Over July 4th weekend, Saints quarterback Drew Brees posted a picture of himself riding a zipline into an inflatable kiddie pool on Twitter and it drew a response from coach Sean Payton.
Payton wrote “uggh, all we need are the fireworks” and he told Rich Eisen, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that Brees’ wife quickly sent him a text asking if he wanted Brees to stop. Payton did want the quarterback to avoid any potential injury while frolicking with the family because such an injury could lead to the kind of slowdown in Brees’ performance that Payton says the quarterback has otherwise avoided to this point in his tenure with the Saints.
“At the stage he is in his career, it’s a question that gets asked a lot,” Payton said on NFL Network. “I have not seen — there’s not a rep, a play where I’ve noticed something different.I think it’s a credit to, look, we know how he trains, his diet, everything in his day to prepare to play well at that position. I think it’s really changed, we’ve seen a change and we’re talking about a Manning or a Brady, a number of these guys at that position can play longer. I don’t want to put a number on it because I have not seen the beginning or a tick down at all.”
Brees and Payton are heading into their 11th season together, something Payton calls “not real common” in the NFL. Brees doesn’t have a contract for a 12th year in New Orleans, something that has led to a lot of discussion about an extension but hasn’t led to an agreement to this point. Should Brees continue to avoid a “tick down” in 2016, it’s hard to imagine that the Saints will be in any rush to end that long relationship.