Brees told reporters (via ESPN), “I wanted to do something for everybody,” and that he wanted to, “take care of those who take care of me.”
After breaking what was Peyton Manning’s record during a “Monday Night Football” game against the Washington Redskins, Brees originally thought of sending a ball to every player who caught a pass from him, he said.
“And then I started thinking, ‘Well, it’s not just about the receivers, it’s about the guys blocking.’ So it’s like, ‘All right, let’s find every offensive lineman that’s ever started a game,’ ” Brees said. “So we did that. Then I started thinking about coaches, then I started thinking about other people as well. So it was actually a long list. But I just wanted to do that for them.”
The Saints front office and public relations staff helped track people down and verify addresses. The balls were shipped out earlier this week. Among the recipients was James Andrews, the surgeon who operated on Brees’s shoulder in 2006 to repair a torn labrum. The successful procedure opened the door for the Saints to sign him after San Diego didn’t renew his contract in 2005.
“It’s him,” Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, who is in his fifth season playing with Brees, said. “It’s surprising, but it’s not surprising at the same time that he would give a special thanks to the guys that helped him along the way.”
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