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Monday, July 9, 2012
Brees No. 2 on Jaws' QB Countdown

By Pat Yasinskas

I’m sure agent Tom Condon has done tons of homework as he tries to get a long-term deal for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. But, just in case, here’s something more Condon might want to throw at the Saints.

Brees
SportsCenter just aired the latest segment of Jaws' QB Countdown, in which Ron Jaworski ranks the top 30 quarterbacks in the NFL. Brees is No. 2. No. 1 won’t be announced officially until Tuesday, but I think it’s pretty safe to assume who the winner is because Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has yet to show up in any of the other 29 spots.

I respect Jaworski’s opinions, and I certainly respect Rodgers’ ability. But I think you can also make the case that Brees easily could be No. 1. He’s coming off a record-setting season and, although a lot of people moved Rodgers ahead of Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as Green Bay went 15-1 last season, the Packers didn’t make the Super Bowl. They won it the season before and the Saints won it in the 2009 season, so Rodgers and Brees each have one Super Bowl title.

Brees’ statistics were better than Rodgers’ in some areas last season, and his ability as a leader is unquestioned. In fact, Jaworski said Brees is the best quarterback in the league in at least one area.

“No quarterback is as consistently precise with his throws as Brees,’’ Jaworski said. “Throughout his Saints career, Brees has thrown the seam routes as well as any quarterback in the NFL. In fact, those vertical seams have been a foundation of the Saints’ passing game, especially effective in scoring territory.

“Brees’ last three seasons have been the most accurate stretch any quarterback has strung together in NFL history. What have I always said is the most overlooked element of quarterbacking? Accuracy. Brees possesses many attributes of high-level quarterbacking. But there’s no question that his consistent success over time has been mostly a function of his remarkable ball control.’’

Jaworski did touch on the one thing people sometimes use to knock Brees -- arm strength. But Jaworski said Brees more than compensates for not having the league’s strongest arm.

“His touch and his accuracy, especially on deep throws, is outstanding,’’ Jaworski said. “Brees sets the ball right on the receiver’'s hands. He does not just throw to his receiver. He hits a smaller, more defined point. It’s simple math. The margin of error decreases the smaller the target at which you aim. Brees controls his throws better than any quarterback in the NFL.’’

That’s why I’m saying I don’t think it would be wrong for anyone to rank Brees as the best quarterback in the league.