FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he's looking forward to Sunday night's game against quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, saying that Rodgers has motivated him to be a better player.
"I think it's inspiring," Brady said Tuesday during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. "Even for me, I watch his game and it makes me want to get out there and practice and improve, because I think he's so phenomenal with how he manages himself in the pocket. His ability to throw the football is unlike anyone in probably the history of the league. It's pretty awesome to watch."
Brady added that Rodgers even "throws some of the best incompletions I've ever seen."
Brady said he and Rodgers have been longtime friends, as they share Bay Area roots, although their paths have seldom crossed on the football field.
Sunday's game marks just the second time they will face each other as starting quarterbacks, with the last time coming in the 2014 season (a 26-21 Packers win). The last time the Packers visited the Patriots, in 2010, Rodgers missed the game because he was injured.
In January 2017, Brady said that when Rodgers is playing on national television, "I usually stay up and watch." On Tuesday, he added, "It's going to be a big challenge for our defense. We're going to try to make it hard on their defense, and we'll see how it shakes out. We've had a lot of close games this year, and I'm sure this one will come down to the wire."
A Brady vs. Rodgers matchup will naturally spark discussion on the best quarterback to play the game, which was a topic Brady was asked about in his interview.
"I think it's actually a hypothetical question that is just truly impossible to answer. It's great to debate it and those types of things. I don't think about, 'Oh, was this guy better than this guy or this guy?' I guess that's because maybe I'm an athlete and I realize it's a lot of teamwork, it's a lot of factors that go into helping your team win," he said on WEEI.
"Good quarterbacks, I think, allow teams to build systems around them and bring out their skill set. I think it's very flattering when a team chooses you and says, 'Look, we want to move forward with you and we're going to get receivers to complement your skills -- tight ends and backs and [offensive] lines.' If they're not doing that, it probably means the team doesn't have a lot of trust in you."