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Brees Named Sporting News' Offensive Player of the Year for 2nd Year in a Row

brees-named-sporting-news-offensive-player-of-the-year-for-2nd-year-i-6fac3.jpg
    <span style="">For the second straight season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is Sporting News' NFL offensive player of the year, as selected by a panel of 636 players, coaches and executives.  

Brees received 299 first-place votes from the 583 players polled. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was second with 166.

Brees in 2009 didn't come close to matching his 5,069 passing yards from 2008, but he did throw just as many touchdowns (34) and six fewer interceptions. He also led the league in passer rating (109.6), set an NFL record for completion percentage (70.6) and became a local legend in a city not known for winning football.

"He's a big deal," Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson says in the new issue of Sporting News Magazine. "When you think of Louisiana, people automatically think of 'down South,' maybe Cajun stuff and all that. And here in New Orleans you may think of Mardi Gras, the French Quarter and the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees."

Not since Fran Tarkenton in 1975 has a QB 6-0 or shorter led the NFL in TD passes, as Brees did in '09.

"My height was of no consequence for me, and obviously it was of no consequence for Drew," Tarkenton says in the new issue of Sporting News Magazine. "Because if you know how to play, if you know how to find receivers, read defenses, be accurate with the football and make good decisions—and he knows how to do all those things—it doesn't matter whether you are 6-9 or 6 feet. You don't throw over defensive linemen, you throw between them.''

Not since Bobby Hebert was New Orleans' starting quarterback in 1992 have the Saints won 12 games. Brees has led New Orleans to a franchise-record 13 wins heading into Saturday's divisional round showdown with Arizona.

"He's a franchise player," Hebert tells SN. "Locally, what Chris Paul means to the Hornets, Drew means to the Saints. You look at market value, but it even goes beyond that. Look at Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, whoever has been consistent in that position—look at the supporting casts. Drew is going to the Pro Bowl, and, realistically, who else is going to the Pro Bowl from that offense?"

Not since Peyton Manning, who is on his second such run, has a quarterback thrown for 4,000 yards in four straight seasons, as Brees has from 2006-09.

"I've always believed in trying to be a better player the next year than you were the year before, using your offseason, using your experiences, the positives and the negatives, and trying to be a better player for it," Manning tells SN. "… Drew seems like he does a great job of using all his receivers. He spreads the ball around and has a lot of receivers making plays for him."

Brees is the quarterback on SN's all-pro team, which is headlined by three Minnesota Vikings and two Saints. The entire offense:

  • QB Drew Brees, Saints: Offensive player of the year's 109.6 passer rating is seventh-best ever
  • RB Chris Johnson, Titans: Became the sixth back to run for 2,000 yards, set league record for yards from scrimmage
  • RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings: Fifth in the league with 1,383 rushing yards
  • WR Andre Johnson, Texans: Second wide receiver ever with two straight 1,500-yard seasons
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: Tied for No. 1 in TD catches in two straight seasons
  • TE Dallas Clark, Colts: Led all tight ends with 100 catches
  • T Ryan Clady, Broncos: Allowed his first sack in his 21st NFL game
  • G Steve Hutchinson, Vikings: Blocked for a 1,300-yard runner and a 4,200-yard passer
  • C Nick Mangold, Jets: Despite starting a rookie QB, only nine teams allowed fewer sacks
  • G Jahri Evans, Saints: New Orleans averaged a league-high 31.9 points
  • T Jake Long, Dolphins: Two seasons, two Pro Bowl berths for the former Michigan star
  • K David Akers, Eagles: Tied for the league lead with 32 field goals
  • KR Percy Harvin, Vikings: Rookie finished fourth in average (27.5 yards), tied for second in TDs (two)
    The complete NFL awards package can be found in the new Sporting News Magazine, which arrives later this week at all Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets. SN will announce other award winners throughout the week.

More can be found at sportingnews.com:

brees-named-sporting-news-offensive-player-of-the-year-for-2nd-year-i-6fac3.jpg
    <span style="">For the second straight season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is Sporting News' NFL offensive player of the year, as selected by a panel of 636 players, coaches and executives.  

Brees received 299 first-place votes from the 583 players polled. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was second with 166.

Brees in 2009 didn't come close to matching his 5,069 passing yards from 2008, but he did throw just as many touchdowns (34) and six fewer interceptions. He also led the league in passer rating (109.6), set an NFL record for completion percentage (70.6) and became a local legend in a city not known for winning football.

"He's a big deal," Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson says in the new issue of Sporting News Magazine. "When you think of Louisiana, people automatically think of 'down South,' maybe Cajun stuff and all that. And here in New Orleans you may think of Mardi Gras, the French Quarter and the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees."

Not since Fran Tarkenton in 1975 has a QB 6-0 or shorter led the NFL in TD passes, as Brees did in '09.

"My height was of no consequence for me, and obviously it was of no consequence for Drew," Tarkenton says in the new issue of Sporting News Magazine. "Because if you know how to play, if you know how to find receivers, read defenses, be accurate with the football and make good decisions—and he knows how to do all those things—it doesn't matter whether you are 6-9 or 6 feet. You don't throw over defensive linemen, you throw between them.''

Not since Bobby Hebert was New Orleans' starting quarterback in 1992 have the Saints won 12 games. Brees has led New Orleans to a franchise-record 13 wins heading into Saturday's divisional round showdown with Arizona.

"He's a franchise player," Hebert tells SN. "Locally, what Chris Paul means to the Hornets, Drew means to the Saints. You look at market value, but it even goes beyond that. Look at Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, whoever has been consistent in that position—look at the supporting casts. Drew is going to the Pro Bowl, and, realistically, who else is going to the Pro Bowl from that offense?"

Not since Peyton Manning, who is on his second such run, has a quarterback thrown for 4,000 yards in four straight seasons, as Brees has from 2006-09.

"I've always believed in trying to be a better player the next year than you were the year before, using your offseason, using your experiences, the positives and the negatives, and trying to be a better player for it," Manning tells SN. "… Drew seems like he does a great job of using all his receivers. He spreads the ball around and has a lot of receivers making plays for him."

Brees is the quarterback on SN's all-pro team, which is headlined by three Minnesota Vikings and two Saints. The entire offense:

  • QB Drew Brees, Saints: Offensive player of the year's 109.6 passer rating is seventh-best ever
  • RB Chris Johnson, Titans: Became the sixth back to run for 2,000 yards, set league record for yards from scrimmage
  • RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings: Fifth in the league with 1,383 rushing yards
  • WR Andre Johnson, Texans: Second wide receiver ever with two straight 1,500-yard seasons
  • WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: Tied for No. 1 in TD catches in two straight seasons
  • TE Dallas Clark, Colts: Led all tight ends with 100 catches
  • T Ryan Clady, Broncos: Allowed his first sack in his 21st NFL game
  • G Steve Hutchinson, Vikings: Blocked for a 1,300-yard runner and a 4,200-yard passer
  • C Nick Mangold, Jets: Despite starting a rookie QB, only nine teams allowed fewer sacks
  • G Jahri Evans, Saints: New Orleans averaged a league-high 31.9 points
  • T Jake Long, Dolphins: Two seasons, two Pro Bowl berths for the former Michigan star
  • K David Akers, Eagles: Tied for the league lead with 32 field goals
  • KR Percy Harvin, Vikings: Rookie finished fourth in average (27.5 yards), tied for second in TDs (two)
    The complete NFL awards package can be found in the new Sporting News Magazine, which arrives later this week at all Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets. SN will announce other award winners throughout the week.

More can be found at sportingnews.com:

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