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Drew Brees' Lions Week Press Conference

Quotes from Drew Brees' Lions week press conference

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
You guys have played the Lions twice in the last two years, does this help from a preparation standpoint?
"Yeah, I would say there is some carry over in personnel and scheme, but each time you play them it's that point in the season. I think there are always variables. The scheme might have changed slightly, obviously they might have a game plan for us just like we will have a game plan for them. Maybe from a personnel standpoint there's some similarity, but I mean still a whole new game and kind of a whole new (team) from a timing standpoint within the season."
Do you think this is a special week for Joe Lombardi?
"Joe's pretty poised, pretty calm cool, so if it is then he's not shown it. I think he's as dedicated as ever all the time and (has shown the) same energy (and) enthusiasm regardless of the week. He does what he does, loves being here and loves being back here with this staff and with these players, with us. We love having him back and he is a huge part of what we do from a gameplan perspective and he brings a lot to us as a unit. I'm just glad he is back with us."
Why can't the emotion like last weekend be captured more often?
"I mean I guess it would be nice to score 49 every week. I guess we would set every record known to man and we'd probably win every game. I think it would be easy to say that for any good game that you play. Why can't you do that every week? I mean there are so many variables throughout the course of a game and I mean I feel like we've got a system in place here and a process in place here that is conducive to going out on game day and playing our best and we've put together a lot of performances like that, a lot of them and we strive for consistency and we strive for great execution every time we go out there. There are sometimes that maybe the ball doesn't bounce our way and we have to battle back. There are times where man we just didn't play very well, just didn't make the plays, but I feel like we have the ability through great execution to be a really good football team. A really good offense in both the run game and pass game, really in all facets."
Do you feel like you must string a group of wins together since the window of the season is closing?
"It's one game at a time. I mean broken record, old cliché it's one game at a time it really is and these guys are playing really well right now, really well. Someone said a stat today, in every one of their games this year they've been behind at some point during the fourth quarter and they have won seven of them, that's a pretty incredible stat. I think it's a testament to the way those guys win games and the way they fought kind of all the way to the end, but they have been able to make some plays. They are playing with a lot of confidence right now. They have won a few in a row here, obviously coming off the thanksgiving win as well. We know they are playing for a lot, they lead their division. These games don't get any easier and we've had some battles with these guys over the last two years so I expect it to be the same way."
Knowing that how much of an emphasis is there to score early?
"Start fast, finish strong. I don't think it's ever out of reach. It wasn't out of reach for us last year when they were up 28-3 at one point. I think both these offenses can be quick strike offenses, can score points and both these defenses can rally and make plays. I think the end of the day we are all going to have to make plays and I expect it to be pretty gritty game all the way around."
Drew you are having one of your most efficient seasons ever, why do you think you're being so efficient?
"I strive to be as consistent as I can possibly be. I want guys to know what they can expect out of me every day at practice, every game day and I try to get a little better as well as I go along. I feel like I've become smarter, wiser through experience and through lessons learned, but I work hard at my craft. The stats don't always tell the story, there are certain areas where I'm continuing to try to improve, but I think all and all I feel good. I feel good about my preparation and my process and at the end of the day it's really all I focus on."
You're defying conventional wisdom at 37 and Tom (Brady) is having a great year at 39; is this just something that we are going to see more of in the future?
"I think it's very possible. It takes a great desire to play to this stage and beyond. It takes some of God's blessings on your body just to be able to stay healthy when there are some things that are out of your control. It also takes great discipline, an extreme amount of discipline in regards to your preparation and everything mentally and then physically what you do to maintain your body and make it to where you can go out on Sundays and play at a high level. There is a lot of work that goes into that, I am not going to lie. I can think of many. A couple of years ago, I looked up all of the quarterbacks that played into their 40s. I think there were like 18 guys at the time. I just remember looking at all of those guys and all of their careers. I have a lot of admiration for those guys because that is hard to do, especially as I reach my late 30s. I know how my body feels waking up in the morning and I say, like alright, let's pull it together and suck it up. It is not easy."
Are you aware that Tom Brady is one win away from being number one on the all-time wins list?
"Yes, I am well aware of that. I know who are in the top 10 on that too. It is probably the most important stat in my opinion."
Are you surprised that that is a record that he is about to achieve?
"No, there is no surprise. He has earned it. He will go down as certainly one of the best, if not the best for that reason. The guy is a winner. He is a proven winner. While he has been there with coach (Bill) Belichick and had that level of consistency, there have been a lot of players that have come through there while he has been there. It has been a very consistent result all the time. I am sure there are a lot of people in that building that deserve credit. None more so than him."
