Constant as Brees was, typically that focus blinded him from change swirling round him. Lengthy a vocal supporter of the navy, he equated kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem to protest police brutality with denigrating the flag.
As civil unrest roiled the nation final summer season, and because the league and its gamers grew extra proactive about addressing systemic racism and social injustice, Brees reiterated that he thought of it disrespectful to kneel. His feedback angered teammates previous and current, lots of whom have been mystified that somebody typically so conscious may very well be so insensitive. Brees later apologized, saying his feedback “missed the mark.”
“It damage — like, dang, Drew, actually? No manner,” Moore mentioned. “However typically it takes a scenario like that for any person to develop. I’m not going to permit one thing like that to erase the historical past we had collectively. I had to assist educate him a lesson, and I feel it was a second of reflection for him.”
Brees had ample time to ponder his future after the final three seasons, which all ended with a playoff defeat on the Superdome. Eradicated by the Rams within the playoffs after the 2018 season after officers missed a pass-interference name towards Los Angeles, and by Minnesota in time beyond regulation after the 2019 season, when he missed 5 video games with a thumb damage, the Saints misplaced to Tampa Bay at house within the divisional spherical in January partly as a result of the Buccaneers transformed two of Brees’s three interceptions into touchdowns.
That day Brees, already managing the aftermath of the 11 fractured ribs and punctured lung he sustained in Week 10, was additionally enjoying with — as revealed in an Instagram put up Brittany Brees would make two days later — a torn fascia in his foot and a torn rotator cuff. Struggling to maneuver the offense downfield towards Tampa Bay, Brees handed for 134 yards, his fewest in 18 postseason video games by far, and if all of it appeared like a discordant conclusion to a profession steeped in splendor, that’s as a result of it was — however but it nonetheless kind of misses the purpose.
A lot of the Brees mythology focuses on what he lacks, issues out of his management — the prototypical peak of a quarterback, an Elway-esque arm, a second championship to boost his legacy — as an alternative of what he’s, what he has, what he might do. And during the last twenty years, because the N.F.L. transitioned right into a passing league, nobody summoned his superpower higher to satisfy the place’s elemental accountability — throwing a soccer precisely and persistently — finer than he did.