Tag:Drew Brees
Posted on: September 27, 2010 1:22 pm
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The NFL is a passing league? Ha!

Posted by Andy Benoit

We hear all the time that the NFL is a passing league these days. That’s true, it is. But Sunday’s events put at least a small, temporary dent in the notion.

The top five passing leaders in Week 3 so far have come in losing performances. Take a look:

1. Kyle Orton 37/57, 476 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT – Broncos 13, Colts 27

2. Philip Rivers 298/53, 455 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT – Chargers 20, Seahawks 27

3. Eli Manning 34/48, 386 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT – Giants 10, Titans 29

4. Drew Brees 30/38, 365 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT – Saints 24, Falcons 27 (OT)

5. Chad Henne 26/44, 363 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT – Dolphins 23, Jets 31

What’s odd is that none of these quarterbacks played any garbage time, either. Usually, big passing numbers in a loss are a product of hurry-up offenses facing prevent defenses. But Orton’s Broncos were just one step behind the Colts all afternoon. Rivers nearly led the Chargers to an overtime-forcing touchdown on the final drive. Manning’s Giants didn’t fall behind until late in the fourth. Brees’ Saints played an extra period. And Henne’s Dolphins had a potential game-tying drive late in the fourth.

Don't expect this trend to hold true week in and week out.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:20 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 12:39 pm
 

Brees' wife doesn't need help delivering babies

Posted by Will Brinson

Drew Brees, Super Bowl MVP and all-around awesome dude who doesn't appear tainted morally by wealth and fame, is getting profiled on "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

Naturally, there will be discussion about how good he is at football. Most interesting, though, is the discussion of what will happen if Brees' lovely wife, Brittany, happens to go into labor while Drew is playing football. Essentially, she won't let him know .

"He's not going to get a call ... He's not going to know," Brittany says. "If I go into labor, I'm going to get the drugs and just pretend everything’s fine."

And Papa Brees is totally fine with that.

"Even if she was on her way to the hospital, water had broke, she's about to give birth, she would make up some elaborate story to make me comfortable and at ease," says Brees.

That's a good thing (I think) and it's not entirely inappropriate to be on board with her opinion since, you know, it's her body. There's no need for the Saints to lose a game (or for Brees to miss one) unnecessarily because of their child. After all, they've already got one, you know? (I kid, I kid. In fact, I ran this whole thing by the future-ex-Mrs. Brinson and she said "Get it girl!" so I think it's totally fine for Brittany to do this.)

Plus, can the Brees family actually do anything wrong at this point? I'm going with "no" and just assuming that they know what they're doing even if it means pretending Mrs. Brees isn't going into labor.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 5:28 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.25.10 expectations and anticipation

Posted by Andy Benoit

A look at the Nnamdi Asomugha-Larry Fitzgerald matchup.

Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Time Picayune has plenty of interesting stats on Drew Brees and the Saints.

The Vikings are weak inside at center and right guard. How will they handle Ndamukong Suh?

Brandon Marshall skipped his 10-minute session with the media. So, naturally, the media wrote a story about whether the mercurial receive is acting out again.

A name you may want to soon learn is Tony Moeaki. The Chiefs third-round rookie tight end has been turning some heads.

Few players have to battle through injuries – namely knee injuries – the way Kellen Winslow has and does.

Just in case you haven’t heard, Jets safety Eric Smith was fined $7,500 for a hitting Wes Welker in the chops.

The Giants offensive line isn’t quite as old as everyone thinks it is (only center Shaun O’Hara qualifies as someone in his “mid-30s”, and he’s coming off the best three-year stint of his career), but nevertheless, here’s an article about how the line is ignoring whispers about its age and decline.


Some good things have been said about undersized DE Everett Brown this season, but that didn’t stop the Charlotte Observer from writing this headline: “Panthers pass-rush not living up to its billing.” (Of course, if you watched this team on film last season, then projected what things would be like without Julius Peppers, you’d have to say the Panthers are living up – or down – exactly to their billing.)

For some reason a big deal has been made about Andy Reid’s “crucified” quote.


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Posted on: September 21, 2010 12:05 am
Edited on: September 21, 2010 12:10 am
 

Niners should still be optimistic after loss

Posted by Will Brinson



Unfortunately for the San Francisco 49ers, 1:14 on the clock with two timeouts and Drew Brees under center is just a little too much to leave out on the field when you score. Clearly they couldn't have purposely left any more time on the clock when Frank Gore punctuated a thrilling drive with a seven-yard rush, but expecting anything less from the defending champs would have been silly. Indeed, they finished the game off with a 37-yard Garrett Hartley kick (which may or may not have been blocked IN) amid swirling winds.

