Saints Quarterback Drew Brees Gives Players and Coaches a Surprise Gift After Setting a Record


Stanley Kong

This holiday season, Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has a lot to feel merry about. In his 18th season, he’s lead his team to an impressive 11-2 record and a playoff berth, meanwhile becoming the NFL all-time career passing-yardage leader with 73,908. Now, he is giving thanks to everyone that got him there.

Brees gifted personalized footballs and letters of appreciation to 174 players, coaches, and mentors, from teammates during his time with the San Diego Chargers to his coaches and mentors today. Every ball had the recipient’s name, and if they were a receiver, the number of balls they caught from Drew.

“I wanted to do something for everybody,” said the 39-year old quarterback after breaking the record in October. “Obviously the emotions that came after that and just the reflections… you just start thinking about all the guys that had a hand in that.”

Recipients of the gifts also included Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on his throwing shoulder in 2006, former Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and Saints owner Gayle Benson. Mike Karney, a former fullback who last played with Brees over 10 years ago, also received the game ball. He tweeted on Thursday:

“Thank you and for this token of appreciation. I’m at a loss for words and can only say that it was a privilege and honor to be your teammate. You’re a class act brother and one of the greatest to ever do it!”

The letter he received from Brees said:

“On October 8, 2018, we were blessed to have become the National Football League’s all-time passing yardage leader. It is a tremendous honor, especially when one considers that some of the truly iconic figures of the NFL once held this mark. Names such as Fran Tarkenton, Brett Favre and most recently, Peyton Manning.

I want to personally thank you for everything you did to be a part of the record-setting moment. Without your contribution, this milestone would not have happened. Although they only put one name in the record book, I want you to know that I consider you to be an important part of this record.

I was truly blessed and honored to be your teammate. Please accept this small token of my appreciation for everything you have done to help accomplish this milestone. I appreciate the time, dedication and commitment you sacrificed in order to make this record a reality. Thank you for being a part of this incredible journey.”

“It’s him,” Saints tight end Benjamin Watson said. “Obviously this is his accomplishment, but him being the leader that he is, he loves to defer praise to other people. I’m just thankful to be able to play with him and be able to contribute to the greatness that he’s achieved.”

And praise aside, Brees says he is not stopping anytime soon. He is still looking for that elusive goal at the end of the tunnel: a second ring.