PHOENIX – Bill Belichick has said often that he does not intend to continue coaching when he reaches his 70s. The Patriots head coach turns 65 next month, so, it would seem that the clock is ticking.
"I hope he coaches till his 80s," Patriots owner Robert Kraft smiled during a respite from the many committee meetings and general sessions in which he's taking part at the 2017 NFL Annual Meeting. "I see [investor] Warren Buffet and [media mogul] Rupert Murdoch, they're in their mid-80s, and they're performing at a pretty high level. So, we've got to keep Bill healthy."
Belichick might look no further than his quarterback, Tom Brady, who turns 40 this year and continues to maintain that he has no immediate plans to leave the game.
"Well, as recently as two, three days ago," Kraft revealed, "he assured me he'd be willing to play six, seven more years at the level he performed [this past year]. There's no one that would be happier than me... and our fan base!"
Brady often attributes his longevity, in large part, to a strict workout regimen and austere diet that includes such rare items as avocado ice cream. Despite all his success, though, Brady remains, according to Kraft, essentially the same person whom the Patriots drafted in the sixth round in 2000.
"I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable," added Kraft, who will turn 76 this June. "It's a lifestyle. He's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. The only thing that's changed [over the years] is how he eats, his diet... I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it."
Even without the bizarre menu items, Kraft seems to be doing just fine for himself. He's a member of six NFL committees here in Phoenix and looking as enthused as ever for another football season to begin in 2017.