Drew Brees “absolutely” wants to finish his career in New Orleans, the Saints quarterback told “The Dan Patrick Show” on Monday morning.
Brees, who has been the subject of rumors that he could be traded at the end of the season — including an ESPN suggestion last week that New Orleans should trade him to the Jets — is coming off of the best statistical performance of his career, a 505-yard, seven-touchdown performance Sunday.
Patrick asked Brees point-blank Monday whether or not he expected to finish his career in New Orleans.
“Absolutely,” Brees said.
Brees also told Patrick that his mindset has changed over his career, essentially that he’s kept setting goals as the career has gone along.
“You get to 35 and you say, ‘What’s next? Why not 40?’” Brees said. “I’m not naive, I realize this is a ‘What have you done for me lately?’ business.”
Turns out there are still differing opinions on what is and isn’t a catch.
Those who watched Sunday’s 52-49 win over the New York Giants will always remember it as the day Saints quarterback Drew Brees passed for a career-high 511 yards.
But those who look at the box score down the road will see something else. They won’t see that Brees completed 40-of-50 passes for 511 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception. They’ll instead find the line short one completion and a few yards.
That’s because after the game ended, the official game book changed a Willie Snead fumble that came after a 6-yard gain into an interception. Therefore, Brees ended with 505 yards, which places him shy of his career mark of 510.
On his way back
The New Orleans Saints hope Sunday is a sign of things to come from Keenan Lewis.
Lewis, who spent the entire first half of the season trying to fight his way back from a training camp surgery to repair a sports hernia, played a season-high 27 snaps against New York.
Frustrated at times by his recovery this year, Lewis made one tackle and broke up a pass in a complementary role.
“He came on later in the week, felt better,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “And I know yesterday he felt better.”
Most importantly, Lewis didn’t appear to be showing any side effects Monday morning.
Lewis, who missed the first three games, had been forced back to the inactive list for the Colts game after three games because the injury wouldn’t allow him to play.
Now, a Saints secondary that might be missing the services of rookie Damian Swann, who suffered his second concussion in four weeks Sunday, for a while. Swann is back in the concussion protocol.
Getting Lewis back to a full-time role would help.
“From all appearances, there weren’t any residual or any day-after effects,” Payton said. “I’m sure there’s soreness, and yet, that was a positive. Getting him back is a huge plus to our defense.”
Next man up
Michael Mauti was brought to New Orleans more for his special-teams prowess than his ability to help the defense.
But the Mandeville product found himself pressed into emergency action Sunday against the Giants. With New Orleans already short-handed at linebacker because of injuries to Dannell Ellerbe and David Hawthorne, veteran Ramon Humber went down with a hamstring injury after just 14 snaps, and newly signed veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar had been with the team for only three days.
Enter Mauti, who had played just three snaps of defense all season, all three coming on the goal line.
“We had a handful of players who stepped up and got more reps than expected,” Payton said. “He stepped in there, and handled the plays he had. ... Overall, he graded out well.”
Mauti played 34 snaps, made three tackles and wrapped up another tackle on special teams.
Used mostly on running downs, Mauti had to adjust on the fly next to rookie linebacker Stephone Anthony. Normally, he works out at the strong-side linebacker behind Hau’oli Kikaha, not the weak-side spot.
“I think we adjusted well,” Anthony said. “Mike did a good job being able to step up and being out of position, go in and make plays.”
Ellerbe, who the Saints hoped might be able to return against New York, could return against Tennessee. The severity of Hawthorne and Humber’s injuries are unknown.