New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Do you agree with Sean Payton's assessment that the Jaguars are certainly not a team to overlook?
"Definitely. They play very well at home. As I look at their defense, their defense has played extremely well for this whole season. The New York Jets game is deceiving when you look at the score. They had four turnovers that gave the Jets great field position and allowed them to score 30 plus points .Besides that they've been pretty stifling. They've been great against the run and they're a team that's pretty conservative as far as their zone coverage structure. They don't give up big plays at all, but they're not going to bring a ton of pressure. At least that's what they've shown. I know that they have it and we're going to expect the unexpected, be ready for anything. I think it's a defense that is deceiving when you look at the film. They're very effective at what they do."
Could this be a similar situation to when you went out to Arizona last year?
"Yes. The fact of the matter is that it's hard to win on the road no matter where you're going or who you're playing. I think some teams when you just look at the statistics, they're a different team at home than on the road, in every statistical category. This team if you look at the stats. They are better every way when you play at home. I think we would be remiss if we don't look at past history and not recognize the challenge we have going there and having to win a game. They're going to be ready for us. It's going to take every bit of firepower we have."
What's been the reason for some slow starts on the road?
"We've gotten it going eventually, just haven't' gone down and scored on the first drive yet, which is something I think we've been very, very good at ever since we've been here. We've been tops in the league at that. We always start in our openers of 10 to 15 plays beforehand that are going to be what we'll start with. For whatever reason, we've had some third and short situations and for some reason we haven't converted. I think you just have to keep plugging away. You have each of those plays down pat, no matter what the look, no matter what the situation. We just need to get a rhythm going. Against Green Bay, we fumbled the second play, otherwise that's a first down and we're off and running. Chicago, we miss it by six inches, (Darren) Sproles is right there. Last week, the first play is a negative play that otherwise might be a positive play. You just have to get out and get that first, first down and get it rolling."
How would you evaluate Blaine Gabbert's play so far?
"I haven't' really seen much of him to be honest with you other than just the talk throughout the preseason with a lot of these top picks, him and Christian Ponder and of course Cam Newton. But obviously it looks like he's getting his opportunity. You don't get drafted that high unless you have some talent. They seem to be pretty excited about him. He's a Missouri product so Chase Daniel, I'm tired of hearing him bragging about him. Chase takes all the credit for mentoring Gabbert at Mizzou. I really don't know a whole lot."
Are there a targeted number of passes you want to throw per game? The two best years the Saints have had since you've been here, you've thrown under 600 times. Are you thinking about that or is it just a function of how the game is going?
"There's direct correlation usually between that and how we're running the ball. If we're running the ball effectively and the game is in hand and not in a ten minute situation where we have to play catch up, then typically that number is high 30's. That's usually where we'd like to be. I think we're always swayed towards 55-60 percent pass and 40-45 percent run. The more we can close that gap, better. It shows that we're running the ball and two, we have the lead, therefore we're running the ball more to chew up the clock, wear the other team down, keep the defense off the field and all those things. So, I think there's some correlations there. I'd say even though we've thrown the ball mid-40's a few times this year, we've thrown it effectively. I think we've gotten the job done doing it. Whatever it takes to win."
What do you see in Charles Brown if he has to step in at right tackle?
"Charles Brown is an extremely talented, physical looking specimen. I like his attitude and approach. He has good guys in that room around him who have helped bring him along. He's used to playing big-time football coming from USC, high draft pick here and for each guy you kind of wait for the opportunity to come around and I think he, just like most young guys, you see the talent, but you're never going to see the real full potential until he starts playing. Now he has that opportunity to play and get some pretty significant playing time. I'm excited for his opportunity."
When you go to no huddle like at the end of the last game, what's the biggest challenge for you in that situation when you're at the line calling plays?
"I do enjoy that. I feel like you kick up the tempo a notch and it allows you to get into a rhythm. You're going to throw it every down. There are no backs back there, unless you start running a few QB draws, which you never know. It might be in the plan. I think that the biggest challenge is that you're also letting the other side know you're throwing every play. They can pin their ears back with their rush and rush the passer. You have to be very efficient with your reads, get the ball out on time, protecting the football, knowing when you don't get the look you want, protecting yourself, if you're getting pressures and certain looks. A lot of times, Sean and I are communicating calling plays, but we're changing plays at the line, so if you try to get down in the plays that work against the looks your seeing, so there's a lot of thinking going on, at least pre-snap. I love the tempo and rhythm of the no huddle."
Is it similar to what you did at Purdue?
"No, not where I have the ability to call it, which Sean (Payton) gives me that ability in a lot of cases, but we did run the spread at Purdue, the five wide yes. (It's) definitely the same concepts and such."
Sean Payton said you had a string of 14 plays you called in a row. What did you think of that?
"If he said it was all me, I guess it was all me. We're constantly talking. Even if it's "How about this". If I like it we'll do it, but if I already have something in mind that I just really feel strongly about, then I'll just call what I'm going to call, but in a lot of cases, he'll punch in and say 'How about this?' or 'Tell (Robert) Meachem this?', '(Darren) Sproles this' and we'll do that."
Does that suit your personality?
"I've grown to really, really like that. I know I have a coach that has a lot of confidence in me. I know we have a great game plan and I have a ton of trust and confidence in the guys I'm throwing to. I do love that opportunity. I feel like when he gives me that opportunity, I have something to prove every time out."
How much credit do you give Brian de la Puente for how he came in and performed?
"That was big, especially for a guy who hasn't been here that long. He was on the practice squad, did a great job in the preseason and made the team. He started at guard for us in that third preseason game against the Raiders and obviously jumped in at center and got some significant time there Sunday, so kudos to him. He did a great job of preparing himself even though he didn't get a lot of reps during the week and that was big. I was excited for him."
Do you appreciate it even more when you see all kinds of snap-exchange issues on a Monday night game?
"Definitely. It's nice when you know that you have a guy like that who can step in,. You feel like you don't miss a beat. Every center is different, maybe in regards to the way they snap, the way they call things out, so you understand maybe the nuances of each guy, the subtle differences, but in the end, you want to make sure you have a guy who knows what the heck is going on and you feel comfortable taking a snap from under center and under the gun. The last thing you want to do is be thinking about that. I think with Brian, I don't think about it one bit."
Did you hear about the River City Relay play from the last time the Saints were in Jacksonville?
Do you guys work on a play like that?
"I think every team has a play like that in there in the bag, package. You hope you don't have to use it. I can't say you rep it that much, but we have something like that. I think everyone does."
Do you have some level of pride that you keep moving up on the list of consecutive games with a touchdown pass?
"You have to do it first, right?."
Do you think about it?
"I guess I try to not think about that kind of stuff. Obviously I like touchdown passes because they're seven points, but I'm just as fine handing it off or watching (Darren) Sproles, (Mark) Ingram, Pierre (Thomas) or someone else score. The goal is to score as many points as you can. It doesn't matter how you do it."