Skip to main content
New Orleans Saints

Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

Drew Brees settling into new routines after 15-year run as New Orleans Saints quarterback

'Retirement has given me a chance to get into some things that I otherwise wouldn't be doing'

Arguably the most routine-oriented man in the world is having to develop new ones.

Drew Brees isn't simply idling since he announced his retirement from the NFL on March 14, 15 years to the day after signing with the New Orleans Saints and becoming the best, most accomplished player in franchise history.

But he also isn't going through the process of preparing to add to his totals of NFL career-leading 80,358 passing yards, 571 touchdowns passes (second most), 172 victories and seven division titles in New Orleans.

"I can't really say I have (a routine), he said Wednesday from TPC Louisiana, where he played in the pro-am tournament that proceeds Thursday's opening round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

"Other than I still get up as early as I can, get my two cups of coffee, try to get a bunch of work done before the kids get up, be part of the get-ready-for-school process, and then just keep myself busy until they get home. And then it becomes coaching – trying to help coach football, basketball and baseball and just being involved in the kids' lives and having fun as a family."

This time of year ordinarily would be the beginning of the work for Brees and his teammates.

"This would be a big training time, mid-April, getting ready for the start of offseason," he said. "So there would definitely be a big focus on training and throwing and that kind of thing.

"(Retirement) has given me a chance to get into some other things that I otherwise wouldn't be doing – mountain biking, eFoiling, some stuff that probably would not be in my contract. It's been fun to try some of that other stuff."

Brees said he was risk-averse during his playing career, which spanned two decades and result in a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction the year he becomes eligible. So this offseason, for the first time in a quarter-century, he went skiing.

"I went snow skiing with the kids," he said. "I hadn't been snow skiing in 25 years. Last time, I was 17 years old. I hurt my knee playing football in high school that year, and so I missed that time to ski.

"And then I got a scholarship to Purdue, and I was like, I don't want to ski anymore because I don't want to risk the chance of doing something stupid, and then that just became the theme for the next 25 years as a football player. And again, that was one of those decisions that I had to make as, is this a risk that I'm willing to take, because my priority is football right now.

"Every decision I've made over the last 20 years is, what puts me in the best position to succeed as an NFL quarterback. And so that was my training, that was my recovery, that was what I can and can't do in regards to the risks that I can take or not take, just knowing that I had a responsibility to my team and the organization to be their quarterback and be durable and be present and be around. That was priority No. 1.

"And even with your family. Literally, when training camp starts, that was my wife saying goodbye and realizing that this is now a seven-month commitment that's coming up where we don't get a chance to see you very much, and you don't get to see the kids very much. It's the reality of our job, and that's players and probably even more so for coaches during the season. There are sacrifices that come along with that."


Brees may miss the sacrifices, but he won't miss the injuries that sidelined him for nine regular-season games the last two seasons.

"I only really felt good in one game, from the perspective of, I had all the tools in my toolbox," he said, referring to the Saints' road game against Detroit. "I had a lot of limitations throughout the season as to what I could and couldn't do, and I recognized that. And that's really hard for a competitor. That's really hard when you know what you should be able to do, and yet you can't because of various injuries, or things that are taking place with your body.

"Some of those things are just kind of freak things – tear a plantar fascia, you get damage in your shoulder, you get the broken ribs, the punctured lung. You get all this stuff that's going on – this abdominal thing that I was dealing with for pretty much most of the season that, as a quarterback everything you do is rotation.

"And you can't rotate the way that you want, you all of a sudden begin to accommodate in ways and everything for you kind of narrows. Because it's like, 'Well I know I can't make that throw, I can't make that throw, I can't make that throw. So, what's now in my toolbox?' And it's harder to play the game that way. And yet, you've got to find a way still to get it done. And I felt like we did that, but it was difficult."

Now, Brees will segue into his new career, as a football analyst.

"I know I'll miss it, and honestly, it's a big reason why I took advantage of the opportunity to sign with NBC and be a broadcaster for Notre Dame games with Mike Tirico and do the in-studio work for 'Football Night in America,' is to stay connected with the game, to stay connected with the coaches and the players and all those relationships that I've been able to build throughout my career," he said.

"But also a way to maybe just fill that void that I know will come by not being a player anymore. I'm excited for the next chapter, I'm excited for this next opportunity but at the same time, I do recognize that there will be challenges. There'll be kind of a range of emotions, especially as we get closer to football season, when you start getting that itch and that excitement knowing that guys are going back to work and starting to prepare for another season, and you're not a part of it as a player anymore."

Related Content