NFL quarterback Drew Brees broke the single-season record for passing yards Monday, a milestone during his journey with the New Orleans Saints, which he says was a “call from God.”
Drew Brees threw for 337 yards in a win against the Atlanta Falcons Monday night, giving him the record 5,087 yards for the season. The previous record, 5,084 yards, was set by Dan Marino and stood for 27 years. As a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Brees draws his inspiration from his faith-testing trials.
In an interview with Sharing the Victory magazine, Brees says the severe shoulder injury that got him traded from the San Diego Chargers in 2006 was an act of God.
“Coming to New Orleans was truly a calling … something I was meant to do,” he told Jill Ewart in the interview.
Brees said that had he never been injured in San Diego, there’s no telling where he would have ended up. He suffered a dislocated shoulder on his throwing arm in 2005 and was given only a 25 percent chance of playing again.
Even though his shoulder healed in two months, the Chargers chose to go with the younger, healthier quarterback, Phillip Rivers.
He feels that the timing for New Orleans, the Saints organization and himself was perfect for all to be brought together. However, Brees initially doubted the events that were unfolding around him.
“At the time, I felt like this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me at the worst time. … potentially career-ending … I began asking God, ‘Why me?’, ‘Why now?’”
Brees said that while there was doubt, he knew his faith was strong and that there was a plan for him: he just had to believe. A year after arriving in New Orleans, he changed his tone.
“A year later, I thought, ‘God that was probably the best thing that happened to be,’ because otherwise I never would have had the opportunity to come here and be a part of this community and this rebuilding effort,” Brees said.
Drew Brees is credited by many with the revival of a New Orleans city that was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina when he signed with them. His arrival in the hurricane-ravaged city helped fans take their minds off the recent disaster and gave them a reason to cheer for a team who previously had a sub-par record.
Brees had a choice to go with the Miami Dolphins, who at the time looked like a better prospect. The Dolphins were led by a high-profile coach Nick Saban and coming off a 9-7 season where they won their last seven games.
The Saints were coming off a 3-13 season, were trying a rookie head coach in Sean Payton, and had no place to play, as the New Orleans Superdome was being used as a shelter for displaced Katrina survivors. But Brees saw an opportunity to be part of the rebuilding of the city and signed with the Saints.
Four years later, the city New Orleans celebrated their first Super Bowl victory.
Brees faced a similar career-threatening injury during his high-school career, which he says helped him turn his life over to Jesus Christ. He suffered a torn ACL in his junior year of high school.
“I had seen a lot of my friends tear their ACLs, and some of them hadn’t come back as good as they were before … so the thought of a torn ACL was devastating to me. … I thought I was in the same boat as them,” he said in a CBN Sports report.
Brees said he was attending church on Sunday on crutches and the pastor said something that changed his life. While he wondered what his calling was in life, who he was and what his purpose was, the pastor told the congregation that God was looking for a “few good men.”
“A light bulb went off and I said, ‘Hey, that’s me. I can be one of God’s few men,’” Brees recalled.
He said that, for the first time, he felt like God was talking to him and he became a Christian that day.
Driven by his faith, he finished his high school career with a phenomenal 28-0 record. He went on to Purdue University and led the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl. He also was the runner-up for the 1999 Heisman Trophy.
Brees said that being one of God’s few good men means trusting in the Lord and trusting His plan for your life.
“Trust that he’s never going to put anything in front of you that’s too hard for you or he wouldn’t put it in front of you,” Brees said, paraphrasing a popular scripture.
Brees believes that with faith in God, anything is possible- like reviving a career once threatened by injuries to take down a prolific record that stood for over a quarter-century.