American Football Wiki
Drew Brees
Drew brees
Brees during the 2018 NFC Championship Game vs the Rams on January 20, 2019.
No. 9
Position:  Quarterback
Personal information
Born:  January 17 1979 (1979-01-17) (age 45)
 Dallas, Texas
Listed height:  6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight:  209 lbs (95 kg)
National Football League Debut
2001 for the San Diego Chargers
Career information
High school:  West Lake (TX)
College:  Purdue
NFL Draft:  2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 32
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl champion (XLIV)
  • Super Bowl MVP (XLIV)
  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011)
  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (2006)
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2004)
  • First-team All-Pro (2006)
  • 4× Second-team All-Pro (2008, 2009, 2011, 2018)
  • 13× Pro Bowl (2004, 2006, 20082014, 20162019)
  • NFL passing yards leader (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014–2016)
  • NFL passing touchdowns leader (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
  • NFL passer rating leader (2009, 2018)
  • NFL completion percentage leader (2009–2011, 2017–2019)
  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2010)
  • Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year (2010)
  • Bert Bell Award (2009)
  • Art Rooney Award (2018)
  • Bart Starr Award (2011)
  • Best Record-Breaking Performance ESPY Award (2012,[1] 2019)
  • Maxwell Award (2000)
  • Chicago Tribune Silver Football (2000)
  • Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (1998, 2000)
External links
Stats at Pro-football-reference

Andrew Christopher "Drew" Brees (born January 15, 1979) is a former american football quarterback of the NFL, primarily with the New Orleans Saints. He was taken in the 2nd Round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. In March 2006, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, and it made the franchise explode to more fans, winning Super Bowl XLIV, appearing in the playoffs 9 times with him, and appeared in the NFC Championship Game 3 times, losing 2 out of 3. On Dec. 28, 2011, Brees passed Dan Marino for most passing yards in a single season, with 5,084 passing yards. Brees, who played college football at Purdue, Brees has been selected to the Pro Bowl thirteen times in his career – one with the Chargers in 2004 and twelve with the Saints in 2006, 2008-2014, 2016-2019. He was named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. He was also selected by voters to appear on the cover of EA Sports' Madden NFL 11.[2] Sports Illustrated named him as its 2010 Sportsman of the Year.[3]

Early life and high school[]

Brees was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Mina (née Akins), an attorney, and Eugene Wilson Brees II, a medical malpractice attorney.[4] He was named after Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson.[5] His uncle, Marty Akins, was an All-American starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns college football team from 1975 to 1977. Chip Brees played basketball for the Texas A&M Aggies men's basketball team, and his grandfather, Ray Akins, had the third-most victories as a Texas high school football coach.[6]

Brees was selected as Texas High School 5A Most Valuable Offensive Player in 1996 and led the Westlake High School football team to 16-0 record and state championship.[7] As a high school football player, Brees completed 314 of 490 passes (64.1 percent) for 5,461 yards with 50 touchdowns including, in his senior season, 211 of 333 passes (63.4 percent) for 3,528 yards with 31 touchdowns.[8] Westlake went 28-0-1 when Brees started for two seasons and beat Abilene Cooper High School 55-15 in the 1996 title game.[8][6]

College career[]

Brees graduated from Purdue University with a degree in industrial management.[9] He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He left Purdue with Big Ten Conference records in passing yards (11,792), touchdown passes (90), total offensive yards (12,693), completions (1,026), and attempts (1,678). He led the Boilermakers to the 2001 Rose Bowl, Purdue's first appearance there since 1967, where Purdue lost by ten points to the Washington Huskies. Brees was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's best quarterback in 1999. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's outstanding player of 2000 and won the NCAA's Today's Top VIII Award as a member of the Class of 2001. Brees was also fourth in Heisman Trophy voting in 1999 and third in 2000. Brees also tied an NCAA record with the longest pass ever (99 yards), to receiver Vinny Sutherland against Northwestern on September 25, 1999.

