Bruce Arians and Tom Brady are comfortable being classified as old men this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempt to win the second Super Bowl in franchise history.
Arians would become the oldest head coach to win the Lombardi Trophy (68) and Brady (43 years, 188 days old on Super Bowl Sunday) the oldest quarterback to claim the championship.
“It’s not time to look in the rearview mirror yet,” Arians said Monday via Zoom. “We’re still looking ahead. We’ll look back this spring. Hopefully we’ll have a Lombardi Trophy on the way to look at and smile.”
Arians and the Buccaneers are at home for Super Bowl LV, the capper on a season the franchise began plotting the day after the 2019 regular season ended.
“I don’t think I could have ever prepared us for the pandemic,” Arians said. “The accountability of staying healthy, protecting each other. This team is really close at a time when it’s not easy to be close. It reminds be of the Super Bowl XL Steelers.”
Arians said Brady’s intelligence — not his age — has stood out since their contract agreement in March.
“If you don’t have it, you can’t be a great quarterback,” Arians said of Brady’s intelligence. “He’s an intense worker. Unbelievable preparation.”
Brady playing at his age is unique in its own right. But playing on this stage is unprecedented. He said Monday his daily approach, and making only decisions that benefit his career, has been essential to his own vitality.
He’s 18 years, 45 days older than Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as of Sunday, and Brady believes quarterbacks might be able to prolong their career by following his lead.
“Anything is possible. Not many people have played at my age,” Brady said Monday. “I’m hoping that I can give some of that wisdom to some of the younger players who want to do the same type of thing. We’re always supposed to be better as we grow and evolve. It wasn’t about 40 touchdowns it was about, ‘Did I do the best I could do?’ That’s where my motivation comes from.”
“It’s part of my daily life. It’s pretty well documented the approach I’ve taken over a period of time. How I work out, how I recover is very important to me.”
Arians said he’s been “very, very lucky” as a coach to have Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer and Brady as pupils. He joked his philosophy is “only take jobs with good quarterbacks.”
After nine Super Bowl appearances and six wins with the New England Patriots, Brady repeated his refrain that playing in the Super Bowl is the goal to start every season.
“Six days to go, one game left. I’m excited to see what we can come up with for Sunday,” Brady said.
Brady shook off hints that he might be done with the NFL this week. When asked if he would consider playing beyond age 45, Brady smiled.
“Yeah, definiltely,” he said, adding he told his dad he would “play until I suck.”