Amy Lawrence Discusses Tom Brady, Drew Brees Milestones; OBJ Antics

Tom Brady and Drew Brees reached historic milestones this past weekend, while Odell Beckham Jr. showed he has a long way to go

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 29, 2018 - 8:33 am

USA Today Images

What a privilege to witness history in Week 5. From the first game on the schedule to the last, a pair of future Hall of Famers eclipsed major milestones and forced more amendments to the record books.

When Tom Brady fired a ball into double coverage and found Josh Gordon in the end zone late in New England's victory over the Colts, he became the newest member of the 500 club. The Patriots' signal-caller joined Peyton Manning and Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks to throw at least 500 touchdown passes in NFL history. Gordon was the 71st different teammate to catch one of those scoring shots; no one has connected with more targets than Brady. Reacting to this piece of history, he said, "There are so many people who contribute. So I just think of all the people that have really worked hard. The quarterback doesn't throw it to himself. He needs people who catch it and block and defense to make plays and coaches that coach. These are all great team awards."

Typical Tom, he deflected talk of his own achievement and pointed to the roles of others in his success. And think about the revolving door of receivers, tight ends, and backs, even an occasional offensive lineman, with whom Brady has lined up in his career. Like Drew Brees, Brady threw his first TD pass in 2001, and most of the guys with whom they started have long since retired. Their consistency, commitment, tireless work ethic, and love for the game set them apart.

Brees' magical moment couldn't have been scripted more perfectly. The adoring thousands ready to erupt inside the Superdome, a primetime atmosphere, and a high-flying attack from the jump culminated with history late in the second quarter. Brees blasted his way to the top of the charts with a 62-yard touchdown to rookie Tre'Quan Smith, who got the thrill of a lifetime. In dramatic fashion, Brees became the NFL's new passing yardage leader. Of course, the Saints stopped the game to properly acknowledge the moment, not that they had any choice. Brees was mobbed by his teammates before passing the football to the president of the Hall of Fame and sharing special moments with his family and head coach. Even Manning paid tribute while wielding a paring knife. All hail the KING!

The NFL couldn't ask for a more deserving quarterback to wear the crown. Brees is the perfect ambassador for the league and the sport. His talent is unquestioned; but it's the consistency, durability, wisdom, and experience that keep him on the field. He can exploit the weakness in any defense; his quick release and accuracy make him extremely dangerous in the pocket. His preparation and vision put him one step ahead. Brees leads by example and sets the tone for the Saints locker room with his intensity and fire. He remains humble and gracious and thankful. He constantly recognizes the linemen who protect him and the coach who gambled on him. He's overcome both his size and a devastating shoulder injury that threatened to derail his career before its New Orleans chapter.

Brees transcends football. As a former Walter Payton Man of the Year honoree, he tries to give more than he takes. His love for the Crescent City and its rabid fan base has been reciprocated a thousand times over. From his role in restoring hope and excitement to a region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and the part he played in the Saints capturing the first Super Bowl title in franchise history, Brees is the adopted son. One Saints' insider told me Brees might be one of the most important people in the city's history. He definitely means more to New Orleans than statistics can ever measure, and he represents the best of the NFL.

Against this historical backdrop, Odell Beckham Jr. shared his innermost thoughts...about Odell Beckham Jr. In his sit-down interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson (and rapper Lil Wayne), the Giants flamboyant receiver reminded the world who and what he cares about most. What a stark contrast with Brady and Brees! While there's nothing wrong with opening up and giving fans a peek behind the curtain, it shouldn't happen at the expense of his team. In the midst of game prep, head coach Pat Shurmur was furious, and OBJ had to address the locker room. He claimed his words came out wrong, but his remarks were no accident. The bulk of the interview centered on HIS hopes, HIS dreams, HIS desires, HIS frustrations, HIS expectations, HIS opportunities. It didn't take much sleuthing to understand Odell's priorities.

OBJ swears he's not getting the chance to be the best he can be. "I don't want to be held back anymore," he told Anderson. He listed his own personal goals per game and mentioned how much gaudier his receiving records could be. "I want some easy touchdowns, too." That's how he critiqued the Giants' conservative offense--by comparing himself to other wideouts. He even said he works entirely too hard, whatever that means. He declined to support Eli Manning when asked if quarterback play was the biggest issue, and he also took aim at the offensive line. He criticized the lack of heart and energy from his team and wouldn't say whether he's happy in New York. Talk about a slap in the face to the Giants who made him the richest receiver in NFL history before they had to address his contract at all.

The biggest question is WHY! Why did Odell feel the need to air his grievances and vocalize his concerns for the world to hear? How does that possibly help his team win? At best, it's a distraction; at worst, it stirs up dissension and trouble for a team already struggling to find a groove. Yet OBJ had the nerve to take credit for "galvanizing" the Giants into playing their best game of the season Sunday in a last-second loss to the Panthers.

On a weekend that will be remembered for its place in history and the watershed moments of two all-time greats, football seemed to answer Odell's burning question loud and clear. He's held back by his limited vision; all he sees are his own aspirations. For Brady and Brees, carving up history couldn't possibly be accomplished solo. They recognize their roles in the grander scheme--a very necessary ingredient for winning and the essence of team sports.

A well-traveled veteran of sports radio and television, Amy is the passionate host of CBS Sports Radio’s late-night program, After Hours with Amy Lawrence, from 2-6am ET on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. Listeners can tune in from Canada and overseas, thanks to SiriusXM, and the CBS Sports app. Amy has also handled basketball play-by-play and color duties for various radio and TV outlets over the past 15 years. Amy graduated from Messiah College with bachelor’s degrees in Communications & Accounting before earning her master’s in TV & Radio from Syracuse University. She is a native of Concord, NH.