On Monday, Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time passing touchdowns leader.
He also set the mark for completion percentage in a game (96.7) after completing a mind-boggling 29 of 30 passes.
It was a vintage performance from the 40-year-old Brees.
But it was what he did before the game that revealed what it’s taken to get to this point.
While walking through the New Orleans Saints practice facility on Sunday, former NFL running back Reggie Bush noticed Brees taking mental reps long after the rest of the team had gone home.
The sight struck Bush, who was a teammate of Brees in New Orleans for five seasons, as so inspirational he decided to film the future Hall of Famer from afar while adding his own commentary:
Brees knows games are won or lost long before he runs out of the tunnel. The intensity and attention to detail he brings to his practice—even if that practice is him taking mental reps alone—is extraordinary.
Most guys just run through plays in their head, but Brees is actually making calls, moving guys around and taking his drops.
“If you’re not practicing the way you’re going to play, it’s a waste of time. In fact, I think it’s counterproductive,” Brees told STACK in 2017.
“You’re visualizing the defense, visualizing a look, visualizing the clock in your head. You play the game in your head, so when the real game comes around, you’ve already been there. You’ve already done it.”
Brees has said he believes he can play to 45 years old and beyond.
With work habits like this, you’d be a fool to doubt him.