Do you have a relationship with Matthew Stafford because of your background and both being from Texas?
"I know him and we will see each other maybe once or twice in the offseason at different things. It is always very cordial. I can't say I know him that well. I have heard great things about him. I do respect, very much, the way that he plays. I would say that he has some of the best arm talent in the league – top three for sure. He can make some throws that most guys can't make, or certainly couldn't even attempt to make. He has that and also he has got some moxie and some savviness to him. He just has that playmaking ability in critical situations. I feel like he's always had that. He has got that to him. Moxie is probably the best way to describe it."
How much, if at all, have you noticed frustration from Brandin (Cooks) the other day during or after the game?
"No, listen, there is not a guy who works harder in here than Brandin Cooks, or expects more out of himself and wants to be a part of what we are doing and our success. He has been a big part of it. That was just one of those games where there were opportunities called for him and the coverage kind of rolled his way or whatever it was and the ball ended up going elsewhere. It was just one of those bad luck things for him personally, I guess, but obviously as a team, we were rolling. It kind of made me think of – you remember a couple of years ago (when we went) to Pittsburgh and Jimmy Graham does not get a target the whole game. It was one of our most efficient days on offense as well. There are some of those days when you are a focal point that there is a lot of attention given to you because the other team is going to say man, if there is one guy who is not going to beat us, let's just not let Brandin Cooks beat us or let's not let, at the time, Jimmy Graham beat us, or whoever it is. That just opens up opportunities for other people. I think Brandin (Cooks) recognizes that. We talked about it after the game. If we can go out and score 49 points, play like that and win every week, then I think everybody will be okay with it."
Does that really speak to the evolution of the offense throughout the season?
"The statement it makes is that we can win games in a lot of different ways and we can win with a lot of different people on any given day. Just because Brandin Cooks didn't catch a ball doesn't mean that he didn't have a huge role and responsibility in the game. There were plenty of times when he was drawing a lot of attention and that opened up a lot of opportunities for the other guys and allowed us to get big first downs and move the ball and get a big play. Whatever it might be, so there is a ton of value there. He (Brandin Cooks) recognizes that, he is a smart guy. Of course when we think how a game is going to unfold, we are trying to spread the ball around and give guys opportunity. Number one, because we want everyone to have their touches, but also a defense that is not able to key in on one guy is frustrating to the other side."
Michael Thomas seems to get better and better every week.
"I feel like I have said every week, but he is a young player and he continues to get better and we continue to open up the play book to him. We game plan so much from week to week that as we are putting in the plays and it is giving other guys opportunities. Let's broaden the scope of what he can do this week or maybe it is something a little different and we are going to continue to work at it and get better. What I love is when he has the opportunity to go up and make a play he is able to make that play. He attacks the ball, he is competitive and that's what you love in a receiver."
Comments on the all 50thteam
"That's cool. My wife and I looked at the list last night and it was neat. Obviously, a lot of guys that have come through here the last 10 or so years. Some of the greats we see in the hallway every day. That will be neat to get them all in the same place and let the fans honor them all. Obviously, there are some fans that have been in the stands since '67 in Tulane Stadium. I think that will be a thrill for a lot of people."
Are you going to threaten George Blanda's record?
"One year at a time."
Do you feel comfortable with the way Mark Ingram is playing?
"It speaks to his mental toughness and his mental character. To take something like that and turn it into something positive and a motivating factor and maybe a chip on your shoulder. Every time that dude touches the ball he's angry and it is ferocious. You can feel it. That inspires the whole group, the offense, (and) the defense. We can see the way that guy's running the football and (Tim) Hightower too. That 1-2 punch right there's been pretty awesome. I think I have the best seat in the house. I hand it off and I watch them run. It is impressive to watch."
Why do you think your completion percentage is so high this year?
"Completions are good, completions are good positive plays. Marty Schottenheimer always said you never go broke from taking a profit.  There are times where, within a framework of concept, you are looking downfield and if it is not there you're checking it down. There are also times where you always want to know where that outlet is. At the end of the day, if the completion gets you two or three yards it's better than having to take a sack or throwing the ball away and not getting anything. That's the difference between third and five or third and seven/eight. That's a big difference. Again, completions are good. Positive plays are good. Plus, I think there's a flow and rhythm that goes with that as well."
How often have you dealt with a players' frustration over not getting the ball?
"I would say there are every week or every two weeks, whether I hear about it or not there is frustration on the part of somebody. But we are all professionals here and my message to these guys always are your opportunity will come and it does. We have proven that. I am not worried about any of these guys that we have. All of the guys here are the type of toughness and mental character and competitive mentality and I equate the frustration at time with the competitive nature. You would rather them be like that then the other way around."

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