New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Your thoughts on how Andrus Peat has progressed throughout the season?
"That's an adjustment. You've been playing tackle for your entire college career and then you come here and he is a tackle and all of a sudden you get moved to guard and having to start against some pretty good players. Obviously there is an adjustment to be made. I think he has really done a nice job and gotten better with more reps he has had."
Does it just take some time for young linemen to get adjusted?
"Yes, there is always an adjustment and I would say our group was pretty solid going into the season and then obviously we started to have some injuries and (have been) having to shuffle guys around. I think all of those guys have handled it well. Senio (Kelemete) has done a nice job, Tim (Lelito) as well and then Andrus playing a little left tackle and now playing left guard it's hard. That's just kind of the nature of the beast when guys get nicked up and have to come in and do a job that they haven't done a whole lot of, but I think that group (is) anchored by (Terron) Armstead, (Zach) Strief, (Max) Unger and Jahri (Evans). I know Jahri has been banged up a little bit too, but there is a great presence there with those guys that can help ease any type of transition or new situation that might come about in regards to guys maybe playing some different positions."
Do you speak to guys in the locker room and tell them now is not the time to let go of the rope?
"Yes that has been addressed. I also think that we have the type of maturity that lends itself to coming to work every day with enthusiasm and positivity and just feeling like we haven't played our best football, lets continue to work to see what that looks like and continue to get better and better and obviously at the end of the day the result needs to be winning, but let's see how good we can get by the end of the season."
What do you see from Tampa in terms of last time to now?
"They have some guys in different places in the secondary and I know they have had some injuries on the d-line and then I know at linebacker (Kwon) Alexander their middle linebacker is out now with the suspension. It appears Bruce Carter will be their starting Mike although you kind of have to look at everybody on the roster and assume that maybe there are other guys that could play as well. A little bit of it's from a personnel standpoint we can see a lot of guys, but from a scheme standpoint it is pretty consistent you know Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier what they do is what they do and they do it very well and coach it very well. You have to be ready for some new things and nuances on third down and other situational type stuff, but again it all comes down to execution. Our offense and the things that we know we need to do well in order to be successful (are what is most important)."
What has Mark Ingram meant to this offense?
"He means a lot. Obviously he has been tremendous and been extremely reliable in all phases of the offense, obviously running the football and protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. I really feel like over the last two years especially he has kind of come into his own. I would consider him one of the top backs in the league, all-purpose, can do everything and just a great guy to be around and great locker room guy. I don't know if there is a guy more liked than him. (He) Comes to work every day, (is a) great practice player and a guy you can count on (on) gameday, so obviously if he has to miss time obviously, we would miss him."
How difficult would it be if Mark misses time since Khiry Robinson is already out for the year?
"Yes, you hate to lose guys that mean so much to your offense, but it's the next man up mentality and Tim Hightower is a guy that has been looking for an opportunity for a while and he will get that and C.J. Spiller as well and then Marcus Murphy will have a role for all of those guys and they will all get an opportunity and be ready. You never know how things shake out and you have seen us play long enough to know that we have a lot of guys that can be shuffled in and out and they will have a job and a role and will coach them up on how to do it and they will do it well."
How do you balance looking towards the future with also staying in the moment?
"First of all it is our job to each and every week put ourselves in the best position to go out and win. So execute the game plan, do our job and win the game. (We all have) Pride, whether you are a veteran guy, (or a younger player) who's trying to establish himself. Even veteran guys have to have something to prove. You always have to prove your worth that you mean enough to this team for them to keep you around. It is a what have you done for me lately business and it's all about result and when things don't go well I think it's easy for people on the outside the building to want to point blame at certain people at the end of the day. Does that cause more turnover at the end of the year? I feel like we are building something really good here with the type of guys we have and things haven't quite gone the way we plan, but I think that our ability to show great improvement and show a positive direction as to where we are headed these next four games is crucial."
Do you think you'll learn more about a lot of the guys on this team in these four weeks than maybe you have the entire season?
"We've had our fair share of adversity throughout this entire season. It has been a bit of a streaky season. You start off 1-4 and then you win three in a row, and then you lose four in a row. Hopefully, we finish by winning four in a row. We've got to win one before we can win four. You want to be justified with the hard work that you're putting in. You are looking around and you know you have good guys. You want those guys to be rewarded for doing the right things and for working the right way, and for handling it all the right way as well. You want to be justified with winning and winning makes you feel much better and gives you confidence, and I think that adds to more wins."
Wouldn't you, as someone who's under contract for next season, want somebody in the organization to be thinking how next season can be better in terms of won-loss than this one has gone?
"Obviously, everybody has their role within the organization. I know that our scouts and our management are constantly thinking about ways that the team can be improved, whether it's through the draft or free agency. Similar to what happened midseason when we traded Akiem Hicks and we got (Michael) Hoomanawanui. Hoomanawanui has been a pretty integral part of what we've been able to do offensively. He adds a great element with the three tight end package. He has been awesome. I feel like he has made us better. You're constantly trying to find pieces to the puzzle to kind of bring in, make us better and put us in the best position to build a championship football team."
What have you seen different from Week Two to now in Tampa Bay's defense?
"From a scheme standpoint, it is very similar. Lovie Smith and (Buccaneers defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier, these guys have been together a long time at various places. The scheme is what it is and obviously, there are new wrinkles each week. For the most part, this is what they play, this is how they play, they play it very well and they disguise it well. You know what they are teaching. I've got a lot of respect for those guys. They've made a bunch of plays. They're really playing with a lot of confidence. They are making some plays on offense as well. Just the compliment of that has their defense playing with a lot of confidence."
What do you expect the offensive line, and especially the young guys, to take from the second half of that Carolina game, being that they played well?
"I think it says a lot. Obviously, that was a meaningful game for a lot of reasons. It was the next game, it was a divisional opponent and with them being undefeated. At the end of the day, it tells you a few things. Number one, the difference between winning and losing in this league is so slight. I mean it's inches. There are no points for being close. Your record is what it is but should a 4-8 team be that close to beating a now 12-0 team? We're trying to get ourselves over the hump a little bit until a point where those types of games are going our way. The more confidence can be built through situations where maybe you're behind the eight ball a little bit and maybe you are facing some adversity, and guys have to step and make plays and they do. Those are confidence builders and I think those lead to good things down the road. To your point, the young guys on the offensive line that were involved in that success late in the game to put us in a position to win – I think those are confidence builders."
How did you feel about Brandon Coleman stepping up in that game?
"Obviously, you can only have 11 out there at a time on offense but we have guys that with the more opportunities they get, the better they get. They're chomping at the bit to be great. You kind of have a role for everybody, and yet with Willie (Snead) being down, Brandon Coleman gets an opportunity, and he makes the most of it. He comes and makes a big play to give us the lead there in the fourth quarter. That is all good stuff and gets you excited about the opportunities that this guy can have in the future, and how he can be a part of this offense."
Is this a team maybe at a crossroads or with an identity crisis with what it has been in the past and what it can be in the future?
"As far as the type of team, the type of character and the type of foundation that you are building, no there's no difference with the way that we are trying to build this team now, versus the way we were trying to build it when Sean (Payton) and Mickey (Loomis) were first here together and first started this whole thing in '06. As far as the scheme and the way things evolve, there's always evolution in the game. You build your team, physically, in certain ways to fit the scheme, defensively, offensively and that kind of thing. I don't feel that there is an identity crisis there. It is just that maybe you evolve a little bit each year, and you're trying to go out and get different pieces that fit your scheme a little bit better. As far as the mentality, in regards to the type of guys that we're trying to get and the type of locker room that we're trying to have, all that is the same that it has ever been."