New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees met with the media following Wednesday morning's practice. During the time, he discussed topics such as his backups, going against a Gregg Williams defense as well as the competitiveness at these workouts, below is a transcript.
How much time do you have to tutor the guys who are trying to be your backups? How much advice do you give them?
"I try to help those guys out as much as I can. Patrick Ramsey has been here for a week. Trying to learn this offense and trying to come in to this system on this stage is very difficult, especially with all of the looks that we see defensively. It's not only learning your offense, and all of the personnel, but also how you are going to attack the defense that you are going up against. That makes it very difficult for him, and also for the young guys that we have coming in. The guys fresh out of college, like Sean Canfield and guys like Chase Daniel who just started the season last year. They haven't gone through a training camp with us either. You have three guys who have their first training camp here. It's definitely an adjustment and a learning experience for them. For me, I enjoy being able to talk about the offense, the system, the personnel, and my thought process on a lot of things. It kind of re-emphasizes to me the important things and the step-by-step process that allows us to be successful as an offense. For me as a quarterback, to review just that mindset that I am taking on every play, my checklist, I think it is beneficial for both sides."
What do you make of all of the Brett Favre talk again?
"I am sure there is going to be a lot of speculation. Haven't we all seen it before? I'm not going to believe it until he doesn't walk out of the tunnel on September 9th."
How have people looked to you in the past as a symbol for the city? How has the oil spill affected the optimism after the win?
"Here we are, almost five years post (Hurricane) Katrina and a lot of us were brought in six months post-Katrina. The last four seasons, I feel like there has been a very special bond formed between our fans, our city, the Gulf Coast, and the Saints. I feel like this organization claims not only this area, but Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. When you look at what's happened now with the oil spill, how it's really affected the entire region, we take that as a big responsibility on ourselves to be a part of that process, that renewing process the clean-up process of the coastal wetlands, and whatever we can do to bring people hope, to reach out and put a smile on their face in some difficult times."
What are you going to do this season to do that?
"Win football games, number one. Obviously there are guys that do things in the community whether it's through their foundations or just lending a helping hand. There are plenty of things that we will be doing."
After the success last year, how does facing Gregg Williams and this defense help you every day?
"You figure you are seeing every different defensive look that you can see. By the time games roll around, you feel like there is nothing you can see that you haven't from our defense. Our defense plays it so well, and they do such a good job of taking the football away, so there is a constant emphasis on taking care of the football. They are talking about taking it away, so that helps us. Plus, it's just competitive. Everybody is fighting for jobs out here, fighting for a key role on this team and that's what excites us all. The guys that are going to be out there on Sunday are the guys that earned positions."
*How about going against him? He is pretty animated out there. Do you appreciate his competitiveness? *
"Absolutely. Everybody has personality. Each guy is different. Just like Sean has his mannerisms, the things does he does, Gregg Williams has some. Joe Vitt has his. Pete Carmichael, our offensive coordinator, has his. You've got to keep it light and try to have fun out here as much as possible through the sweat, the soreness, and the grind. You understand, these are the times where you really come together as a team. This is critical. As hard as this is, it's a critical component to your success later on."
What are your thoughts on the competition between Alex Brown and Jimmy Wilkerson?
"I think this guy (Brown) has been a great addition to our team. He fits in well with his character and leadership qualities. He's a pretty good football player too, so we are happy to have him. He knows that he is going to have to earn everything he is going to get out there. It's very competitive, but we like it that way because it brings out the best in everyone."
You said that you wanted the same level of competitiveness that you saw last year…
"Absolutely, that's the way that you get better."
Have you seen that?
"Yes. It's the only way that you get better; it's how you get the best out of people. Put them in tough situations every day, and make it so they're used to that. Put guys in positions where being comfortable makes them comfortable. In other words, if you are always competing and are always put in tough situations, you always have to fight through, and then the games almost seem easy because you have so much invested and you know how hard you have worked. It just prepares you."
Can you talk about having (Marques) Colston back?
"It's awesome. That's the big man. He's a big part of what we do offensively and I'm glad to have him back. Plus, we have a group of young receivers that have been running, so to have him out there now as a complement to Lance Moore, Devery (Henderson), and as soon as (Robert) Meachem gets back, I'm happy to have our core group back together."
With heavy focus on the special teams, how much easier does having good punt returners out there make your job?
"It's big whenever you have guys that can give you extra field position, an extra ten yards, someone who can get the ball to the 40, 50, or in to the opponent's territory. When you have that starting point as an offense, not only does it give you a shorter field, but the momentum shift, the emotional lift, when you are on the sideline and a guy gets a big return, there is an extra spring in your step. Now you just think, 'We're going to score points no matter what.' It's big when you have those guys. Also, kick return. I feel like Courtney Roby is one of the best in the league. I feel like he did a great job last year. Pierre Thomas, when he had to step in and do it, he was the one that returned the ball out to the 40 in the NFC Championship game. That's critical when you have guys that can do that."