New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Local Media Availability
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Drew, were surprised about the news about C.J. (Spiller)?
"It's tough. I knew we were heavy at the running back position. I know there is a lot of thought that goes into that and I think a part of that had to go into some of the injuries and trying to fit guys on the roster and make moves. At times, unfortunately it is like that and tough decisions have to be made. I think C.J. (Spiller) has a lot of good football left in him. It is just unfortunate the way it played out."
Does that speak to Travaris (Cadet) and the confidence and comfort you have in him?
"Yes, I think it does, I think it says a lot about that whole running back group and a lot of them bring something unique to the table. I think they are all very versatile and do a lot of things. Look C.J. (Spiller) can do a lot of things also. Unfortunately, that happens, but I'm excited about the guys that we have. "
Drew, have you talked to your kids about rooting interest in this week's game since they are also fans of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.? Are there any rules?
"Yeah, I basically said, as long as you're rooting for us to win I don't care who you root for personally."
What's the effect of Sean (Payton) delegating some play-calling to Pete (Carmichael), I know you have been through that with Pete in '11 and '12. How is that working out?
"I think it's working out great. I feel like those guys are so much on same page talking about Pete (Carmichael) and Sean (Payton). There are a lot of contributions being made by the rest of the coaching staff as well. We have guys who are on the field seeing things. We have guys who are up in the box seeing things. I would say it's very much a group effort. Pete did a phenomenal job in '11 and a phenomenal job in '12. He really did a great job on Sunday. Whenever he has been called upon. He has always had to be ready in that position. Nobody thought in 2011 that he would be in the situation where Sean would basically be knocked out of a game, literally. It's a group effort and they all do a great job together."
How different are the Giants defensively since the last time the two teams played in 2015?
"They have gone out and signed some guys and made some improvements, I think both to their front and to their secondary. They have some good young talent. They spent a first round draft pick and a third round pick in the secondary. They went out and got (Janoris) Jenkins and Landon Collins is now a second-year player, not a rookie anymore. I just see them playing really well together. Steve Spagnuolo was here as the defensive coordinator and I think he is extremely talented and really does a lot of different things that you have to be prepared for. Bottom line you can't look at last years (game) and say that's the type of game it's going to be. I know our defense would take exception to that and I'm certain that theirs would as well. It's going to be a hard fought game and it's an NFC game and their home opener, so there is a lot to play for."
Do you tailor the gameplan on the fact that maybe you need to protect the secondary so they don't have so much pressure on them by having quick drives?
"I think the philosophy is always the same in that you are trying to sustain drives, score points, protect the football. It's pretty simple."
You are likely to pass Dan Marino for third on the all-time passing yardage list on Sunday. is that a career goal to finish number one on the yardage list?
"Just take it one game at a time right now. If we are winning games and keep kind of making the way up the chart, then that's not such a bad thing."
Does coach Payton's emphasis in the offseason to start fast at the start of the regular season add any pressure to this game?
"I mean it would be important anyway, but we understand the matchup and the magnitude of what's at stake and we need a win, desperately, need a win and you just know you will get everybody's best effort, focus and attention to detail this week as we build up to this game. Being a team that has a lot of new guys, we feel like it's such a new year and there is such a separation between this team and the teams in the past couple years. We want this to be the start of something really, really good and anytime you are in that position you just need a little bit of success and you need something good to happen and we want that definitely. We have to go out and make it happen."
How fortunate are you to have one of those 2014 draft class wide receivers in Brandin Cooks, a class from which so many productive wideouts?
"Yes, like I said I am glad we got Brandin (Cooks), obviously you look from a far at what Odell (Beckham Jr.) has been able to accomplish, it has been extremely impressive. I think obviously; I've had the chance to work with my guy (Brandin) Cooks here in the last few years. I don't think there is a guy that works harder or who is just more locked in and focused when it comes to being a professional and we work out together all offseason long as well and he is devoted to his craft, so to see his success I sit back and say that guys earned every second of it and I still think he is only scratching the surface, as far as what he will be able to accomplish."
What about Willie Snead IV? He seems to just keep getting better.
"He's another guy. Especially, from the road that he has traveled to get to this point. To being an undrafted free agent to basically we get him on the practice squad for the last part of the season two years ago, and then last year he played a pretty pivotal role, and that increased as the season went on. Then, he obviously came into this year understanding that he would have an even bigger role. Obviously, you saw what those guys were able to accomplish last week. I think we're only scratching the surface of what we're going to be able to do. They're all so versatile. They can do so many different things. Willie (Snead IV) is able to play (both) outside and inside. Just his toughness and his approach. He plays with a big chip on his shoulder, which I like."
What is your relationship with Eli (Manning)?
"I probably see Eli (Manning) once or twice a year at different events (such as) the Pro Bowl. Something like that, where we've got a fine relationship. He has been around a long time. I think he is going into his 13th year. He was part of that (draft) class with Philip (Rivers) and (Ben) Roethlisberger. All those guys that have played a lot of football – if there are those moments when you could get around each other, you talk a little shop and you talk a little bit about the family. I have a great respect for all those guys because I think we all know what it is like to play the position. I know all the games that he has won and the big games that he has played in. Certainly, he has solidified himself as one of the great quarterbacks in this league. Obviously, he has high aspirations for his team. I think you just understand going into the game what you are going up against and knowing what they are capable of on the other side of the ball, and knowing that you have to be your best."
How would you describe Eli (Manning) as a quarterback?
"I think he is extremely cerebral and very intelligent. I think he has a great command of the offense and of what is happening around him. He has played big in some big games throughout his career. You know at any moment what they are capable of. You can never have a big enough lead against a guy like that. There are quite of few guys like that around the league. When he gets hot, it's hot. You just know that you have to be your best in a game like this when you have quarterbacks like that on the other side."
Is this another scenario where the team that has the ball last wins a game like this?
"50 or more percent of games in this league come down to the last possession. You'd say that just based upon that it is a strong possibility, that the last team that has the ball last has a chance to win. But, it's not necessarily because it is a shootout. Like I said, we've made improvements to our defense and they've made improvements to their defense. We'll see what happens."
What did you notice in Michael Thomas' first career game?
"That was just very composed, is what I've noticed from Mike. Just from the game, it was not too big for him. When he was called upon to make a play, he had some nice catches in the game and did some nice things. Maybe no bigger play than that because of the situation, you know, tie game and that's points on the board for us if he is able to jump on that and not only does he just pick it up, he almost runs it in. A really headsy composed play from that player."