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Saints Insider: Quarterback Respect Is Mutual

Posted Sep 6, 2012

In his conference call with the Washington media, Saints QB Drew Brees talked up his Redskins counterpart ahead of Robert Griffin III's first NFL start.

As the child in a military family, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has many places that he could call home. 

The place that he calls his "real home town" however, is New Orleans, where both of his parents are from, and the city where he will make his Redskins regular season debut.

Not only does he have fond memories of attending games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but he also has a deep-rooted respect for the Saints All-Pro quarterback, Drew Brees.

"Drew Brees is one of the greatest of all time," Griffin III said.  "He’s proving it time and time again. He’s gone out and shown he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

"I think that’s something everyone can strive for. It will definitely be fun and I wish Drew Brees the best.”

Knowing that this is Griffin III's first start in the NFL, Brees recalled his debut came against the Bengals in 2002, as a member of the San Diego Chargers.

"Obviously, [there was] a lot of excitement, a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotions in your first start, a lot of nerves," Brees remembered. "It’s a big stage; it’s what you dream about. It’s exciting.

"Certainly for myself, watching RGIII from a distance, he’s a fellow Texas kid, a [Texas] high school quarterback. I always kind of watch those guys and root for them."

Griffin III attended Baylor University and turned the program around for a 3-9 team to a 10-3 Bowl-Game Champion.  Brees experienced similar success at Purdue, elevating a 3-8 program to 8-4 his senior season.

"It was exciting to watch [Griffin III] last year, his Heisman run, and what he was able to do at Baylor," Brees said.  "I guess I would kind of compare to a little bit of the situation when I was coming out of high school going to college at Purdue.

"You root for those guys. It’s been exciting to watch him from afar and what he’s been able to accomplish."

Heading into the first week of NFL action, five rookie quarterbacks are expected to start around the NFL.  Brees credited Griffin III for his preparation after college to adjust to the speed of the NFL.

"It just seems like these guys are so much more prepared to become starters immediately in the NFL. It’s pretty remarkable," he said.  "You look at everything that [Griffin III]'s been able to accomplish – he’s played a lot of big games and played well in a lot of big games.

"I don’t think he needs any advice from me."

Brees is the all-time leader in single-season passing yards, set last year with 5,476 yards, the second 5,000-yard passing campaign of his career.

Brees sees a similar degree of success in Griffin III's future, and only hopes to delay it past his NFL debut.

"He’s a winner," Brees said of Griffin III.  "He is a phenomenal athlete. He can do things with his legs and his arms that most people can’t do. You figure it’s only a matter of time before he takes this league by storm.

"I just hope it doesn’t happen on Sunday."

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