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Bill Belichick: Tom Brady's diet isn't for everyone

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As Tom Brady turns 40 today, his longevity as a Lombardi-compiling football icon takes on new focus.

The Patriots quarterback has made diet a laser-focused staple of his holistic plan to play deep into his fifth decade.

Constant hydration, limited spirits and plant-based recipes -- sans nightshades -- are staples of Brady's nutrition plan.

While a smattering of teammates have latched on to his regimen, including All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn't believe Brady's diet is for everyone.

"Well, we tailor everything we do to each individual, so we train players that are 185 pounds, we train players that are 350 pounds," Belichick said Wednesday, per Phil Perry of CSN New England. "We train players that have a lot of different things they do on the football field. Some are very specific, like specialists, like quarterbacks, kickers, snappers, things like that. Some players have a very extensive role -- special teams, offense or defense, first, second, third downs -- so we have different training programs.

"And again, each individual is different -- their age, their physical makeup, their build and their strength and explosion and power and so forth. You know, we have a certain general way of training everybody, but it really becomes pretty specific depending on the individual and what we ask them to do. So, we don't want to train a player to do something that we're not going to ask them to do. Unless it's just part of the general training, we want to train players to do things that fall in line with what we would see them and ask them to perform on the field.

"So, depending on what the player is, then probably his age, his experience, his physical makeup, other medical issues, if there are any, his role and so forth all is part of what we look at for each individual player. So, what's right for one person isn't necessarily right for the next person. Not saying it's wrong, but maybe there's something better we can do for the other person."

Full disclosure: I spent large parts of the spring and summer testing Brady's diet after purchasing his rather expensive and exclusive nutrition manual. Having made roughly 30 dinners from the cookbook, my conclusion is that many of the meals tasted great, were completely filling and loomed as some of the healthiest dishes I've eaten in years. On the flip side, I'm not a talented cook. It took me nearly an hour to concoct most recipes, even when the ingredients were purchased through his partnership with Purple Carrot -- which isn't a cheap arrangement for the average human.

That's what it kind of boiled down to for me: Brady isn't the average human. While this meal plan works for him, it isn't for everyone. And to Belichick's point, it might not be what's best for a run-of-the-mill 300-pound guard. What Belichick is also reminding people is that the Patriots aren't lost in the woods when it comes to building a training and nutrition plan for their players.

Brady has devised one that fits him perfectly -- he's a living example of its benefits -- but it's a stretch to suggest that everybody in the NFL should line up and follow suit.

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