FOXBOROUGH - Tom Brady has made it clear he plans to play through his 40s, chasing a fourth Super Bowl title as the proverbial "window of opportunity" narrows.
But in the eyes of linebacker coach Pepper Johnson, the Patriots quarterback is already there.
Johnson sported a white T-shirt at Saturday’s training camp practice with a sincere message for the quarterback, who was celebrating his 36th birthday.
The shirt read, “Happy 40th Birthday Tom,” a playful jab towards Brady, who is entering his 14th season.
In past years, fervent Brady fans that attended camp often serenaded No. 12 with renditions of “Happy Birthday.”
There wasn’t much singing Saturday, but as Tim Tebow dropped back and slung a pass down the sideline, the stands simultaneously erupted with a “Happy Birthday Tom.”
Brady only took nine snaps during practice but looked sharp, connecting on back-to-back touchdowns with former Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, who was signed in the offseason.
According to Amendola, that was the best birthday gift he could offer his new quarterback.
“Just try to catch every ball for him,” he said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Brady finished with seven completions, threw one ball into the turf after a high snap, and had one incompletion.
Did he look any older?
“Maybe a little bit,” running back Stevan Ridley said. “We’re rubbing it a good bit on him. But he’s still slinging it around.”