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9 of the best quotes from Drew Brees' Saints Hall of Fame announcement

Quotes from the legendary No. 9 after his unanimous selection to Saints Hall of Fame

1. On the 15 years he spent as the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints

"The 15 years that I spent here from 2006 to 2020, were 15 of the best years of my life. My wife Brittany and I were embraced by this city, by this organization, by Mrs. Benson and by the unbelievable staff that, you know, it's so great to just, I think, see the consistency throughout this building, so many familiar faces, so many people that have been such a huge part of the success around here, not just on the field, but off the field and in the community. And that's why I feel like this organization has always been the standard-bearer and setter for all of professional sports when it comes to the connection that a team has with its community. And I think we recognized that very quickly back in 2006, when we first arrived here. We hoped that we would be able to make an impact, not just on the field, but off the field. Never in of our wildest dreams could have, imagined that it would be 15 years."

2. On his injury and shoulder surgery following the 2005 season:

"I thought I was going to be (with the San Diego Chargers) forever and all of a sudden it felt like it was taken away from me in the blink of an eye when I had my right shoulder dislocation in the final game of the 2005 season, going into an offseason where I didn't have a contract and, to say things looked bleak and were pretty scary. I mean I take myself there at times and I really thought I might not ever play football again and that was to feel like your dream was just totally being ripped away from you. Best thing I ever did was go see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and have him look at me and say, 'Hey, it's bad, but we'll get through it. And yeah, I'm not even sure the extent of the injury until I get in there and take a look at it.' So, as I was being put under the anesthesia, getting ready for surgery, I still had no idea of what the future held or the extent of the injury, and I'll never forget waking up from or just coming out the anesthesia in the recovery room, and I'm looking at Brittany just going, 'Where's doc, you know, did they have to cut me? Did they have to cut me?' I was saying all kinds of crazy stuff. And Dr. Andrews comes in and basically says, 'If I did that surgery 100 times, I couldn't do it as well as I just did it.' And I said, 'Well, that's that's what you want to hear.'

3. On first meeting with former head coach Sean Payton during his free agency visit:

"Sean Payton immediately gets on the blackboard and starts drawing up my offense from San Diego. And I said, 'Well, wait a minute. I thought we ran the West Coast offense and you know that's your style.' He said, 'No, we're building this thing around you. So, we're taking everything that you're good at and we're going to put you in the best position to succeed, and we're going to do this together.' And so right off the bat, it was like, wow. You know I thought first time head coach coming in with all this pressure and all these expectations and so much to prove, I thought it would have been a my-way-or-the-highway approach all the way, but it was it was much different. He was making it a collaboration and he instilled a ton of confidence in me right away."

4. On his free agency visit to New Orleans:

"To a person, everyone who came up to us at that time said nothing about the New Orleans Saints. They said everything about thank you for wanting to be a part of this city, thank you for considering us, we would love to have you. So, you just felt the culture, you felt the love, you felt what makes this place so unique. And then, of course, Sean (Payton) driving us to Mandeville to show us the house that he's building, saying, 'hey, look, you know, there's places to live. You can raise a family. It's not all devastated.' And then getting lost in Lakeview and, you know, stopping the car because we couldn't drive around the tugboat in the middle of the road. But that was that was when we felt the true calling that we belonged here. And, not many opportunities in life do you get the chance to be a part of something so much greater than yourself. And, it was about resurrecting one of America's greatest cities, and we had a chance to be a part of that and we're forever changed."

5. On the iconic images of him holding Baylen Brees celebrating the win in Super Bowl XLIV:

"It is funny like the visions that you have. And look, I was a sports junkie growing up right. That's all I wanted to do, me and my younger brother Reid, just outside out in the yard playing sports, denting our parents garage with tennis balls, pitching to each other, breaking the neighbor's windows. Don't get any ideas, but just playing ball. You know everything was a competition and everything was visualizing what we hoped to come, right. So, you're on the basketball court. It's five, four, three, two, right, you're making the game-winner. You're sitting there at the free-throw line, having to drain two free throws to win the game. Or you know Ted Williams you know, 3-2 count, bottom of the ninth right, like all that. And so, one of those visions was Super Bowl champion and I'm going to be holding my son. So, when it when it actually happens. It's hard to put into words."

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) with son Baylen after the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The Saints won 31-17.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) with son Baylen after the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The Saints won 31-17.

6. On the importance of being involved in the community when he was here:

"With everything the city had been through when we first got here, we felt like from what we heard just talking to members of the community and everyone was that there had just been so many unkept promises to the community by whoever. And I think right away we wanted to show that we were members of this community and we were going to follow through with everything we said we would do. And … again, this was a calling for us. We felt like the greatest thing we could do was win football games for this community, but more importantly, to help this community rebuild homes, rebuild lives, rebuild the culture and at the same time, you know, I'm rebuilding a career, rebuilding a shoulder, we're thinking about a family. It goes back to that advice that I was given when we first stepped foot in New Orleans. And that was, if you love New Orleans, it'll love you back. And we love New Orleans. And New Orleans loved us back."

7. On if he can still throw:

"I do throw. How do I throw boys?"

Drew Brees' kids: "Lefty."

"Look, I can drop a dime like 30 yards left-handed. Unfortunately, you need a little bit more than that to compete at this level. But yeah, I throw left-handed with the boys, with everything. Anything below my shoulder, below the waist, you know, so any racket sports, golf, that's fine. Just when it gets up here. Just a lot of wear and tear. And look Dr. Andrews told me that. He said at some point he's said 'You're on the fast track to a degenerative shoulder and so at some point this will catch up with you, just all that wear and tear and all the work that was done.' ... I used to use this term prolong my prime. It was like, how long can I just prolong my prime, prolong my prime, you know? And then unfortunately there will be attrition at some point. And yeah, I hung on as long as I could."

8. On pursuing opportunities in broadcasting following his retirement:

"I retired at 42 years old and I played high-level football for 28 years, right, four high school, four college, 20 in the pros. So, two-thirds of my life was dedicated to being the best football player I could be, the best quarterback I could be. Like every decision you make is in and around those parameters. And even I mean, my wife knows that, right? I mean every decision you make, family vacation ... it's all predicated around the training schedule, the recovery schedule, the practice schedule, the this, the that, right. So, you know, all of a sudden in one second that's (it). So like it's there, it'll always be a part of my life and I have a passion for football. I still love the game, I love to coach the game, I love to watch the game, I love to analyze the game and that'll never leave. And so then it's like, OK, well, where's the outlet? And every guy faces this, you know. We got Jahri (Evans) in here coaching now, We got Josh Hill scouting now. So it's always there and you got to feed the flames somehow."

9. On mentoring the next generation of NFL quarterbacks:

"I love being a mentor for guys. I probably had five NFL quarterbacks reach out to me this offseason just to talk right, to talk about concepts, to talk about the situation that they're in, just to talk strategy, to talk life, to talk balance, life balance. So, I love being in that role. I love being in that role and ... I always want to be a resource for the next generation. I feel like that's part of our responsibility. We wouldn't be where we are without having those guys along the way. And now the baton has passed to us to be that next generation of mentors for the guys that are coming up."

The New Orleans Saints announced that Drew Brees and Doug Moreau will be the newest members inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame during the 2024 NFL season in an announcement press conference on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

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