Drew Brees played in plenty of spread offenses on his way to the NFL, breaking nearly every passing record in Joe Tiller’s wide-open offenses at Purdue.
But the Saints’ star can see why quarterbacks from the current crop of up-tempo, read-option spread offenses might have a little trouble making the transition to the NFL.
Brees, who appeared on ESPN Radio’s The Herd on Wednesday morning, says it’s a matter of time.
“If you’re used to doing it a certain way, if you’re programmed to doing it a certain way in college, I’m sure it just takes some time,” Brees said. “People are just not as patient with you in the NFL with a transition as opposed to maybe college.”
Brees, who also said that there are some things that work in college that might not work as well in the NFL, said the decision-making process is different for a quarterback in a true read-option offense, too.
“So much of what the quarterback is doing is post-snap, read the end, am I handing it, am I pulling it to run, oh, all of a sudden I’m going to throw this little bubble screen or I’m going to throw this down the field,” Brees said. “You know, in the NFL, eventually you’re going to get to 3rd-and-10, and nobody’s going to be biting on that little run fake, and you’re sure not going to be letting the end go, so you’ve got to drop back and you’ve got to make reads and make tough throws down the field.”
ESPN host Colin Cowherd also Brees why he doesn’t pull the ball down and run more often.
Brees is very conscious of the pounding a quarterback can take in the NFL.
“Those hits that quarterbacks take in the NFL are a bit more impactful than college, so if you’re expecting a QB to run 15, 20 times a game, I mean, that’s a lot of punishment over the course of the season,” Brees said. “The thought that he could last over the course of a career is going to be difficult.”
Brees also reflects on his height, his throwing motion and the temptation for older players to take performance-enhancing drugs in the full interview, which can be found by listening to the full segment: Drew Brees on ESPN’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.