Ball State coach Mike Neu learned a great deal about the preparation that goes into becoming the best.

In his two years as Drew Brees’ quarterbacks coach with the New Orleans Saints, Ball State coach Mike Neu learned a great deal about the preparation that goes into becoming the best. Brees was militant about his routine and his preparation, and he wouldn’t let changes in the schedule affect his training.

“Preparation beats talent,” Neu said. “Drew Brees is one of those guys – he’ll go down as one of the best in NFL history because of the way he prepares. It gives him an edge and allows him to play at the highest level.”

Neu remembers seeing Brees play against the Green Bay Packers on a Sunday night, fly back to New Orleans, land at 3 a.m., and arrive at the Saints practice facility at 6 a.m. on Monday morning.

“His consistency in preparation leads to success,” Neu said. “He’s not the most talented guy, and maybe he doesn’t have the strongest arm. He’s elite because of the way he is.”

Neu said he often tells stories of Brees when his players are looking for motivation.

“I share it with the guys constantly,” Neu said. “The preparation is a big part of who he is and how he goes about his business on a daily basis. Being around him, you can see that those traits are invaluable. It helps him build confidence, and that allows him to be the best.”

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Dan Guttenplan