As a senior, Brees was named the Academic All-America Player of the Year, the first Purdue player since Bruce Brineman (1989) to earn national academic honors. Brees also was awarded Purdue's Leonard Wilson Award for unselfishness and dedication. To continue his education and improve his ability to pursue reasoned business ventures and opportunities, Brees also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business for NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurship in 2008.

Notable awards[]

  • Outback Bowl MVP
  • Alamo Bowl MVP
  • Big Ten Football MVP (2000)
  • Maxwell Award (2000)
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2004)
  • NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011)
  • MVP (Super Bowl XLIV) (2009)

Professional career[]

San Diego Chargers[]

2001 NFL Draft[]

Brees' college success led to projections that he would be a mid-to-late first round draft pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, but he slipped due to concerns about his relatively short stature for a professional quarterback (6'0"), a perceived lack of arm strength, and a sense that he had succeeded in college in a system designed for him. Ultimately, Brees was the second quarterback selected in the 2001 draft, chosen by the San Diego Chargers as the first pick of the second round.[10]

San Diego originally had the first pick in that draft, but traded it to Atlanta (which used it to draft Michael Vick) in return for the fifth pick of the first round, with which San Diego drafted LaDainian Tomlinson.[10]

Early career[]

Brees played in his first professional game on November 4, 2001 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He won the starting job over Doug Flutie during training camp before the start of the 2002 season. Brees started all 16 games for the Chargers during the 2002 season, leading the team to an 8-8 record. After a disappointing start to the 2003 season he was replaced by Flutie.

Brees' career with the Chargers was put in jeopardy after San Diego acquired NC State's Philip Rivers. After the trade, it was almost certain Brees' days as the Chargers' starting QB were over. However, Rivers held out nearly all of training camp. Brees therefore remained the starter throughout the 2004 season, where he started every game and led the team to a 12-4 regular season record. The Chargers won the AFC West and Brees was selected to the 2004 NFL Pro Bowl. He was named 2004 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.


Brees became a free agent after the season and was not expected to return to San Diego, which had already committed a large sum of money to Rivers. The team eventually designated Brees a franchise player, giving him a one-year contract that quadrupled his pay to $8 million for 2005.

Under the terms of the franchise player contract, Brees was eligible to be traded or sign with another team, but the Chargers would receive two future first round draft choices in return. He was not traded and continued as starting quarterback for the remainder of the 2005 season.

Brees continued his productive play in 2005, as he posted a career high in passing yards with 3,576. Brees also posted an 89.2 rating, 10th best in the NFL. However, in the last game of the 2005 season against the Denver Broncos, Brees tore his labrum while trying to pick up his own fumble after being hit by Broncos safety John Lynch. Denver tackle Gerard Warren hit Brees while he was on the ground, causing the injury. Brees underwent arthroscopic surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, to repair the torn labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder on January 5, 2006. Subsequent reports mentioned additional rotator cuff damage and he also was treated by Dr. Saby Szajowitz to recover and regain muscle movement.

Brees was selected as first alternate to the AFC Pro Bowl team for the 2005 season. He would have played in his second consecutive Pro Bowl due to the injury to starter Carson Palmer, but his own injury dictated that the AFC Pro Bowl roster would have to be filled by second alternate Jake Plummer.

After the season, the Chargers offered Brees a 5-year, $50 million contract that paid $2 million in base salary the first year and the rest heavily based on performance incentives. Brees evaluated the incentive-based offer as a sign of no confidence by the Chargers and promptly demanded the salary a top 5 "franchise" quarterback would receive.

New Orleans Saints[]

After the Chargers refused to increase their offer, Brees met with other teams. The New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins were interested. New Orleans made an offer that included $10 million in guaranteed money the first year and a $12 million option the second year. Miami was unsure if Brees' shoulder was completely healed and doctors suggested the team not sign him because of the injury.[11] The Dolphins ended negotiations and traded for Minnesota Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper instead. Brees signed a 6-year, $60 million deal with the Saints on March 14, 2006.


