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A Sitdown with Saints QB Drew Brees

            <span style="">Q: What type of challenge does the Jets' defense pose?</span>                  

A: You look at them on film. Obviously they make a ton of plays. They're number one in every category. It will be our biggest challenge to date.

Q: What do you recall the last time you faced a Rex Ryan coached defense when you last faced them three years ago?

A: We haven't seen them all that often. That's why you have to put in a lot of time looking at them. Sometimes it looks like they're coming from everywhere. You just have to trust in your scheme and what you're doing, obviously do a great job of taking care of the ball, with protection and obviously making the plays when you can.

Q: Are you seeing similarities with the Baltimore defense?

A: Yes. It's a lot the same scheme, but then again that was 2006 and this is 2009, so three years later obviously you're working towards the strength of your personnel and you come up with new things. All in all, I think the attitude is the same.

Q: Did Buffalo's defenders sit back a lot in coverage?

A: Yes. It was not your typical zone type shell coverage. There was a lot of single safety stuff. It was zone with some man type combinations with the nickel packages kind of thing, not as much pressure as they had done with other teams.

Q: You've had a lot of success against the blitz. Do you feel you have a lot of success in combating it?

A: Definitely throughout the week that's something I spend some time on making sure I have a plan for the pressure and really just a philosophy for how we're going to pick it up. I'm sure we're going to see some things we haven't seen before. Every week in a game plan they have something new and it's about being able to react to it when you see it. It's about taking care of the football, but when teams do pressure you want to be able to make them pay and make big plays and that gives you that opportunity.

Q: Being a copycat league do you think that Buffalo put something out there that works against you guys or the fact that you ran the ball so well did that show it doesn't work?

A: I have to give them some credit. They played well. It wasn't really until the fourth quarter that we broke out. We knew it was going to be that kind of game. We knew we were going to trade punches all the way through. The fourth quarter was when we gave them a steady dose of Pierre Thomas and the run game to finish it out. I think that was the plan all along. There were a lot of things we could have done better. By no means was it a perfect game for us. The second and third quarters were really bad for us offensively as far as execution and penalties and some other things.

Q: What type of job have Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief done in relief of Jammal Brown?

A: I think those two guys have been great. Those are two guys, Strief in particular where over the last three years he's had to step in at times to do different things with us, play left tackle with us, tight end, whether it's to be to come in at goal line situations. He's just been one of those guys who's a swingman. You can put him out there anywhere on that line at tackle, tight end and he's getting the job done and kind of fulfill any role on the team. Obviously now he's potentially getting the opportunity to see more significant playing time. Bushrod is obviously a guy who hasn't had a start up until this year and performed well in those first three games. We'll see where he is health wise along with Strief. I have all the confidence in the world in both guys.

Q: Can you talk about practicing in the pink cleats that you will be wearing this week?

A: It's for breast cancer awareness (event) with the NFL. There will be pink towels. A lot of guys will be wearing pink gloves, captain's patches will be pink. Certain guys will be wearing pink cleats and that kind of thing to promote breast cancer awareness.

Q: How far has your relationship and level of trust on the field with Jeremy Shockey progressed since last year?

A: It's come a long way. Last year we really didn't get any time to work together prior to him getting thrown in there to begin the season, because he was hurt for the majority of training camp, so we really didn't get the time to build that trust and repor. This offseason, preseason and training camp we've gotten a lot of time and I think that's shown.

Q: Have you considered getting any tattoos like him?

A: No, I'll leave that to him. You have to have biceps of a certain size to have tattoos and I'm not in that category.

Q: How important is it to have a good opening drive from the perspective of putting your opponent in a hole right off the bat?

A: Just from the standpoint of momentum it makes a statement. Our play early on was better than yours. More than anything it make's a statement, it gives you confidence and just momentum. I know our defense loves the fact that they're going back on the field with a seven point lead. Obviously our job on offense is to score points. The sooner they you do it, the sooner you feel like there's more to come.

Q: What do you appreciate about watching Mark Sanchez from afar?

A: I've been impressed with him. I think he's done a great job. I know Brian Schottenheimer very well, he's the offensive coordinator there and that system, I was with Brian in San Diego for four years…I know the demands that Brian's putting on him as far as the time and process to being successful he's putting him through. I have a lot of respect for what he's trying to accomplish so far, especially as a rookie quarterback when you're head can be spinning at times.

Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Brian? Didn't he come to your mom's memorial service?

A: Yes. He came to my mom's funeral and we talk all the time. Obviously I consider him a very close friend and guy I talk to quite a bit. I hang out with him. I respect him a lot.

Q: Are you guys not talking a lot this week?

A: No, we'll talk.

Q: Can you talk about what a rookie quarterback needs to do to be as successful as Sanchez has been?

