New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Local Media Availability
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Just talk about the job your offensive line has done so far this season.
"They have done a phenomenal job, really in all phases, pass game, pass protection, the run game. We do a lot of things offensively, we move the pocket a lot, change up the launch points, I mean we do a lot of things that require a lot of expertise and attention to detail on their part and they have been shuffled around a little bit with some injuries and just guys in different places, but I mean together as a unit they're just so steady and so poised and really a tough group and a great group of leaders as well, but (they) always hold each other accountable."
What makes Kansas City such a difficult place to play and Marcus Peters such a tough cornerback to play?
"Arrowhead is one of my most favorite places to play, from my Charger days when we went there once a year. I always felt like we were going there late in the year, in fact every game I can think of playing in Kansas City was in December. When there was something on the line, obviously divisional opponent and it's such a great fan base, a sea of red. The National anthem finishes up and the home of the Chiefs (roar). Great, great tradition as you come rolling up to that stadium. Hank Stram (coached there) I was always a fan of his, he's a Purdue guy by the way and Len Dawson (played there) as well, just being fans of those guys and tracking their careers and obviously what they accomplished there back in the 60s and 70s. I think just from that time until now it's always been one of those places. Marty Schottenheimer, my coach in San Diego coached there for a long time and won a ton of games and just the history and the legacy of playing in a place like that. It's always a tough place to play, it is a tough place to go get a win. Obviously they're a very good football team and you mentioned Marcus Peters he's playing as well as anybody in the league right now in the secondary. He's (Peters) a very dangerous player and has exceptional skills, exceptional ball skills, great instincts, especially for a young player. He just seems to have a nose for the football and obviously he has a great group around him, he's got great safeties and a great front seven that can apply pressure on the quarterback to force them to maybe get a ball out sooner than they want and obviously he's there to make the plays. That whole unit, I mean there are other guys in that secondary that are ballhawks. Definitely a great challenge for us."
Do you feel like you will be able to matriculate the ball down the field?
"I hope we'll be able to matriculate the ball down the field. I think every gameplan we put a lot of time and effort and thought into and we're still in the beginning stages of that right now, but I mean at the end of the day it is about our execution and identifying those matchups when the ball needs to come out accurately. Guys just making plays and our ability to make a play on the football and just do all those things that will help us be successful."
Do you think Alex Smith is an underrated guy?
"I don't think that Alex gets the respect that he deserves. I think that he has played very well, in his time in San Francisco they made those playoff runs and now in Kansas City for Andy Reid. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he's a tough guy. I think he is very versatile. I think he can do a lot of things and listen he is a veteran guy and I think he came in in 04, 05 so he's been around a long time and man he's a guy that will pull the ball and run 25 yards down the field. He'll execute the short passing game, the long passing game. They do a lot of really interesting stuff with their offense. I really like watching their offense and they have some playmakers as well that (Alex) he spreads the ball around too. I think he is a very good football player."
You have the youngest receiving corps in the National Football League, are you surprised by their maturity?
"Yeah, we put high expectations on ourselves and I think we see this as man we are all in this together and we and I know the coaching staff work tirelessly to try and put those guys in the best position to succeed and give each guy opportunities and throughout the course of the game you never know how it's going to end up. Did we know that Brandin Cooks was going to have two big plays that resulted in seven catches for a buck 73 or whatever it was in the last game? No, I mean it just happens, but all those guys are ready and always prepared and they know their opportunities will come and they work extremely hard and they push one another too. I mean there is a pride and there is a sense of competition from that group. They push one another."
How complete is Brandin Cooks?
"He can do a lot of things and do a lot of things well. He is a big time player who we rely on to make plays."
Do you know why you play better at home than on the road?
"No, well I mean I can't say I'm familiar with the stats, but if we are just looking at wins and losses home and away over the last couple years I have to think it has to be pretty close to being equal."
It hasn't necessarily been weather elements but is there anything else that makes it harder to have success with the passing game on the road?
