Payton On Brees: I Might Get Tired Of Coaching Before He's Tired Of Playing

Drew Brees will enter his age-40 season, but he's shown no signs of slowing down

Tiki and Tierney
May 01, 2019 - 4:03 pm
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Drew Brees has done just about everything a quarterback can do in the NFL. He’s been to 12 Pro Bowls, he’s been an All-Pro, he’s led the league in passing yards (seven times), he’s led the league in passing touchdowns (four times), he’s led the league in passer rating (twice), he’s won a Super Bowl, and he’s been a Super Bowl MVP.

But there’s one thing he’s never done in the NFL: enter a season in his 40s.

Well, he’ll do exactly that this season – his 19th in the league.

Sean Payton, though, doesn’t spend too much time thinking about life after Brees.

“Well, you’re constantly thinking about your roster, and one of the big reasons we went out and retained Teddy Bridgewater (and signed) Taysom Hill – we feel like that room is as good as it’s been anywhere I’ve been in the league,” Payton said on Tiki & Tierney. “In the meantime, though, the way Drew has played and how he takes care of himself, I think that’s changed (the thinking). When that happens, I don’t ever want to try to predict it. Shoot, I might get tired of coaching before he’s ready to be tired of playing.”

The Saints, of course, came oh-so-close to the NFC Championship two years ago and oh-so-close to the Super Bowl this past season. A missed pass interference call, however, likely cost New Orleans a trip to Atlanta.

Saints fans may not be over the missed call yet, but Payton is. Or at least he’s trying to be.

“Listen, it’s a process like anything else,” he said. “I’m excited about this team that we’ve slowly built. We’ve got a good young roster. I think there is a transition. It’s a week or two, and you kind of turn the page. The best thing about our sport is the next season is upon you. All of a sudden you’re in free agency and then the Draft. We feel like we really helped ourselves, and we’re excited to get going.”

The NFL responded to the missed call by making pass interference a reviewable play. Some people loved it, some people hated it, but Payton doesn’t think it will have that big of an impact on games.

“We’re still, as a coach, sitting with two challenges essentially,” he said. “In the last three years, the amount of challenges coaches have used has slowly gone down. Scoring plays are reviewed, turnovers are reviewed, and inside two minutes they have the review. So I don’t think you’re going to see more challenges. I think you’re going to be a little more conservative with your first-half challenge. To get into the final quarter of the game and not have a timeout or not have a challenge when something maybe egregious happens, you’ll get a lot of criticism for that. I think it’s going to be for the obvious big play.”