New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-practice Media Availability Transcript
Saturday, August 6, 2016
I can't remember the last time you struggled in practice like that with four interceptions. Just your thoughts on your day today?
"It was a rough day, probably one of the rougher days I've had in a long time, maybe ever, in a training camp practice. Some of them were bad luck, others were anticipating where the ball should be and for whatever reason it gets tipped. Just not quite the execution that we hoped for. The one at the end should not happen, that's a critical mistake and you need to avoid those. Those are frustrating but I'm glad I'm getting them out of the way right now."
Is that part of the challenge of training camp, even for a guy that's been in the league for so long, to turn the page on that quickly?
"I'm able to turn the page very quickly. The part that bothers me is if there is an error made that you should say 'that shouldn't happen, I've played enough football, I know the situation, that mistake can't happen. Those are the ones that bother me."
How much is it the offense working out some kinks or the defense just really playing well?
"I think it's probably both. We could certainly be doing better as an offense just detailing some of these fundamentals, some of the technique. So much of the offensive passing game is timing and anticipation and trust and all those things. We didn't have our best day today and the defense played well."
When you look at the possibilities when you're getting the ball to (Coby) Fleener and we all know the relationship you had with Jimmy Graham where even if he was covered you threw the ball and he would make a play on it, how long do you think that process takes with Fleener and is it something you have to do in an actual game or it starts in practice?
"It definitely starts in practice. There are a lot of nuances to our offense where there's the way it is drawn on paper and there is the way that it actually unfolds when you get out there see a live look. The defense is throwing a lot of stuff at us right now, pressure wise and such so. There's a lot of different looks for him to digest and at the same he's absorbing the playbook. I think everyday something happens where we are able to talk about it and we are able to go back and say 'man I love what you did there, that's exactly what I'm looking for in that situation against that look' or 'hey this is what I'm looking for in that case' and I know there was one or two out there that happened today that we're going to go back in the film room and be able to analyze and make corrections from it."
Ken Crawley had two of those picks today, how much has he been showing up?
"He's played well. He does a good job of high pointing the ball. I under threw a go route and then he kind of stepped in front of another one but yeah, he's playing well."
You mentioned execution, do you feel like maybe in the past whether it would be injuries to the secondary that maybe the offense was able to get away with not executing at top level?
"No. I think we have got some pretty good depth on the defensive side of the ball and there is a lot of guys working in there and a lot of guys are making plays. They are playing well. Offensively for us we've made our fair share of plays. That's what training camp is all about. You create a competitive environment and guys are able to go at it and that's how you're able to learn and that's how you come together as a team as well."
How excited are you with the running back depth that you have behind you past (C.J.) Spiller and (Mark) Ingram, it's such a tight group?
"Yeah. I think if you take kind of the veteran guys in Mark (Ingram), Tim Hightower, and Spiller and then (Travaris) Cadet. I still kind of see Cadet as a young guy even though he has three years under his belt. So you take Cadet and (Daniel) Lasco and (Marcus) Murphy some of these guys that are making plays. They are taking advantage of the opportunity given to them so it is good. It is good to see that. Guys are competing, guys are playing with a lot of toughness and heart."
I remember last year when the Patriots came here, you talked about that whole competitive fire that kicks in. As you look towards that, is it still the same? Are you looking test yourself someone you don't see everyday to get a true measure of where you are and where this offense and defense is?
"You get a chance to play against personnel you do not usually receive the chance to play against and then a defensive scheme that you do not get to play against as well. It forces your brain to work really well, especially throughout the course of a practice because there is only so much you can prepare for other than just maybe what you've known about these guys in the past or watching them on film for the last year but you do not know what they have been working on in training camp. You find out a lot when you begin working against them those first couple of days and then into the game but it's a chance for us to get a gauge for where we're at and where we are headed."
How much, if anything, did you know about Willie Snead before he came in here? He had a big career at Ball State.
"I didn't know a whole lot about him other than I went to Purdue and Ball State is right down the road in Muncie (Indiana from Purdue), so I had heard of him but he came in late in the 2014 year and was on the practice squad. He's grown in leaps and bounds, I think what comes across to me, the thing I love the most about him is his grit. His grit, his toughness, he's one of those guys that whatever you ask him to do he'll do it and he'll go in there and dig out the safety or block the linebacker or run a deep route down the field, run something intermediate, run down on kickoff, run down on punt, return a punt, he's just one of these guys that's just a football player and you love to have those type of guys on your side."
Is there any comparison, and Willie (Snead) made a number of positive plays out there and you've gotta spread the ball around but when fans try and compare Willie Snead the next Lance Moore and stuff but, your trust factor with Willie (Snead) is it amongst the best, as good as with Brandin Cooks, maybe Michael Thomas that you trust?
"Yes, I trust Willie a lot. We've had a chance to work together a lot, especially this offseason. For the positions he plays, he really plays all over the place, he plays outside and inside. We ask him to run a lot of routes where we have to be on the same page, we have to be seeing the same thing so I can anticipate where he's going to be and when he's going to be there and when he knows the ball is going to be there. I feel like we are in a really good place there but that continues to take time and work at it but he's a smart guy and he likes the grind, he likes to work, so I'm always confident that we'll be on the same page."
There's probably nobody in a better position than you to judge the improvement of the defense, what are you seeing? How much have they improved sense last year?
"I think they have improved, we have added some pieces to the puzzle. I really like Dennis Allen's scheme, I think it works to the strengths of a lot of our guys, I think there is a lot, it is very diverse. Throughout training camp, especially this first week and a half, you are installing a lot of stuff and so you're seeing a lot of stuff as an offense so it really forces us to work and really be good with our communication and execution. I see those guys playing with confidence, I see them coming together, I see them believe in the scheme, that's first and foremost what you have to do. Take the guys you have, put them in a scheme that builds to their strengths and allow them to go play with confidence. Guys play much better when they know what they're doing, they feel confident in what they're doing and they can just play what they see and they're not thinking so much. I feel like maybe that's where we've been in the past a lot and we've had a lot of guys where they've been thinking a lot maybe because it's the amount that we had in or I don't know. I see a group that is playing with a lot of confidence right now and feels very comfortable with what they're doing. Now each and every game, you're game planning for that opponent, so there are wrinkles whether or not you are on offense or defense. I like the leadership on that side of the ball too. Guys are jelling, guys are coming together, guys are pushing one another. Sean (Payton) has created some physical periods throughout camp and says 'Hey, this period is live' or 'Here's what's at stake'. Iron sharpens iron, that's when you can really kind of put your coaching and your technique to the test and I feel like guys on the defensive side of the ball have done a good job."
A lot of teams have moved away from using the fullback in their offenses, why is it still so important to this offense?
"For us it has to be a pretty versatile position. It's not just a downhill, lead up on the Mike, lead up on the Will or whatever type position like maybe it was a bit more in that old school mentality. We ask that fullback to motion out of the backfield and become a receiver, we ask him to block in pass protection, we ask him to move and secure the edge. We ask that guy to do a lot of stuff so that has to be a versatile position. I think Austin Johnson's done a great job at that position and, obviously, he is banged up so we went out and signed John Kuhn. We know his track record in Green Bay, he's like the epitome of what that guy is. He's extremely versatile and just a great football player. I think however that shakes out, those guys are great for that position."