Drew Brees on Concussions
I’m a huge proponent of sports and how they help develop young athletes. You learn so many valuable life lessons, whether it’s a team sport or individual sport. Sports teach you how to set and reach goals in your life.
Knowing the facts should be part of your game plan
It’s vital to educate kids and their parents about the risks of youth sports, specifically concussions. Through The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation PACE program, we can help them understand the symptoms and the treatments of concussions, and the importance of baseline testing. Every young athlete playing sports should have the opportunity to take the ImPACT® baseline test.
All parents and kids need to understand the risks of playing sports. Every sport you play has a risk. Anytime you’re doing something athletic, there is risk for injury. That’s the nature of all sports in general, but there are heightened concerns over head injuries
Injuries can happen in any sport.
There’s a physical nature to most sports. So, in every sport there are risks. But as long as people are aware of what those risks are and what the potential injuries are and how to recognize them and treat them, they can make informed decisions that could prevent further injuries.
It’s almost impossible to diagnose yourself.
I had a concussion in 2005. It was the first time it happened to me. I didn’t realize how hard I’d been hit. That’s what most athletes don’t understand: it’s almost impossible to diagnose yourself. Athletes just want to get back in the game. You need coaches or medical personnel to evaluate you and, for your own safety, not let you go back out there until you are ready. If you leave return to play decisions to the athletes, it will not happen, they will go back out there. It’s that competitive desire to be out there helping your teammates, to win. So those evaluating measures need to be in place everywhere, so you are not putting it on the athletes.
Baseline testing is your best defense.
Baseline testing is an important part of that on all levels. Fortunately, I had a baseline test before the 2005 season. So during the week I could be evaluated against it, and as I improved throughout the week, I was cleared to play. Thats the way it should work, whether you are a professional athlete or not.
Help me support PACE to bench concussions.
With the PACE program, concussion education and awareness are things we can continue to improve upon. We’re making huge strides. Let’s help educate those who play the games and the parents of young athletes in the ways to identify, recognize and treat injuries so kids can get back on the field safe and sound.
Drew Brees Bio
When Drew Brees signed with New Orleans as a free agent in 2006, he was already a top-flight quarterback. Soon after, he was a record-setting passer and world champion.
The student athlete years.
A native of Austin, Texas, Drew went to football powerhouse Westlake High School, where he was a three-sport star in football, baseball and basketball, even leading his football team to a state title. In the 2000 season, Drew took Purdue University to a Big Ten Championship and into the Rose Bowl, winning the Maxwell Trophy as the nation’s top player.
Drew’s Pro Football Career.
A second-round draft pick by San Diego in 2001, Drew became the starting quarterback with the team in the 2002 season. By the ninth week of his second pro season, Drew threw for 3,000 yards.
The 2004 Comeback Player of the Year’s career truly took off toward the Hall of Fame when he left San Diego as a free agent and signed with New Orleans. Not only did Drew become a Pro Bowl player, he became a leader in a city rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina and an executive board member with the NFL Players Association.
In 2006, Drew guided New Orleans to its first NFC title game and was honored with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
In February 2010, Drew and the Saints converted Bayou Country into Titletown, beating Indianapolis in the Super Bowl. His season numbers were phenomenal: 4,388 yards passing, 34 touchdowns, a 70.6 completion percentage and a 109.6 quarterback rating.
Unbeatable stats? Not for Drew, who shattered several records in 2011, including Dan Marino’s mark for yards passing that had stood for 27 years. Drew threw for 5,476 yards with 46 touchdowns, a 71.2 percent completion average and a 110.6 QB rating.
Today, Drew is considered one of pro football’s greatest quarterbacks—and one of its most solid citizens.
In 2003, Drew and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation. Since then, they have contributed or committed more than $7 million to help advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette, Indiana.