NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
Having won a Super Bowl with Tom Brady and the Patriots years before joining the Black and Gold, former Saints tight end Ben Watson says the chance to work with Drew Brees played a significant role in his decision.
“Being that I played with Tom before, there are certain things that you can do as a team that you can’t do if your quarterback is unable to do,” says Watson. “And when you have a quarterback and a coach (Sean Payton) that have been together for a decade, they read each others minds. The offense is complex. He can change the call at the line of scrimmage. He can always get you in position that helps you to be successful, not only individually as a player, but also as a team.”
Watson says from an offensive standpoint, there was no better place to play than New Orleans because of Brees, Payton, and the 10 indoor games you’d play each season.
But what made it all go, the extra attention to detail from number nine. Watson recalls one of the first memories he has with the Saints: seeing Brees prepare the day before a game alone in on the Saints practice field.
“He was going through every single play that he had in that game plan, and going through his progressions,” says Watson. “So he was going to number one, point to number two, go to number three, swing back to number four, the back coming out of the backfield. And then he’d shake it off like he does and go back to the center of the field and do it all over again. He did that for at least an hour.”
And as much as Brees spent time working on himself and perfecting his own craft, he went the extra mile for those around him as well.
“In year 12, at 35 years old, I became a better receiver than I’d ever been in my life,” says Watson. “And that’s because Drew took the time to tell me about how he liked route running. We practiced it over and over and over again after practice and in the off-season. It was about repetition for him. A lot of times you hear people say, ‘This guy makes everybody better.’ The time he spent actually did tangibly make me a better player.”
But off the field is where Watson says Brees leaves just as much of a lasting impact, from his approachable nature as a person, to the hope he gave New Orleans when the city needed it most.
Copyright 2021 WVUE. All rights reserved.