Still, for a team that's 0-2 and suffered a complete travashamockery of an embarrassment in Week 1 at Seattle, things could be worse for San Francisco.

For starters, they have talent. No one's questioning whether or not Michael CrabtreeVernon Davis and Josh Morgan are good -- the biggest issue was Alex Smith actually being able to get them the ball. He did that Monday night, and despite registering two picks, he did it well, racking up 275 yards.

Then there's Frank Gore, who looked as explosive as he ever has while piling up 112 yards on 20 carries (including a touchdown) and 56 receiving yards on seven catches (also including a touchdown). As long as he's healthy, that team will be able to stay in games.

Before we get to the most important part, mentioning Mike Singletary is key: look at the team that showed up in Candlestick Park tonight, now look back at the team that showed up in Seattle, now back to Candlestick, now back to Seattle, look, it's a horse! Whatever, the point is that they're complete opposites and judging the Niners hopes for the 2010 season based on that first game (or the first snap against the Saints ) makes about as much as a dude on a horse's body pimping men's body wash.

And the reason the two teams look different is that Singletary, for all his bonkos quotes, got his team prepared. He may have killed a rat, or shut down Yahoo!, or something, but he got his team motivated (yet again), and there's a good chance you'll see him do an increasingly good job of it as the season goes along.

As to the biggest point -- they play in the NFC West, the weakest-sauced of the weak when it comes to divisions. Arizona and Seattle are tied for first at 1-1 and those two teams just got a thankful paddling from Atlanta and Denver, respectively. Remove St. Louis from the equation and remember that at some point Matt Hasselbeck will get injured and Derek Anderson will remember he's Derek Anderson ... this is still a division that an 0-2 49ers team can take down.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 7:46 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 11:29 pm
 

Singletary: 'We will stop Drew Brees'

Posted by Will Brinson

Mike Singletary appeared on a KPIX radio show with Dennis O'Donnell Thursday and was asked about trying to stop Drew Brees during the 49ers Monday Night Football matchup with the Saints.

He replied by saying, "We will not try to stop Drew Brees. We will stop Drew Brees. Next question."

Naturally, this provoked some curious questions from the media as to whether he was guaranteeing that the Niners would shut down the defending champs' offense. As Matt Barrow of the Sacramento Bee notes, Singletary backed off the comments a bit, pointing out that there was never any sort of guarantee.

"I just said we would stop him," Singletary said. "I'm certainly not going to go into the game thinking we're not going to stop him. If that's the case, I need to stay home."

So, really, nothing too crazy, at least in the quotable realm that is Singletary-isms. At least in comparison to the "sniff out the rat" tirade, this is tame.

Plus he has a pretty good point: even if San Fran knows that Brees is going to pull their pants down in front of the world with an MVP performance, they can't go into the game thinking that, because then there's no real reason to play in the first place.

UPDATE : Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner comes through with video of Singletary's interview referenced above. Not mentioned is that Singletary freaks out about the whole Yahoo! deal whereby Jason Cole reported Jimmy Raye was having trouble getting plays to Alex Smith. Also not mentioned is like another four or so minutes of awesomeness. Do enjoy.



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Posted on: September 10, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 12:28 pm
 

Three thoughts about NO-MIN

B. Favre and the Minnesota passing offense had a rough game (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

My take on Thursday’s Saints 14-9 win against the Vikings.

1. I loved the “We are one” salute at the beginning of the game, signifying the players’ solidarity with each other as they enter the final season of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Some people didn’t like it – they thought it was too showy or too much of a flick-our-noses-at-the-owners kind of moment (and I’ve seen a joke or two on Twitter about how the owners should show solidarity by turning off the lights for a minute)  – but I thought the move was pretty damn cool.

"Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others' heads in," QB Drew Brees told reporters after the game, "we're all one voice."

