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Tom Brady: ‘I just hope I’m the one most entitled to play [QB] for a long time here’

05.26.14 at 10:47 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sat down with Sports Illustrated’€™s Peter King for an interview featured on King’€™s website, MMQB. In the 40-minute conversation, Brady dished on his future in the NFL, New England’€™s selection of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the draft and his nine-year Super Bowl drought.

While Brady will turn 37 this August, he has not showed many signs of slowing down out on the gridiron. Last season Brady passed for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns while leading New England to the AFC championship game despite having a mostly inexperienced receiving corps at his disposal.

“It’€™s hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy,”€ Brady said. “I feel better today than when I was 25, and I know that’€™s hard for people to believe, but I do. I work at it. Basically, I work all offseason to prepare my body to not get hurt. I can’€™t help the team if I’€™m on the sidelines. I’ve got to be durable.”

Brady added: “There’€™s nothing that can wake me up at 5 o’€™clock in the morning on a Thursday morning in May like getting ready for a day of football. I want to play a long time. There’€™s nothing I like doing that’€™s close to football. What’€™ll I do when I’€™m done playing? I don’€™t know, but I know it won’€™t be nearly as fun. I can tell you neither me nor Peyton [Manning] will probably be very far from the game of football when we’€™re done.”

Bill Belichick surprised many at the draft by selecting Garoppolo out of Eastern Illinois 62nd overall. It was the highest spot that the Patriots have drafted a quarterback since Drew Bledsoe was drafted first overall in 1993.

“€œI felt like I had a pretty good idea we’€™d take a quarterback,” Brady said. “Coach Belichick doesn’t care who the quarterback is here. He’€™s always going to play the guy who he thinks gives him the best chance to win. It’€™s not my role to choose players here, thankfully. And this is not the first time they’ve taken another quarterback, either. There’€™s no entitlement in the NFL. I don’€™t expect to be given anything. I just hope I’€™m the one most entitled to play that position for a long time here.”

While Brady has led the Patriots to two Super Bowl appearances and 99 regular-season wins since the 2005 season, it’€™s been nine years since the two-time Super Bowl MVP has hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

“€œIt’€™s hard to win. Thirty-two teams are working hard to try to win it every year, and we’ve been close. … [A record of] 14-2, the Super Bowl in 2011, the AFC championship game in 2012 and 2013. You get to those games, and you have to play your best to win, and we haven’€™t. I haven’€™t. We had too many opportunities we missed last year in Denver. And then what it comes down to is only one team really had a great season at the end.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On fine-tuning his game: “€œSometimes, we’€™ll be watching tape and [offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels will say to me, ‘€˜What happened on that play?’€™ And I’€™ll say, ‘€˜I missed it. I just missed it.’€™ Throwing a football is a very, very tough to thing to do consistently well. Other sports, too. You think when LeBron [James] tries a 3-pointer he’€™s aiming for the back of the rim, hopes he hits the back of the rim? Of course not. On an approach shot in golf, are you trying to miss by four feet? No, €”you want to get it in, or within two inches. That’€™s why, to me, it’€™s so important to work in the offseason perfecting your mechanics. Say you’€™re off 1 percent on your mechanics of throwing in one week, and you don’€™t fix it. Over four weeks, if you keep going, that’€™s 4 percent that you’€™re off. And you say, ‘€˜Why am I not throwing the ball as crisply as I need to?’ I was the 199th pick in the draft for a reason. I need to maximize my efficiency, my mechanics and my reps to be sure I stay on top of my game.”

On how it has been playing against Darrelle Revis: “€œI’€™m tired of throwing against him, that’€™s for sure. €œI did tell him, ‘€˜Hey, we plan on building a couple of hotels on your island over there, so don’€™t be offended.’ ‘€™’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
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