A Birthday Card to Drew Brees
By Bob Rose
Mr. Drew Christopher Brees,
Who Dat Nation would like to wish you a very happy 38th birthday. There are so many people that should be acknowledged, and that were instrumental in shaping your career into what it is today.
Thank you to Purdue University and your coach, Joe Tiller.
Tiller realized what a special talent that he had in you, and structured Purdue’s NFL style attack to what you did best. The result was a number of Big 10 passing records, some of which you hold to this day, and a third place finish in the 2000 Heisman trophy race. Your abilities helped Purdue to a perennial top 10 ranking during your time there, along with a berth in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1967.
Thank you to the San Diego Chargers, who recognized that you were the best available quarterback in the 2001 NFL Draft, and traded their first overall selection to Atlanta.
The Falcons used that selection to draft quarterback Michael Vick, while the Chargers used their first draft choice to select star running back LaDainian Tomlinson, and selected you with the very first pick in the second round. San Diego teamed you and Tomlinson together to surge to the top of the AFC by 2004 with a record of 12-4. The Chargers were building themselves into a perennial contender, with the help of your talents; if not for the buffoonery of the Chargers themselves, so…
Thanks again to the San Diego Chargers, for being the bumbling organization that they are.
Coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner’s refusal to structure their offense to take
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advantage of the talent that they had in yourself, Tomlinson, and tight end Antonio Gates led to numerous disappointing finishes. Worse yet, their insistence in trying to replace you led to the acquisition of Philip Rivers in 2004. Despite Rivers’ inability to pass you on the depth chart, it was obvious that they were going to eventually hand him the job as you entered a contract year in 2005. What happened in that 2005 season finale against Denver changed the landscape of professional football for the next decade-plus.
Thank you to Dr. James Andrews, for putting you back together.
When you suffered a devastating labrum and rotator cuff injury in your throwing shoulder during your final game as a Charger in 2005, there were many that believed your career was over. Dr. Andrews performed perhaps his finest work, but tons of questions remained. Despite your unmatched toughness and work ethic, you would not be unable to throw during workouts with teams during your free agent tour, and only 2 teams even showed you interest. It would take a leap of faith by someone to give you another chance at NFL stardom.
Thank you to Sean Payton and Micky Loomis.
It was up to these two men to rebuild a historically downtrodden New Orleans franchise, and to do so after the entire region was devasted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Coach Payton was entering his first year as an NFL coach and needed a quarterback to run his high-powered offense. You needed a team, and a coach, to have faith in you and give you a chance. The result was New Orleans’ first-ever appearance in a conference championship game in 2006, video game type offensive numbers, and a super bowl championship season in 2009 that every Saints fan will treasure until the day they die.
Your incredible five seasons of over 5,000 passing yards are unmatched, and you will undoubtedly go down as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history. The Saints organization looks as if it has surrounded you with more gifts, with a prolific running game and the best receiving corps you’ve had in your storied career. It appears, Mr. Brees, that you have a great opportunity to write a few more amazing chapters in your career as a Saint.
Lastly, thank YOU, Drew, for what you, your wife Brittany, and your kids have meant to not only the city of New Orleans but the entire Gulf Coast region.
It has been a true honor to watch you play, and become a part of our lives during your time as a Saint.
Happy Birthday to you, sir. And thank you.
~contributing writer, Who Dat Dish~