Go Back   New Orleans Saints Forums - blackandgold.com > Main > Saints

Saints star Brees thrived as underdog

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Drew Brees relished the underdog role long before he joined the New Orleans Saints in their hurricane-ravaged city. While at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Brees was all smiles when surrounded by less-talented teammates during pick-up games of any ...

Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
Threaded by QBREES9
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Haven Ct
Posts: 23,951

Show Printable Version Email this Page
Rating: (0 votes - average)

Drew Brees relished the underdog role long before he joined the New Orleans Saints in their hurricane-ravaged city.

While at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Brees was all smiles when surrounded by less-talented teammates during pick-up games of any sport.

“When sides are picked, a lot of athletes want to stack the team in their favor with the best players,” said Tom Costas, Brees' flag-football coach at St. Andrew's. “But Drew didn't mind playing with the team that needed the most help. He liked having the odds stacked against him because he was just so doggone competitive.

“To him, it meant a lot more to win when you weren't supposed to. He seemed to thrive on that.”

With Brees set to lead the Saints against favored Indianapolis in the Super Bowl, his former coaches and teammates recalled how his fiercely competitive nature helped him overcome several hurdles on his way to becoming one of the NFL's top quarterbacks.

“Everybody talks about Peyton Manning, and he's a fantastic quarterback. But I like that Drew and the Saints are underdogs,” said Austin attorney Ben De Leon, the nose tackle on the 1996 Austin Westlake team Brees led to the Class 5A Division II state title.

“Drew likes to be told, ‘No.' Tell him he can't come back from a knee injury as a high school junior to play in college, and he will do it. Tell him he's too short to play in the NFL, and he'll do it. Tell him he can't come back after a shoulder injury with San Diego, and he'll do it. Tell him New Orleans can't be rebuilt, and he'll do it.”

Underdeveloped in middle school, Brees lacked arm strength. But his fluid footwork helped him guide St. Andrew's flag-football team to a league title.

“He was like a ballet dancer,” Costas said.

But Brees arrived at Westlake without fanfare.

“I didn't have a tremendous early impression,” said former Westlake offensive coordinator Neal LaHue, now head coach at Roosevelt. “He was a hard-working kid, but he wasn't real strong, although he did have a pretty good arm.”

Brees was on the freshman “B” team, but he made an impression by helping guide the squad to a 10-0 record. He led the junior varsity to the same record the next season, but only after the player ahead of him on the depth chart suffered a knee injury the week before the opener.

“Drew wasn't one of these guys who stepped onto the field in seventh grade and was immediately an All-American,” said former Westlake head coach Ron Schroeder, who is now retired. “He's never been a prima donna. He's always been humble because he's had to work for things. But he's also always been confident.

“As a result, teammates like him. As a result, he makes everyone around him better. As a result, they play better as a team.”

As a junior, Brees led Westlake to the third round of the playoffs before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. His determination came to the fore during rehabilitation.

“Never seen a guy work harder,” LaHue said. “He'd be in the weight room daily with instructions from the (doctor) he'd follow closely.”

Brees' comeback inspired the Chaparrals.

“No one gave us a shot as seniors,” De Leon said. “We were supposed to go 5-5 in a rebuilding year. And Drew wasn't supposed to do anything because of his knee. We took that as motivation.”

With Brees throwing for 3,528 yards and 31 TDs, Westlake went 16-0 and capped the season by trouncing Abilene Cooper 55-15 in the state title game.

The Chaps' playoff victims included MacArthur, Clark and Churchill.

“His accuracy now is unbelievable, but he was also like that in high school,” MacArthur coach Van Fuschak said.

Despite finishing his high school career with 5,416 yards, 50 touchdowns and a 28-0-1 record as a starter, Brees was passed over by colleges in his home state. That included Texas, where his uncle and Gregory-Portland alum, Marty Akins, earned All-America honors as a senior quarterback in 1975.

Brees' maternal grandfather, Ray Akins, spent 24 seasons as head coach at Gregory-Portland.

“(Colleges) worried about Drew's physical makeup,” LaHue said. “He was only 17 as a senior and a shade over 6-foot and had still really not developed. He worked hard with weights, but he wasn't that strong and ran a 4.9, 4.8 40. (Recruiters) also thought he had a long delivery.

“But we laughed at that because he had a 65-plus career completion percentage. I'd tell them, ‘He can get rid of it as fast as he wants to.' And his mechanics were the best you'd ever want to see.”

Brees' leadership skills also stood out.

“He's by far the best leader I've coached,” LaHue said. “He had great enthusiasm and elevated everyone else. He made the scout team players feel just as important as the stars.”

Challenged again, Brees signed with Purdue and went on rewrite the Big Ten record book.

“Drew has worked his butt off his entire career to prove his doubters wrong,” said De Leon, who was a groomsman in Brees' wedding. “I wouldn't bet against him doing it at the Super Bowl.”

Brees’ brushes with San Antonio
Drew Brees was 5-0-1 against San Antonio high school teams in two seasons as Austin Westlake’s starting quarterback. In 1996, he led the Chaparrals (16-0) to the Class 5A Division II state title and was named the 5A Player of the Year. In ’98, he quarterbacked Purdue to an Alamo Bowl victory and earned offensive MVP.


Westlake posts a 26-23 first-round playoff win over Madison on a 44-yard field goal with 12 seconds left.

In the second round, the Chaps tie Marshall 15-15, but advance on offensive penetrations inside the 20-yard line.


Westlake defeats Holmes 28-14 during the regular season.

Westlake beats MacArthur 20-10 in the first round of 5A Division II playoffs at San Marcos’ Bobcat Stadium. Brees, a senior, completes 10 of 19 for 192 yards and two TDs.

Westlake routs Clark 33-19 in the second round at Bobcat Stadium.

Brees throws for 338 yards and three TDs as the Chaps rough up Churchill 49-23 in the first high school playoff game at the Alamodome.


As a sophomore, Brees leads Purdue on an 80-yard scoring drive in the final minute at the Alamodome to upset No. 4 Kansas State 37-34 in the Alamo Bowl. He completes 25 of 53 for 230 yards and three TDs.

Source: Express-News research

Saints star Brees thrived as underdog

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	FBN_saints_brees_0131.ART_GKP84GC6.1_DREW_BREES_GETTY.15515449.jpg
Views:	0
Size:	10.1 KB
ID:	1086  

Views: 1461
Old 02-03-2010, 02:36 PM   #2
Site Donor
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 520
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Saints star Brees thrived as underdog

The only Underdog that I will go to the ends of the earth with! Thanks for the good read! It is nice to see a professional such as Drew continue to motivate and do great things for New Orleans and the Saints! The most blessed people are the ones that ask for nothing in return.
niteadept is offline  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
Bounty Money $$$
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 5800 Airline Dr. Metairie, LA.
Posts: 20,714
Re: Saints star Brees thrived as underdog

Determination can certainly take you a long way. He is an excellent example of the classic underdog that just won't quit.
Rugby Saint II is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:08 PM.

Copyright 1997 - 2020 - BlackandGold.com
no new posts