By Frank Pingue

 

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Evergreen Tom Brady is showing little sign of slowing down and may be playing at the highest level of his career but the New England Patriots quarterback acknowledged on Monday that "things change quickly".

 

The 40-year-old is well past the age when quarterbacks tend to lose their efficiency and despite previously admitting that he wanted to play well into his 40s, Brady knows he can only win the battle with Father Time for so long.

 

"Well, I never want to be a detriment to the team," Brady told a crowd of reporters during Super Bowl Opening Night ahead of Sunday's NFL title showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

"So I think for me, as long as I'm playing at a high level and I make the commitment to take care of myself year-round, I'll continue to play."

 

Brady, whose team mates presented him with a birthday cake last August that had "old" on it rather than his age, is now one win away from a sixth Super Bowl title which would further cement his legacy as the greatest NFL quarterback of all-time.

The future Hall of Famer, who on Sunday will appear in the eighth Super Bowl of his illustrious career, has maintained that his diet and lifestyle had allowed him to extend his prime.

He started all 16 regular season games for New England and led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards to go along with 32 touchdown passes as he guided the Patriots to a 13-3 record and top seed in the AFC.

Still, the face of a team that many love to hate, knows that despite his desire to keep playing, other factors can suddenly alter the course he has laid out.

"So I don't know, things change quickly. Anything can happen, but obviously I want to keep playing," Brady added. "I love playing. I just love playing for the Patriots."

(Editing by John O'Brien)