Brees preparing for season debut and a close shave

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in training camp. 

Michael Thomas Shroyer/Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Saints quarterback Drew Brees couldn’t focus on developing most of his physical skills while sidelined with injury this past month, so he instead decided to work on growing a goatee.

Now, just as the scruff is finally starting to thicken, its days are likely numbered. Brees is vowing to return to his clean-shaven look as soon as he returns to the playing field.

"Well I can’t say I grow a real good one," Brees said in reference to his goatee.  "It was until I play, I was just going to grow it out. It’s getting shaved off pretty soon."

Brees is set to make his season debut this Saturday on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. Recovering from a left oblique strain has been a process, but one Brees says is complete.

"Anytime you’re coming off an injury that was directly related to you throwing, there’s this ramp-up that takes place," Brees said. "Obviously I didn’t want to push it too hard or too fast because I didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances with it. Just kind of that progression each day of, ‘OK I can do a little bit more. I can kick up the volume, kick up the intensity.’ After a while you’re like, ‘Come on man, forget it. Just play ball.’ I’m at that stage right now: just playing ball."
Saturday’s clash marks the Saints’ third preseason game. Traditionally, Brees doesn’t play in the fourth and final preview matchup. However since backups Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin took all the snaps in the first two games, many are wondering if Brees will get a little more work in next Thursday, when the Saints return home to face the Baltimore Ravens.

Head coach Sean Payton is offering little insight, uttering just three words on the matter: "We will see."

That makes Saturday’s face off with the Colts all that more crucial for Brees, especially as he works on establishing timing and rhythm with newcomers such as rookie receiver Brandin Cooks.

"It is important. I want to get out there and feel comfortable," Brees said. "I feel like this week has been great: just to get back out and feel like I’m throwing the ball like I should. Now it is just time to take it to the game field and go through this final dress rehearsal before the (start of the regular) season."