New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew BreesPost-Practice Media Availability Thursday, December 17, 2015
Do you pay attention to how many plays you have in a game because you are in the top five in the category?
"We do not really pay attention to plays per game although I would say there are some other statistics that would attribute to that like when you see time of possession we pay attention to that so obviously if you are possessing the ball a lot you are running a lot of plays. Typically we look at length of drives and that kind of stuff. Are we possessing the ball from our territory into their territory scoring points? I would say certainly (we look at) third downs (conversions). The more third downs you are converting the longer drives are so I guess those numbers would directly correlate to plays per game."
What does a closeout drive in the last game do for an offense?
"It's big and it just shows that you know how to win games and there are lots of ways that you might be required to win games. At times offensively you feel the way the game's going and maybe it's a real defensive struggle on both sides and obviously you are doing your best to score points, but you realize that at times it's ok to punt and pin them down and play the field position game and just focus on not making the critical error that would give them a short field and give them points. It might change the momentum of the game and in other cases, man we need to answer and respond to a drive they just put together now it's our turn to go ahead and get points and regain the momentum and go down in a two minute drive and put ourselves in a position to win the game and score a touchdown. In Sunday's case we have to get two first downs and they have all three of their timeouts and the two minute warning and we have to do find a way to do it in a methodical manner. They know what we are going to be doing and we still have to find a way to get yardage to get first downs and convert a couple critical third downs which we did. That was big time"
Do you see any similarities between Willie Snead and Lance Moore?
"They are both MAC school guys Toledo and Ball State so I would say, yes his versatility. I would say that was one great thing about Lance had so much trust in him and we could put him anywhere on the field and you knew he would make the right decision. It was very easy to read his body language because (so much of what) we do with this offense is according to the look the route's run a certain way so had, so (we had) much trust in Lance Willie has a lot of those same attributes and I think that's why the comparison is made with Lance. Not only that but their journey to get here and kind of the way he (Snead) has worked into a pretty significant role in the offense is comparable (to Moore's development)."
What do you see in Willie Snead as opposed to Moore?
"Well I'd say Lance is such a smart football player and was just sudden elusive and knew how to separate. He knew how to separate and get open and was a very good route runner that made everything look the same inside of 15 yards and I'd say some of Willie's great attributes are his toughness, his ability to come in and block and at the same time push vertical and (run the) down the field route or any intermediate route. He is a very good route runner, works at it and tries to setup what he is doing based upon what he showed the DB earlier in the game and you feel like the he has a plan in his mind for how he is running certain routes and why."
How about hands wise?
"Both of them have exceptional hands. Lance just had such a great feel for where the ball would be thrown and he could always put his body (in position) to make the play and he made some ridiculous catches where the ball's on (a certain side) and he is able to flip his whole body around. I would say that is something that is super rare that Lance had in his ability to do that and I think Willie is really good at making those adjustments as well."
Is the success in prime time home games something you take pride in?
"We do, but this game seems to have so much more importance just to get a win last week and wanting to continue that momentum and just really have a plan on how we want to finish out this season and Detroit has had a similar journey to us this year and we know that their mindset (is) desperate for a win just like we are."
Why is it so important to finish the season strong?
"It's validating many of the things that you've kind of instituted to build the foundation again with the proper players again a lot of new faces this year and you know the mindset from last offseason to this year as to building this team with great character and leadership and young talent that we can mold into what fits here and what we are trying to do. I think when you have success it just validates everything that you're teaching and everything that you are coaching."
Is it important for decision makers to say this is the right direction?
"Absolutely, man you feel so much better when you have success. Not that it masks the negative things of the game because you can always get better at something, but you feel so much better after getting Ws."
When a defense is doing a good job of disguising their coverages, what challenges does that present to an offense?
