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Drew Brees: 'I think there were some good individual efforts'

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post Practice Media Availability
Friday, August 7th, 2015

Can you give an overall review today of what you think?

"(We were) A little sloppy. Any time you transition from a practice to a game-like scenario where it's moving the chains, you have to get up, you (have) to get lined up correctly, you have to be sharp. I think there's just a lot more tempo and kind of quick transition that happens in a move the chains period or scrimmage as opposed to practice where you can stop it and make certain adjustments. That part of it might have surprised some guys so I think we just weren't as sharp as we needed to be. I think there were some good individual efforts, as we watch the tape all that kind of stuff will show itself. It just shows we've got a lot of work to do."

Did you feel that way when your unit was on the field or are you talking about the team as a whole because you guys seemed to have an efficient drive?

"I'm just saying overall. I'm speaking for the whole team and we tried to do a lot of situations today so it's 'hey, we're starting in our own territory', it's first team offense against second team defense and we're at mid field and it's second team offense against first team defense and then the threes are out there and then you work some red zone scenarios. You're putting the ball all over the field and you're just trying to work situations so you can get your shot plays called, get your red zone game plan called, get your third down game plan called. Again, I think that when you turn the tape on there's going to be some great individual efforts but overall I think, as a team, you look at it and the feeling I got from the sidelines was at times we were too slow offensively, at times we had trouble getting lined up, there were some mental errors, too many pre-snap penalties. There was too much of that stuff that, down the line will get you beat and now is the time to get it corrected."

One of the big questions was how do you replace the red zone production of a guy like Jimmy Graham after he was traded but Benjamin Watson has been so effective down there both yesterday and today?

"Yeah, I've got a lot of trust and confidence in Ben (Watson). He's a true professional, he can do everything, we're lucky to have him and I'm excited about the opportunity that he has."

I don't know how much you remember your first scrimmage in training camp but how did Garrett Grayson handle things overall today?

"Like any young quarterback, there's going (to) be struggles. He has a lot thrown at him right now when you talk about the complexities of the offense, all that we are responsible for at the quarterback position, and I think just the tempo that we want to operate with. So, at times I think he handled that well but at other times, like any young quarterback, you're working with guys that are just the same as you, working with the third-team offense. Not only are you worrying about your stuff but you're having to get guys lined up or tell them their split or maybe tell them what the checkdown is or whatever it is. So you have a lot of stuff going through your mind but overall I thought it handled it well."

You guys are still six days out from the first preseason game but I would imagine as you turn the page past the scrimmage, are you guys a little amped up to go up against a defense that isn't your own?

"Yes, you are always excited for new fresh competition. Eventually, in two-a-days, you get tired of going up against each other. Plus the approach of preseason games means that the season is quickly approaching as well. That is what gets us all excited, that's what we are all preparing for. We are preparing to get to the regular season healthy and sharp and hopefully put together some wins."

What do you think of the virtual reality system that they brought in?

"I think it certainly has a ton of benefits. I think we're in the process of figuring out all the ways we can utilize that from a teaching stand point and learning standpoint and how we'll carry that over to the regular season but I think it's extremely effective."

Have you taken a moment to reflect back how you entered in 2006 and so much of that draft class is still here entering their 10th year?

"There's four guys on offense, Zach Strief, Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, and myself. It's pretty incredible that you could have four guys that came in at the same time, ten years ago (and) still be together. That is pretty amazing. I would say it's been pretty unusual for us over the last couple of years. Last year it was (Robert) Meachem and Pierre (Thomas), the year before it was Lance Moore and a few others. A lot of guys that had been around since the 2006, 2007 season, we've been together seven or eight years, that's highly unusual in this league where there has been so much turnover. I consider myself very lucky to have teammates like that and to have them for as long as I've had them."

The history that you have with Marques (Colston), is that why it's so easy for him to step in right off the sidelines and be ready to go?

"We have such a core and he's got such a great feel as a football player. It's one of those things, for him, like riding a bike. Maybe you haven't done it for a while but you get back on and it comes back very quickly. We've been in so many situations together where we see the same thing and know the same thing."

He's not a bad red zone option ether right?

"Listen, he's a stud, such a pro, such an extremely productive player and a great guy for the young players to see to watch his approach and his work ethic. He leads in a very quiet way but he has a strong presence."

Brandon Browner was saying that defensive players, that even though there is a lot of questions from the coaches, they shouldn't need that screaming to be motivated. Do you feel the same way?

"If you're somebody that needs to be motivated every time you step on the field then you are in the wrong profession. I think for the most part we are made up of highly self-motivated people but I think it's really just the emotions running high. Whenever you're in a competitive environment, your fired up and things just kind of come out of your mouth and it's almost like you flipped the switch as players and coaches. It's not that the yelling is there to motivate you, it's more like the emotion is just coming out and you're in a fiery situation."

