Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a playful message for former teammate and current Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long leading up to Super Bowl LII on Sunday.

"I hope he doesn't hit me too hard if he gets a shot. Hopefully he respects his elders a little bit out there," Brady said with a smile Tuesday.

Brady is the first 40-year-old quarterback to lead his team to the Super Bowl. Before this year, Peyton Manning (2015; 39 years, 320 days) and John Elway (1998; 38 years, 217 days) were the oldest quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl.

Brady will also pass one of the players he rooted for as a youngster in the Bay Area, wide receiver Jerry Rice, as the oldest non-kicker to play in a Super Bowl. When Rice played for the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, he was 40 years old and 105 days. On Sunday, Brady will be 40 years old and 185 days.

Brady is the oldest non-kicker/punter in the NFL and has embraced his senior citizen status, which has continued over the past two days upon the team's arrival in Minnesota for the Super Bowl. For the first time, Brady has answered questions on why he put together a documentary, "Tom vs. Time," with filmmaker Gotham Chopra.

"I just thought it would be fun, a great opportunity," he said. "It was just good timing, I think."

Brady completed about 80 percent of the documentary in the offseason.

Brady, meanwhile, said his right hand -- injured during the week leading up to the AFC Championship Game -- is "getting better."

"It's not quite where I want to be. So I'm just trying to protect it the best way I can. It's obviously a very important part of my body, for a quarterback, so I just want it to be as healthy as possible for the game on Sunday," he said.

Of the glove he is wearing on his hand, he said: "Under Armour just made it for me. It's a great glove. It's got a lot of recovery in it and that's what I need at this time."

As for Long, Brady said, "I really enjoyed my time with Chris. He's a helluva player and he made huge plays for us last year. He's made some great plays for the Eagles this year. They have a dominant pass rush -- on both edges, right up the middle, and he's a big part of that. He's a great leader, practices his butt off, great enthusiasm. I have a ton of respect for him."

 

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