New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been with the team since 2006 and being in the same division as the Atlanta Falcons, he had to face them twice a year. From 2008-11, he had to game plan for Dolphins cornerback
Grimes had a combined 37 tackles (34 solo), two interceptions and six passes defensed in those head-to-head games and he’s 2-5 all-time against Brees. Only one of those wins came at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, back in 2010 in overtime, 27-24, and Brees is seeing the same dangerous defensive back on film now as he saw then.
“I know he had the Achilles injury the first game last year and so he missed the whole year but he looks the exact same. He doesn’t look like he’s lost anything,” said Brees on his conference call with the local media. “He’s an extremely good athlete. He’s got such great transition and he’s got great leaping ability, which being the fact he’s a smaller corner he plays big because he can get up and contest balls. He’s got great ball skills, he’s smart and windows close down very quickly around him just because he’s so quick to react.”
The very first time Grimes took the field against Brees was on November 9th, 2008 in Atlanta in one of the two games his team won, 34-20. He didn’t record any statistics in that one but a year later in the Superdome he intercepted Brees once, broke up two passes and had eight solo tackles in a close 35-27 loss.
Grimes’ best outing against the Saints came on September 26th 2010 in New Orleans in that overtime win when he returned an interception 36 yards from his own 15 across midfield to the New Orleans 49 in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s offense went three-and-out but at least Grimes kept Brees out of the end zone, which is not easy to do.
“He just seems to make the right throws when he has to. He’s smart,” Grimes said. “He can do all the pre-snap things and he can make all the throws. He has the ability to make the throws but on top of the ability he knows the game, he’s smart, he makes great pre-snaps reads. He knows where blitzes are coming from, he can make tight throws that other quarterbacks can’t make and he has the confidence to make those throws. He’s just an all around good player.”
So the mutual respect between the two is obviously there. Still, come Monday night under the lights and in front of a national television audience, Brees and Grimes will be doing everything in their power to find that advantage on the other and exploit it.
SOLIAI AND WAKE IMPROVING
Two of the key pieces on Miami’s defensive line – Pro Bowl defensive tackle
THE LAST WORD
“He’s doing well, he’s doing his job and the biggest thing is he’s getting better week to week. But it’s all always been there. It was there last year and I think like any player, the longer you play in this league the better you’re going to get. It’s just been awesome to see, week by week he’s just been getting better and better.” – backup quarterback