Tom Brady full of respect for Brees ahead Saints clash
As he prepares to face Drew Brees, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady spoke of his respect for his fellow quarterback.
Brady, 43, and Brees, 42, meet in the NFC Divisional Round at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.
The Buccaneers quarterback said he had plenty of respect for former Super Bowl winner Brees, who made his debut in 2001 – a year after Brady.
"He's a lot younger than me – he's 18 months younger than me – 18 months ago I felt pretty good, so I've got a little advanced age on him – and experience," Brady told a news conference.
"I'm hanging in there. He's had a terrific year. He's a great player – I've known him for a long time. I've always had a great amount of respect for him going all the way back to his Purdue days. My room-mate when I first got to the [New England] Patriots was from Purdue and was really good friends with Drew.
"I always just kept up with him and have gotten to know him somewhat well over the years. I just think so much of him as a person and as a player.
"I know what it takes to do what he's doing [and] he knows what it takes to do what I'm doing. I think there's just a lot of mutual respect."
While Brees has been with the Saints since 2006, Brady is in his first season with the Buccaneers.
Brady (341) and Brees (303) rank first and third in career starts among quarterbacks, regular season and playoffs combined, ahead of Sunday's clash.
The Saints won the NFC South for the fourth straight season and Brady praised New Orleans.
"They won the division, they're a great football team, [have] great coaches, a great system [and] so many great players," he said.
"Their defense is phenomenal – a top-five defense, basically, in every category. Great rush, great cover linebackers, they blitz well, a lot of continuity in the secondary [and] a lot of ballhawks in the secondary.
"They've been one of the top teams in the league for a long time and they've had some tough playoff losses [on] some really fluke plays. Other than that, there's not a lot of bad about this team. They're pretty spectacular."
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