This NFL season, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, in total yards alone, was a dominant factor. So it comes as no surprise that Brees with his 5,069 total yards was named AP Offensive Player of the Year.
Though Brees did not lead the Saints to the postseason, and the quarterback was 15 yards shy of the record owned by the legendary Dan Marino, his numbers were still impressive for the season. He is only the second NFL passer to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season.
“The only reason I still even think about it is because I know how much it would have meant to the offensive line and the skill position guys,” Brees said.
“Those guys were 10 times more upset than I was about not getting the record. I just feel like they really, especially down the stretch, looked at that as something that, for all the heartache and all the ups and downs we had this season that was something they hang their hats on.”
It was a record that looked likely to fall, needing only 16 more yards towards the end of the season finale, but Brees will have to give it another shot some other time. Brees' regular season performance earned him the award though his team did not make the postseason, and it comes well deserved.
He earned 22 votes in balloting from a nationwide panel of 50 NFL sportswriters and broadcasters. He beat out a great duo in Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, voted Most Valuable Player for the third time, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
“I don’t come out from week to week and say I have to throw for 300,” Brees said. “I don’t think about that. It’s really about what I can do to help this team win.”
In two of his last three games, Brees threw for over 250 yards.
“Certainly in this offense, being the quarterback, you’re in the driver’s seat. You have the opportunity to control every play and have it in your hands,” Brees said. “Every play is about me making good decisions and putting it in a guy’s hands who is open or our playmakers working to their strengths. That’s my job.”
The Saints spent most of the regular season without key figures like running back Reggie Bush, wide receiver Marques Colston, and tight end Jeremy Shockey. With them, Brees might have broken Marino’s record and led his team to the postseason, but injuries are part of the game.
“Each year I’ve gotten better, especially over the last five years,” Brees said. “When I go back to 2004 in San Diego, every year I feel so much more comfortable. I really feel like I’ve refined my routine and continued to find what works for me.”
Sulaiman Folarin is the editor of JOCKlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org