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Drew Brees Discusses Kromer, Collaborative Coaching Effort

Posted Aug 23, 2012

QB Drew Brees met with the media following practice on Thursday

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees

Post-Practice Media Availability

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Listen to Drew Brees' Interview

Do you think it was best that Pete Carmichael stayed in his position as opposed to being the new interim head coach?

“If you just look at it from an outsider’s perspective, you have the offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael who can really focus on calling the plays. You have the defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo able to really focus on calling the defense. Then you have Aaron Kromer who is still very involved with the offensive line but has some added responsibilities in regards to what a head coach would need to do. There are decisions that need to be made and probably mainly on gameday. You are walking the sidelines, in the middle of the communications and ready to throw the red flag - just some of those little things. We also have people who can fill roles like (Offensive Assistant/Offensive Line) Frank Smith who has been with the offensive line now for a couple of years. He can help supplement when Kromer now takes on in head coaching role.”

Have you seen your role increase at all this season?

“No, here is the thing – something I have always been humbled by and take as a big responsibility with is the fact that I do get asked my opinion a lot, in regards to the schedule or big decisions and I appreciate that. Even if it’s just to get my input, my take or in a lot of cases Sean Payton would call me aside and say ‘What’s the pulse of this team right now? How are guys feeling?’ It might be as we are going out for a fourth, hardcore, padded training camp practice and I might say ‘Hey coach, it’s about that time that (we lighten it up).’ So then next practice we come out in shells and throw the guys a bone. Little things like that that I have been included in along the way and I appreciate that. I obviously try to give the best input that I can.”

Just those things you discussed – not the playbook?

“I get input on the playbook too (laughter).”

Has your input on the playbook increased without Sean Payton here?

“No, I would say that has been about the same. Here is the thing, in almost every meeting I have had with Sean (Payton), Pete Carmichael and Joe Lombardi are right there next to me. If you remove Sean from the picture, there is still a lot of consistency.”

Would you agree with Aaron Kromer on how this process in the coaching changes will be a collaborative effort?

“It is – it’s very much a collaborative effort and it has been ever since Sean (Payton’s) departure. You need to have somebody that has the title of head coach or interim head coach because there are some decisions that need to be made because it has to be one guy. But then again there is a process of the way we do things and it’s the right way. It has brought us a lot of success. Obviously, Kromer has a lot of familiarity with those things because he has been here since ’08.

“(Steve) Spagnuolo coming in, this being his first year, he had never really been with Sean (Payton) during a practice together. They only had about a month together in March. For the most part, Spagnuolo is coming into a situation where he hasn’t been exposed to Sean and his way of doing things other than just kind of looking to how the schedule is setup and knowing that is the way we have done things for a long time. I can definitely see areas where Spags has had his input and it’s obviously something that’s been effective for him in the way that he coaches and the way that he is trying to teach. Certainly he is trying to install a new defense that requires a lot of smart people on defense which we have. It’s time and it takes time.

“We are all for making things better. We are not saying we have all the answers or that the way we do things is exactly (the right way). We continue to evolve and adapt and maybe add and subtract as we go along to make things better but the core will remain the same.”

Like with starting quarterbacks, there are only a small group of guys that are head coaches in this league. At some point, he will be faced with tough decisions. How are they handled?

“The joke is that everybody wants to be a head coach until they become a head coach and see all the responsibilities that come along with that and the pressures. I know that the candidates that we have were all in a position that they would have done a fantastic job. In the end, the way you look at is Pete (Carmichael) is really able to focus on offense and call the plays, coach (Steve) Spagnuolo being able to focus on calling the defenses and (Aaron) Kromer having been here for four years, knowing the way we do things, knowing the guys both offensively and defensively, knowing the dynamics and the way we run meetings and schedules, I think it works out perfectly for everybody. Everyone is going to continue to have input and despite the circumstances this is the best scenario we could have asked for.”