New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, showing little rust by throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns after sitting out the first four games, says “I feel better now at 39 than I did when I was 29.”
The four-time Super Bowl champion returned on Sunday after serving a four-game suspension as part of the NFL’s Deflategate punishment, going 28 of 40 in the Patriots’ 33-13 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Brady, in his 17th NFL season, turns 40 next August.
“I know I’ve talked at length about how I’ve felt over the years and I feel better now at 39 than I did when I was 29 — and I feel like it’s due to a lot of things,” Brady said Monday morning on WEEI radio. “I feel like I’m in a good routine and if I play a game like I did (Sunday), I feel like by Wednesday practice, you know, I’m geared up to go.
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“It’s not like I do a ton of running anyway. I just kind of stand back in the pocket and, drop back and make the throws. You know, you got to take some hits, but for the most part, quarterbacks can play a long time.”
Brady was critical of his own performance — “I think there was plenty of rust out there,” he said Sunday after the game — but overall pleased the Patriots are 4-1 and on top of the AFC East.
Brady led the Patriots to touchdowns on their first three drives.
“It comes back pretty quick,” Brady told WEEI on Monday morning. “Wednesday (practice) was decent, Thursday I felt a little better out there and Friday I felt way better than Thursday. So I was hoping Sunday I’d feel better than I did on Friday.
“I think by the time I got out there for warm-ups, I felt kind of like, ‘Man, I’ve done this before.’”
The Patriots next host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.