NFL Legend Drew Brees prioritizes family over broadcasting career

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News


Drew Brees chose time with his family over a broadcasting career.

The 13-time Pro Bowl quarterback and future Hall of Fame shoo-in stepped into a role with NBC immediately after retiring from the New Orleans Saints following a spectacular 20-year career in the NFL.

He worked in several roles at NBC, including being an analyst for Notre Dame games with Mike Tirico. Brees spent most Sundays in the studio doing “Football Night in America” with Maria Taylor and Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy.

“I really enjoyed it,” Brees said on the AP Pro Football Podcast.

It was certainly an adjustment, especially when you look at the amount of stuff that I had the chance to be exposed to in a short amount of time. … So I definitely got exposed to a lot and was kind of bouncing back and forth. I learned a ton. I think the group at NBC is absolutely first class and the best in the business and being able to have a chance to work with guys like Mike Tirico and Tony Dungy and Maria Taylor and that group on a daily basis was just awesome. So I really, really enjoyed that and valued that time. I think at the end of the day for me, I chose not to do that this year just because it did take up every weekend in the fall for me.

Brees has three sons and one daughter ages 8 to 13. He coaches them and they have games on the weekends.

“I just don’t want to miss any of those moments right now,” Brees said.

He’s still interested in returning to the booth or studio at some point but isn’t sure when or in which role.

“I definitely feel like I walked away with a pretty good skill set if I choose to go back and do it. So certainly I’m leaving that door open and we’ll see how that plays out,” Brees said. “I think the world by which the fans consume the game is also changing. I think you see a lot of these alternative broadcasts that are taking place.”

Brees, who ranks second behind Tom Brady on the all-time list in both yards passing (80,358) and touchdown passes (571) is intrigued by the possibility of calling games similar to what Eli and Peyton Manning do with the “Manningcast” on Monday nights.

“From my perspective, being a quarterback who played 20 years in the NFL, I just watch a game totally different than probably most people,” he said.

It’s hard to just sit back and watch it as a fan. You’re so analytical with everything. You put yourself in the moment at all times. And I think that’s a really interesting perspective for fans to hear. I look forward to finding ways that can be communicated in a much more in-depth way that’s kind of outside the norm or what is like the typical formula for broadcasting a game.

In addition to spending more time with his family, in his first year away from the NFL, Brees has been focusing on his philanthropy. It’s one of his pillars and he says his Christian faith guides his giving back to the community.

“I grew up watching my grandfather, watching others in my life constantly give to others, and it was so much based on their faith and feeling like they were stewards of God’s blessings,” Brees said. “And so I’ve had great examples, and I try to emulate that every chance that I get. I think I draw on the power of knowing that I’ve been given this platform as an NFL player, but as somebody who is in a position of influence to be able to give back, not just what’s been given to me, but there’s so many people out there trying to do great things and they just need a little bit of help. That’s my commitment, and it’s always been my commitment through our foundation. But even beyond that, just to be able to help provide opportunities for others that might not have them otherwise and that just need that little help.”