New Orleans Saints legend Drew Brees officially retired from the NFL after a decorated playing career and left a huge impact on football. The Austin, Texas native is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and ranks second in touchdown passes and completion percentage.
Not only was Brees an incredible quarterback, but he was also an exceptional teammate. Despite being a future Hall of Famer, Brees never carried himself as someone bigger than the team and always went out of his way to help fellow quarterbacks on the Saints.
That’s why one of Drew Brees’ former teammates is really going to miss him next season.
Drew Brees was a spectacular quarterback
In 287 games with the Chargers and Saints, Drew Brees threw for 80,358 yards and 571 touchdowns while completing 67.7% of his passes. The 13-time Pro Bowler compiled a record of 172-114.
Brees led the Saints to their only Super Bowl in franchise history. New Orleans defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44 by a final score of 31-17. Brees won Super Bowl MVP after outplaying Peyton Manning.
Although Brees never got back to a second Super Bowl, he’s universally recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Brees threw for more than 5,000 yards in a season five different times. No other quarterback has done it more than once.
What truly made Brees special, though, wasn’t what he did on the football field. It was how he carried himself in the locker room, connected with his teammates, and inspired them to be great.
It’s for these aforementioned reasons why one of Drew Brees’ former teammates became emotional while speaking to Saints reporters.
Jameis Winston breaks down while discussing Drew Brees
During a Zoom call with Saints reporters, Jameis Winston became very emotional while talking about Drew Brees. The former No. 1 overall pick spoke about the last moments he shared with Brees on the field and the impact the gunslinger had on him.
“Being able to have an entire season with Drew Brees was a dream of mine,” Winston said, via ESPN. “For him to put his arm around me — or just give me any encouraging words — after I saw the resilience, the passion, the way that he approached every single day; for that to even be a story, I was touched by that. Because he doesn’t even know how much he means to me and my family. For real.”
Winston is expected to compete for the Saints’ starting quarterback job with Taysom Hill after Brees announced his retirement. The one-time Pro Bowler is 28-42 as a starter in the NFL and has 121 passing touchdowns and 88 interceptions.
Jameis Winston knows that replacing someone like Drew Brees comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility. It will be interesting to see if he can beat Taysom Hill for the starting spot and get his career on track.
How will the Saints do in 2021?
With Drew Brees under center, the Saints were perennial Super Bowl contenders. Now that he’s gone, many experts believe New Orleans will struggle to compete in the NFC.
Jameis Winston is a better quarterback than Taysom Hill, who is more of a running option. If the former Florida State star can cut down on his turnovers and make big plays in the passing game, the Saints should be fine in 2021.
Stats courtesy of Football Reference.