Taking a moment to appreciate Drew Brees
Monday night was a big one for 39 year-old Drew Brees. The New Orleans Saints quarterback became the NFL’s All-Time Passing Yards leader, surpassing the previous record set by Peyton Manning. Brees set the new mark in the late in the second quarter of the Saints 43-19 win over the Redskins. Brees was able to break the record on a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith.
For as good as Brees has been, he hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves throughout his career. Maybe it’s because nobody in Canada really pays too much attention to the Chargers or the Saints or that they are both smaller markets compared to some of the other teams around the league, but part of it also has to do with some of the other big name quarterbacks that have played at the same time as Brees stealing the spotlight. Despite not getting that attention, Brees is right up there among the best to ever play the game, evident in the numbers that he’s put up throughout his career.
For over a decade, Brees has the face of the New Orleans Saints, so it’s easy to forget that he was once a member of the San Diego Chargers. Brees was a good quarterback for the Chargers, but with Phillip Rivers waiting as the backup, it was clear that there was a controversy just waiting to happen. Brees was franchised by San Diego for the 2005 season and was then offered an incentive-heavy contract the following offseason. He viewed this as the Chargers not having confidence in him and Brees instead began negotiations with other teams. Ultimately, the Saints landed the Austin, Texas native on a 6-year, $60 million contract before the 2006 season.
It was in New Orleans where Brees really went from a good quarterback to one of the best to ever play. He led the league in passing yards seven times since his first season with the Saints in 2006, including his very first season in the black and gold. The list of achievements for Brees over his career is nothing short of impressive. He was the Super Bowl XLIV MVP, Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, First-team All-Pro in 2006, and has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls. He also holds a number of NFL records, including most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, tied for most touchdown passes in a game, highest single-season completion percentage, highest career completion percentage, most completions in a season, most career completions, and of course, most career passing yards.
In case you didn’t know already, this guy is one of the greats. Although he’s just a few months away from turning 40, Brees hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. However, when Brees does decide to hang up the cleats for good, it won’t be long before he ends up in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.