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Brees Again Eager to Prove Worth

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Brees again eager to prove worth Wednesday, May 17, 2006 Peter Finney, Times-Picayune Prove it. In a way, those two words have occupied a special place on the motivational wall of Drew Brees, from childhood to manhood. The Saints quarterback ...

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Old 05-17-2006, 08:53 AM   #1
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Brees Again Eager to Prove Worth

Brees again eager to prove worth

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Peter Finney, Times-Picayune

Prove it.

In a way, those two words have occupied a special place on the motivational wall of Drew Brees, from childhood to manhood.

The Saints quarterback now is at work writing another chapter to an ongoing saga that has found every step to success to be more of a pole vault than a hurdle.

If you wondering why the San Diego Chargers allowed someone who had thrown for 80 touchdowns as a starter to get away, it was not because Brees had lost his dogged competitiveness or his qualities as a leader.

It was because they believed he was too much of a risk after undergoing major surgery on his throwing shoulder.

That was a few days into 2006.

Here we are, 137 days into a new year, and you have Brees throwing from 80-to-90 passes, 30-yard passes, three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and throwing another 40 on Tuesday and Thursday.

The throwing follows a five-day-a-week schedule that begins at 7 a.m. in the Saints training room, beginning with the usual rehab routine involving heat, stretching and a variety of core exercises that continue into the early afternoon.

"I've beaten every goal the doctors set for me," Brees said. "But, at the same time, I'm being cautious. I don't want to fall victim of trying to come back too fast."

Brees was injured in the final game of the regular season against Denver on New Year's Eve, a Saturday. Four days later, he was on an operating table.

Brees was out of a sling ahead of schedule, and he had regained the range of motion in his arm in April, a month ahead of what was predicted.

"For me, the toughest period was right after surgery, sitting there in a sling, in a La-Z-Boy, watching the playoffs," he said. "That had to be the lowest of the low."

But, for Brees, it also was a time for reflection and optimism.

"When I was a junior in high school, I tore my ACL," he said. "I look back on that as the turning point in my career. Why? Because I came back from that knee injury stronger than I was before, physically and mentally."

But, in the eyes of college recruiters, at least in the Lone Star State, the injury was a negative. Here was a guy, named after Dallas Cowboy star Drew Pearson, whose granddad was one of the winningest high school coaches in Texas history, whose uncle was an all-conference quarterback at Texas. Here was an all-state quarterback out of Austin who had taken his team to the state championship, who threw for 50 touchdowns in his last two seasons, and he didn't get a call from the schools that were 1-2 on his list, the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies.

For that, Purdue would become eternally thankful to welcome such a quarterback. But remember this: Before a not-yet-six-foot Brees would take the Boilermakers to a Big Ten championship, and into the Rose Bowl, before he would beat Ohio State with a last-minute pass to his tight end (his fourth option), he had to beat out a junior college quarterback his coach brought in just in case Brees might be what others were saying, "too short and too slow."

Along the way, Coach Nick Saban of Michigan State saw Brees and said, "he reminds me of Joe Montana. He makes you feel you're about to do something big against him, and he does something big against you. That's very frustrating for a coach and for a team."

Still, once Brees made the jump to the NFL, it was the same song: Prove it.

After two seasons as a starter with San Diego, Brees, coming off a year in which he threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (11), found himself as the likely backup to 6-5 rookie Philip Rivers. Which is when Brees proceeded to throw for 27 touchdowns and only seven picks to become the league's Comeback Player of the Year as he took the Chargers to their first division title in 10 years.

That's nice.

But now, once more, thanks to shoulder surgery, it's prove it time.

It wasn't long before Brees was talking to two quarterbacks -- Rich Gannon and Chad Pennington -- who sustained rotator cuff injuries.

"I wanted to get some of their thoughts on how their rehab went," he said. "Chad was injured twice. He said one of his mistakes was trying to come back too fast.

"My injury was unique. The labrum (a ligament that deepens the socket and provides stability to the shoulder joint) was completely severed. But it was repaired without having to cut through any muscle, which helped speed the rehab process."

When the Saints regroup for a three-day minicamp next month, Brees will be doing, as he put it, "more than they said I'd be doing in June."

The game he's been playing throughout his football life -- Prove It -- still is going on.


8)

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Old 05-17-2006, 08:55 AM   #2
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Old 05-17-2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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Yes he'll prove it.

I think he is going to be so much better than Brooks. It will be nice to see a true leader on the field. He doesn't think that anyone owes him respect, he is just going to go earn it.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:04 PM   #4
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RE: Yes he

Here we are, 137 days into a new year, and you have Brees throwing from 80-to-90 passes, 30-yard passes, three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and throwing another 40 on Tuesday and Thursday.
I love that line. If he's throwing 30 yards now, he should be fine come openning day.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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RE: Yes he

I hope he makes it all the way back. It's quite a fall from Brees to Martin.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:11 PM   #6
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I hope he makes it all the way back. It's quite a fall from Brees to Martin.
No kidding! At least it won't be Bouman.
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