As summer seems to get hotter and hotter and we get down to only baseball on TV, there’s only one thing to do to keep our interest – answer questions and give our thoughts about the Saints heading into training camp.
We’ll run out one question a day in a hope that we satiate your thirst until actual toe meets leather. The questions are in no particular order of importance…except for No. 1.
6. Will Drew Brees show any rust from his layoff from the team?
Once Drew Brees signed a contract that could make his great-grandchildren rich, only one question really remained about the record-setting quarterback – Will the time spent away from teammates this offseason hurt him this coming season?
Indeed, that’s certainly a possibility.
Brees is a rhythm quarterback. That rhythm gets started as early as the first organized team activity when he starts throwing with his receivers, tight ends and running backs to get ready for the next season.
This time, he didn’t have that. His holdout for a long-term contract cost him valuable time working on timing with teammates, learning the specifics of new receivers’ hands and where they like the ball.
He missed time leading and guiding younger players unused to his style, unused to somebody having total control over a locker room of nearly 90 Type A-personality human beings.
But to ask this question gives no credit to the player who is and the type of personality he has.
To know the answer to this question, you can’t compare what he has done with the Saints in the past three seasons.
You have to look at what he did in 2006. That’s the closest comparison we have as to what we could see this season from Brees. That year, he was coming off a near-career-ending shoulder injury, one that only the Saints were willing to take a chance on.
He endured surgery early that offseason and then couldn’t really throw with his receivers like he wanted to during minicamp and OTAs. Even in training camp he was on a “pitch count.”
Remember what he did that season, his first with the Saints, Marques Colston, Lance Moore and others?
Brees threw for a then-career-high 4,418 yards, completing 64.3 percent of his passes. He had 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions and helped guide the Saints to the franchise’s first NFC championship game.
This time, Brees isn’t coming off an injury.
Nobody takes better care of himself in the offseason than Brees. While he wasn’t with the team during OTAs and minicamp, he was still in San Diego working out like he always does. He’ll come back in as good a shape as he would have otherwise.
In other words, we expect there to be little rust for Brees.