New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was among the 200 surfers in the water south of the pier in Oceanside, Calif., where about 1,200 well-wishers gathered near the beachfront home of Junior Seau to honor the former San Diego Chargers linebacker, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday.
"Junior always cared so much about his teammates," Brees told NFL Network. "He always wanted to know how you were doing, how (he) could help you. That's what I'll remember most about Junior -- just the smile on his face, his attitude and his infectious personality."
Brees, who played with Seau for two seasons in San Diego, wore a wet suit and rode an orange-and-red surfboard. He and others, including former Seau teammates John Carney and Darren Bennett, paddled into the ocean and formed a giant circle in what is called a paddle-out. The surfers periodically chanted the linebacker's name and slapped their hands against the water for an hour.
"We were in the water where I know Junior loved to be," Brees also told USA Today. "It was a beautiful day because Junior is present here with us."
Carney, who played with Seau in San Diego from 1990-2000, reminisced about his former teammate with others on hand.
"So many people out here have a story about when he told them a joke, or bought them a meal, signed their jersey or encouraged their child. ... We're all grieving the loss of a great man who had so much positive impact on San Diego," Carney told U-T San Diego.