|Brees is cool with owner Tom Benson now. Roger Goodell? Not so much. (US Presswire)|
The offseason is finally over for the Saints, Drew Brees is signed and the team is in training camp. Now it's just a matter of whether or not the disaster that was this summer will derail this team or whether it will put a chip on their shoulders to inspire them.
Brees, speaking to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, certainly makes it sound like the latter -- King asked Brees about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and how NFL players feel about him, and Brees said that "nobody trusts him."
"Nobody trusts him. Nobody trusts him. I'm not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations," Brees said. "I think there're too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a façade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached."
Just in case you weren't aware of how Brees feels, King writes that "it's clear he's angry about the severity of the suspensions" handed down by the NFL on Saints coaches and players.
The last time a team came into a season after harsh penalties from the NFL was 2007, when the Patriots were looking to overcome SpyGate. They did OK that year, and it could potentially serve as a blueprint for the Saints, as my CBSSports.com colleague Clark Judge recently pointed out.
But the big difference is that the Pats weren't missing Bill Belichick for the entire season back then. No one -- including Brees -- knows how losing Sean Payton for the whole year will affect the Saints.
"I don't know. I think about it a lot. The hard thing is, your head coach is gone like that," Brees told King as he snapped his fingers. "He's just gone. We're very familiar with coach [Joe] Vitt, very comfortable, and then he's gone for the first six weeks. You take the two strongest presences in the building and remove them, and it's like taking the president and vice president away from government. You had better have a pretty strong Congress, then.
"Our mentality is this: Move on. Find a way. We will. The teachings from your parents never leave you, and eventually you're going to leave them, but you're going to carry those teachings with you.''
The general consensus seems to be that Brees is a good enough quarterback to help the Saints recover from the loss of Payton. But whether or not the Saints struggle during 2012, as Brees is forced to work an entire season without his head coach, it's a pretty safe bet that he won't begin to start trusting Goodell any more than he does right now.
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