Drew Brees on Case Keenum: 'I always root for guys like that'

From ESPN - January 11, 2018

METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees deftly avoided the media blitz Wednesday, refusing to play along with the playoff experience matters storyline.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback will be making his 13th career postseason start on Sunday, while Minnesota Vikings QB Case Keenum will be making his first. But whenever the subject came up, Brees just talked about how he has always treated every game with the same magnitude, even when he was making his own first playoff start 13 years ago with the then-San Diego Chargers.

Brees also spoke highly of Keenum -- a fellow undersized underdog at 6-foot-1, who went undrafted out of the University of Houston in 2012 and switched teams four times (Texans/Rams/Texans/Rams/Vikings) before this breakout season.

I always root for guys like that, kind of the undersized guy coming out that nobody wants to give any credit and just always plays with a chip on his shoulder, Brees said. Case has done a phenomenal job, phenomenal job. Ive been really happy for him, just knowing him a little bit and knowing the road hes traveled to get where he is.

Case is his own guy, but we can relate. I think theres just kind of that mentality of having the chip on your shoulder, always being told you couldnt do it for whatever reason, height whatever. But I love the way that guy plays, and hes played extremely well for his team.

Likewise, Keenum has long followed the 6-foot tall Brees, who is the gold standard for guys like him.

Great player, even better human being, Keenum said of Brees. Hes obviously a guy Ive looked up to for a long time. I study him just about every offseason, just looking at things that he does well mechanically, decision-making. An elite guy that has been playing at a really high level for a really long time.

Plus hes from Texas. You know, the Texas quarterback thing there. We have some pride coming from Texas.

Obviously neither QB will take this weeks opportunity for granted.

One thing Brees has learned through 17 years of NFL experience is how hard it is to get to a Super Bowl -- he has only done it once. And the Saints missed the playoffs at 7-9 in each of the past three years.

Brees, who turns 39 next week, downplayed the idea that he appreciates this opportunity more because his window is closing. But he sure played like a guy who doesnt plan on squandering this opportunity last week.


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