Tom Brady: Have to live right to stave off decline

Tom Brady isn’t certain how much longer he is going to play in the NFL, but he is doing everything in his power to keep from breaking down the way other older players have.

"I love the game and I want to do it for a long time, but I also know that if I want to do it for a long time I have to do things differently than guys have always done it," the 37-year-old Brady said during his Monday morning interview with Boston sports radio WEEI. "Because you hear stories of people when they get older, this declines and this declines and I don’t really believe those things. So I have to take a different approach.

"Strength training and conditioning and how I really treat my body, it’s important to me because there is nothing else I enjoy like playing football."

Brady said this season that when he "sucks" he will retire, but that time clearly is not now (18 touchdowns, one interception in his past five games). And the future Hall of Famer doesn’t expect it to come any time soon.

"I want to do it for as long as I can, and that’s a lot of the decisions that I make that I hope it doesn’t affect my teammates, because I know a lot of my teammates have the same goal and a guy like [Julian Edelman] who is more dedicated than anybody," Brady said. "He’s very much the same way. I think those are the types of guys that you love to play with, that are going to do everything they can to help the team, that are going to be their best all the time, even in the offseason when the lights aren’t shining. That’s when it matters the most."

Brady was asked about what he does differently from other players to ensure that he keeps on trucking along through his NFL career.

"I’m not sure what those other guys really do," Brady said. "I do go to bed very early, because I’m up very early. I think that the decisions that I make are always, they always probably center around performance enhancement, if that makes sense.

"So whether that is what I eat or what decisions I make or whether I drink or don’t drink, it’s always football centric. I want to be the best I can be every day. I want to be the best I can be every week. I want to be the best I can be for my teammates."

Brady knows he can’t live it up the way he did when he was younger.

"The 25-year-old Tom Brady had a great time. I probably wouldn’t change much in those days," Brady said. "It was a different time than it is now, because there’s so much attention now and I don’t know how these young players do it.

"It was kind of fast and loose back then. I was still a responsible person. I’ve always had a certain responsibility that I’ve always felt. I’d say more so now, obviously when you have a wife and kids, your life transitions into other things. It’s simplified now in a lot of ways in that now it’s just football and being with my family -- the most important stuff. I wouldn’t change anything when I was 25, I just wish it would have lasted a little longer."