The New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees. What more can you say? Likely a mouthful, as the recent fictitious claims of trade rumors turned out to be nothing but the subject of speculative drama. Coach Sean Payton squashed the rumors at the NFL Owners Meeting, but these ideas still linger around.
While the team and fans attempt to put aside the disappointment of 2014, there’s a lot to look forward to. Drew Brees, whether you agree or not, is going to be the field general heading into the new season. When you think about last year’s performance, some might say that Brees had a ‘off year’. While I disagree, and extensively defended the trading and restructuring argument, I’d like to bring you a true stat nugget from last season.
"Drew Brees has consistently been one of the most accurate passers under pressure, and 2014 was no exception, as he finished the year with a 73.3% accuracy while pressured. However, while his accuracy was above reproach, his decision making under pressure in 2014 certainly was not, throwing nine costly picks to just three touchdowns. That poor ratio left Brees with a lowly 60.5 NFL QB rating when throwing under pressure, a far cry from his 2011 season when he threw for 11 TD’s to just three picks and a 90.9 rating."
By PFF’s count, Brees had 702 dropbacks with a 32.9 pressure percentage. His 12.1 sack percentage (8.5 sacks) was second lowest among the top ten quarterbacks, and Brees finished with a 73.3 percent accuracy. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater slightly edged Brees with 75.2 percent accuracy on 474 total dropbacks. The only negative mark received for Brees is in regards to his touchdown-interception ratio of 3-9.
The interior part of the Saints offensive line had their respective struggles last season, and it was evident. Of the 29 sacks Brees suffered last year, here’s how the breakdown looked.
Jahri Evans – 6
Zach Strief, Jonathan Goodwin, Terron Armstead – 3
Ben Watson – 2
Khiry Robinson – 1
Ben Grubbs – 1
With the addition of veteran center Max Unger, and likely the emergence of Tim Lelito as the favored new starting guard, things tend to look up for Drew Brees. For our sake, we’d like to see some better decision-making when it comes to the pressure.