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Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2003

Chargers’ Brees gets starting job back

December 13, 2003

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— Drew Brees is back as the San Diego Chargers' starting quarterback and Doug Flutie is back on the bench.

Brees regained his job Friday, a move that was expected even though the 41-year-old Flutie led the last-place Chargers to two-thirds of their wins this year.

Brees, a third-year pro, hadn't played since getting yanked in the second half of a loss Nov. 2 at Chicago. Flutie led the Chargers (3-10) to two wins in the following five starts, including a 14-7 victory Sunday at Detroit.

But coach Marty Schottenheimer named Brees to start Sunday at home against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers (7-6), who are trying to remain alive in the playoff race. The Chargers have won just five of their last 22 games and are tied with three other teams for the league's worst record.

"It's not a reflection on Doug Flutie's performance," Schottenheimer said. "Drew needed an opportunity to step back and look at it from a different perspective. Now it's time to do that. Let's find out exactly what kind of progress he made."

Schottenheimer hinted Monday that Brees might return, but wanted to see the two in practice during the week before making an announcement.

Schottenheimer wouldn't commit to Brees for the rest of the season, though, saying it was a week-to-week situation.

Asked how he explained the move to Flutie, Schottenheimer said: "Doug Flutie came in in a situation. We're fortunate to have him, but Drew Brees is our starting quarterback. He's gone through what any number of young quarterbacks will, and I thought now was the appropriate time."

Brees started all 16 games last year and has a 9-15 career record.

"Well, gosh, I'm happy to back in the saddle," Brees said. "It's good to be back involved and getting reps again and looking forward to a game that you know you'll play in and start in and hopefully be successful in."

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