Bruce Arians and Tom Brady are comfortable being classified as old men this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempt to win their second Super Bowl.
Arians would become the oldest head coach to win the Lombardi Trophy (68) while Brady (43 years 188 days old on Super Bowl Sunday) would be the oldest quarterback to claim the championship.
“It’s not time to look in the rear view mirror yet,” Arians said on Monday.
“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 against the holders Kansas City Chiefs, putting the cap 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 is 18 years and 45 days older than Chiefs sensational quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Brady believes other QBs might be able to prolong their career by following his lead.
“Anything is possible. Not many people have played at my age,” Brady said.
“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 that 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.
He shook off hints that he might be done with the NFL this week. When asked if he would consider playing beyond age 45, Brady just smiled.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said, adding that he had told his dad he would “play until I suck”.