Of course Drew Brees is elite
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Of course Drew Brees is elite

New Orleans : LA : USA | Feb 14, 2014 at 2:06 PM PST
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Drew Brees Talks About Living in New Orleans

Sometimes in sports, the answer to a question isn't found in numbers or record books. Sometimes, something is just known.

Examples: Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the position. Jim Brown is one of the greatest running backs in history. These are facts, not opinions, and you don't have to think for even a second to know that those statements are accurate.

I've got one more. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is elite.

Oh, what's that you say? Apparently not everybody agrees on the Brees being elite thing. Adam Schein of NFL.com ranked Brees at the top of the tier of quarterbacks that falls just beneath the group of elite passers, one that contains Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, in a piece posted this week.

First and foremost, it does need to be pointed out that the “elite conversations” that pop up every offseason, whether regarding Eli Manning, Joe Flacco or Brees, are ridiculous, and they are spawned more out of boredom due to the lack of football at this time of year than they are products of any real analysis.

That said, of course Drew Brees is an elite quarterback. What a silly notion to suggest otherwise.

Brees finished the 2013 regular season with over 5,100 passing yards. He was one of only two QBs to throw for over 5,000 last season, the other being the older Manning brother. Brees had a quarterback rating of 104.7, third highest among QBs who played in all 16 regular-season contests. He also had 39 passing touchdowns, the most for any quarterback not named Peyton Manning.

Careerwise, Brees has won just about all there is to win other than the league MVP award. He was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2004. He won the AP Offensive Player of the Year in '08 and in '11. Brees has been named to eight Pro Bowls. He has 51,081 career passing yards, the second highest among active quarterbacks and the fifth highest in the history of the NFL. His 363 passing touchdowns are good for fourth best ever.

There's more. Brees was named MVP of the Super Bowl when the Saints won it all. He's also going into the Hall of Fame, the home of the elites, and he'll probably be doing so the first time he is eligible for that honor.

That Brees has played so many games inside of domes during his NFL career means literally nothing to me as it pertains to this discussion. A player with his size (he's generously listed at 6 feet and 209 pounds) is not supposed to be so good for so long in the modern NFL. Brees has thoroughly exceeded every expectation people had for him back at the beginning of his pro career.

Titles won is about the only stat where you can say Brees doesn't have an elite value. As every knowledgeable football person knows, comparing players by Super Bowl rings is a ridiculous and useless practice. Has Eli Manning been better than Brees over the past decade? Has Ben Roethlisberger?

Maybe Brees doesn't deserve to be mentioned with the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Truth be told, I don't think he's even the second-greatest QB of his era. Grab all of the young and talented quarterbacks currently in the NFL – Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, and throw in the likes of will-be rookies Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater – put them all down in a room somewhere and tell them they will have careers that will mirror what Brees has accomplished.

I bet you every one of them would say they were about to become elite.

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Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints
ZacWassink is based in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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