2. Jeez, how much did the Vikings miss WR Sidney Rice last night? More importantly, how much will they miss him until he can return from hip surgery? Percy Harvin was mostly invisible (one catch, 12 yards), and Bernard Berrian was, somehow, worse (one catch, three yards), and aside from TE Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota’s passing game was terribly unimpressive. Greg Camarillo made a nice catch, and even Greg Lewis recorded a reception. But originally, I thought Harvin and Berrian would be OK until Rice returned. I might have been totally wrong. And if Shiancoe is the only receiving threat – he was Thursday, at least – and the Saints figured out a way to shut him down in the second half, it’s not far-fetched to think other teams will do the same.
P. Thomas had a big second half for New Orleans (AP).
You also have to wonder about Brett Favre. Not just that he might be too old (finally), but that his decision to miss most of training camp cost his team dearly. As Camarillo said after the game, the offense had no chemistry. A couple extra weeks of practicing together might have helped solve that.

3. The Saints ran the ball just three times in the first half, but the coaching staff switched gears in the second half and made a point of giving the ball to Pierre Thomas. He rushed 19 times for 71 yards, and he helped New Orleans eat up huge chunks of time in the fourth quarter to keep the Vikings at bay. The big run came with 1:59 to go when, on a second and six, Thomas broke a Ben Leber tackle (which would have stopped him behind the first-down marker) and made the first down to seal Minnesota’s fate.

Of course, much of the credit must go to New Orleans interior linemen. Guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks were outstanding against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:10 pm
 

Saints finally find a backup for Brees

WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that the Saints have finally found a backup for Drew Brees: ninth-year pro Patrick Ramsey. The former first-round pick of the Redskins is a native of Ruston, LA. Ramsey started off and on the first three years of his career, but he was often hindered by injuries.

When Ramsey’s career hit a crossroads in ’05 (his final seasonin Washington), it was thought that he would dwindle into a backup. That’s what happened – sort of. Over the last five seasons, Ramsey has been with the Jets, Broncos, Titans and Lions. He has made zero starts and has appeared in only four games (none since 2007).

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 20, 2010 3:16 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:40 pm
 

Position rankings: quarterbacks

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit saved everyone's favorite position ranking debate for last.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

4. Brett Favre, Vikings

3. Philip Rivers, ChargersP. Manning (US Presswire)

2. Drew Brees, Saints

1. Peyton Manning, Colts


This top five quarterbacking exercise is interesting. You basically can put the league’s starting quarterbacks into three categories. The top guys (about seven players), who you’d pick if (for some reason) you needed somebody to go 80 yards in 2 minutes in order to save your mortgage. The middle guys (maybe nine players) who used to be really good but now aren’t or who are young but could turn out to be really good. Then, the lower-end guys (the rest) who are interchangeable and probably wouldn’t lead your team to the top of the division. In that end, this exercise isn’t that difficult, because, basically, we’re picking from about seven quarterbacks.

That said, I’d be surprise if anyone argued against Peyton Manning as the top quarterbacks in the league – and maybe one of the best-five of all time. I could run through the stats, but you know they’re awesome. Perhaps most impressive about Manning, like Favre, is that he’s so durable. Part of that has to do with the performance of his offensive line – Manning was sacked 10 times last year – but he’s also tough, never missing a start in his career (that’s 192 straight games).

Brees had an incredible year last season, recording a QB rating of 109.6 and completing an NFL-record-tying 70.6 percent of his passes. I’d feel safer with Manning with the game on the line, but not much. Rivers and Rodgers passed for at least 4,200 yards, 28 touchdowns and less than 10 interceptions last season. And it’s tough to discount Favre, especially after how he performed last year in his 19th season. Yeah, he plays cowboy too often and throws atrocious interceptions in clutch moments, but for consistent greatness, he’s tough to beat.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Brett Favre, Vikings

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

3. Drew Brees, Saints

2. Tom Brady, Patriots

1. Peyton Manning, Colts

Josh, seven of the last nine Super Bowls have been won by quarterbacks who are NOT on your list. I can understand omitting Eli Manning – he ranks in the 10-12 range, not the 1-5 range. But I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger don’t show up.

The only explanation for a “healthy-minded” individual omitting Brady is that said “healthy-minded” individual thinks Brady isn’t the same after his ’08 knee injury. True, Brady had some trouble getting comfortable in the pocket during the first half of last year, but he still finished the season with nearly 4,400 yards and 28 touchdowns. The knee can’t be THAT grave a concern.

The argument against Big Ben, I’m assuming, is that he’s suspended for character issues, which calls his leadership into question. Whatever. The man is 28 and already owns two rings. Physically-speaking, Roethlisberger is the most gifted quarterback in the NFL.
 
