Lows are not so low for Chargers' Brees

Drew Brees has had a lot of highs this year for the San Diego Chargers. Sunday could have been more than a low as two interceptions proved costly. But maturation has changed the young signal caller and instead of wallowing in misery, he turned in another solid performance.

Obviously, no quarterback wants two interceptions on the tally at the end of a game but what Drew Brees did that was different than the past is learn from it.

"They are a solid secondary," Brees explained in reference to Tampa Bay. "I can't say they are the toughest. Both of the turnovers could have been prevented. I don't think it is anything they did necessarily. They are very fast. The style of defense they play – typically they play two high safeties, they have very athletic linemen and ‘backers – you have to pick your moments to be aggressive.

"The one where I tried to squeeze one in there to Keenan that was a two safety defense and that guy was screaming over to the sideline and makes a nice play."

That interception didn't end up hurting San Diego as Jay Taylor ended up hitting the upright with his field goal attempt.

His other interception, a pass intended for Justin Peelle in the end zone was thrown off his back foot and ended up falling short and into the hands of Ronde Barber. That one hurt as the pass was picked off on a first and ten pass from the Tampa Bay 18 yard line.

But the interceptions were two of just six incompletions on the day.

Brees recognized his faults and came back with some beauties. He read the defense beautifully on his pass to Eric Parker and the team reaped the rewards.

"When Eric Parker got behind them that was a single safety defense," he said confidently. "I think you just have to realize, be patient, take what they give you, then when you do get your chances like man-to-man like in the scoring zone when Kassim ran that corner route for a touchdown. I realized it was man-to-man and this is our time to take a chance."

The reasons for his success this year are many. His dedication this off-season on his mental approach was arguably the biggest change. He used to get frustrated by his inability to get the ball into tight spots. Now he is letting things go and coming back with a vengeance.

"Experience," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "Drew is much more experienced. He knows exactly what he wants to do with the football. He knows the offense so well that Cam (Cameron) sometimes will give him a play like a slant or something and he has to come up with the rest of the play. He just gives him half of the play and Drew already knows the play. Last year, that never would have happened. That is how far (Drew) has come. This is only his third year in the system."

While Tomlinson attributes the success to the quarterback's growth, Lorenzo Neal offers up a different view that is more compelling and something that is permeating through the locker room.

"Brees believes in the other guys," Neal offered. "He's always believed in himself. It was just a matter of believing in the guys around him."

There are truths to all of the comments and the unsaid ones such as an offensive line that is protecting him better and better play from all the receivers. But Brees gets them the ball and has proven to be quite effective at it.

His personal growth and the belief in his teammates are necessary for a winning club. The camaraderie in the locker room and the tight-knit group that the Chargers are becoming permeates from the top down. While Tomlinson is clearly the best player on the team, the most recognizable position on the field is the quarterback and his leadership and enhanced knowledge are necessary for the Bolts to win.

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