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Drew Brees says he’s committed to NBC assignments, won’t consider Saints reunion

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Specifics of Jameis Winston’s nasty knee injury weren’t known at the time, but NCB Sports’ Mike Tirico took a moment to address the elephant in the room — asking his studio partner and legendary New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees if he’d consider a midseason reunion with his former team on the “Football Night in America” pregame show.

“Let me check,” Brees grinned, scanning the calendar on his phone. “I’ll be here Saturday to call the Notre Dame-Navy game and I’ll be here Sunday.”

He sure doesn’t sound like someone who is eager to hang up his nice suits and jam a helmet onto his carefully-sculpted hairline. Brees is at peace with the knowledge that he’s thrown his last pass in the NFL, and fans shouldn’t anticipate a surprise un-retirement for No. 9.

Instead, Brees advocated for one of his former backups to continue to lead the team. He was impressed by Trevor Siemian’s efforts in filling in for the injured Winston, commending Siemian for picking up the offense quickly and executing it well against Tampa Bay. With Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram standing with him in the backfield, Brees added, Siemian can be an effective facilitator.

His final takeaway: “The bottom line is he has two really good running backs and a great defense. He’ll play within the system and I think Sean Payton has a lot of confidence in him.”

If anyone has an idea of how Payton feels about his quarterbacks, it’s Brees. From the sound of it we should anticipate Siemian hanging around under center. He did a good job sending accurate passes quickly to the middle of the field, which is something neither Winston nor Taysom Hill have done effectively in recent years. That’s the best way to weaponize run-after-catch threats like Kamara and condense the defense, which sets up one-on-one matchups out past the numbers. Whether he can sustain that success for the rest of the season is unknown, but if Brees and Payton have confidence in Siemian, so should the rest of us.

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5 quarterbacks who could help the Saints replace Jameis Winston