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Rose Minutaglio and Reagan Alexander
July 12, 2017 02:53 PM

Everybody makes mistakes, even NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers star, who split from girlfriend Olivia Munn in the spring, opened up to PEOPLE about his sustained success, overcoming regrets — and the importance of mentorship and friendship in his sport.

“As much as it feels like you don’t need any help, we all need help,” Rodgers, 33, told PEOPLE Tuesday evening at the Gatorade Player of the Year awards, one day before he competes against fellow nominees in the best NFL player category at the ESPY Awards. “I needed help back then, and I needed to probably listen better as a younger player.

“You figure it out as you go, you make mistakes, but being open to those older voices in your life, and those mentors, can help you avoid some of the mistakes that we all [likely] made at a young age.”

Rodgers attributes his longtime success as a quarterback (he is entering his 13th NFL season) to “clean living.”

The star even takes caloric cues from his pal Tom Brady, who has an extremely strict diet including no nightshade veggies like potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, and earlier this year launched a plant-based meal kit plan with Purple Carrot.

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“I don’t have a cookbook out yet,” jokes Rodgers. “And I still have to improve in some areas!”

“I can’t give up some of the nightshades, but I think Tom sets a good example, and we have been friends for a whole and talk about a number of things,” he continues. “He has kind of set the standard for taking care of your body.”

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