Drew Brees started his 17th NFL training camp and 12th as quarterback of the New Orleans Saints on Thursday.
Among his many NFL records are five 5,000-yard passing seasons and 11 consecutive 4,000-yard seasons, and he was MVP of New Orleans' Super Bowl victory after the 2009 season.
But it's unclear how much more Brees will be able to add to his legacy with the Saints. The team has finished 7-9 in each of the past three seasons and Brees' contract expires after this season.
Still, Brees seemed to be approaching this camp with as much youthful enthusiasm as he did for any of its predecessors.
"I love camp," Brees said after practice.
"I love getting back with the guys, my teammates, getting back in the locker room. I love chopping away every day. I love the process -- coming up with a plan and executing the plan. Each and every offseason I am looking at ways, not only about how I can get better, but also about how I can take care of my body, how can I get a little stronger in this area, recover a little faster in this area."
Brees, 38, is the oldest player on the roster. He had the second-highest score on the team's conditioning test on the eve of training camp.
"I take pride in that," Brees said. "I think that's part of being a leader, that you've got to set the tone and establish the tempo. I want to make sure guys know I've been working as hard as I possibly can to put us in the best position to succeed."
Brees admitted to being sore, practicing less than 24 hours after the conditioning test. "Yes, there are a lot of things that I do to take care of my body," Brees said. "But my approach to the game is I tell myself I'm young, I act like I'm young, I approach the game like I can do anything I want to do. I mean, I'm smart about it, but that's how I keep my edge."
Brees said he wasn't looking past the first day of training camp, which occurred 46 days before the Sept. 11 season opener at Minnesota. He added that contract talks with the Saints are not currently happening.
"I don't expect them to, I don't really desire them to," he said. "I just want to play football; I want to help this team win. For me, it's all about this season and how good can we be this season. That's really all I'm focused on now.
"My sense of urgency is in making myself and my team better and putting ourselves in the best position to go out this year and have success. And I know that that stuff takes care of itself when it's supposed to, and that just shouldn't be the priority right now."
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