On the day he was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, Saints quarterback Drew Brees reflected on the lowest points of his NFL career, saying he looks back now at those low points and thinks they happened for a reason.
Specifically, Brees talked on The Dan Patrick Show about being benched during the 2003 season in San Diego, and about suffering a serious shoulder injury during his final game with the Chargers in 2005, which left him “Sitting there without a team, not sure if I would ever be able to play football again.”
“Those ended up being defining moments of my life, and I certainly wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those times,” Brees said today.
Brees also discussed the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and how he embraced the role as an advocate for his new city.
“I had a chance to see it with my own eyes when I came in on my visit to New Orleans in March of 2006, six months post-Katrina, and you sit there and look around and say, ‘I had no idea it was this bad,'” Brees said. “You feel a sense of responsibility and a sense that this is a calling. This is an opportunity that most people don’t get in a lifetime, and yet it’s staring me in the face right now. I have this opportunity.”
Brees says he feels blessed that the Saints were the one NFL team that saw him as a franchise quarterback.
“The thing that I really needed at that time was somebody to believe in me,” Brees said. “And New Orleans was the only team that believed in me.”