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New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees in elite company with New England Patriots' Tom Brady

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees in elite company with New England Patriots' Tom Brady By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune November 26, 2009, 8:00AM Susan Poag/The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads the league with 22 touchdown passes.The quarterback hierarchy ...

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Old 11-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees in elite company with New England Patriots' Tom Brady
By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune
November 26, 2009, 8:00AM

Susan Poag/The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees leads the league with 22 touchdown passes.The quarterback hierarchy in the NFL seemed etched in stone -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees.

However, with each 300-yard
passing game and every New Orleans Saints victory, Brees' legacy is growing. Once clearly behind Brady, the New England Patriots' three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Brees is considered an equal in some circles, even without a Super Bowl ring.

"I don't know. I really can't rank them, " said New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, whose team will face the Saints on Monday night. "(Brees) is a great football player. He's done a tremendous job down there for New Orleans. The last three years, he has more attempts, completions, touchdowns, more yardage than anybody else in football, so I don't think there's too many people you can put ahead of him.

"He's done an awful lot, and he's won a lot of games. He's a top-quality quarterback. The other guys you mentioned are pretty good too, but they're all up there together in my book."

When Brees and Brady meet Monday night, it will be billed as a clash between two of the NFL's best quarterbacks.

And with good reason. Brady has been the poster boy of the NFL for years with his calm demeanor and his ability to rally his team late in games, and Brees has thrust himself into the national spotlight by posting mind-boggling statistics and leading the Saints to a 10-0 start.

"These two guys are CEOs -- they understand everything that's going on all the time, and the bigger the moment, the better their performances, " ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said. "They are great talents, and they are in great systems that accentuate their talents. They've been at it for a while, and their supporting casts help a lot also."

Gruden's partner in the "Monday Night Football" booth, Ron Jaworski, agreed.

"They both have a good supporting cast, and they are both veteran guys in the same system for a number of years, " Jaworski said. "There comes a point when your athletic talent meets your mental talent, and I think they are both at the top of their games right now both physically and mentally. It's not surprising that they are both having absolutely phenomenal years."




Click to open graphic in new window.Indeed. Brees started the season on a torrid pace, throwing nine touchdowns in the first two games. He has barely slowed since, completing 218 of 320 passes for 2,746 yards and 22 touchdowns with nine interceptions. Brees' 22 touchdown passes lead the NFL, and his 105.8 passer rating ranks second.

Meanwhile, Brady has been putting up gaudy numbers, as well, completing 261 of 393 passes for 3,049 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. His passing yardage ranks second in the league, and the touchdown passes rank fourth.

Brees is flattered by the comparison of the two, but he knows that despite his passing yardage, Brady has three Super Bowl titles and he has none.

"It's an honor to be put anywhere near the same category as him, " Brees said Wednesday. "I think he's an exceptional player and has been for a long time. He will go down as one of the best of all time. I definitely think if you just stood the two of us next to each other, we wouldn't look anything alike, so maybe you'd say that our styles are a little different.

"But in the end, you want the result to be the same -- you win football games and you win championships. Obviously, he has three and I'm still trying to get that first. I have a lot of respect for him."

Lately, the fans are showing a lot more respect for Brees.

Brees, despite playing in one of the NFL's smallest markets, continues to be the league's highest vote-getter in Pro Bowl voting, with 539,228 votes. The Colts' Manning is second with 532,455 votes, and Brady (295,477) is seventh.

But everybody doesn't agree with the fan voting.

"Obviously, I favor Tom, " Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said Wednesday. "I was with Drew in San Diego when I started out, so I know Drew well. The type of work ethic he brings is obviously a big asset to what the Saints have been able to do this year and in years past. He's definitely a great player, one of the league's best, and you can't say enough good things about the guy, the type of leadership and the type of play he brings every week."

Saints fullback Heath Evans, who is on injured reserve, spent the previous four seasons playing with Brady and the Patriots. He said the two are very similar because they are both so cerebral.

"They have been blessed by God with a great brain, " Evans said. "End of story. Most people don't think as accurately or as quickly as they do. The stuff that they can see and process in a 15-second window of time, I wish I could think like that. So does my wife. But at the end of the day, they are smarter than everyone else."

Brees doesn't want the comparisons to go too far, though.

Instead of billing the game as a battle of the two of the top quarterbacks, Brees would rather the attention to be focused on the Saints and the Patriots.

"I'm not trying to make this game any bigger than it is, and I'm certainly not trying to make it quarterback against quarterback, " Brees said. "Obviously, his play has a lot to do with their success, and my play has a lot to do with our success, just being the quarterbacks of these teams.

"In the end, I'm excited for the opportunity because you like to share the field with guys like that, guys that are considered the best, and get an opportunity to compete. My offense is trying to score more than his offense, but it's certainly not me against him in any way. But it is exciting to share the field with guys like that."

Still, it may not be fair to have to pick between Brees and Brady, anyway.

"Any given day, one could be better than the other, " Evans said. "No one is perfect in this league. Those two guys will be the first one to tell you that. You are going to see certain Sundays when Drew is the best player on the planet, and you are going to see other Sundays when Tommy is Tommy Brady.

"Throw Peyton Manning into the mix, and who are you going to choose? I'll take any of them, because they are all winners and they've proven they could do it over time

New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees in elite company with New England Patriots' Tom Brady | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

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