Through Sept. 13, the first Sunday of the 2020 NFL season,
Sports Spectrum is highlighting one Christ-following player each day for 20 days.
At 41 years old and entering his 20th NFL season, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees still seems to be getting better.
The 2019 season saw Brees toss 27 touchdown passes and only four interceptions with a completion percentage of 74.3, despite missing five games. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer already holds the NFL record for most career completions, most passing yards and most passing touchdowns. Brees, the Super Bowl XLIV MVP and a 13-time Pro Bowler, plans to add to it in 2020.
Many believe New Orleans’ Super-Bowl window remains open, as offensive weapons like receiver Michael Thomas litter the field and the defense continues to improve.
“[Winning a Super Bowl is] why I came back,” Brees told the media last month. “I came back for my team, and I came back to chase that. We’ll take it one day at a time, one week at a time, but man, I’m going to enjoy every second of this journey and just value every moment, stay in the moment.”
The Saints have won the NFC South each of the last three years. The quest for a fourth consecutive division title begins with a high-profile Week 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their new quarterback, Tom Brady.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 30, 2020
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, no one has experienced an offseason like 2020. Still, Brees has been able to find some of the positives of an often-difficult situation.
“All of this is a bit different. We’re taking it as it comes,” Brees said in a recent post-practice press conference. “… I thought it was a good opportunity for us to take what is this year’s team with the addition of the rookies and the free agents and spend a lot of time together just doing a lot of fundamental things that otherwise you would just jump right into pads and you would get going. This has given us an opportunity to focus on some of the details, watch a little bit more film, and so we’ve tried to make the most of it.”
Brees is also aware that football players aren’t the only ones whose lives have been disrupted. He took the opportunity to donate at least $10 million to aid in coronavirus relief for Louisiana, which hit the state especially hard.
Brees saw the pandemic as an opportunity to give back to a community that has given him so much since he signed with New Orleans in 2006 — less than a year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city.
Brees explained in a video for The Increase why he felt God calling him to move to a city in so much turmoil.
“We were just looking at the sheer devastation and just saying, ‘I’m not going to trust what I see with my eyes here, because my eyes are telling me not to come here. And yet, my heart, my soul, the Lord is telling me that this is our calling,’” Brees said in the video. “It’s not about just coming to play football and be a part of the resurgence of a football team or an organization, but it’s about the resurrection, rebirth of a city and we can be a part of that.”
Brees has not been shy about his faith in Christ throughout his career. He gave his life to the Lord on his 17th birthday.
“We all want to be able to see, touch and feel things in order for them to be real. As Christians, we have to understand that God has a plan for us, though at times we will not understand it or agree with it,” Brees said in a 2018 edition of the Sports Spectrum Magazine. “Yet with our trust and faith in Him, we know that this is part of our journey and He will lead us and develop us into who He meant for us to be.”
Last year, Brees appeared in a video in which he discussed how he’s guided by the love of Christ.
“I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself,” he said, referencing Mark 12:30-31.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:30-31
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