What's your review of your own camp? How do you feel about week one?

"I feel good. I feel like I'm on track with the things I wanted to accomplish with camp. All the things that I'm focused on from film study to mechanics to leadership elements of the team."

You were saying earlier how the 2006 class sort of set a standard and expectations or this organization, last year you didn't reach your goals and there's been a few unexpected things that have happened since then, is there any amount of doubt within the organization and what do you do, as the quarterback and the leader, do to eliminate that doubt?

"No, there's no doubt. Just like every training camp, you have some young players, you have new players (and) you have new some scheme that you're installing so it is very much a teaching time and yet there is a great sense of urgency because you know that the season is right around the corner. We're not going to give ourselves excuses by any stretch so it's time to work, it's time to compete, now is the time to compete, to push one another, to be the best that we can be and I think we can be pretty good but we have a long way to go."

Speaking of young players, when you look at the young receivers, we've talked about Brandon Coleman and Sentavious Jones, what other young receiver has caught your eye?

"Honestly all of our receivers have done some really good things. Willie Snead has done some good things, Jalen Saunders has done some good things. We've got two veteran guys, Josh Morgan and Lance Lewis, those guys have done some good things. Joe Morgan has kicked it into another gear after coming off that injury from a few years ago and to now and kind of the road that he has traveled, I think he has gained a lot of confidence. Every one of our guys has a great skill set and I would have a comfort level with all of them. I really would because I feel like we have that time on task."

Would you say on the backend, whoever is that fifth or sixth guy, that it's because of what they can do on special teams, not only what they do with you, that can be a contribution?

"You're exactly right. At the end of the day when you're talking about a fifth receiver or a sixth receiver or a third or fourth running back or whatever it might be, that guy has to be able to contribute in other ways. As a returner, as a gunner, as a special teams stand out."

Kind of like Josh Hill right?

"Yes. In a lot of cases, that's how guys get started. Maybe they make the team by initially being able to do something like that and then they work themselves more into a big contributor on offense or defense. Everybody gets started somehow. Pierre Thomas made this team back in 2007 because of what he did on special teams because at the time, we were loaded at running back we three or four guys. He made this team as a four core special teams player and then obviously we all see what he became as a running back. There's countless guys like that."

How did you assess the tempo today? Was it something that you were pleased with?

"The tempo could have been better. I mean, again, it is getting used to going from practice to a game like scenario where there are substitutions from sideline to the field as opposed to in practice when everyone is just kind of standing around the ball and it is very easy just to jump in and out. Now, throughout the course of a game, you have to run from the sideline, people are running on, people are running off, there's communication that is happening. Offensively, maybe there is tempo, maybe there is hurry up, maybe there's no huddle. Listen, we are a week into camp so we do not have everything installed, we still do not have our nickel, all of our red zone, all of our short yardage, our goal line. We are still in the process of doing that. The install at this point has been minimal and yet it is still, for new guys and guys making the transition, it can be complicated. They are swimming a little bit."

Marques (Colston) said it's easy for your two to be on the same page and it's easy to pick things back up quickly but he also said, after ten years that there's some advantages to changing things up and he said he thought this year, there have been a few more tweaks then usual?

"It keeps you with an edge. You never come out with any complacency because there're new things, there're new elements (and) there're nuances to the offense that you have to learn and master. The better we can do these things, the better we can be offensively and we have high expectations for ourselves as an offense and I know that Marques (Colston) is going to play a critical role in the offense this year, as will quite a few other guys but that part does get you excited, coming back and knowing that it is not just the same stuff. We are going to continue to do those things and we're going to continue to fine tune and get better at those things but let's see how good we can be at some of these new concepts because we can add a new element to our offense."

The offense and defense have gone back and forth throughout camp but have (Brandon) Browner and (Keenan) Lewis been kind of a tough nut to crack for you guys?

"Yes, first of all they are both big, long, physical guys that play a tough brand of football and once they get their hands on you it's tough to slip by, get open and get separation so I think Brandon (Browner) has been a great addition both with just the way that he plays, he's a starting corner with that presence that he brings there and with that leadership standpoint, here's a guy who's been on the last two Super Bowl teams so he knows what great teams look like, knows how they work, how they prepare, that mindset. I think that he has definitely added that element to our defense thus far."

With Benjamin Watson, to what extent would it be too simplistic or maybe accurate to say he appears more prominent in the passing game because Jimmy (Graham) is not here?

"Yes, because he's now the starting Y. In the past Jimmy's been the starting Y but Ben's always played a big role just because we are very multiple for what we do from a personnel standpoint. We do a lot of two-tight end stuff, we really mix and match quite a bit. He's on the field a lot, contributes a lot, is great in the run game, is great in the pass protection, great in his route running ability, his ability to catch the football, his run after the catch ability, he's just a pro.

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