Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is said to have a short stature for an NFL quarterback. Although physique is taken into account for NFL scouts and the quarterback is the consensus most important position on the field, Brees is the proud owner of a Super Bowl ring.
He was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV.
The Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson is listed as one inch shorter (5’11”) and three pounds lighter (206 lbs) than Brees, was selected one round later in his respective NFL draft and has had to deal with the same questions that Brees did as a rookie.
It’s worth noting that Brees was in the same NFL draft as the Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, who went No. 1 overall that year. They are similarly sized, but fewer questions about Vick’s height come into play when discussing whether he can be an adequate quarterback.
That card is played regarding matters of his ability to take hits.
Wilson got an earlier opportunity to answer the questions that both he and Brees faced entering the NFL.
Brees played only one game in his inaugural season before getting the gig full-time in his sophomore campaign. Wilson has just been handed the keys as a rookie.
Brees didn’t begin his career as the Drew Brees that we know today. His first three seasons in the league (including his one game played as a rookie) saw him throw 29 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.
There was a certain runner in the backfield named LaDainian Tomlinson that helped take some of the pressure off him, too.
Wilson's got a guy like that named Marshawn Lynch, and so far, his TD-to-INT ratio is similar to what Brees had early in his career. It’s actually a little better. He has eight touchdowns thrown compared to seven interceptions through Week 7.
In his fourth year, Brees threw 27 touchdown passes and seven picks. He’s averaged 32 TDs and 15 picks in the seven full seasons since and is now a consensus elite NFL quarterback.
Brees’ career arc is a testament to his work ethic. He even won his second NFL Offensive Player of the Year award two years after the Saints won the Super Bowl.
Wilson will have to work just as diligently to take the necessary steps of being a top-flight NFL quarterback. Considering that he won the starting job in training camp while learning his third playbook in three years, it seems as though he is prepared to do just that.