Patrick Mahomes has said that Tom Brady is “the type of greatness that you strive to be like” as he looks to stop the 43-year-old from winning a seventh Super Bowl ring on Sunday, and in turn win his second at the age of 25.
Brady is trying to add to his already record haul of Vince Lombardi trophies by winning his first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs are aiming to become the first team to claim back-to-back Super Bowl titles since Brady’s New England Patriots did it in 2003-04.
Talking to the media on Monday, Mahomes was asked what he admired most in his veteran opponent in Super Bowl LV on Sunday and answered: “The way he is able to dissect defenses before the snap is something that I truly admire. I’m trying to get to that level.
“The way he is able to move within the pocket, reset his feet, and be completely calm, still make the throw right on the money, that’s something I have to continue to work on.
“He’s doing it the right way. And you can tell that by how many Super Bowl championships he has and the number of rings on his fingers.
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“If you’re a young athlete, and you play any sport, if don’t look up to guys like Tom Brady, then you’re crazy.
“The guy has had success year in, year out. He continues to make himself better and not be satisfied with where he’s at.
“He’s the type of greatness that you strive to be like. I grew up watching him play and he’s still here playing – and still at the top of the game.
“I continue to watch him and the things he does on and off the field, in order to make me the best player possible.”
Brady’s show of sportsmanship
Brady and Mahomes have squared off on four previous occasions prior to Sunday’s fifth matchup, with the head-to-head record currently shared at two wins apiece.
Mahomes tied things up as the Chiefs got the better of the Bucs in Week 12 of this season – a 27-24 win on the road in Tampa – but Brady was victorious in the first two encounters, including Mahomes’ only playoff defeat of his career so far, a 37-31 overtime loss in the AFC Championship game two years ago.
After that game, Brady made sure to head for the Chiefs locker room to see Mahomes, to commiserate with the then 23-year-old who had so impressed him and the entire NFL in a stunning first season as a starter in the league.
Asked what were the words of encouragement Brady had for him at that moment, Mahomes said: “It was kind of just affirmation that I was doing things the right way, that I was putting in the right work and that I would have more opportunities to be in these games.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be in two more of them [AFC Championship games] since and win both of those.
“The biggest thing Tom said to me was just to stay with the process and keep being who I am. For him to come talk to me and show me that respect meant I was doing it the right way.
“As a guy who’s had so much success every year he’s been in the NFL, he goes out there every single day and treats it like it’s the most important day. That’s something that I’ll try to do for my entire career.”
Mahomes ‘fired up’ for Super Bowl
Mahomes is ‘fired up’ for the latest, and perhaps even the last, of his meetings with Brady in Super Bowl LV on Sunday.
“If you’re not fired up to play in the Super Bowl, I don’t know what else is going to get you any more fired up?” Mahomes said.
“To be able to play in it, to try to repeat, is enough in itself. But I’m excited for the opportunity to go up against the great and a great football team as well.”
Finally, pressed on the similarities between him and his opposing quarterback on Sunday, Mahomes added: “I think the biggest thing is the competitive drive, he is the same way as I am.
“He’s going to leave everything he has on the field every single time to win.
“I feel like I have that same mentality, that I just want to win no matter how it happens.”
Join us on Sky Sports NFL and Main Event from 10pm on Sunday, February 7 for 90 minutes of Super Bowl LV build-up with Kirk Cousins, Dallas Clark and Cliff Avril joining Neil Reynolds and company; Sky One will broadcast the game from 11pm.
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