FOXBORO -- Tom Brady will turn 37 years old on Sunday. Reminded of that fact after Thursday's training camp practice at Gillette Stadium, he reflected on why he continues to enjoy coming to work as an NFL quarterback as he now endures his 15th training camp.
"I think I owe it to my teammates to bring the enthusiasm and energy every day," he said. "There are no days off for the quarterback. I think we try to set a great example, and I learned that from the guys that I’ve played with my whole career, whether it was at Michigan, or whether it was Drew Bledsoe or Damon Huard -- all the guys I’ve taken something from. I’ve been lucky to do something I really love to do. I’d love to keep doing it, so that’s a great motivation for me to come out.
"Where else would I rather be? This is a lot better than any cubicle I could probably think of. It’s a pretty good office."
Brady has long credited his overall health and nutrition for allowing him to compete well into his thirties. He told Peter King of MMQB.com earlier this year that those elements of his lifestyle should allow him to play much longer.
"You know, you don't have to suck when you get older," Brady said. "It's hard to explain this to people, but the commitment I make, in terms of keeping my body in shape and my nutrition right, should make me healthy. I feel better today than when I was 25, and I know that's hard for people to believe, but I do. I work at it. Basically, I work all offseason to prepare my body to not get hurt. I can't help the team if I'm on the sidelines. I've got to be durable.”
One of the keys to Brady's durability is the man he's called his "body coach": Alex Guerrero. Part trainer, part masseuse, part nutritionist, part mental coach, Guerrero works at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center in Foxboro and has helped other Patriots like Julian Edelman as well as Brady. (Julian called Guerrero "Mr. Miyagi" last season for his unique approach to nutrition and credited Guerrero for helping him stay on the field throughout 2013.)
But for more than a decade, Guerrero and Brady have worked together, honing what the TB12 Center's website calls their "revolutionary approaches to wellness in the areas of nutrition and supplementation, as well as physical and mental fitness training" to help Brady be at his best late into his career.
Asked how much Guerrero has helped Brady since they've started working together, the quarterback was brief but sincere in his praise.
"More than anyone could ever realize," he said. "He’s been someone I’ve been very lucky to work with for a long time. He’s my best friend, and he’s phenomenal at what he does -- probably the best in the world -- so I’m pretty lucky."
Guerrero is listed online as a partner with Edge Performance Systems in Foxboro, another local training center. His biography there says he has received his masters degree in traditional Chinese medicine from SAMRA University in Los Angeles and that "he has extensive knowledge in the areas of nutrition and supplementation." Guerrero has also written a book called In Balance for Life that offers suggestions to achieve a healthier lifestyle.