Death by a thousand paper cuts (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

Intelligent, at least in terms of the game: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

Last weekend the National Football League (NFL) started the crucial phase of the season. The New Orleans Saints lived up to their favorite status and beat the Chicago Bears 21: 9 in the first round of the playoffs. Now the Saints face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is also where two of the best quarterbacks of their generation will meet: Tom Brady (Buccaneers) and Drew Brees (Saints), both of whom are now in their 40s. Brees has shaped the Louisiana franchise like no other in the past 15 years. For him it is probably the last chance to move into the Superbowl again, which he won with the Saints in 2010 – the only time for him and the franchise to date.

Brees will most likely retire after this season, most experts believe. The 41-year-old already has a contract as a commentator at the television station NBC signed.

Since joining the NFL in 2001, the native Texan has broken several records. Brees has the most yards thrown, most successful passes and most touchdown passes on his lapel. All of them supreme disciplines for a quarterback.

When Brees set the pass record for most yards in 2018, there were many congratulations from colleagues. One came via Twitter by Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. “Thanks for what you’ve done for us ‘little guys’,” the post said.

Wilson alluded to the fact that neither he nor Brees (1.83 meters) have the standard for a quarterback. At the beginning of his career, many renowned colleges did not want to sign Brees.

He made it into the NFL anyway. After a serious shoulder injury, his team at the time, the San Diego Chargers, let him move to the Saints in 2006. Not a very good decision. Together with trainer Sean Payton, Brees then transformed the franchise into one of the most successful in the recent past.

What distinguishes Brees to this day is his game intelligence. Off the pitch, however, he lacked perspective last year. “I will never agree to anyone who disregards the flag of the United States of America,” Brees said in June when asked about possible protests by NFL players in the wake of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

After many of his African American colleagues had made it clear to him publicly what rubbish he was saying, Brees apologized in writing and by video message. “I want you to see in my eyes how sorry I am,” he said. “I’ll do better. I am part of the solution and I am your ally, ”added Brees.

The ravages of time are now gnawing at him in terms of sport. Due to the decreasing arm strength, the Saints system is mainly based on short passes. Sam Monson last praised on the podcast of Pro Football Focus Hence Brees’ patience in so consistently pulling out supposedly simple passports.

The principle of the rather short throws is referred to in the same podcast as “death by a thousand paper cuts”. If Brees should move into the Superbowl again, he won’t care about the “how”.

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