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Payton and Brees Honored

    <span style="">                 <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Maxwell Football Club 2009 Professional Player and Coach Award Winners Announced</span>                 

Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski, announced that Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has been selected as the 2009 Bert Bell Professional Player of the Year. Jaworski also announced that Sean Payton, the head coach of the Saints, has been selected as the 2009 Greasy Neale Professional Coach of the Year.

Brees has been nothing short of spectacular this season in leading New Orleans to a 13-3 record, the NFC South Division Title and a first round bye in the NFL playoffs. The ninth-year veteran completed 363 of 514 passes for 4,388 yards and 34 touchdowns. His completion percentage of 70.6 and quarterback rating of 109.6 were both career highs and ranked him tops in the NFL in both categories.

Brees, the 2000 Maxwell Award Winner as the College Player of the Year, reached several impressive individual milestones during the 2009 campaign. He eclipsed the 30,000 yard passing mark (30, 646) and 200 touchdowns (202). Just as telling as individual statistics, Brees has become an unquestioned leader for a franchise and some would argue a city ever since he signed with New Orleans in the 2006 offseason. "New Orleans made the right decision signing Drew Brees-not just because of his arm, but because of his heart and mind," said former NFL star running back Marshall Faulk.

Brees' development into one of the best signal callers in the game coincides both in tenure and impact with Payton's stint as the head coach of the Saints. Consider that Brees had never thrown for over 4,000 during his first five years in the league as a San Diego Charger and that he has never thrown for under 4,000 yards as a Saint.

Payton, who also won Coach of the Year honors in 2006, has overseen the NFL's top ranked offense in both points scored (31.9 points per game) and yards gained (403.8 yards per game).

Payton's' success with quarterbacks extends well beyond his work with Brees. During his three years as an assistant head coach with Dallas, three different starting quarterback under his guidance passed for over 3,000 yards (Drew Bledsoe (2005, Vinny Testaverde 2004, Quincy Carter 2003). To find success in New Orleans however, Payton had to change a whole culture. Brees explained after his first season in the Bayou. "A lot of these guys probably felt beaten down," he said. "For Coach Payton to come in here and reverse that attitude, to make everybody on this team feel like he has a key role, that's really something."

Voters for the Pro Awards are NFL Owners, football personnel, head and assistant coaches, as well as members of the Maxwell Football Club, national media, both electronic and print, and local media.

Brees and Payton will join the College Player and Coach of the Year, Colt McCoy of the University of Texas and Gary Patterson of Texas Christian University at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Dinner to be held at Harrah's in Atlantic City on March 5, 2010.

Tickets for the Maxwell Football Club National Awards are on sale and can be purchased on the Club's website or by calling 215-643-3833.

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