Side by side photos of the remaining 2006 Saints players: Drew Brees, Zach Strief, Marques Colston and Jahri Evans. Left is 2006, Right is 2015. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)
We gave Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans and Zach Strief each a chance to describe the other three. Here's what they said:
Evans on Strief:"Professional."
Evans on Colston:"Dependable."
Evans on Brees:"Dedication. The amount of work he puts in every day, first guy in and last guy to leave."
Strief on Evans:"Toughness. A guy that – he has played with so many things that other guys never would have, and not only played but played at a high level. From Day One, I've been impressed with his toughness and his ability to battle."
Strief on Colston:"Consistency. He's a guy that when we need a big play, you expect it to be Marques. He's been like that from the very beginning. I think he is the epitome of consistency. He's a guy you know what to expect, and that's not just in the way he plays but in his attitude, his work ethic, all those things. He comes to work the same every day."
Strief on Brees:"Excellence. He is a guy that you look at as a teammate and player, and you aspire to be more like him. His work ethic is almost extreme. He's the last guy off the field every day, he's the first guy in the film rooms. He's a guy that whenever you're (at the practice facility), rest assured you can find Drew, he's here somewhere. Everything he does is just a little bit better than everybody else and it's what makes him great, it's what has allowed him to become a Hall of Fame quarterback, and that's what he is at this point. Getting to be a part of him and his career has been pretty special."
Colston on Evans:"Toughness. The guy, I've seen him play through injuries that would've sat a lesser man down. His durability speaks to how tough he is."
Colston on Strief:"The ultimate teammate. I saw him come in and early in his career, he got on the field a lot as the jumbo tight end, then moved into a starting role and excelled there. And now, you see a guy drafted in the first round at your position, and he goes and does everything in his power to help (Andrus) Peat out and bring him along. Just the ultimate teammate."
Colston on Brees:"Greatness. To see what he's been able to accomplish here has been remarkable. I'm just lucky and fortunate to be a part of it. The things he's been able to do just kind of boggle your mind."
Brees on Colston:"Steady. From his demeanor, to his attitude, to his work ethic, to his play on gameday. Just so reliable, so dependable, so tough. I know what I'm going to get out of him every single day and I know how he's going to do it, too – he's going to do it with that calm, poised look, which gives me a ton of confidence. It's given me a ton of confidence over the last 10 years just knowing I have that guy right next to me."
Brees on Evans: "Jah's been a 10-year starter. To have that guy as such a mainstay right in front of me for the last 10 years is like my security blanket. He's another guy that, I know the injury bug has bit him a little bit this year, but just so reliable, dependable. The guy never missed a game for the longest time and he played through all kinds of stuff. Just a warrior."
Brees on Strief: "Strief wasn't a starter in the beginning. Strief was a seventh-round pick. Marques started; Marques came in as a seventh-round pick, worked his butt off and ends up being our starting 'X' and has never looked back. Strief, fighting just to make the team, then he's playing basically our heavy tight end position and subbed in a little bit at tackle. But he's just, wherever I can help, whatever I can do. And then all of a sudden he's thrust into that starting role in 2011 and he's been phenomenal. I think he's the most outspoken of the group, but in such a great way, in such a leadership capacity. He's one of those guys that if there's something that needs to be said, he's going to say it and he's not afraid to say it. He always has the best interests of the team at heart. I think so many people trust and confide in him with things that are going on in and around the locker room. More so than me or anybody, they go to Strief because they know that he has a strong voice, a powerful voice and he's not afraid to stand up for what he feels is right for the team."