Brees had a productive first year with the Saints. The team, under first-year head coach Sean Payton, rebounded from its disastrous 2005 season (when the team was unable to play in New Orleans due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and struggled to a 3–13 record) to finish with a 10–6 regular season record and won the NFC South division title. Brees threw a league-leading 4,418 passing yards, finished third in the league with 26 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions and a 96.2 passer rating. Brees was named starting quarterback for the NFC in the 2007 Pro Bowl. On January 5, 2007, Brees was named first runner-up behind former teammate Tomlinson for league MVP by the Associated Press. Brees and Tomlinson were co-recipients of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

On January 13, 2007, in his first playoff game for New Orleans, Brees was 20–32 in passing attempts with 1 touchdown and no interceptions against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints held on to win 27–24, and advanced to the franchise's first NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears. Though he completed 27 of 49 passes for 354 yards against the Chicago Bears, and two touchdowns, Brees committed three costly turnovers, and was penalized for an intentional grounding in the endzone, resulting in a safety, as the Saints lost 39–14.[12] Brees then dislocated his left elbow during the first quarter of the Pro Bowl.


The following season Brees passed for 4423 yards and tied a then team record with 28 touchdowns. He also set the NFL record previously held by Rich Gannon for pass completions in a single season with 440. However, the Saints missed the playoffs.


File:Drew Brees Saints 2008.jpg

Brees passes the ball during a 2008 away game against the Washington Redskins.

In 2008, the Saints again missed the playoffs but Brees had a strong year statistically, finishing 15 yards short of the NFL record for passing yards thrown in a single season set by Dan Marino in 1984. He finished the season with 5,069 yards and became the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season.[13] He passed for 300 yards ten times during the season, tying Rich Gannon's 2002 record. He was named FedEx Air Player of the Week for his performances during weeks 8 and 12 and was named the AP 2008 Offensive Player of the Year.[14]

2009 Super Bowl Season[]

In the first game of the 2009 season against the Detroit Lions, Brees set a career-high and franchise-tying record with six touchdown passes, (NFL record for opening week) going 26/34 for 358 yards. The next week, Brees led the Saints to a 48–22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdown passes. Brees also tied the record for most touchdown passes by the end of week 2 with 9. In week 6 against the 5–0 New York Giants, Brees completed 23 of 30 passes for 369 yards, 4 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 156.8 in a dominant 48–27 victory.

In week 7, Brees led a dramatic comeback victory on the road against the Miami Dolphins, 46–34. The Saints quickly faced a 24–3 deficit in the second quarter, trailing for the first time all season at that point, and failing to score on their first possession as they had in all of their previous contests. Brees had a poor outing, but provided two crucial rushing touchdowns, one just before halftime to narrow the deficit to 24–10, and one in the third quarter to give the Saints their first lead of the game, 37–34.

The next week, Brees threw for 308 yards on 25 of 33 passing along with two touchdowns and one interception in leading the Saints to a 35–27 victory and franchise tying best start at 7–0 against the rival Atlanta Falcons. In week 9, Brees helped guide the team to a 30–20 victory over the Carolina Panthers. This would be Drew's first victory over the Carolina Panthers in the Superdome and gave the Saints their best ever start in franchise history at 8–0.

In week 12, Brees led the Saints to an 11–0 record, defeating the New England Patriots 38–17 on Monday Night Football. Drew Brees totaled 371 yards passing, posting a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

After close victories over the Washington Redskins and Falcons in successive weeks to start 13–0, Brees and the Saints lost their first game of the season to the Dallas Cowboys, 24–17, after DeMarcus Ware caused a Brees fumble in the final seconds, ending a fourth quarter rally. The Saints then lost their last two games, with Brees sitting out the week 17 finale against Carolina. Their 13–3 record secured the #1 seed in the NFC.

