Drew Brees Came Back Early; Here’s Why
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hearing Drew Brees talk about why he was so emphatic about returning to the Saints lineup now instead of waiting two weeks, which most people agree would be the smarter thing to do, brought up a slew of emotions in me about what it really means to play in the NFL.
The most common question I’m asked about my NFL experience is what I miss most. The answer is always, I miss my teammates more than anything – more than fame, money, the adrenaline of performing in front of thousands of fans in huge stadiums, and even more than winning championships.
I totally understand and believe that what brought Brees back was his yearning to be back on the field playing for “his guys.”
“I’m a football player,” Brees said.
This statement couldn’t be more true. If no one was watching and you were paid nothing, football players would play anyway.
There is a built-in part of our DNA that instinctively makes us just want to play our game. Our health, our safety, and our common sense will not preclude us from aching to get out there and play.
The most painful moment of my career was being benched and watching the game from the sidelines I would have given anything to get back on the field and play just one more down.
When you play in the NFL it’s a small brotherhood of the very best players in the world. Every single guy understands how special that is. We know going on the field is dangerous and can be life-threatening, but you willingly go.
A funny thing happens in an NFL huddle, nobody cares about your race, religion or politics they just want to know if you can help them win. If you can help win then you are in for life. It’s too bad that our country can’t spend time in an NFL huddle. We’d all realize we aren’t that much different.
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The Other Reason
There is, I believe, another reason Drew came back that he didn’t talk about – Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater replaced him is played very well, so well the Saints haven’t lost a game in Brees’ absence.
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Brees could be in jeopardy of losing his job. You might say that is crazy talk, but let me teach you another cold hard truth about the NFL. It’s always about “what have you done for me lately”, and by lately I’m talking the past few weeks in most cases.
Yes, even the great Drew Brees, nicest guy to ever play in the NFL, record-breaking, Super Bowl Champion Drew Brees could lose his job.
Everyone is replaceable, ask Drew Bledsoe about no-name, sixth-round pick Tom Brady if you don’t believe me.
It is a remarkable experience playing in the NFL, one I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’m deeply grateful to have had the opportunity for 12 years.
It was amazing, and yes being in the huddle with the guys is by far the greatest part about it.
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