I hope so.”

Ryan said he has gotten to know Brady and studied the way Brady stays in shape in the offseason.

“He’s set the bar for longevity, aging well and playing at a really high level for a really long time,” Ryan said. “I know that he’s incredibly dedicated off the field, in terms of taking care of himself both mentally and physically and training all year round. He’s at it all year round and he’s kind of shown the way on how to do that, how to take care of yourself, and how to approach this the right way so you can play for a long time and play at a high level for a long time.”

Few players have played at Brady’s level at any age. Doing it at age 39 is incredible, and Ryan will need a lot of hard work and more than a little luck to keep doing it for eight more years.