Brees' individual statistics led to numerous accolades,[15] including a Pro Bowl selection, the Maxwell Football Club's Bert Bell Award, and runner-up in voting for the AP MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and All-Pro awards. He finished the season with a completion percentage of 70.62, establishing a new NFL record.[16][17]

In the divisional round of the playoffs, the Saints routed the Arizona Cardinals 45–14 to advance to the NFC Championship, where they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31–28 in overtime. Brees completed 17 of 31 passes for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The underdog Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31–17 in Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010. Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 pass completions and won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award. He threw for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was the first league championship in Saints franchise history.[18] Brees was named the 2010 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, both for his winning the Super Bowl and his charitable work towards the reconstruction of New Orleans. On December 17, 2010, he was named AP Male Athlete of the Year.

File:Drew Brees after winning Super Bowl XLIV Jan. 7th, 2010.jpg

Brees celebrating the Super Bowl win with his son


In 2010, the Saints qualified for the playoffs as a wild card team with an 11-5 record, but were eliminated in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks, 41-36. Despite the disappointing end to the season, Brees was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl (fourth as a Saint) and was voted the No. 9 NFL player of 2011 by his peers.


File:Madden 11 Drew Brees cover.jpg

Brees on the cover of Madden NFL 11.


In 2011, Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's 27 year-old record for most passing yards in one season (5,084) in the 15th game of the season (week 16) against the Atlanta Falcons at home in New Orleans at the Superdome with a touchdown pass to Darren Sproles.

Drew Brees began the 2011 season against the Super Bowl champs, Green Bay Packers, in a close loss, 42-34. Despite the loss, Brees posted his 7th career 400-plus passing game, with 419 yards, also throwing for 3 Touchdowns and zero interceptions, for a 112.5 passer rating.

In week 2, Drew Brees defeated the Chicago Bears during the Saints's home-opener for the first time in his career as a starting quarterback, with 270 yards, 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions. With his first win over the Bears, Brees has defeated all NFL teams except the Baltimore Ravens. Also of note, with the 79 yard TD pass to Devery Henderson in the 2nd quarter, Brees extended his streak of games with at least one passing TD to 29, which is 1 game behind Dan Marino and 7 behind Brett Favre, who both have 30 and 36 games with at least one TD pass thrown respectively. Johnny Unitas has the all time record with 47 straight games with a TD pass, but Brees streak is the fourth-longest in the NFL since 1950. Brees has not been held without a TD pass since Week 4 of the 2009 season, a 24-10 road win over the New York Jets. He has thrown 62 TD passes during the streak, which does not include four playoff games in which he also threw at least one TD pass. In week 3 against the Houston Texans, Brees threw 3 touchdown passes to extend his streak to 30 games with at least one passing TD, tying Dan Marino. He also completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 370 yards, completing 31 of his 44 passes in a 40-33 home win. In week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts, Brees threw 5 touchdown passes to extend his streak to 34 games with at least one passing TD. He completed 31 of his 35 passes for 325 yards and beat the Colts 62-7.

In week 12’s Monday night hosting of the NY Giants, the Saints routed the Giants 49-24 aided by Brees' stellar performance with passing for 363 yards and 4 TDs passes extending his streak to 38 games.

In a home game on 12/4/2011 against the Detroit Lions, Brees passed for 342 yards. Brees' performance gave him 4,031 yards on the season, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark in the first 12 games of a season, and the first quarterback to reach 4 consecutive seasons with 4000+ yards and 30+ TD passes.

In week 15 against the Minnesota Vikings, Brees threw for 412 yards with 5 passing TDs. Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5 touchdowns, 400+ yards, and a completion percentage of 80% in a game. He extended his streak of a passing touchdown to 41 consecutive games.

