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Drew Brees navigating the aging process

Source: Sean Fazende Source: Sean Fazende
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VIRGINIA (WVUE)- -

Drew Brees has learned that the only thing 15 years in the NFL guarantees is skepticism over what your future brings "You can make the argument that as you get later in your career, people are always looking for the excuse as to if you have a down game or a down year or whatever it might be. It gives you some type of excuse as to the aging process is setting in or he's declining' or whatever it might be. "

The 36-year-old Brees said the only significant change he's felt as he's gotten older is his ability to recover from the day before. "I think as you get older, that's what the aging process is. It's not necessarily that you can't do it that day, it's maybe the next day or the day after and seventy-two hours later after you do it."

In other words, Brees is more human than his yearly gaudy numbers would suggest. Of his over 53,000 passing yards, 43,000 of those came with the Saints. 

316 of his 396 touchdown passes came in black and gold as well.

Brees has thrown for more than 4,000 yards every year he's been in New Orleans.

And yet, for the past two seasons, some have questioned his staying power with the Saints

Sean Payton would call the outside chatter, noise. Brees keeps his headphones on, drowning it all out as he goes about daily routine "My mentality does not change from year to year. I always feel like there's something to prove."

Payton has seen the maturation of Brees during his time in the Crescent City and knows his capability to self-police "I think he is probably his biggest critic, (with) his (high) expectation level and what he wants to accomplish.  I think specifically always having that balance I think obviously leads to better quarterback play.  I think he obviously has a great grasp to what we are doing. "

The once-overlooked high school from quarterback carries a chip on his shoulder whenever he can "The bottom line is I approach each and every day, practice, game, as if I have something to prove, never that I've arrived. I'm always seeking more knowledge, new information, trying to get better, trying to fine tune the things that I know we are already good at."

What Brees has been great at since he arrived in New Orleans is keeping Saints fans believing that the next year could be 2009 all over again. Only 5 players remain from that super bowl winning team: Brees, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans, Zach Strief and Thomas Morstead. All five continue to put in the work because they understand what's necessary and Brees understands that time is short; 15 years of playing at a high level means the window for success is closer to closing that remaining open.

"It's about durability, it's about consistency, it's about knowing what to expect each and every time that person steps on to the field and I certainly want to be one of those guys that every time they step on the field, those guys are going to know exactly what they get out of me."

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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