Drew Brees had a record setting 2011 season. But Brees believes he and the Saints’ offense can do even better this season, Nakia Hogan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
So what’s in store? A 5,500-yard passing season? A 72 percent completion rating? A passer rating better than Green Bay Aaron Rodger’s NFL record of 104.1?
Brees, the consummate teammate and leader, has something else in store.
“Statistics don’t always tell the story, though,” Brees said. “We can do better in so many different ways. In a lot of cases it is just subtle things.
“It’s a subtle thing here and there that might get you one extra first down, or allow you to convert maybe one more time in a short-yard situation or in the red zone. Or give you one more big-play opportunity per game that could change a game, or win you one or two more games. As we know, if you can do something that wins you one more game, you have home-field advantage instead of having to travel for the divisional round.”
With the loss of Payton, as well as Joe Vitt for six games and General Manager Mickey Loomis for eight games, and defensive captains Jonathan Vilma (season) and Will Smith (four games), Brees could be forced to shoulder more of the leadership burden.
Throughout training camp, though, Brees said he’ll make sure he doesn’t place too much pressure on himself.
But he knows he has added responsibility.
“Here is the thing — something I have always been humbled by and take as a big responsibility with is the fact that I do get asked my opinion a lot, in regard to the schedule or big decisions, and I appreciate that,” Brees said. “Even if it’s just to get my input, my take, or in a lot of cases Sean Payton would call me aside and say, ‘What’s the pulse of this team right now? How are guys feeling?’
“It might be as we are going out for a fourth, hardcore, padded training camp practice, and I might say ‘Hey coach, it’s about that time that (we lighten it up).’ So then next practice we come out in shells and throw the guys a bone. Little things like that, that I have been included in along the way, and I appreciate that. I obviously try to give the best input that I can.”