In week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons, on 12/26/2011 at 10:35 pm New Orleans time at the Superdome in New Orleans, Brees broke Dan Marino's long standing record of passing yards in a year of 5,084 with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles with just under 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter of the game. Brees needed 305 yards to break the record entering the game and exceeded that mark with 307. He ended the game having thrown for 5,087 total passing yards for the regular season with 1 regular season game remaining. With his second-quarter, 8-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston, Brees extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 42 games. Marino congratulated Brees via Twitter after the game, saying "Congrats to @drewbrees. Great job by such a special player." Brees responded by tweeting, "Thanks to @DanMarino for his class and support during this run. It is an honor to attempt to follow the example he set for us all."[19]

In week 17 against the Carolina Panthers, Brees closed out the season by setting 6 NFL records, finishing the year with 468 completions for 5,476 yards, edging Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who also surpassed Marino's record with 5,235 yards. Brees averaged 342 yards passing per game, which broke Dan Fouts' record of 320 in a strike-shortened 1982 season, a record eventually broken by Peyton Manning.[20][21]

Career statistics[]

Year Team G-S Passing
Yards Pct. TD Int. Long Sacks-Lost Pass
2001 San Diego 1–0 27–15 221 .556 1 0 40 2–12  94.8
2002 San Diego 16–16 526–320 3,284 .608 17 16 52 24–180  76.9
2003 San Diego 11–11 356–205 2,108 .576 11 15 68 21–178  67.5
2004 San Diego 15–15 400–262 3,159 .655 27 7 79 18–131 104.8
2005 San Diego 16–16 500–323 3,576 .646 24 15 54 27–223  89.2
2006 New Orleans 16–16 554–356 4,418 .643 26 11 86 18–105  96.2
2007 New Orleans 16–16 652–440 4,423 .675 28 18 58 16–109  89.4
2008 New Orleans 16–16 635–413 5,069 .650 34 17 84 13–92 96.2
2009 New Orleans 15–15 514–363 4,388 .706 34 11 75 20–135 109.6
2010 New Orleans 16-16 658-448 4,620 .681 33 22 80 25–185 90.9
2011 New Orleans 16-16 657-468* 5,476* .712* 46 14 79 24–158 110.6
Totals 154-153 3613–5,479 40,742 .659 281 146 86 208-1,508  94.0
Postseason 6–6 225–150 1648 .667 13 2 88 10–61  103.7
^* NFL record


  1. Brees wins ESPY for best record-breaking performance (in en) (July 12, 2012).
  2. Drew Brees to Appear on Madden NFL 11 Cover – PlayStation 2 News, 4/22/10
  3. Layden, Tim. "New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees named SI's Sportsman of the Year", Sports Illustrated, November 30, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-11-30. 
  5. Layden, Tim (August 16, 1999), "Drew Brees: About Face", Sports Illustrated 91 (6): pp. 62–68, 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Drew Brees. New Orleans Saints. Retrieved on January 2, 2011.
  7. Drew Brees. NFL. Retrieved on January 2, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Drew Brees. CBS Sports. Retrieved on January 2, 2011.
  9. Drew's Bio. Retrieved on January 2, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Trade works well as Chargers get Tomlinson, then Brees", AP at, April 21, 2001. Retrieved on 2010-01-19. 
  11. Kirwin, Pat (2011-02-09). Teams must be kicking themselves for not drafting Rodgers. Retrieved on 2011-02-10.
  12. Wilner, Barry (2007-01-22). Bears reach first Super Bowl in 21 years. Retrieved on 2008-11-28.
  13. Kasay helps Panthers solidify NFC's No. 2 seed with win over Saints. Associated Press via (2008-12-28). Retrieved on 2008-12-28.
  14. Saints QB Brees is AP Offensive Player of the Year[dead link] Yahoo News, January 6, 2009
  15. Savior Saint | The Advertiser. Retrieved on 2011-05-11.
  16. Martel, Brett. "Like Williams, Brees prefers to play for record", Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Sports, December 31, 2009. Retrieved on 2010-01-13. 
  17. "Record & Fact Book",, Retrieved on 2010-01-13. 
  18. Bell, Jarrett. "Saints stump Colts 31–17 to win franchise's first Super Bowl title", USA Today, 2010-02-07. Retrieved on 2010-02-08. 
  19. [1]
  20. NFL Single-Season Passing Yards per Game Leaders. Retrieved on January 3, 2012.
  21. Cacciola, Scott. "The NFL's Mount Passmore", December 13, 2011. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012.