It’s hard to believe, but Drew Brees has played 16 NFL seasons. The 38-year-old was a second-round pick in 2001. Since then, he’s won a Super Bowl, led the league in touchdowns four times and led the league in passing seven times, including each of the last three seasons.
How has Brees stayed so good for so long? It’s simple: He’s evolved with the times.
“I think you have to change certain habits,” Brees said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “You have to change certain habits, become really efficient at what you do, very disciplined, I think, with diet and nutrition and sleep habits and your recovery and how you train and when you train and all those things. There’s a science to it.”
Brees led the Saints to victory in Super Bowl XLIV, beating the Colts, 31-17, in February 2010. Since then, however, the Saints haven’t advanced past the divisional round and have missed the playoffs in four of the last five years. In fact, they finished 7-9 in all four of those seasons.
Even worse, a pair of NFC South rivals – the Panthers and Falcons – have advanced to the Super Bowl in back-to-back years.
Brees isn’t making excuses.
“Listen, the Falcons had a phenomenal year,” he said. “They earned it. Look at Carolina last year. They were 15-1 and playing the way that they did, they deserved the right to be here. All it tells me is that we got a tough division. We got a tough division, and so we’re going to have to retool and be prepared to beat those guys if we want to get to where we want to be. I feel like we’ve got a lot of good young players that are entering into that prime, so to speak, where they’ve got a few years under their belt, played some football, gained some experience. I think we know what it takes, but we’re going to have to put in a lot of work. But I’m excited about our guys and our team.”
Brees is also excited to have Sean Payton. There were reports that New Orleans might part ways with the 53-year-old Payton, who has coached the Saints since 2006, but Brees didn’t buy it.
“No, because I knew that that wasn’t true,” Brees said. “I know that there’s speculation when you don’t meet expectations, but I felt very confident that that was not the case. It’s the same speculation last year, and the bottom line is, we got to win and go back to the playoffs so people don’t talk about that anymore.”