Don’t think Father Time hasn’t tried.
He has soft-peddled his pitch via the aches and pains of the profession, which singularly may constitute little more than a nagging nuisance, but which collectively can drip, drip and drip, until they drain away an athlete’s desire to continue the journey.
And when that hasn’t worked, he has been a bit more aggressive in his approach: a core injury during training camp, which curtailed the preparation of a man who is borderline maniacal regarding his preparation; a shoulder injury in 2015 which caused that man to miss the first and only game of his 11-year New Orleans Saints career due to injury; and later that same season, a torn plantar fascia in his right (plant foot) that left the man hobbled and a bit vulnerable during the battle, and usually demands rest regardless of the recuperative powers of the afflicted.
Perhaps Brees hasn’t shown it on the field that often during a career that will ensure his induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, likely in his first year of eligibility, because scrambling and elusiveness haven’t been major parts of his calling card.
But when it comes to warding off time, to keeping the degenerative process at bay, to playing as well now as he did five or 10 years ago even though past test cases scream that, chronologically, he perhaps should be about 25 percent to 50 percent as productive – and that still would be a pretty good season – yes, Brees has unleashed one of the all-time best stiff arms.
Understandably, as the Saints play their 2017 home opener Sunday, Sept. 17…
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