"Everybody disguises. You try to disguise man (coverage), try to disguise zone, try to disguise pressures and where it's coming from. That's always part of the game and always part of the chess match. Every team has new stuff coming into a game. So much of it depends on your formation, maybe your personnel group, the situation or maybe the down and distance in the game. So many factors go into that. You have so much time during the week to scheme it up. You're always ready for the new wrinkles and disguises when you go and play an opponent, especially one like Detroit where I feel like we've played them (very few times). We played them last year. In other words, they are not a team that we're playing every year. From a personnel standpoint, there's a few changes on their defense from last year, and improvements. There are definitely some challenges for us."
There was a complete roster overhaul before this season; where does this rank for you as you're getting these players though these growing pains?
"Obviously, just from a win/loss standpoint, we expected to have a lot more wins than losses. We also know that if you are to accomplish anything great that there is going to be adversity and you are going to have to fight through it and find a way to make yourself better because of it. That's something that I can certainly say is a disappointment, that we are not in the position that we want to be in this time of year from a win/loss standpoint. I am very proud of our guys and the way that they have continued to come in each week with a lot of enthusiasm, with a lot of positivity and ready to work. It's one thing to come in with that attitude and it is another thing to come in and just showing up because it is your job. I do not feel like anybody is here just because it is there job. Guys want to be great at what they are doing. I feel like we are building something unique here. That certainly makes me excited to come to work."
Every now and then we here fans upset with you winning late season games because they are worried about the draft position; what do they not understand about the benefits of winning these games?
"Our job is to win. Winning feels a lot better than losing. We are not thinking about the draft right now. In order to be successful in this league, you have to have confidence. Confidence is gained from demonstrated ability. The more that you can demonstrate the ability to go out, execute a game plan, do the right thing, make the plays and win, you gain confidence. The more confidence you gain, that will carry on with you for your whole career. In many cases, it might just be a game, a moment or a play that is a turning point for a player in his career or a team, in regards to building the foundation of something. For me, I can point to a play and a moment that kind of turned my whole career around. Who knows but over these next three games, there might be that moment for a guy, because he's battling his butt off to help us to win. That's all he is thinking about is wanting to pull through for his teammates. Making plays for his teammates, and then all of a sudden, he becomes the player that he always dreamed up being, and it's going to help us win a championship someday based upon these last three games. That is why."
What was that moment for you?
"It was during my fourth year in the league. It was the fourth week in the season against the Tennessee Titans and we were 1-2. That week, Marty Schottenheimer had kind of upgraded Philip Rivers to being my backup and he basically told me that I was on a short leash. We go out for the first couple of series and didn't do anything. On the last play, or one of the third downs of one of those series, a guy tackled me and separated my shoulder. I came to the sideline and couldn't move my shoulder. I remember he came to me and said you have one more chance. I had a teammate come up to me and say come on Breezy. He said this is that moment where you're either going to be our leader or you are going to be a career backup. We went down and we scored three touchdowns in a row, won the game big and proceeded to win eight of our next nine games. That was the moment."
Who was that teammate?
What that shoulder injury something you could pop back in?
"It was a grade two separation. It wasn't a dislocation. It was an AC separation. I ended up having surgery on it at the end of the season. That was kind of a struggle during the next 10 weeks of the season. It was just one of those moments."
You're closing in on another 4,000 yard passing season; is there a moment when you look at your numbers?
"No, usually that is the intro when somebody has me on their radio show. Other than that, I don't really think about it."
Are you more proud of the way that you've kept this team going this year than all of these records?
"For me, at this stage of my career, it is about winning. It is about finding a way to win another championship. I want to go win another championship. All of this other stuff comes along with it because if you play long enough, maybe you are knocking on the door of some of these records. That is all well and good too. Those are fun because you can reflect back on all of the people that were a part of that. A lot of guys caught those 421 touchdowns thus far. Hopefully there are a lot more. You think of all of the guys that were a part of that and could always be a part of that. That is really cool. Those are fun to celebrate in the locker room afterwards too. At the end of the day, I'm trying to win a championship."