NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Welcome in to Juan's World. It wasn't just any other manic Monday in the Crescent City. It was a Monday that had us saying goodbye to a longtime Saint while also wondering if we'll soon be saying goodbye to the best player to ever don a Saints uniform.
Zach Strief was a 7th round draft pick back in 2006. There were a bunch of guys taken before him like Reggie Bush, Roman Harper and Jahri Evans. But, Strief, who was the 210th pick that season, outlasted them all.
Listening to him thank everyone in the room...his coaches, his teammates...his family as well as those that helped him along the way, was both touching and a reminder that none of us have gotten to where we are today without someone helping us along the way.
Strief refused to leave out a single name. When he came to Drew Brees, the 12-year veteran offensive tackle, nearly lost it. For it was Brees that Strief admitted was his biggest influence. Both, shed a tear as Strief struggled to read his words of appreciation for his quarterback.
And that got me thinking. When Drew Brees retires, how will he handle walking away? How will the whodat nation handle him walking away?
Or how about, when Drew Brees is no longer a New Orleans Saint. His jersey is no longer black and gold...but something else. Can you picture it? Oh, I should've prefaced these Brees questions with....he's yet to agree to a new contract and the Minnesota Vikings have come a-callin.
Now, can you see Brees playing elsewhere? It's hard to imagine, isn't it? But, free agency has a funny way of reshuffling the deck and dealing the cards differently. Just ask longtime Colt Peyton Manning who went to Denver to win another Superbowl.
I'm not saying that Brees is gonna do that to the Saints, but anything's possible. Anything, like a 7th round pick that didn't think he'd make it past the first summer with the Saints. looking back in amazement and with satisfaction that he's able to call it quits 12-years later.
I'm proud to say that I've been here for all of his seasons. That I've been able to watch him learn and grow into one of the best tackles that the Saints have ever had. Saints Hall of fame is yet to come.
As for Drew Brees, I still think that he'll retire a Saint. I still think he's one of the best quarterbacks in the game today. I also think he's worth as much if not more than lesser quarterbacks are making like Jimmy Garoppolo and his 27-million next season. Will the Saints pony up that much to a soon-to-be 40-year old quarterback that has skins on the wall and hasn't lost a step? That remains to be seen. But, remember this. It's easier to find good pieces to put around a good quarterback than it is to find a good quarterback to put with good pieces.
The Saints have the QB. They have most of the key pieces. Let's hope they keep this train rolling a couple more seasons...right back to the Super Bowl with number 9 leading the way.
Juan's World, Juan's World....Excellent!!!