Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 6/13/13
FOXBORO, Mass. — It sounds nearly impossible that Tom Brady is entering his 14th season in the NFL. But it’s true. There are record books, photographs and video to prove it. I even had to count to make sure it was correct. To think that Brady is still trying to improve in his 14th year seems equally impossible. How does someone improve on a career that’s already mentioned as the greatest ever by some prognosticators? But that’s Brady’s mentality every offseason and it’s why he stays so consistently great even though history suggests that he should begin regressing one of these years. Brady will be 36 years old in two months, but he claims that he feels better than ever entering the 2013 season. “I feel great, I feel better than ever,” Brady said. “I’ve had a great offseason to this point; it needs to continue. At this point, I have a pretty good understanding of how I need to prepare myself and I spend a lot of time, every decision in my life is based around how to be a better football player. I think I have a decent idea how to do that and we’ll ultimately see how it pays off this year. It’s been fun to be out there every day at practice and that’s how you improve, is to be out on the practice field, especially with a bunch of new players. We’ll see how it turns out when we put the pads on.” It’s an interesting season for Brady. He has a bunch of new wide receivers and his top seven targets from 2012 are either injured (Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Julian Edelman) or gone (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch). That means the Patriots quarterback will need to do something he’s struggled with in the past: build relationships with new players. He seems to be adjusting well to throwing to Danny Amendola and Michael Jenkins, and each player could serve a similar role to their predecessors. Amendola looks freakishly like Welker out on the practice field, and Jenkins has a similar game to Lloyd’s. Brady’s yards, touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per attempt dropped from 2011 to 2012. But stats don’t tell the whole story. It didn’t help that Brady had to play without Gronkowski and Hernandez for long stretches of the season. It also didn’t help that the Patriots dropped 25 percent more balls in 2012 than 2011. But Brady does feel like he can improve upon his performance last year. “You try to be a little more efficient with your time and things that you probably have tried in the past, you don’t do much anymore,” Brady said. “You try to do the things that you feel work and the things that help you improve. I feel like I’ve thought a lot of things about this past season and things that I can do better and things that I can do better as a teammate and as a leader and certainly things that I can do better on the field, my physical preparation. I think I’ve been successful to this point but ultimately you get paid to go out and play on Sunday and hopefully it pays off when it counts the most.” Patriots fans have to accept at this point that Brady won’t be around forever. Based on the careers of Brett Favre, Dan Marino and past great quarterbacks, Brady should have begun regressing by now. But Brady’s singular focus on football is what keeps him “elite” year after year. Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker