As predicted, Brees gave a starkly different account of the pivotal play on Tuesday.
"I think anyone that was watching the game real time, live speed, nobody's gonna sit there and say that wasn't a penalty," Brees said. "Now, when you slow it down, it looks like he hits me here, kind of in the chest. But I get up and my mouth was bleeding. So I don't know if you get hit in the chest and your mouth bleeds."
Brees had no hard feelings for Brooks, calling him a "heck of a football player" and a "hard-nosed, clean football player."
Although Brees joked that "it looked like I went go-go gadget neck" and compared himself to a "crash test dummy," he emphasized that hits of Brooks' caliber have to be flagged in the NFL.
"I can tell you how I felt when I got hit. It felt like I got my head ripped off," Brees added. "And I get up and I've got a mouth full of blood. So there was no doubt in my mind that, 'Hey, it's gonna be a penalty.'"
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We can certainly understand the increasing frustration of tacklers with a shrinking zone in which to strike ball carriers and quarterbacks, but any hit that resembles a clothesline in real time is going to be called if it involves a defenseless player.
As Brees explained, "I'm a quarterback, so I benefit from that."
Here's hoping the Week 12 storylines swing away from controversial calls and back toward spectacular plays.