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Chargers would love more Brees lightning

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/columnists/rgosselin/stories/081905dnspogosselincol.1c872f07.html">Dallas Morning News</a>

    <img src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/brees01.jpg" class="right" alt="Drew Brees" />SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Even when the San Diego Chargers tried to quit on quarterback Drew Brees, he never quit on them.

    Brees enjoyed the type of season in 2004 that demands financial reward. He passed for 27 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, finishing third in the NFL in passing. He took his team to an AFC West title and himself to his first Pro Bowl. And Brees did it in a contract year.

    But instead of rewarding their quarterback with a multiyear, multimillion dollar deal, the Chargers slapped the franchise tag on him, a one-year contract that would pay him $8.08 million. The message was clear to Brees: Do it again.

    But Brees didn't whine about his treatment. He didn't complain. He didn't hold out like fellow franchise player Corey Simon at Philadelphia trying to force a longer-term deal.

    Brees signed the one-year contract tender in March and went about his business preparing for the 2005 season, which starts Sept. 11 against the Cowboys.

    "I'm happy to get the opportunity to play here again," Brees said. "What that franchise tender offered me was another year to play here and take it to the next level. It's another chance to try and win a championship."

    Interesting that Brees would talk about winning a championship for San Diego when the Chargers had all but given up hope of winning a championship with him.

    In his second season as a starter in 2003, with San Diego off to a 1-7 start, the Chargers benched Brees in favor of ancient Doug Flutie.

    Six months later, on draft day, the Chargers used the first overall pick on Eli Manning, then traded him for fourth overall pick Philip Rivers. San Diego had its quarterback of the future.

    Brees figured to have his hands full holding off Rivers in training camp just to remain San Diego's quarterback of the present. His days as a Charger clearly were numbered.

    But Rivers never did compete for the starting spot last summer. He held out and missed all of camp, allowing Brees to win the position uncontested. But the six-year, $40 million contract the Chargers gave Rivers reminded Brees that he was not the long-term solution.

    But Brees, an Austin native, responded to Rivers' arrival with the same competitive fire that made him the Big Ten's all-time leading passer at Purdue.

    Brees didn't throw any interceptions in 10 of the 16 games last season. He passed for five touchdowns in a game against Oakland and four more against New Orleans. He also lit up Kansas City for a career-high 378 yards.

    Essentially, Brees played the way the Chargers hoped Rivers would: like a franchise quarterback.

    The Chargers could have allowed Brees to leave in free agency and turned the position over to Rivers in 2005. But San Diego believes it is ever-so-close to being a Super Bowl team, and an inexperienced quarterback would constitute a step backward.

    So the Chargers put off the decision. They brought Brees back and will let him play this fall before deciding which quarterback to keep next off-season. For the second consecutive season, Brees will receive a one-year trial.

    "I know where I stand on it," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "If Drew continues to play well, and we continue to be successful, I don't know how you can do anything but keep him. The ultimate decision must be made on who's the best player."

    Brees benefited last summer from Rivers' absence from camp. But this summer, it wouldn't matter to Brees if the Chargers brought back Hall of Famer Dan Fouts to provide the competition.

    "I approach every day as if I'm the guy, I'm the only guy here, and that's all that matters," Brees said. "I don't really care who else is here. I believe in my heart that I'm the guy for this team. I'm the quarterback who's going to be leading this team for a long time."

    Brees needs another great season in 2005 to ensure that. Brees isn't hoping for a great season. He's expecting it.

    "I'm going to try to make it easy for them," Brees said. "Last year, I tried to make it hard on them to get rid of me. This year, I'm going to try to make it easy on them to keep me."

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