Skip to main content

Sean Payton Has Honest Admission About Playing Without Drew Brees

Sean Payton talking to Drew Brees before a Saints game.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Drew Brees #9 and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints talk prior to the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes Benz Superdome on December 08, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

For the first time in over a decade, the New Orleans Saints will not be led by Drew Brees at quarterback. However, that doesn't mean the franchise is in an awful situation for the 2021 season.

In 2019, the Saints were without Brees for five games due to a thumb injury. Teddy Bridgewater stepped in and went 5-0 as the starter, which then led to him receiving a three-year deal from the Carolina Panthers.

This past season, Brees had to miss time because of multiple fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. Head coach Sean Payton shocked the NFL world and decided to name Taysom Hill the starting quarterback for a four-game span. Even though Hill had zero starting experience at the pro level, he went 3-1 during that time.

So how will the Saints prepare for the 2021 season knowing that Brees won't be under center? Well, Payton claims the team's approach won't change at all.

“The approach is still the same though,” Payton said, via “We’ve got a good core group of young, talented players that have won a lot of games and have experienced that taste of the postseason. I think you build your team around that. Is there an elevated level of excitement? I think it’s the same. As a coach, you owe it to that roster to work hard and put them in the best position to have success."

While the Saints will lose the accuracy and efficiency that comes with Brees, the offense might actually be more explosive with Jameis Winston at quarterback.

Winston is mostly known for his inability to take care of the football, but let's not forget that he has a lot of arm talent. He did throw for over 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns during the 2019 season, albeit the 30 interceptions he had put a damper on those numbers.

Over the past two seasons, New Orleans has an 8-1 record without Brees at quarterback. No, this doesn't necessarily mean the team is better without Brees, but it shows that Payton can weather the storm.

Do you think the Saints will have success without Brees next season?