Drew Brees might look like Superman, might think he is Superman and fans might see him as Superman. Though he is not a bird, nor a plane, neither is he Superman. He has been acting like one by trying to do more than he can.
The proof of this came to me in 2012 when there was no Sean Payton and Brees was doing more than he should. He had certain games in which he was not fully focused and more importantly he was trying to make up for a bad defense. That resulted in among other things 19 interceptions. That’s the most ever in his career except for 2010 (that year he came from a Superbowl winning season to having no real off-season). Compared that to an average of 12.3 ints in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and you can see the difference.
Last year I saw him at times trying to force things again. There was a Payton, but no protection. Doing again more than he should (throwing too often instead of handing off the ball). I blame Payton for that too, and I hope he’s taken notice. With that in mind, one of the things he has changed is that he let go of Sproles.
With Sproles gone I think the game has simplified. Sure there is Cadet who can do the same things, but a player like Cadet does not need to be played as much as an absolute weapon like Sproles demands you do. To remove that option from Brees gives him a clearer perspective on what to do. Less trick plays, less options, more executing of the right play.
- Side-note 1: I think the Sproles factor had worn off. The opposing defense knew what to expect with Sproles in the field and you can see him not being as effective in the last part of the season.
- Side-note 2: Ingram deserves a chance. Without Sproles demanding reps you can hand the ball more to Ingram. See what good that did for Reggie Bush.
- Side-note 3: To make things easy for Brees there has to be a absolute threat replacement in the offense. We know the WR core has no depth. The Saints need a third guy there next to Colston and Graham (Stills is a field stretcher, excellent in the slot) to give Brees a lot of targets and to release pressure from Graham. I will not be surprised if the Saints trade up in the 1st round to get a WR.