A: There's a lot of factors. It's certainly being in a good situation and yes being in the right system. I think kind of understanding what the learning curve is. Some guys are put in a position where they have to come along faster than others and therefore maybe success doesn't come as soon and therefore there's a lot of adversity you have to face. There's growing pains for all young quarterbacks, but you look at (Joe) Flacco and Matt Ryan and the success they have had in their rookie seasons. I just think college offense and some of the systems these guys play in college help prepare them better for the NFL. Let's just talk about (U)SC where Sanchez is coming from. He has Johnny Morton there as his passing game coordinator what was here with us in '06, NFL caliber coach. The head coach all the way down has a lot of NFL experience of guys who have been at this level, the system he's running. There's certain situations where you're really more prepared for the NFL than others. I think some of those guys happen to be in those situations.

Q: Do you think the Jets defense was validated some by their performance against New England?

A: Yes. That's saying something. I would consider the Patriots absolutely one of the best offenses in the league, so that is saying something and that's why it really comes down to execution and taking advantage of every opportunity you can get. Just because you move the ball down the field doesn't mean you're guaranteed to put it in the end zone. I think New England did get it down inside their territory three or four times yet didn't walks down with a touchdown and kicked a bunch of field goals. If you're going to win this type of game you have to score touchdowns.

Q: Do you enjoy a game like this where it will be a lot like chess match?

A: I enjoy it a lot. Definitely. Every game is important. Every game you're going to prepare as hard as you can, but when you know that you're going up against one of the best defenses and defensive coaches in the league, there's that added extra motivation to go out and perform well and get a victory.

Q: Do you feel like you put more time in to prepare for an opponent like this?

A: I'd say more so that because of what they do. You don't see this type of defense scheme wise every week, so naturally you're putting in more time. If it's a team in your division you go up against twice a year where you know the personnel, the same coordinator, you know what you're getting. There might be some wrinkles. You know their personnel. In this case, we don't, because we're going to play the Jets once every four years unless we see them in the Super Bowl or something. The fact is you have to put in a lot of time.

Q: Is Rex Ryan and his defense kind of like a Sean Payton offense?

A: Yes. It's the chess match. It's kind of the gurus, kind of there's the plan you come up with throughout the week and the way you react to certain things in the game. There are going to be some things they're doing we haven't seen and vice versa. That's usually the way it goes.

Q: Do you think Sean gets extra excited about going up against a defensive coach like this?

A: I think we all do. Any competitive person does. Sean's no exception.

Q: Do you think some of the questions about he physicality and the dimension of the offense have been answered?

A: I think as balanced as we've been running and passing. I think we've shown that you have to be ready for both and have to have an answer for both. In the end we're going to execute our offense. We're going to take our shots. We're going to try to throw for completions. We're going to try to run the ball effectively. We're going to try to formation you to death and personnel you to death and all those things. We go into every game with the attitude that we're going to dictate the tempo of the game and you're going to have to worry about us and to the other way around, but certainly these guys do so many things that what can I say, it's going to be a heck of a game.

Q: Has the billing of this game been a distraction?

A: I don't think it's a distraction by any means. The games only get bigger, especially as you win. This is the biggest game of the season for us because it's the next game and it's a great opponent. 3-0 vs. 3-0. Only one of us is walking out of this game undefeated. We want it to be us. Coming back after the bye week that will be the biggest game of the season. It's just the way this league is. You can't be up one week and down the other. You have to be consistent, consistently rising, because it only gets tougher the more you win. You get more of a bullseye on your chest.

Q: Did it help to have Gregg Williams coordinating this defense in the offseason to prepare yourself for a guy like Rex Ryan?

A: I think very much so, because you see some of the same things on film. I certainly know the attitude our defense plays with and what Gregg has tried to cultivate with them. You absolutely see that on film with the Jets. I have a lot of respect for that system, the guys on that defense and what Rex Ryan is trying coach.

Q: Do you see a risk-reward philosophy in them?

A: That's pressure in general. That's pressure period. You leave voids in certain areas with the expectation you're going to be able to get to the quarterback before he's able to get it out or before he's able to see it and make the decision. Then, yes, anytime you play man coverage look at the statistics and watch the film, you're relying on your guys to lock the other guy down. You get the ball in your other guys' hands and they make one guy miss it could potentially be off to the races. I like the plays that our guys have been able to make. I'm hoping we can get it in their hands, make guys miss, and make plays that our guys are able to make. I'm hoping we're able to get in some of those situations and have an opportunity for those plays.

Q: When you play a physical defense like the Jets, how do you prepare physically?

A: It's not like I throw on some extra rib pads thinking I'm going to get hit more. Yes they statistically, you say they get a lot of hits on the quarterback. It's because of the pressure they're bringing. They're doing a good job of getting guys free, that kind of thing. It is what it is,, just expect you're going to have to hang in there, take some shots and get rid of the ball. Hopefully you're going to get some reward out of it.

Q: Do you see a lot of man to man because of your efficiency on offense?

A: Yes, there's situations if you look around the league. On third and medium, you're going to get a lot of man to man coverage, regardless of what the team does. They're going to try to plug you up a little bit more, get pressure. They want to get you off the field, get a negative play, and get a sack so they can get your offense off the field. These guys, if you look at their base defense, then obviously once they get to nickel and certain distances it's more man to man than some other teams play.

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