New Orleans Saints elite quarterback Drew Brees is in the midst of another masterful season, as he is averaging eight yards per attempt with an average of 340 passing yards per game. Brees his hitting superstar tight end Jimmy Graham with consistent precision, and he has bevy of weapons around him with the likes of Marques Colston, Darren Sproles, Kenny Stills, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, and Pierre Thomas. The Saints have so many pass-catching weapons that Moore can’t even manage to get many targets headed his way, as he is becoming an afterthought in this loaded offense despite having over 1,000 receiving yards as a staple receiver last season.
Drew Brees spoke to SB Nation’s excellent Saints site Canal Street Chronicles in a Q&A, and I found his comments on his leadership style to be especially interesting. CSC’s Hans Peterson asked Brees what his “sideline leadership style is”, specifically how he interacts with his teammates. As we all expected, the cool-headed QB responded that he is calm when interacting with his teammates.
“I’m pretty calm, honestly. I just come to the sideline, look at the game pictures and try to get ideas to come to mind. Then I walk over to the receivers, the running backs, the offensive line and say, “Hey, this is what I saw. If we get this again, be ready to for me to check to this, or you could run the route this way or use the technique this way, and we can hit it.” It’s just about communication, and not so much “rah rah” and certainly not negative. I’m going to make a bad pass just like a guy’s going to miss a block, or drop a pass. That stuff happens in the course of a game, and you just have to stay calm and know that we’re going to be looking for our next opportunity. And with a lot of those guys, we’ve been together for so long that there’s a lot of trust and a lot of confidence in each other. There’s going to be an ebb and flow during the game, and changes of momentum, and we’re always trying to be ready for those opportunities when we get them.”
The way quarterbacks interact with their receivers has become a popular topic early in the season because of the way Tom Brady yelled on the sidelines. Brady is dealing with a lot of turnover at the wide receiver position, with the focus being on young, talented receivers who just haven’t got things down yet. I’ve always thought those knocks on Brady’s temper have been overblown, because that’s what competitive players do. I also thought that last week, Brady was just yelling at himself for making some uncharacteristically poor throws. But it is important to keep a cool demeanor around your teammates, especially at quarterback. Guys like Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, and Aaron Rodgers (to name three who have spoken about this before) come to mind as QBs who are excellent at this.
Interestingly enough, Brady said something similar to Brees’s comments on how a bad throw is like a bad drop or fumble, and those things happen in a ball game; you just have to move on. Brady said that in response to a question about Stevan Ridley’s fumbling earlier this season.