Rankins on Brees: "A Walking Hall of Famer"

Former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins shared his thoughts on former teammate and future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees.
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Sheldon Rankins has deep admiration and respect for the man he called a "Walking Hall of Famer,"  Drew Brees.

New Orleans Saints DT Sheldon Rankins

Former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins was a guest on SiriusXM Radio this morning discussing his free-agent 2-year, $17M deal with the New York Jets.

BEING A FUNCTIONAL PLAYER

Rankins dished on his past injuries, setbacks, and misconception many had of the veteran defensive linemen coming off two season-ending injuries in New Orleans.

"Last year, I was going to rehab. I was still trying to, you know, become a functional player I think a lot of people have the misconception that. Once you're clear from injury, you just back to where you were before that, now you're just functional enough to be able to play football, this offseason is going to be different..."   Sheldon Rankins

Rankins and Brees

RANKINS ON BREES

He talked about his thoughts on Drew Brees, his retirement from professional football, and his legacy.

"It's an honor to be able to share the field locker, meeting rooms with, you know, as I call him, the "Walking Hall of Famer." That's what he is. The day he said, you know, he's done, you go and just start making his place in the Hall of Fame. There's no debate about it. There's no ifs, ands, or buts."

Rankins went on to say what he learned and observed from Brees and what made him a great player and leader.

"I was able to learn so much from him. Just not the way he works. I take pride in the amount of film study I do...I stay late sometimes and come in early sometimes to watch tape, and he's always there."

Next, he commented on Brees' dedication and commitment by declaring, "I literally have never been at the building [Saints Headquarters] and never not see him, or his car or something there let me know that he's always here working. And, for a guy who didn't have to."

The Saints former first-round draft choice and interior lineman related how Brees had nothing to prove to anybody, and "he solidified his place in the history of this game." Rankins finalized his perspective on Brees' effect on young players, citing "he continued to work like that...it does nothing but trickle down to the younger guys." 

Oct 6, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata (93) rushes against Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard Alex Cappa (65) during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit:

SAINTS WITHOUT RANKINS

Rankins' departure after five seasons on the defensive line will be a massive loss for New Orleans. Malcom Brown's trade to Jacksonville leaves David Onyemata as the leader of the Saints defensive tackles. The current defensive interior comprises Onyemata (5 years), Ryan Glasgow (4 years), Shy Tuttle (2 years), Jalen Dalton (1 year), and Malcolm Roach (rookie). Expect the team to either sign a free-agent tackle or draft a rookie in April's 2021 NFL Draft.