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Brees Unique In So Many Ways


Three years after signing as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints, quarterback DREW BREES continues to make his mark as one of the league's best both on and off the field. And the veteran quarterback has played a significant role in both the revitalization of the Saints and the city of New Orleans.

"In 2006, New Orleans and I were on identical planes," says Brees. "The city was coming back from Hurricane Katrina and I was coming back from a serious shoulder injury. Not too many people gave New Orleans a shot and not too many people believed I could come back. But the Saints, Mr. (TOM) BENSON, (general manager) MICKEY LOOMIS and (head coach) SEAN PAYTON believed in me just like they believed in New Orleans. I am forever grateful they had faith."

Now in his fourth season with the team, Brees has started all 50 regular-season games since 2006 and in that time leads the NFL with 14,579 passing yards, 97 touchdown passes and 25 300-yard games:

QuarterbackPass Yards *QuarterbackPass TDs Quarterback        300-Yard Game*
Drew Brees14,579Drew Brees97Drew Brees25
Payton Manning13,043Peyton Manning92Tony Romo17
Brett Favre11,777Tony Romo85Peyton Manning15
Phillip Rivers11,237Phillip Rivers80Kurt Warner13
Tony Romo11,042Tom Brady76Two tied12

"Drew Brees is good all over the field," says NFL Network analyst and former head coach STEVE MARIUCCI. "He's got it all. Not just physical skills, but he's got an offensive-minded head coach, a play-caller that likes to wing it and a good group of receivers and backs that have good hands and can get the yards after the catch. He's thrown for 300 yards in 50 percent of his games, which is amazing. Some guys do that maybe five times in their career, yet he's done it 25 out of 50 times in his career with the Saints."

Brees' 14,579 passing yards since 2006 are the most ever by a player in his first 50 games with a new team (rookies and veterans).

Quarterback        *Team         Yards*
Drew BreesNew Orleans14,579
Kurt WarnerSt. Louis13,864
Marc BulgerSt. Louis13,551
Dan MarinoMiami13,514
Peyton MannningIndianapolis12,939

"Drew is an amazing competitor," says Payton. "Everything he sets out to do, he tries to figure out the best way to win. He is obviously very talented, but his preparation and focus is unique."

Last year's Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year passed for a franchise-record 5,069 yards, the second-most in NFL history (5,084, DAN MARINO, 1984), and 10 300-yard games, tied for the most in a single season in league annals (RICH GANNON, 2002).

"Drew's the best quarterback I've ever been around," says 13-year safety DARREN SHARPER. "When it comes to being smart with the football, reading the field, making the throws and being accurate, he's the best I've ever seen."

This season, Brees has gotten off to another scorching start, leading the Saints to a 2-0 record while passing for 669 yards and nine touchdowns. His nine touchdown passes are tied for the most ever in the first two games of a season (CHARLEY JOHNSON, 1965). New Orleans has scored at least 45 points in each of the first two games to become just the fourth team in NFL history to score 45 points in the first two games of a season (1920 Rock Island Independents, 1962 Detroit Lions, 1968 Oakland Raiders).

"Each year, I feel like I've gotten better," says Brees. "I really feel like I've refined my routine and continued to find what works for me. By doing so, I make myself a better player."

Since joining the Saints, Brees has posted the only three 4,000-yard passing seasons in franchise history and is one of only five players in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.

Quarterback           *Team                Streak          
Dan FoutsSan Diego1979-81
Dan MarinoMiami1984-86
Peyton ManningIndianapolis1999-2004
Trent GreenKansas City2002-2004
Payton ManningIndianapolis2006-2008
Drew BreesNew Orleans2006-2008*

Active streak *

"Drew Brees has been nothing short of phenomenal since coming to New Orleans," says Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX analyst TROY AIKMAN.

Over the past three seasons, Brees has been selected to two Pro Bowls and was also named a co-winner of the 2006 WALTER PAYTON NFL Man of the Year Award (LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON), honoring his excellence on the field as well as in the community.

"Being named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year was a tremendous honor," says Brees. "The first and most important thing about the award is the namesake, Walter Payton. He represented everything that is good about our league, the kind of man he was, the integrity and professionalism both on and off the field."

Brees has continued his charitable work in the community through his Brees Dream Foundation, with the mission to provide care, education and opportunities for children facing adversity.

"From the moment Drew joined us," says Benson, "he took the reins as a leader both on and the off the field."

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