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Saints Training Camp (August 7): Rumors of a Drew Brees “Decline” Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Greatly exaggerated.

That’s the only way for one to accurately describe the rumor or notion among a handful of allegedly-well respected NFL analysts who had been suggesting for the past several months of the recent 2019 NFL Off-Season that they believed future Hall-of-Famer and now 40-year old Saints QB Drew Brees supposedly had begun slowly exhibiting the signs of a physical decline at the end of last season.

But given how PHENOMENAL the 19-year NFL veteran has looked throughout the first two weeks of this year’s 2019 Saints Training Camp, it’s more than fair to say that the rumors of his eventual demise have been mischaracterized yet once again.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

His medium-range passes have been crisp and spot-on accurate, and all of his deep throws have been mostly on target, and he hasn’t shown any signs of the drop-off that he seemed to experience in the last few games of last season.

And at today’s Practice that concluded a short while ago. he was back at it yet again; which was highlighted by the very three first passes that he threw at the beginning of the team’s 11-on-11 driils — when the ageless wonder completed a series of nice completions. one to a wide open back-up TE Josh Hill for what would have been at least a 35-yard completion.

On the very next play, he hit WR Tre’Quan Smith down the left side-lines for what would have been about a 20-yard completion and a 1st Down. But the “highlight play” came on his pass to TE Jared Cook; with whom he has formed a great rapport with since Cook’s arrival this Off-Season in Free Agency.

Brees put the pass ONLY WHERE COOK COULD CATCH IT — and the veteran pass-catcher made a magnificent catch in double coverage over the out-stretched hands of linebacker Demario Davis. for what would have been a 55-to-60 yard touchdown reception.

It goes without saying: Brees has looked absolutely great in Camp thus far, and if he is able to maintain this level/caliber of play throughout the remainder of the year, there’s no way to think that the Black and Gold won’t be one of the clear-cut favorites from the NFC to make it all the way to Super Bowl LIV in Miami next February.

To that point: Brees told ESPN Saints beat writer Mike Triplett in a recent one-on-one interview that he’s well aware of his age and the rumors and innuendos that come with that, but he is determined to prove all of his many doubters wrong, just as he has done for the majority of his entire NFL career as a player who most experts considered to be a physically under-sized (barely 6-foot-tall) quarterback

“I feel like I’m pretty aware of what you lose with the aging process. So everything I do from a training perspective, from a recovery perspective, is to combat that,” Brees said. “You just try to stay ahead of that curve”, Brees told Triplett.

“And so far, I feel like I’m beating it.”

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Now granted, the decline of a player that is Brees’ age is usually inevitable, but modern-day sports medicine, along with advanced training techniques and methods have allowed QB’s especially, to now play well past the age of 40 — as evidenced by New England Patriots QB Tom Brady winning his record 6th Super Bowl victory at age 41 (Brady just turned age 42 last week).

Given Brees’ very notable passion for the sport of Pro Football, it would be absolutely FOOLISH and certainly unwise for of anyone to write him off as “washed up” at this point; and if he maintains this level of play that he has demonstrated in Training Camp so far, a 2nd Super Bowl title for the passionately-devoted fans in NOLA is a distinct possibility once next February finally rolls around.

And unquestionably: the rumors of his “decline” have been GREATLY EXAGGERATED.



(Photo by Getty Images)

Not practicing today were fullback Michael Burton, RB Matthew Dayes, WR Keith Kirkwood, TE’s Garrett Griffin, and Alize Mack, offensive guard Ethan Greenidge, OT Nate Wozniak ,LB Wes Horton and safety TJ Green.

Saints 3rd year defensive tackle David Onyemata was back at Practice and was with the 1st Team defense in 11-on-11 drills;

Rookie center Erik McCoy continues to line up with the 1st Team offense; and at this point appears to have ALREADY WON the starting job over veterans Nick Easton and Cameron Tom.

The Saints will conduct an abbreviated “walk through” Practice tomorrow indoors without pads (and closed to the public); and then on Friday Night will host the visiting Minnesota Vikings in their first game of the Pre-Season at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. Central time…….


Saints News Network featured columnist and Big Easy Magazine contributing writer Barry Hirstius is a 52-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 45 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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