Drew Brees Opens Up About His Transition from the Field to the Broadcast Booth Ahead of New Orleans Return: ‘Using Different Muscles’

Drew Brees is a legend in New Orleans. He spent 15 of his 20 NFL seasons playing quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. After his football career ended, Brees decided to embark on a new journey. The future Hall of Famer transitioned over to a career in sports media, setting him up for a special Thanksgiving moment in the Big Easy.

Drew Brees will call Saints-Bills game on Thanksgiving

Former Saints quarterback looks on during an NFL game
NBC Sports analyst Drew Brees stands on sideline during game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys | Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Drew Brees now works as an NFL analyst for NBC Sports’ Football Night in America. He appears weekly to recap the day’s action and discuss the upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup.

NBC will be broadcasting the late game on Thanksgiving Day, featuring the New Orleans Saints and the Buffalo Bills. Brees won’t just be covering the game this time around. He’s actually stepping into the broadcast booth for the first time.

The former Saints signal-caller will be calling the game alongside Mike Tirico, with Michelle Tafoya reporting from the sidelines.

The atmosphere at the Caesars Superdome will undoubtedly be electric, especially with the Saints and Bills each having a lot to play for and playoff implications on the line.

It’s only right that Drew Brees’ first time broadcasting an NFL game comes in the city where he helped rebuild a franchise.

Brees has a bright future in sports media

Drew Brees did pretty much everything there was to do on the football field. He’s made 13 Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl, and set multiple records. Now, he’s settling in with the next stage of his career.

Even though he’s no longer playing, Brees’ passion couldn’t allow him to stay away from the game for too long. In an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, he spoke about the challenge of making the transition from the field to the broadcast booth.

“It’s a different skill set,” said Brees. “It’s using different muscles. First off, broadcasting and in-studio work are two different things. Broadcasting, to me, is like playing the game. I prepare and watch film the same way. I think about how I would be attacking the opposing team. It’s just a matter of being able to articulate to the fans listening and watching.

Brees says working in the studio at NBC Sports presents a different challenge.

“You go in the studio, and it’s much quicker,” he said. “You have a lot more to get through in a very short amount of time. You’re trying to give a synopsis of what happened throughout the entire day. Broadcasting is college football, and in-studio is NFL. You have to have this knowledge base of the general landscape of both.

Each week, Drew Brees seems more comfortable on set. If he brings the same passion to broadcasting that he brought to the game, he’s going to enjoy a successful post-playing career.

The former QB opens up on his return to New Orleans


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You can’t talk about the New Orleans Saints and not mention Drew Brees.

The 42-year-old former quarterback helped the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area. His talents on the football field and leadership off of it brought light during a tough time.

Having enjoyed such a long career in the NFL, Brees holds a special bond with New Orleans.

The All-Pro will probably need to try and contain himself during the Saints-Bills broadcast. He’s returning to the Superdome for the first time since retiring, and it will undoubtedly be a special moment.

“My last time in the Dome was unfortunately with no fans,” said Brees. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in the Dome with the screaming Who Dat nation and all that energy. This will be an incredible moment. It’s under weird circumstances since I’m there to broadcast a game, but it’ll be great to feel that one more time.

The Saints will be honoring No. 9 at halftime of the game. His contributions to the organization have been invaluable over the years.

Drew Brees may not be suiting up, but his high football I.Q. will still be on full display on Thanksgiving.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.