Drew Brees is a bum. He’s overrated. He should be benched. He should get a box of coal for Christmas.
Those statements (and a lot more) were tweeted by real people, who are supposedly real Saints fans, during or after Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
I’m all for criticizing players when their play isn’t up to par, but to scold a guy like Brees in such brazen terms is ridiculous. He is one of the game’s all-time great quarterbacks and is the reason the Saints won their first Super Bowl a few short years ago. He is the reason the Saints are 10-5. He is the reason the Saints are one of the NFL’s elite teams.
No one is perfect. And Brees occasionally has bad days.
A quarterback’s success is directly proportional to the time he has to throw the football. Brees hasn’t had a lot of time to do that this year because pass protection by his offensive line has been nothing short of disastrous. The running game stinks, too… but that’s a story for another day.
Brees has been sacked 36 times in 2013, nine sacks more than the next-highest season total (2005 in San Diego). He’s also been hurried, hit and knocked down more times than he’d like to count. That wears on a quarterback. Numbers like that make a guy like Brees uneasy in his often-unsteady pocket. He’ll rush throws. Linebackers will intercept some passes. But that’s life.
This season, Brees has thrown for 4,781 and 35 touchdowns while completing 68-percent of his passes. He’s a Super Bowl MVP, a perennial Pro-Bowler, has thrown for more yards than all but four quarterbacks in the history of the NFL and holds the single-season yardage record.
In the eight seasons before Brees arrived, the Saints had seven starting quarterbacks. Here are some names that strike fear into Who Dat Nation: Kerry Collins, Danny Wuerffel, Billy Joe Tolliver, Billy Joe Hobert, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks. Looking back a little further reveals names like Jim Everett, Doug Nussmeier, Wade Wilson, Mike Buck and Steve Walsh.
Drew Brees is the picture of stability, professionalism, athleticism and greatness. He touches the ball on every play and makes far more spectacular plays than bone-headed ones. Saints fans have to take the good with the bad.
Criticize Brees when he has a bad game and throws a ridiculous pick-six. Criticize Sean Payton when he makes crazy play-calling decisions. Criticize the defense when it blows coverages.
Then get over it.
Remember where this team has been and where it could easily end up again. The Saints have a future Hall-of-Famer at quarterback. Head coach Sean Payton is arguably the best coach in the league.
The Saints will be in the playoffs. Again.
The Saints have won a Super Bowl!
Be grateful for your gifts this Christmas season.