"Anytime you go on the road, there are certain elements that go along with that. Why does everyone want homefield advantage in the playoffs? There's a homefield advantage certainly. I don't look at it any differently. I would say this year, if you looked at it, we have only played three games at home and have only played two games on the road. I'm sure there is a pretty big discrepancy right now. I do not see that lasting. In other words, I think the expectation is still the same. Whether we are playing at home or we are playing away, the expectation's still the same. Something else might be required to win that game more so than just airing it out. I think we had some opportunities in the passing game this past week that had us throwing the ball maybe a little but more than usual. I think overall we go into every game talking about being balanced and spreading it around, and trying to be somewhat unpredictable to the opposing defense. "
The last couple of years have been something like taking one step forward and two steps back; could you use that and say now that we have taken one step forward, we don't want to take any steps back in any way?
"I've said this many times but I think we're an ascending team. I think we're trending up. I think we're getting some guys healthy. We're headed in the right direction. The challenges continue to come. On the road at Kansas City is going to be an extremely tough place to get a win. Every opponent that is on the sheet this year is one that is going to be a very tough challenge for us. One game at a time but we are looking to get a little bit better each week."
How can you not make it a nailbiter like last time? (Question from Jarrius Robertson)
"I don't know. They have all been like that this year. What do you think?"
I think we can do it better and win on the screen pass. (Jarrius Robertson)
"So look for more screen passes for Jarrius (laughter)."
On the road on the grass you guys haven't done nearly as well; do you have any explanation for that?
"In our dome (it's) homefield advantage, number one. Number two, (it's a) fast track. Just those two things might attribute to that. I still feel like we can be just as effective on the road on grass wherever we play. I don't stress that. We're talking this week about how this is a loud environment. That's one of the loudest stadiums in football. Communication is at a premium which directly results in our ability to execute. If we focus on that, we're going to be just fine."
Now that you are gameplanning and you are working with Michael Thomas, how much has he grown week to week?
"He has grown a lot. I think we continue to put a little more on his plate each week. Obviously, we have high expectations for him as we continue to move along here. It's a little bit at a time. We're not asking anybody to be a world beater. Just do your job and do what you are coached to do. This all tends to work together if we just all focus on that."
How much does it work for him?
"I think he has done everything that we have asked him to do. He is a very consciences kid who wants to do things the right way. He works extremely hard at it. We spend a lot of time on task during practice and after practice talking and going through things, as I do with all of the receivers, tight ends and (running) backs. That is the type of time, energy and effort that we need to put into the passing game to be effective."
Sean (Payton) said that he is able to pick things up quickly; is that generally the case with (Brandin) Cooks and (Willie) Snead IV? Are they all similar that way?
"It is time on task. Guys learn a lot better when they are able to go out and actually feel it and do it, as opposed to just seeing it on the blackboard or just seeing it on film. Certainly, those things help and there is a progression to it. I see it, now I go out and execute and now let's begin to show some different looks that might vary the depth or the angle that you are breaking or the variation or nuance of the route."
Are there any benefits to having such a young receiver corps such as maybe they don't know another way?
"Except the way that we are molding them and teaching and team? Yes, I love that. That is perfect."
Were there any worries or concerns with that coming in?
"Guys come from college and it is the development of any player at any position. They're going to come in and they are going to do certain things. It's like alright, this is the way that we are teaching it, this is how we are going to do it and this is why. A lot of times we have the ability to show them 11 years' worth of film to show why something should be done a certain way or how it has evolved. Here is the evolution. Here is where it started and this is where it is now, and maybe like hey, this is where we can take it once we get really good at it. Then, you incorporate new things each year as well. We are taking these guys right out of college and this is their first team so (it's like) this is how we are doing it and this is how it needs to be done, and this is what I am expecting. I can also tell you that this is when the ball is going to be there and that is when you need to be there."
Can you quantify what (Sheldon) Rankins would mean to the defensive interior when you guys get him back?
"I think it will be tremendous. I think (Sheldon) Rankins will not only add depth obviously but he's an explosive player. We got to see three weeks of him with pads on. He was impressive. When he does come back, I think we're all excited about the opportunity to have him out there and the element that he'll add to that defensive line."