Originally Posted by Rex Ryan's Gut
Brady's great days are over. He is very very very good, but I like reserving great for the truly great.
Manning and Brees are great right now.
No flames. We can't know, so you might be right about Brady. And, since we can't know, you might also be wrong. That's the benefit, in logic, of making statements based on an unverifiable or even false premise (in this case unverifiable); one can pretty much say anything one wants, without fear of rational contradiction. So, we'll have to wait and see. I think Brady and P. Manning both have a few more "great" seasons in them, but they haven't played them yet, so we can't know.
You use the phrases "great" and "truly great," but I'll assume they are interchangeable.
Brady and P. Manning have clearly both passed all of the tests, stats- and/or championships-wise to be confident that they will be regarded as among the "greats" and/or "truly greats," when they are enshrined in Canton. The numbers supporting that statement are old and familiar.
As for where they are, comparatively, today. P. Manning put up Pass Ratings of 99.9 (last year) and 95.0 (2008) in his last two competitive seasons; Brady put up 96.2 last year and 117.2 (2007). So, it's really pretty hard to say that one is "still great" and the other isn't. But, as I said in my opening remark, since the premise is unverifiable, you can say anything you want.
As for where Brees belongs, there is no doubt that he has been "playing" great (or truly great) recently. In addition, my personal view is that he has had the misfortune of playing for coaches and/or teams where he has been unable, until recently, to perform at the level at which he belongs.
But, he hasn't put up the body of work in terms either of championships or stats to be considered in the same league as P. Manning or Brady. Over the years, he's shown flashes of excellence, but has also been inconsistent. He has been in the league only one year less than Brady and two years less than P. Manning, but there is still plenty of time for him to make the kind of impact that I think he can make and that will get him into the category of "great."