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Saints’ Best Gift for Drew Brees: Go “All or Nothing” on Defense

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Well, he we are again. It's that time of the year when Saints fans argue among themselves over whether the team should go after "the QB of the future" to eventually replace the one-day, soon-to-be-retiring, 38 year-old franchise quarterback and permanent NOLA life-long icon Drew Brees.

In case you missed it, the Who Dat Nation lost its collective mind earlier this week when rumor-monger extraordinaire Ian Rapoport got a couple of million or so Saints faithful all "fired up" when he implied that the Saints were giving some serious consideration to the possibility of allowing 24-year old QB and recovering drug / alcohol addict Johnny Manziel a.k.a, "Johnny Football" (yes -- THAT Johnny Manziel) a shot at making an NFL 'come back' with New Orleans.

As it turns out, Saints head coach Sean Payton did in fact have breakfast with the troubled Manziel, who is said to be trying to "get his act together" in an effort to put his life of partying and irresponsibility behind him, in a last-ditch attempt to salvage whatever may be possibly left of a respectable NFL career.

However, there isn't any doubt whatsoever that Rapoport -- who has become somewhat notorious for all of the "inside information" that he has gotten COMPLETELY WRONG  regarding the Saints in particular over the past few years -- may have been exaggerating or 'overselling' the meeting between Payton and Manziel.

Yes, Sean Payton did have sausage, eggs, hot-buttered grits and a few slices of french toast with Johnny Manziel at a breakfast buffet in Houston early last month during Super Bowl week.

Yes, Sean Payton -- a former QB himself and a coach who with a notable reputation for developing QB's over the years -- did give the 24-year old Manziel some advice about how to go about saving his once-promising NFL career.

Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports, he DID NOT  tell Manziel that a 'spot' was going to be made available to him as the back-up to Drew Brees for as long as Brees continues to play; while Manziel "learns" the Saints offense and how to be a NFL QB / role model / upstanding person in life from Brees.

By all accounts, that much NEVER  happened.

But far be it from Rapoport to "mislead" anyone, for the sake of a good story (and a few hundreds of thousands 'clicks') at the website.

Of course, he would never do that -- right?

But at the same time, let's also not pretend that we're all blind as a bat and have our heads buried so deep in the sand that we can just go ahead and blatantly IGNORE the obvious: which is that Drew Brees is only 22 months away from his 40th birthday.

Sure, he's still playing at a remarkably high level for a player at his age, let alone anybody of ANY age for that matter.

But time waits for no one.

Never has, never will.

And as a soon-to-be 50 year old Grandfather of two young girls (one who my wife and I are raising here at our home), I certainly can verify to you beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt that the human body "stops doing the things that it used to be able to do", once you enter into your late 30's to early 40's, give or take.

However, Drew Brees just happens to be one of the "lucky ones" -- and he's a phenomenal athlete, to boot.

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

But the clock is ticking.

He knows it, and all of us know it too --- although many of us would choose to keep our heads buried in the sand until it actually happens.

But until it does, the team that he plays for --- our beloved New Orleans Saints --- would be better served focusing on ways to help themselves (and Brees along with them) win another World Championship while Brees still has some time left on his OWN clock.

Seriously folks, this isn't rocket science.

The Saints offense is always going to be pretty good, by all accounts.

But the team's biggest weakness by far since the last time they were in a position to win a World Championship over 7 years ago now, is playing defense.

To be as nice and polite about it as I possibly can: the Saints defense has SUCKED ASS over the past few years.

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

And now this year, New Orleans finds itself with 5 out of the first 103 picks (at the moment, anyway) in next month's 2017 NFL Draft.

We all know what the "mandate" is, here.

Continue building the defense.

Hell, if you're the Saints, you should even consider using EVERY SINGLE DRAFT PICK on defense if you have to --- perhaps even go "all or nothing", for a lack of a better term.

Do it, while you still actually have the time left to do it.

The best gift that you could ever give to your devoted and faithful fan base is a clear-cut, legitimate shot at winning another World Championship before this living and breathing legendary icon retires from the sport of Pro Football.

Anything less, is completely unacceptable..............

Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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