Earlier today, you saw the first installment of my interview with Saints QB Drew Brees, who discussed dealing with unforeseen losses. As part of his venture with Xbox 360, I spoke with Brees about other topics as well.
One thing I really enjoyed was getting his take on the younger brand of QBs in the league. I asked him an open-ended query about quarterback play, and where Brees took it was to discuss the young’ns. Seems Brees is pretty impressed with several QBs around the league.
But first, when I mentioned his struggles, and that of Cam Newton, and that of Aaron Rodgers, he brought up a good point.
“First of all, it’s hard to win in this league,” Brees told me. “Serious. It’s hard. So, no matter if you’re a seasoned veteran quarterback or first- or second-year quarterback, it’s hard. And it doesn’t get any easier.”
Then, Brees got to talking about the younger player at his position, the future.
“I’m extremely impressed with how some of these young quarterbacks have come in and played,” Brees continued. “What was it? Five rookie starters this year. I find that amazing. It just seems like these guys are on such a fast track coming out of college, whether it’s the coaching they get, the offenses they are running, just their exposure. Whatever it is, they just seem so much more well-prepared than I was coming into this league. Just seems like they are light years ahead. And the game continues to evolve.”
Brees then talked about the pressure of the position and the expectations. “At the start of this season, would you have thought the Saints would be 0-3, the Packers would be 1-2, the Broncos would be 1-2, the Broncos would be 1-2 — would anybody have thought any of those things? No, probably not.” I told him each of those starts surprised me, too (except, maybe the Broncos). And Brees continued by saying how there are always surprises at the position. Like in Seattle.
“Did people think Russell Wilson would be a starter in Seattle?” Brees asked me. “No. He’s a third-round pick, he comes out, I’ve been extremely impressed with him. I know he’s a young quarterback and he’s on the learning curve just like every young quarterback comes into this league. I’ve been extremely impressed with some of the things he’s done and I think he has a bright, bright future. It’s easy to talk about Andrew Luck and RGIII, first and second pick of the draft. Obviously those guys have more upside than you could ever imagine. Really, all of them.”
Want one more cool nugget? So, of course, when Brees watches film, he checks out the defense. But he admitted he has a guilty pleasure. Like grabbing a big tub of ice cream and eating it with a fork while watching Steel Magnolias or whatever. Except, well, let him explain.
“As I’m watching film you’re just kinda logging away quarterback performances in your mind,” Brees said. “You know? Like, this next week as I’m preparing for Tampa Bay. Hey, one of the first games I’m going to turn on is that Giants game. I want to see Eli (Manning) in that second half just light it up. I mean, that’s fun to watch. You like watching guys compete, you like watching guys compete and pull themselves out of the tough situation like he did in that first half, that takes guts to fight through that adversity and keep your team from going 0-2. That’s just an example of kinda the stuff I do and how I approach it each week. Obviously, I’m preparing for whoever we’re playing, but I’m also kinda logging away some of those quarterback performances in my mind.“