METAIRIE, La. Drew Brees thinks several of his teammates deserve a Pro Bowl berth, but none more than maybe receiver Marques Colston, who in his seventh season is still waiting on that postseason honor.
With just one week to play, Colston is tied for 14th in the NFL with 78 catches. His 1,102 yards are 12th-most in the league. And he's tied for ninth on third-down catches with 24 for 430 yards.
'He is Mr. Dependable,' Brees said Wednesday, hours before the Pro Bowl rosters would be announced. 'Mr. Steady. When you need a play, I know I can always count on him. He has really fought through a lot throughout his career, especially this year battling injuries but always being there, always being present, always being ready, always being a guy you can count on. I've got so much respect for him.'
Just how dependable has Colston been? Since being taken with the 252nd pick in the 2006 draft, he has steadily moved up the Saints' record charts.
He's 512 yards behind Eric Martin for the all-time receiving yards record. His 22 100-yard games are second-most in team history, as are his 527 catches.
Oh, and then there's the one franchise record he owns that means the most his 56 touchdowns are the most ever for a Saints player.
Yet, his quiet demeanor and workman-like attitude are detriments to gaining those awards and honors that require a little bit of flair. That includes the Pro Bowl, the all-star game in which he has never been voted to play in.
'How do guys get noticed for the fan vote and everything else?' Brees said. 'I'd say Fantasy Football helps just because guys are getting tracked that way. But if you're not making SportsCenter highlights or you're not saying something that's getting you on TV what have you, then a lot of times people don't notice you if you keep the helmet on and just work and don't have a touchdown dance.
'But there's no guy that has been steadier in this league than him at the receiver position.'
Colston has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving every year except for 2008 when he was inactive for five games with a wrist injury. This season marks his fourth consecutive year with 1,000-plus yards.
'His approach to the game, the way he works, the way he is with the younger players and his teammates he's a quiet guy, but man, when he comes to work, he's ready to work,' Brees said.