Don't bank on Drew Brees making a return to the NFL, even with the New Orleans Saints starting quarterback job potentially available. With Jameis Winston likely lost for the season with a knee injury, Brees was asked during the halftime show on "Sunday Night Football" if he'd consider a return to the Saints.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback and current NBC analyst said he'll be calling the Notre-Dame-Navy game Saturday and will be in the studio Sunday, fulfilling his obligations with the network. In other words, he won't be returning to his former job as quarterback of the Saints.
New Orleans is in the midst of a playoff run after Sunday's upset win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, moving to within a half game of the defending Super Bowl champions for the division lead. The Saints have one of the league's top defenses, but an uncertain quarterback situation with Winston's knee injury, which coach Sean Payton called 'significant' and is reportedly to his ACL. Taysom Hill is still battling a concussion and didn't play in Week 8, leaving Trevor Siemian and rookie Ian Book as the only options on the roster until Hill returns.
Siemian played admirably in the win Sunday, completing 16 of 29 passses for 159 yards with a touchdown and zero interceptions. Payton's aggressiveness didn't change with Siemian at quarterback, going for it on fourth down twice on the team's opening drive in the third quarter -- converting both. Siemian had thrown just six passes in a game since the start of the 2019 season prior to Sunday.
"I think he's going to do well," Brees said on the halftime show, via Patrick McGee of NOLA.com. "That's exactly why he brought him in last year when I got hurt. He's a cerebral guy who can pick up the system quickly. He can execute it.
"The bottom line is he has two really good running backs and a great defense. He'll play within the system and I think Sean Payton has a lot of confidence in him."
Payton backed up Brees' statement after Sunday's win. The Saints may need a starting quarterback going forward, but Payton did compare Siemian's situation to when Ty Detmer was quarterbacking the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 1990s -- back when Payton was the team's quarterbacks coach.
"He's never (flustered), he's just (signs to show even-keeled). It's a good trait for him," Payton said. "It was not perfect. There were a number of things that we are going to be able to coach off of the tape on.
"I thought we played with energy, and that was a big concern of mine coming off of the Monday night west coast trip. I thought we played with a lot of energy."