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Sean Payton: Drew Brees’ work ethic, talent make him special at 39

Charean Williams

In 2014, at the tender age of 35, Drew Brees first broached the idea of playing until he’s 45. Now 39, the Saints quarterback said earlier this year that he’s “taking it one year at a time, honestly.”

Father Time has not caught Brees or Tom Brady yet.

It’s different now. I mean, it’s different than it used to be,” Saints coach Sean Payton said on Going Deep with Dan Schwartzman on NBC Sports Radio. “When you see Tom Brady and these guys, they’re eating; they’re lifting; they’re sleeping differently. I mean, 25 years ago, Len Dawson was having cigarettes at halftime. It’s changed a lot. It really has. Then, when you take that and the work ethic and the talent and put it all together you get the Drew Brees and you get someone special.”

Brees completed a career-high 72 percent of his passes last season and led the league in completions (386) and yards per attempt (8.1) while throwing for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns. Brees and Brady are in a race to Peyton Manning’s career touchdowns record, and Manning recently said he’s prepared for Brees to break all of his records.

Brees should become the league’s all-time leader in passing yards this season, needing only 1,496 to pass Manning.