A day after Saints QB Drew Brees headlined Week 1 of NFL action by throwing six touchdowns against the Lions — the most ever in a season opener – it was time to turn to NFL Network’s Mike Martz for some insight.
Martz, part of the former head coaching trifecta with Steve Mariucci and Jim Mora that makes up the Coaches Show on NFL Network, used to coach some guy named Kurt Warner and orchestrate an offense called The Greatest Show on Turf.
As Martz says, there’s no way to argue that Brees isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL right now. So what makes Brees exceptional?
“He’s exceptional in a lot of categories,” Martz said. “I think his accuracy is exceptional. I don’ t know if there’s a more accurate passer in the league. I’d like to see him if there is. The league is full of really good and some really elite quarterbacks, which is unusual. But he is elite in his accuracy. He is elite in his understanding, his awareness and football intelligence. He has terrific feet. He may not have a cannon, but he has plenty of arm strength. He makes all the throws. His anticipation, what he sees, that’s what I remember about Kurt Warner.”
A key point of this conversation, according to Martz, is that Brees has yet to plateau in his career — he keeps getting better. Brees is exceptionally quick with the football, and in an offense where head coach Sean Payton continues to push the envelope with his quarterback and offense, Brees is given every opportunity to do what he’s now doing. In fact, in a post earlier today, NFL Network’s Solomon Wilcots called Payton the NFL’s best offensive play-caller.
In many ways, Brees’ situation with the Saints is reminiscent of two other elite quarterbacks — Dan Fouts and Dan Marino. In fact, looking quickly at the numbers, Brees has 5,084 passing yards in his last 16 games, the same total as Marino’s 1984 single-season record.
Time to recognize not only Brees’ elite status, but what makes him elite.