FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is sure about one thing – stand him next to superstar Tom Brady and there won’t be anyone who sees a resemblance between the two.
It’s deeper, buried in what drives them, that you’ll find the similarities.
“The heart and the desire and the competitiveness and the love of the game – I see the way he approaches it,” Brees said Tuesday, minutes after the Saints and Patriots finished practicing with each other. “It’s very obvious in the way he plays. I certainly have that within me as well.”
On Tuesday, fans saw quarterbacks who combined for nearly 11,000 yards passing and 85 touchdowns passes in 2011.
You’d be hard-pressed to find two other quarterbacks more prepared than Brees and Brady.
It comes from having chips on their shoulders; Brady was passed over time and again during the draft until the Patriots took him in the sixth round in 2000. Brees was shipped off from San Diego after a shoulder injury and passed over by nearly every team in the NFL until the Saints took a chance and signed him in 2006.
Both have become the NFL’s most-prolific signal callers.
“Not every quarterback can process everything that they have going on in their mind,” Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “I have video tapes of both of them where the TV cameras are looking at them as they’re calling out the signals (and) their eyes are on the clock, they’re looking at what the secondary is going, they’re finding out what the front is and they get them in the right plays.”
One thing is certain – the defensive backs for the Saints and Patriots won’t have it easy this week during joint practices.
“It sounds crazy – so you try to be perfect on every play but when you go against quarterbacks of that caliber you really do because you know 90 percent of the time they’re going to be perfect,” Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty said. “The ball is going to be where it has to be and you really have to play very well on defense to try and compete with those guys.”