Takeo Spikes: “These are the kinds of guys you want leading your football team with a minute and a half left. They find a way to win”
Last Updated: 11/10/18 6:40am
Drew Brees is up there with the greats of the game at quarterback, says Takeo Spikes, after the New Orleans Saints quarterback became the NFL’s all-time leading passer this week.
Brees passed Peyton Manning’s 71,940-yard mark in stunning style with a 62-yard touchdown in the Saints’ Monday night win over the Washington Redskins.
Spikes, an NFL linebacker of 15 years and nominee for the 2018 Hall of Fame, rates Brees among his toughest-ever opponents.
“So physically and mentally challenging – one of the biggest,” said Spikes, talking on this week’s Inside the Huddle podcast. “He would impose his will on you early in the football game.
PODCAST: Inside the Huddle
Neil Reynolds and co talk Drew Brees’ record-breaking feats, preview Sunday’s Wembley game and discuss yet more Odell Beckham Jr drama.
“After he’d figured you out in the first or second quarter, he’d then show his mental ability to win the game in the third or fourth quarter.
“I hold him in the same regard as a John Elway, a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning. These are the kinds of guys you want leading your football team with a minute and a half left. They will find a way to win.
“I played against Elway, Brady, Manning. I didn’t play against Joe Montana but, with these quarterbacks, there’s something about them when the game is on the line and how they make you feel as a defender.
“You know what you’ve got to do, but you’re also thinking ‘what’s he thinking?’ It puts fear in your mind.
“I think he doesn’t get enough credit. I’m so happy and so proud of him for what he has been able to do with the record.”
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Rob Ryan worked in the same building as Brees during his three years as defensive coordinator with the Saints from 2013 to 2015 and, also speaking on the podcast, said the record couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
“Anyone who knows Drew, knows he’s a whole lot more than just a football player,” added Ryan. “He is an unbelievable man in the community. A fantastic leader and team-mate, and also a wonderful family man.
“The best thing about that clip of him breaking the record is his wife saying afterwards, ‘that’s enough of that, now go out and win the game’. That’s beautiful.”
Also on the podcast, Ryan recalled a game in which Brees helped out his tiring defense, an example of his football smarts.
“We played the Eagles, in Philadelphia, in the playoffs and got off to a great start on defense. But then we lost about every guy we had on the roster.
“With six minutes to go in the game, I remember going over to Drew and saying, ‘we’ve run out of gas here, you’re going to have to do it for us, because right now we’re done’.
“He just said, ‘I’ve got you’ and he then converts four third-downs and we kick a last-second field goal to win the game.
“He wasn’t taking shots down the field. He was taking his time, knowing that we were struggling on defense if we gave them the ball back with any time left. He milked the entire clock and we kicked the game-winning field goal.
“That’s Drew Brees. He’s a winner.”
To hear more of Takeo and Rob’s take on Brees’ record-breaking achievements, and more, download the latest Inside the Huddle podcast here.