Brees’s Colleagues See an Amazing Athlete Within

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — As Drew Brees carried the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl appearance, he was described as a humanitarian, a thinker, an overachiever and an underdog.

Brees, the Saints’ quarterback, has galvanized recovery efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He raised money for local children through his charitable foundation. He wrote a wonky guest editorial about the N.F.L.’s antitrust issues for The Washington Post.
Rarely, though, did anyone peg Brees simply as an athlete, a runs-fast, jumps-high, throws-hard type player, not the little quarterback that could.