PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Drew Brees is a quarterback you game plan for. Almost always. He has played 281 NFL games in his career and missed only three, only one of those because of injury.
Sunday, against Seattle, that number will increase to four.
Brees, out for at least six weeks after having surgery to repair a torn ligament suffered against the Los Angeles Rams, has been the face of New Orleans’ offense since 2006. Sunday, it will be veteran Teddy Bridgewater and jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill leading the team on CenturyLink Field.
Preparing for two quarterbacks isn’t entirely unheard of, but it is something Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says he hasn’t had to do too often in his 14-year NFL head coaching career.
“It comes up once in a while. It just depends on how different the styles are of the players if it makes a difference or not on how you prepare,” Carroll said. “Really, we have not seen enough of Hill to know how they would play him in this kind of situation. He’s been spotted in and out and done a lot of really cool things. He’s a great college football player and we know all that.”
Certainly Bridgewater, who played the rest of Sunday’s game after Brees left in the first quarter, will likely see the majority of New Orleans’ snaps on Sunday. He’s a fairly traditional pocket passer who had a 64.7% completion rate in his three years, 28 starts for Minnesota.
Hill, the third-year man out of BYU, is an entirely different matter. Having spent time at wide receiver, tight end, running back, and on special teams as well as quarterback. He’s a wildcat machine waiting to happen.
“He’s got a live arm, quick release,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said earlier this week. “He’s a really good athlete so he’s playing for our core special teams, playing tight end, playing a lot of those positions, but he’s making and practicing individual, all of that with the QBs. He wears, kind of, a lot of different hats.”
Regardless of who’s under center, the Seahawks remain focused on who’s on their side of the ball.
“It’s going to be tough for us,” said defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. “At the same time, we’re more impressed with what we’re doing and getting ourselves ready to play. We can’t really worry about what they’re doing because they have their own situation and we have our situation, which is important for us. It’s always been our theme to put us first.”
Neither Bridgewater nor Hill are as formidable a foe as 12 time Pro Bowler Brees, which means the young Seattle defense could have a tendency to get lax. But it’s something veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner knows better than to let happen.
“You definitely got to remind the guys not to let their guard down because in any day, you’re in this professional league and the guys behind those guys are professionals,” Wagner told the media Wednesday. “You can’t take anybody light because they can come out having one of their best games. It’s just part of letting the guys know we’ve got to stay locked in and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. We’ve got to put our best foot forward every chance we get. Myself, K.J. [Wright], Russ [Russell Wilson], all those guys just got to remind them it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to play out there and we can’t let the opponent dictate how we play.”
The Seahawks and Saints kick-off at 1:30 Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. You can watch the game on KOIN 6 and it will be followed by a live field report from AJ McCord.