PHILADELPHIA — A setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury maintained Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles out of his team’s very first match up using the saints , also he had been sexy .

“” We texted if these were down there in the Dome once they got blown out. “It drove him nuts perhaps maybe not playing. ”

But to fully comprehend why Sproles’ competitive juices were in over drive, and why theyrsquo;ll be bubbling over if the Eagles and Saints square off in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday (4:40 p.m. ET), you need to understand his association with quarterback Drew Brees.

They are friends and longtime sparring spouses who have been attempting to outduel one another for at least a couple of years. Every off season for the last 11 years, Sproles and Brees have paired at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego for workout sessions which have become the stuff of legend.

“People dudesthey compete like itrsquo;therefore the Super Bowl every damn set,” added Durkin. “It’s crazy. It’s amazing. ”

It All Began using LaDainian Tomlinson, who had been teammates with Brees and Sproles around the Chargers and the very first to operate with Durkin from Early 2000s. Tomlinson soon convinced Brees to join him. Sproles, needing to replicate Tomlinson’s success, followed suit several years after when he came on the scene. The group has grown through the last few years and now includes Ertz along with Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate, but no matter who is in the gymnasium, Brees and Sproles always partner up.

The epic workouts which follow are a result of their like-mindedness. Both players have been under sized in a match of giants, and so they both made it by outworking everyone them around. Normally, that is a viable goal for every one of these. But what goes on if your counter part is equally committed to the same aim?

So Drew can get on. So Darren can get on to get an excess sprint back, after which Drew can get back ,” Durkin said. “I must like literally pull on the plug in and stop them from running because theyrsquo;ll only do 20 extra sprints. The other guys, theyrsquo;ll be achieved, and Drew and Darrenthey’r e jockeying. ”

“I can’t think about a period he has beaten me. So go back and ask him. Ask Darren,’What’s Your record against Drew Brees from the Rebounder?’ … I may have lost . So I’m presuming the listing is most likely 95-1. No joke. Maybe.” Drew Brees

“We ’re always attempting to one up one another. That is with a rep or an excess dash — which ’s just how it’s. ”

After the workout is finished, the rivalry is still merely starting to warm up.

Durkin completes his sessions games to allow his athletes to test their hand-eye coordination and concentrate on an exhausted condition. The most raucous one is known as”Rebounder.” It’s played a reaction chunk, which is like a tennis ball using bumps around it. Once you throw the ball on this trampoline-like canvas, it takes unpredictable bounces. Working in a specified 5-by-5-foot distance, the players go back and forth such as pingpong. If your opposition can’t catch it, then you get yourself a place. First to 11 wins.

Brees, who beat Andy Roddick 3 x as junior tennis players, wins about 90 per cent of the moment, per Durkin. And everybody would like to take him down.

“He’s therefore uber-competitive. The guy has almost become conflicts in the match arguing over points because he doesn’t even wish to lose,” Durkin said. “It’s 15 guys against everyone and him else & rsquo;s attempting to catch him out.”

“Nah, Drew cheats,” Ertz said with a grin when asked about Brees’ art. “Drew cheats.”

A reporter tried to find Brees’ goat by asking whether it’s authentic Sproles has his band in Rebounder.

“t,” he immediately answered. “I could ’t even consider a period he’s beaten me. So go back and ask him. … I may have lost . I’m presuming the listing might be 95-1. No joke. Maybe. ”

Sproles laughed a full-belly laugh once the message has been relayed.

“Heywe’ll be needing some fantastic battles,” he explained. “But the thing isthe last time we playedI won, therefore that I ’m exactly the champ at the moment. ”

There’s video proof of that Sproles triumph, therefore we know he’s at least one under his belt.

By all accounts, the pace and intensity of Durkin’s work-outs increase considerably when Brees and Sproles come from the package. Brees is in his 18th season and ends 40 on Tuesday. Sproles is in his 14 th season and is 3-5. Yet Durkin has been push the pace on these world-class athletes for three hours every day and upward of five days a week throughout the off season.

“When you have two great players such as this, the work ethic will be noticeable,” Ertz stated. “You don’t even be the players which those two happen to be’Average Joe’s’ training. Those two embody the work ethic mentality that you would like , you have to own to be able to be considered a excellent player in this league.”

I’d say our summer workouts have played a huge part in [Assessing our livelihood ]. ”

The 2 have become very close. The mutual esteem is obvious if Brees and Sproles talk about one another.

“Yeah, he is my guy, man. He’ll always be my guy,” Brees said. “He’s a stud. One of the most important teammates I have ever had the chance to play with. I have said it earlier, I think he is a once-in-a-lifetime player.

“And what he has managed to do today over the course of his livelihood, to get the kind of player he had been, man, just full speed all the time. That running back position requires a beating and what he was able to perform running the football, catching the football, in the return match. I mean he has merely become the consummate teammate. I really like dealing with him in the off season. He gets me better. A wonderful friend. So I root for him. ”

But if it is time to compete, then expect those recognizable instincts to dominate.

“But I have a chance this week. ”

Contributing: ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter Mike Triplett