One year ago, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers acknowledged that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was a big “influencer” on how he approaches each season and how he’s tried to improve his diet to lengthen his career.
Rodgers has battled soft tissue injuries throughout his career and has incorporated yoga into his training program so he can play for as many years as Brady.
“I think I did a really good job of pairing my workout mode with better eating habits,” Rodgers told Monday Morning Quarterback. “Now I’ve put together a year where I’ve sustained positive eating habits and I really notice a difference in my performance. I did a lot of stretching and yoga this offseason, which I have always felt has helped me to sustain my legs and my athleticism and just taking off in practice on some scrambles. Yoga is just wonderful for me. I feel like I am moving as well as I did when I was 23 and I'm 33. Stretching, for me, is amazing. Flexibility can add years to your life, and in our life, football, it adds years to your career.”
Probably not coincidentally, Brady has also talked about the need to keep his muscles “pliable” to avoid the minor injuries that can snowball into major problems late in a career. Rodgers clearly looks up to Brady as a model for a long career and the two definitely exchange ideas.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rodgers sent Brady a “happy 40th birthday” message.
“I said to him, ‘Is it just me, or does it seem like you are getting more mobile with age? You're running around good! You weren't doing that when you were younger!’,” Rodgers relayed to MMQB.
Brady’s improved on his mobility since the 2014 season and he’s improved on various facets of the game- running, pre-snap adjustments, deep ball- in each consecutive season. He’s also openly discussed his admiration for Rodgers’ game
“I think he does things that no one in the league has ever done, or can do, just because of his physical ability,” Brady said on WEEI, via Pro Football Talk. “Some of the plays he makes are just — they’re just phenomenal. Not just the throws but the scrambles.
“Everything really looks effortless with him, which is probably the amazing part. He’s definitely working hard, but he’s making hard look easy. It’s a very effortless style he plays with. The velocity of the ball, the placement of the ball, he’s just an incredible player. He works very hard at it, he’s a very talented player, and he’s just having an incredible season. It’s fun to watch him play I always love watching him play. Whenever he’s on, I usually stay up and watch.”
As Peyton Manning ventured into retirement, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Rodgers became the quarterback that Brady watched and used as a measuring stick for growth. The two All Pros are enjoying a fun dynamic and a budding relationship late in their careers.