Brees Carries City's Heart in Super Bowl

new orleans saints drew brees CBS

At first glance, Super Bowl XLIV might seem like a mismatch.

The Colts have Peyton Manning with his four MVP titles and championship ring. This is the first Super Bowl for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, but fans in the Big Easy say not to count him or the city out, reports CBS "Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric.

At six feet tall, many labeled Brees an undersized quarterback.

A devastating injury to his right throwing shoulder put his career in jeopardy, but that was then. Today, Drew Brees is the heart and soul not only of a football team, but a city that has been lifted up by the Saints.

"The bond that our team shares with the city and everything that we've have been through together, I think it's built a very special relationship," Brees told Couric.

(A longer version of Katie Couric's interview with Drew Brees will be posted at her @Katie page after the Super Bowl pregame show this Sunday)

Special Section: Super Bowl XLIV

Saints fever is everywhere, including on the field.

"You're very vocal in the pre-game breakdown," Couric told Brees. "You take a very big role in that, but that's kind of unusual, isn't it, for a quarterback? You're kind of the cheerleader."

"You're right, that is usually something kind of reserved for one of the guys who is out there butting heads all game long," Brees said. "That's kind of what I liked about it is the fact everybody else was going to want to know what are you saying in that pre-game breakdown.

"It's kind of this us-against-the-world mentality. Once you're in that huddle, you're part of a brotherhood, and now we're going to go on the field and play together and trust each other and win together."

"Does that mean you're not going to tell me?" b>Couric asked.

"I can't," Brees said. "I'm sorry."

Brees is the most celebrated quarterback to play in New Orleans since Archie Manning called the shots for the Saints a generation ago, and if Brees is now New Orleans' favorite son, Archie Manning - father of Peyton Manning and Giants quarterback Ely Manning - has adopted him.

"Archie will send me texts a lot just before the game wishing me luck," Brees said. "He even sent me a text a few days ago prior to the game, obviously, and said, 'If you were playing anyone else, I'd be all over this, Who Dat extravaganza festivities, everything else,'" Brees said. "'Unfortunately, you have to be playing the Colts.' I know that his, obviously, heart is, you know, with the Saints, having played here so many years, but blood's thicker than water."

But Brees is celebrated for his extraordinary leadership off the field as well. His foundation has raised close to $2 million to rebuild parks, schools and playgrounds for the children of New Orleans. He loves giving back, and they love him for it.

"We have a 1-year old son, and we're attached to this community now," Brees said. "We've made it our own, and we need to continue to help in whatever way that we can."

"What if the Saints don't win?" Couric asked. "I hate to be Debbie Downer here, but that is a possibility."

"I feel like we have fate and destiny on our side," Brees said. "We have the strength of not only a city and a community but I feel like an entire country, that there's a piece of everyone who wants to see us win the Super Bowl."
  • Katie Couric

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