Another talking point around Tom Brady playing in Super Bowl LV at 43 years old is that he’s been playing so long, quarterbacks he defeated in past Super Bowls are interviewing him on pregame shows.
The NFL Network’s “NFL GameDay Morning” aired on Sunday an interview with Brady conducted by former MVP and Super Bowl champion Kurt Warner, who quarterbacked the Rams when the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. Warner talked to Brady 19 years after their Super Bowl clash to discuss Brady’s past, future, legacy, and what it means to play in 10 Super Bowls and his first with the Buccaneers.
The duo started the conversation by reminiscing about Super Bowl XXXVI and how it was the game that started the Patriots’ two-decade long run of excellence. Warner had just won his second NFL MVP award and was two years removed from winning Super Bowl XXXIV. The Patriots entered the game against Warner’s Rams as underdogs and one Brady fourth-quarter drive and Adam Vinatieri field goal later, New England was the champion.
“We were going up against you guys, one of the most explosive teams in the league. You had won two MVPs right in that time and were playing incredible football,” Brady said. “In the end, I think it came down to the team who had the ball last. We made some plays there. Jermaine Wiggins made a catch to put us in field position, Adam banged it right through the upright.”
Warner also led the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII, and he retired after the 2009 season. In the prior Super Bowl, the Patriots failed to complete an undefeated season when they fell to the Giants, and Brady said that loss is still fresh in his mind 13 years later.
“I wish that team would have been able to finish it off. That was a magical year for us, but we played against a team that deserved it, but the team that wins is not the one that’s favored, not the one that had the best record in the regular season,” Brady said. “It’s the team that plays the best that day.”
This season, Brady and the Bucs defeated two teams with better records, dispatching Drew Brees and the Saints and MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on the way to the Super Bowl. He became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to lead two franchises to the Super Bowl (Warner was another) and he was more impressed at how the Buccaneers started playing their best football at the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. Tampa Bay has won its last seven games dating back to Dec. 13 against the Vikings.
“I don’t think it’s rewarding because it’s a different team. I think it’s rewarding because this team made the commitment to each other,” Brady said. “We had some rough moments and then played some great football down the stretch in the playoffs.”
Brady also talked about facing the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who at 25 is 18 years younger than Brady and playing in his second Super Bowl. Brady was 26 when he played in his second Super Bowl, and saw similarities between himself at that age and the young Kansas City star.
“I was Patrick at one point. I was a young up-and-comer who was on a great team. I loved being quarterback and I think some of it’s an old guy learning from a young player or two,” Brady said. He’s got a great playing style, he’s got great vision. None of these moments are too big for him.”
Brady concluded the interview talking about his future in the NFL. Although he said earlier this week he plans to play past the age of 45, he’s aware that Super Bowl number 10 could always be his last.
“I thought about that last week. I may never have this opportunity again. I just try to be grateful and appreciative of this moment and I think as long as I do that, I’ll be happy,” Brady said. “I’d much rather win than lose, but knowing that I gave it my all is important to me. I’m going to do that this week and we’ll see what happens at the end of the game.”
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