By : Damian Adams
In life, there are a lot of things we take for granted like, the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, and Drew Brees throwing for at least 4,500 yards. Brees has been so consistently great that we just don’t appreciate what he does each and every week. Drew Brees and Sean Payton are the two biggest reasons the New Orleans Saints are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL. Before Drew Brees came to New Orleans, the Saints had only one playoff victory in the franchise’s history. Number 9 has led the Saints to several playoff wins, including a victory in Super Bowl 44. Brees’ resume should put him in the all-time great discussions but when fans, analyst, or even players have debates about the top five quarterbacks of all time, Drew Brees is usually omitted from the conversation.
Why is that?
When football fans and analyst list the all time greats, the usual suspects are Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Dan Marino, and John Elway among others. Brees’ stats stand up to or even eclipse all of these quarterbacks in several areas. Brees has led the league in completion percentage three times, while more highly regarded quarterbacks like Elway and Aaron Rodgers never did it, Marino and Brady only did it once, and Peyton Manning lead the league in completion percentage twice. There are several more examples of stats like these, Brees has led the league in passing yards six times, while quarterbacks who are considered historically better like; Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers never accomplished that feat, Elway only did that once, Brett Favre and Brady did it twice, Peyton Manning did it three times, and Dan Marino led the league in passing yards five times. Drew Brees has also led the league in passing touchdowns four times, while Rodgers and Elway have never did that, and Montana only accomplished that feat twice.
Drew Brees detractors like to point out that he did not excel with stats like this until he got in Sean Payton’s system. Sean Payton designed this offense around Drew Brees’ skill set, I don’t know if any quarterbacks would be this productive in this system. Brees also has never had a great wide receiver while Joe Montana had Jerry Rice, Peyton Manning had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and later on Demaryius Thomas, John Elway had Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey, and Rod Smith, Brett Favre had Sterling Sharpe, Tom Brady had Randy Moss and now Rob Gronkowski. Drew Brees’ best receiver was Marques Colston, a seventh round pick out of Hofstra University. Brees had a very productive Jimmy Graham for a few years. Drew helped cover up a lot of short comings that Graham has, which are now being exposed since Graham got traded to Seattle. The saints do have Brandin Cooks now, who may turn into a top tier receiver. Drew Brees has made a lot of receivers look very good, but once they leave New Orleans their production goes down drastically. Just ask Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, and Kenny Stills, just to name a few.
There are so many reasons that point out why Drew Brees is a top five quarterback all time. Brees has thrown for over 5,000 yards in a season, four times. He is the only quarterback to accumulate that many passing yards in a season more than once. Brees has completed 66.4% of his passes during his career, which is the best in NFL history.
During this NFL season don’t forget to appreciate the constants, make sure to stop and smell the grass, listen to the sounds, and feel the Brees.