After one unsatisfying season as an NFL broadcaster with NBC, Drew Brees felt he walked away with a pretty good skill set. Or at least that’s what he said about his decision to step away from his role after just one year in the booth. And while there’s certainly a chance he can choose to go back and give broadcasting another go-round, Brees seems to be at peace with his decision.
To be fair to Brees, the former New Orleans Saints quarterback was thrown right into the deep end, serving as the analyst on Notre Dame games and working in the studio on Football Night in America. Additionally, he called a pair of NFL games with Mike Tirico (NBC’s Thanksgiving game and the network’s Wild Card broadcast of Raiders-Bengals) and struggled in the role.
Unfortunately, his short tenure will be remembered for a disastrous turn during NBC’s broadcast of the Las Vegas Raiders–Cincinnati Bengals playoff game. Brees got crushed by media critics and viewers alike, who called him “beyond vanilla and “not ready for the playoff stage,” and sounded as though he had “nothing to say.”
Chase Daniel, who served as Brees’ backup in New Orleans (2009-12, 2017) doesn’t seem to understand the criticism that his former teammate received. Recently appearing on the Awful Announcing Podcast, Daniel talked about Brees’ one season as a broadcaster and discussed why he didn’t think the Super Bowl-winning QB was deserving of some of the hate he received.
“I thought that he would absolutely be (a good broadcaster),” Daniel told host Brandon Contes. “Most quarterbacks, backup quarterbacks, and you see now tight ends and running backs, even with Mark Ingram II, you’re seeing them make more and more analysts with people. And what I think with Drew was, I don’t think he realized how much of a job it really was. Like yeah, he was getting paid $10 million a year but it’s not like he needs the money. The dude’s set for life. He’s got so many other ventures outside of football and media.
“And he wanted to dabble in it, and it was a really good deal. Honestly, I thought he did a pretty decent job. I don’t get the criticism necessarily of him. Yeah, you can always do better, but if you don’t do a job ever and you’re in a game analyst situation and then also studio and then also calling Notre Dame games the first year, that’s a lot of stuff to know. That’s a lot of stuff.”
Brees literally lives right next door to Daniel in the same neighborhood, so he saw how much he was traveling throughout the year.
“He missed every weekend,” Daniel explained. “He missed every weekend and he did that for 20 weekends. He missed every weekend with his kids and his kids are…at a really big part of their development too of ‘Hey, I need dad around. Dad’s been gone for 20 years.’ So I think that probably weighed in on him quite a bit. And I think that’s probably why he decided, ‘Hey, this just really isn’t for me.’ But I thought for the most part, he did a pretty good job.”
Last year, Brees sent a warning to Tom Brady and his mega-contract that looms with Fox.
“If you’re gonna do it right, you’re gonna spend the same amount of preparation in preparing to broadcast the game, to do a three-hour production, as you would to play the game,” Brees said of the commitment it takes to be a successful game analyst.
Brees did, however, note that as an analyst, you at least get the opportunity to do a lot of that preparation in your own house and on your own time, rather than being at the mercy of a team or coach. But the schedule is grueling, nonetheless, as Daniel previously made note of.
Maybe he’ll seek another broadcasting gig in the coming years, get a lower-profile role, and be able to grow into a high-quality broadcaster. But as Daniel seemingly pointed out between the criticism and his grueling schedule, it’s easy to figure out why Brees has decided to step away for the time being.
The full episode with Chase Daniel will be available this Friday. You can find the Awful Announcing Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.