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Brees Ranked No. 9 on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011

QB is one of five Saints players to make the list


QB Drew Brees came in at No. 9 on the NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011" that was revealed Sunday night.

Brees was presented by Head Coach Sean Payton and LB Jonathan Vilma on the show.

Brees is was one of five Saints players in the rankings as OL Jahri Evans (No. 34), Vilma (No. 37), WR Marques Colston (No. 53) and OL Carl Nicks (No. 55) also made the list.

Brees was selected by teammates as one of five season-long captains in 2011 He started all 16 regular season games and NFC Wild Card playoff contest. He completed 448-of-658 (68.1%) for 4,620 yards with 33 touchdown passes and a 90.8 passer rating. He was the first Saint to be selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls since WR Joe Horn (2000-02).

Since joining New Orleans in 2006, Brees has passed for 22,918 yards, the most passing yards by a quarterback over any five-year span in NFL history. He has had 37 300-yard passing games during his New Orleans tenure, also the most by a player over any five-year period in league annals.

Additional video content on the "Top 100 Players" series can be found at

Below are quotes from the Saints Head Coach and defensive captain from Sunday's show.

Head Coach Sean Payton on Drew Brees:

"Drew Brees is an elite quarterback for a number of reasons. No. 1, he is a fantastic athlete. He has tremendous feet. He is exceptionally strong and quick with his delivery. He is one of the most accurate passers I have ever seen."

"He is an equal opportunity distributor. In other words, if you are one of the five eligible receivers in the passing game, you have a chance of getting the football."

"At the (quarterback) position, you are looking for all these aspects that go into winning football games and you consistently see them with him."

"Clearly, Drew has a pretty good idea of what we are thinking in regards to situations. He does a great job in the huddle."

"He is his own worst critic. He is always looking for any way to get better."

"I would point to one drive at the Super Bowl. It was the fourth quarter. We needed a score and he was 7-7 on the drive on the biggest spot in the biggest game that there was."

"We all love to try to find a slot for players and I know his slot in is in the best right now. We will let everyone else select where they see these guys fitting but I love that he is our quarterback."

LB Jonathan Vilma on Drew Brees:

"In the linebacker room one day, we were watching practice and he had zinged one in there pretty good. We decided that we were going to look him up on YouTube. He was going against an Olympic archer and (Brees) actually hit 10-10 on the bullseye and the Olympic archer went 7-10. We said 'thank God he is on our team.'"

"When you have a defense on their heels and our offense is rolling on and getting first downs like that they do, that is really what demoralizes a team in my opinion."

Now the defense is thinking 'man, we can't stop them. What are we doing wrong? We have to fix this and we have to fix that.'"

"He prepares as hard as anybody I have seen. He stands out because it is nonstop. It's like a machine. Every day he is here. He is on it. He is grinding and it is about football."

"I remember how competitive it got between myself and Drew during one OTA (Organized Team Activity). We had a really good battle going. He won a period then we won a period. We were going back and forth. We started talking and trash talking came out. From then on, it has just been going."

I remember thinking 'this is more fun than any practice we have had, yet this is what gets us to where we are at and this is why we are so good at what we are doing."

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