New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees named NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year

Posted by Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune January 06, 2009 11:24AM

Drew Brees’ prolific passing season earned him the Associated Press’ 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award on Tuesday. The Saints quarterback received 22 votes in balloting by a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league.

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, who won the league MVP award last week, tied with Minnesota tailback Adrian Peterson for second place with nine votes apiece.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Brees, who became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards this season.
Brees was shut out in last week’s MVP balloting because of the Saints’ disappointing 8-8 record. But voters recognized his historical achievement with the top offensive honor. Brees threw for 5,069 yards – 15 yards shy of the single-season record set by Miami’s Dan Marino in 1984.

“When (I heard the news), I guess I was a little shocked, because when you looked at the MVP deal, no votes,” Brees said. “And hey, I can swallow that because we were disappointed we didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.

“Obviously there were so many other guys that were very deserving of the award as well, so many guys that had great seasons, especially the fact that we didn’t make the playoffs. But I think really it’s just a testament to what we were able to accomplish this year. Certainly it’s an award that so many people were a part of, from the coaching staff to the offensive line to the receivers to the skill position guys – and the defense and special teams have to set us up with opportunities. It really is a team award.

“We led the NFL in just about every offensive category. As disappointed as we are when we look back on the season, having gone 8-8 and not making the playoffs, this is something we can look back and say we did accomplish something.”

Brees also broke his own team record with 34 touchdown passes – tying San Diego’s Philip Rivers for the league lead. He threw 17 interceptions and finished fourth in the NFL with a passer rating of 96.2.

Brees is the first Saints player ever to win the league’s Offensive Player of the Year award. He finished second in both the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year voting in 2006, when he led the Saints to the NFC South title in his first year with the team. He finished behind friend and former San Diego teammate LaDainian Tomlinson in both categories that year.

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