Retiring Drew Brees deserves more recognition, says fellow Saints Super Bowl winner

By Sports Desk March 16, 2021

Drew Brees deserves more recognition for his NFL career accomplishments, says his former New Orleans Saints team-mate Jermon Bushrod.

The 42-year-old quarterback has announced his retirement after 20 seasons in the pro game, 15 of which were with the Saints.

Brees made the Saints perennial contenders and also had a huge impact off the field, credited with helping the city to recover after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Two-time Pro Bowler Bushrod won a Super Bowl with Brees at the end of the 2009 season as part of an initial six-year run on the Saints offensive line.

He also spent the last season of his NFL career protecting Brees in 2018, when the Saints went 13-3 before ultimately falling to a controversial NFC Championship Game defeat to the Rams.

Bushrod believes Brees deserves to be remembered among the very best, despite having frustratingly ended his career with just one Super Bowl title.

"It is frustrating that he doesn't get the recognition that he deserves," Bushrod said to Stats Perform News.

"You know a lot of people tend to leave him out of their top 10 or top five list and to me [he should be in].

"Maybe I'm a little biased because I had the best of him. I put myself on the line for him and I would do it again if the situation ever came up.

"He is a Super Bowl MVP, he got us to win the Super Bowl, he has broken so many records.

"Those memories last, he is going to be a Hall of Famer and the career he has had is kind of going to be forever etched in stone."

Brees extended his career chasing a second Lombardi Trophy that ultimately did not arrive and his final Super Bowl tally of one remains a regret to those associated with the Saints.

Bushrod, who also played with the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears, added: "It is frustrating, I'll be honest, because I was a part of the one Super Bowl with him but we should have had [more]. 

"We had two more opportunities while I was on the team [in my first run]. We had opportunities in the 2011 and 2012 season.

"And we had opportunity in the no call game [against the Rams in 2018], and they [the Saints] had an opportunity in the year or so before that.

"But Drew Brees was a huge part of the reason that we [won the Super Bowl] because when you have a guy like that who can march the ball up and down the field, everybody else just has to do their part. 

"Just do your part and don't make this game any harder than it really should be because we had this gunslinger back here who is extremely accurate and could get the ball all over the field. 

"It took pressure off of our defense. Our defense could take more chances, our special teams were great too because they put us in position.

"When you have Drew and you had that type of play caller in Sean Payton, if you give us a short field or you give us an extra possession we would light the scoreboard up and that was really cool to see."

While the Saints still went 9-3 in regular season games he played, Brees struggled to match his previous heights in 2020 and missed four games due to injury, so his retirement was widely expected.

Bushrod added: "Everyone kind of figured it was coming, based on his last year and the injuries that he was going through, to deal with something like that throughout the whole season.

"Being a guy who's 42 years old, who really pours a lot into this game, everybody kind of expected it.

"But I was sitting in my car when I got the alert on my phone and it took me back for a second that, 'Man, this guy is really done, but he had such an impact, not just on myself but on that city as well'.

"I just think of professionalism at its highest level [with Brees]. The amount of focus, the amount of detail, the amount of passion. His competitive spirit would pour out every day.

"You need to get the job done at a higher level because you see what this individual is doing, he knows what every single player on the offense is doing and it is pretty special to see.

"To be hand in hand, locked on with him and inside that huddle for seven out of my 12 years was truly a tremendous experience.

"He's done so much by investing millions of dollars from his philanthropic efforts but he's also created jobs in the city of New Orleans, he's leant a helping hand, in helping building homes and playgrounds. 

"What he did on the field was truly tremendous, but what he's done off the field is truly legendary. God gives you these platforms and you've got to be able to help and inspire the next person - he's done that."

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