New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ debut as a general manager went smoothly Tuesday night as he helped select his own Pro Bowl roster as a co-captain of “Team Rice,” led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Brees selected Saints guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs to join his team as part of the new format for the annual All-Star game, which chooses sides based on a “schoolyard draft.”
The draft, which began Tuesday night and will conclude on Wednesday night, was broken up by positions. When it came time to select the guards, Team Rice had the first choice, and fellow captains Rice and St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn deferred to Brees to make the pick.
Brees said it was a coin flip for him, but he naturally went with Evans, a five-time Pro Bowler who has been his teammate since 2006. After “Team Sanders” chose Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda, Brees quickly selected Grubbs, calling it the “quickest [decision] yet.” Grubbs, a two-time Pro Bowler, has been with the Saints since 2012.
On Wednesday night, Brees will have the chance to select two more teammates – tight end Jimmy Graham and defensive end Cameron Jordan. Those choices will be more interesting, since it would be odd for Brees to see his favorite target, Graham, playing for the opposition, and it would be even more unusual to see Jordan lined up across from Brees, trying to hit him – at least half-heartedly. The game will be played in Hawaii on Sunday night.