Go ahead and retort these Brady-Roethlisberger arguments – I’m prepared to argue all day. (And if you’re prepared to say that Brady has weapons around him, I’m prepared to say that he won his three titles with Troy Brown and David Patten; if you’re ready to mention Roethlisberger’s sack numbers, I’m ready to remind you that his improvised plays have been a more than adequate tradeoff, and I’ll also ask, “If sacks are so bad, then what is Rodgers doing on your list?”)

A few other notes from your list…

**I agree with your analysis on Manning and Favre. Something I’d add is that no two quarterbacks transform average receivers into stars like these two. Favre made the careers of Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman. He built fantastic chemistry with Donald Driver. Most recently, he’s helped Sidney Rice recognize his full potential. Manning did the same with youngsters Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie last year. Think either of those guys could register 100 yards in a playoff game if they had a typical quarterback throwing them the ball?

**You give credit to Manning’s offensive line. Don’t. All the credit goes to Manning. The Colts offensive line is, at best, average. Left tackle Charlie Johnson is a plodder and both guards are undersized. Manning’s awareness and pocket presence explain the low sack totals. It’s the same case with Brees and the Saints’ line, by the way. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod is awful, and you know how I feel about Jon Stinchcomb. But even with iffy tackles, Brees almost never takes sacks.

**Like you, I put Manning ahead of Brees. My reasoning is that Manning has been playing at the highest of levels for about eight years. Brees, only three or four. That said, I have trouble following your logic when you write, “I’d feel safer with Manning with the game on the line, but not much.” Wasn’t Brees’s Super Bowl title clinched by Manning’s late fourth quarter pick-six?

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’re going to choose one play to illustrate that Manning isn’t clutch at the end of games? Well, what about the 2006 season AFC Championship game when he led the Colts back from an 18-point deficit, including that game-winning 80-yard TD drive, to beat Brady and the Patriots? Can we count that? Manning’s been clutch for longer than Brees in this league. That’s why I went with Manning as No. 1. Which you agree with, anyway.

When I mentioned there were seven quarterbacks who could have made the top seven, I obviously was also talking about Brady and Roethlisberger. I’ve seen Roethlisberger play numerous times live, and, to me, he’s simply a notch below the guys I’ve listed. I didn’t factor the recent legal issues or the suspension into my equation, but the leadership issues I did. It’s just the way he’s perceived by his teammates and the fact that they’ve questioned his character on a number of occasions. It’s not a good thing. I don’t mind him taking sacks because, I agree, he makes so many plays off his freelancing that it tends to balance out. But I point you to his 2008 stats: 59.9 percent completions; 3,301 yards, 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions. Those are not elite numbers. Hell, Chad Pennington had better numbers than that in 2008.

And you know what? I don’t have a great argument for excluding Brady, other than he didn’t seem like the same player last year after the knee injury. Plus, Matt Cassel had a pretty good year in Brady’s place, so in my mind, that diminishes Brady just a tad.

But if I had a mulligan, I think I’d replace Rodgers with Brady at No. 5.

Andy’s final word

Can’t let you off that easy, Josh – especially since this is our last position rankings debate. Putting Brady at No. 5 is inadequate. He’s at least 2 or 3. I will say, though, your point about Cassel is not a bad one. The Patriots went 11-5 under him and were hot down the stretch (they got screwed out of a postseason berth by the NFL’s flawed playoffs rules that put the 8-8 Chargers in the tournament that year). During that ’08 season, an immensely respected NFL analyst privately told me that you could argue Brady is simply the greatest system quarterback of all time. This analyst wasn’t saying he believed this, he was merely explaining that the discussion was worth having. We’ll save that discussion for another time. For now, I’ll keep it simple by honoring a Three-Time Champ.

Roethlisberger’s ’08 numbers are poor. And, from afar, he doesn’t appear to be highly respected by teammates. I get that. But again, this is a multi-time World Champion we’re talking about. If we had more Super Bowl winners in the league, you could leave the guy off. But it’s hard to go with Rodgers or Rivers when those guys have yet to build rich playoff résumés.

Final follow up on Manning: I’m not saying he isn’t clutch. He is. I’m just anticipating all the comments we’ll get from people griping that Brees should be No. 1 based on recent history.


Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle   | Center | Offensive Guard | Tight End | Wide Receiver | Running Back)

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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