Kirk Cousins remembers exactly where he was on Feb. 3, 2002.
"Oh yeah, I was in seventh grade," the Vikings quarterback said. "I was at a friend's house."
The guy Cousins will face on Sunday in Tampa Bay was on television that evening. He was 24 years old, a second-year player starting at quarterback for the New England Patriots for only the 17th time.
"I remember watching Adam Vinatieri make that kick and remember how impressive it was for only a second-year player in his first year of starting to lead a two-minute drive to win a Super Bowl," Cousins said. "He's never looked back."
Tom Brady smiled this week when Cousins' comments were relayed to him. Brady has been hearing these stories for years from teammates and opponents far younger than the 32-year-old Cousins.
"I get that a lot," Brady said. "I think it's pretty cool, actually."
Sunday's game will be his 337th career start, including playoffs. He's 256-80, including 30-11 in the playoffs and 7-5 in his first season outside of New England.
"I'm out there [Thursday] practicing and thinking, how cool is it that I'm still doing something I love to do?" Brady said. "I know the day I'm not doing it I'm going to miss going out there and throwing the football with the greatest athletes in the world.
"Playing football has been an amazing part of my life. The relationships I've had with teammates and coaches have been special. I think when that day ends, it's going to be very difficult for me. So I try not to take it for granted. I love practicing. I love playing. I love trying to improve my game."
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Brady "looks like the same old guy to me."
"He looks good," Zimmer added. "Moves well in the pocket. Very accurate, really good arm strength, good velocity, sees things really well. And obviously he's been doing this forever."
Bucs coach Bruce Arians was asked if he's able to think long-term with a 43-year-old quarterback.
"I don't see any drop at all," Arians said. "I've had some veteran guys that needed Wednesdays off, and he's not one of those guys. He's amazing that way and how he takes care of himself. He's helped a lot of young players learn about taking care of themselves also."
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