Wednesday, 29 June 2011 09:21
Saints Drew Brees In NFL Network Top 10, Chad Jones Improves

Drew BreesDrew Brees (identification provided upon request) will be featured in the top 10 of the NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011" on Sunday.

Brees is the fifth and final Saint in the rankings as OL Jahri Evans (No. 34), LB Jon Vilma (No. 37), WR Marques Colston (No. 53) and OL Carl Nicks (No. 55) also made the list.

Brees will be presented by coach Sean Payton and Vilma.

 Brees was selected by teammates as one of five season-long captains for this season. He started all the Saints games last seasons despite an injured knee (secret until after the season).

Despite the knee and an injury-riddled running game, he completed 448-of-658 passes (68.1%) for 4,620 yards with 33 touchdown passes and a 90.8 passer rating. He was the first Saint to be selected to the Pro Bowl three straight years since WR Joe Horn.

Since joining the Saints in 2006, Brees has passed for 22,918 yards, the most passing yards by a quarterback over any five-year span inNFL history. He has had 37 300-yard passing games during his New Orleans tenure, also the most by a player over any five-year period in league history.

It's been about a year since Chad Jones had a near-fatal auto accident early one morning in New Orleans. The accident almost cost him his left leg.

The former LSU safety and relief pitcher was drafted by the Giants in the third round of the 2010 draft. He has overcome a lot to get to where he is now and is preparing to hold his own football camp for youngsters next month.

Ohn Youngmisuk of ESPN New York does a good job detailing Jones' journey from a 10-hour surgery immediately following the accident to other procedures he's had since on the leg.  Per the video interview with Jones needs at least one more surgery -- maybe more --  as his leg and a peroneal nerve continue to heal. He has two screws in his ankle, two screws under his kneecap and a metal rod. He's running on the treadmill and hopes to be doing 40-yard dashes sometimes this fall. He knows he'll have to transfer to linebacker because he won't have enough speed to play safety.

"It's never taken me six months to do anything, not one single thing," said Jones in the interview. "But it took me six months just to basically walk, It took me 30 minutes to take three steps when I first started rehab in the hospital. It was excruciating pain just standing up and letting the blood flow again through my leg.

"I'm am definitely about 70 per cent better. There was talk of me even being able to walk again and now I'm actually jogging. I've been through a long journey."

Jones has 90 cent range of motion in his left knee and the ankle has 50 per cent. Getting those issues corrected isn't going to be easy as he plots a potential return to football.

The Giants allowed Jones to keep his $825,000 signing bonus.

"The anniversary shows me where I'm at with a year's worth of progress," said Jones. "It gives me motivation just to fight back because I almost passed away in the car.

"I'm just thankful to be alive for another year."


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