LAKE BUENA VISTA—There were rumors that Drew Brees and Kenny Stills didn’t always get along in New Orleans, but Brees seems to be rooting for him. He was pleased to see Stills have such a strong season with the Dolphins and is hoping he’ll get a big deal in free agency this spring.
“I was really happy for him,” Brees said this morning after the NFC’s walk-through for the Pro Bowl. “I was glad I had two years with him and I felt like he would be a really good player. There were so many natural things that he did that you just can’t teach. Obviously things happen, and we lost Jimmy (Graham) that same year, but I think he’s had a really good opportunity there and made the most of it.
“He’s got guys like Jarvis Landry, (Jay) Ajayi and (Ryan) Tannehill, and they have guys at their skill positions that all complement each other really well. It’s been a good thing for Kenny, and I think it’s a contract year for him, so hopefully everything works out well for him.”
In his two years with the Saints, Stills totaled 95 catches, 1,572 yards and eight touchdowns before they traded him to Miami in 2015.
He struggled in his first year with the Dolphins, but emerged as a crucial part of the offense this season. He played 84 percent of the offensive snaps, caught 42 balls for 726 yards and scored a team-high nine touchdowns.
Stills is set to become an unrestricted free agent, though he and the team have both said publicly the goal is keep him with Miami.
There’s been a lot of talk in the locker room this year about Stills becoming a leader, particularly with the receivers, and coach Adam Gase praised Stills for being more dedicated this season.
“Listen, every young guy who comes in, there’s that adjustment and maturation process,” Brees said. “That happens for every guy. I was really impressed with Kenny. Here he was a fourth-round pick and he started for us those two years and really did a great job. He was very productive. He was even better than I expected when he came in, and the element that he provided us with, so I was always impressed with the job he did with us.”
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