Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees joined Joel Meyers and former Saints tackle Jon Stinchcomb on the broadcast of the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Aug. 13. Brees covered a variety of topics ranging from commentary about the Saints to his pickleball endeavors.
Brees said quarterback Derek Carr coming to the Saints was a natural pairing, noting the similarities that exist between the Saints offense and those the Los Vegas Raiders used, both coming from a West Coast scheme, calling Carr a "great fit for this offense."
Brees said that the adversity Carr has faced during his career will only help him going forward.
"I think he's developed a lot of maturity," Brees said. "It hasn't always been rosy for Derek Carr. He's been through some tough moments."
Brees said the pairing of Carr and the Saints has a high potential.
"He's been through some adversity, he's executed offense at a very high level, he's a Pro Bowl-caliber player and I think he's got Pro Bowl-caliber talent around him," Brees said. "So, you combine those two things, both offensively and defensively, the pieces are in place to make a run at it."
Expectations are not just to win the division, not just host a playoff game, but to go win it all. Former Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Brees said wide receiver Chris Olave was "next level" for a second-year player.
"Most fast guys don't know how to use their speed," Brees said. "He knows how to use his speed and he's an incredible route runner."
Brees also discussed the return of former teammate tight end Jimmy Graham and said he was impressed with the shape the veteran tight end was in.
"I was like Jimmy what do you credit to being in such great shape and he was like 'Well I cycled around Europe this summer. That was my offseason training,'" Brees said.
Brees said the organizational reputation was part of what makes New Orleans an appealing landing spot for free agents and said the Saints are a "first-class organization."
"Derek Carr wanted to come here to play with some of these receivers," Brees said. "A guy like Jimmy Graham wanted to finish his career here. A guy like Tyrann Mathieu wanted to come back here and finish his career."
Brees said the expectations for the Saints are still the same as when he was the one taking the snaps.
"Expectations are not just to win the division, not just host a playoff game, but to go win it all," Brees said. "Those are the expectations you want."
Full coverage of the New Orleans Saints workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Friday, August 11.
Brees said the thing he missed most is the locker room environment.
"You miss being around the guys," he said. "Honestly, each and every day that becomes so much of your motivation is you come in and you want to win and you want to win for the guys that you are playing next to to win and you know they feel the same about you."
The Super Bowl champion also talked about his post-football life, saying his weekends are filled now with watching his children's' games rather than taking the field himself.
One sport Brees has been involved in lately is pickleball. He recently hosted NOLA Pickle Fest at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Aug. 10-13.
"We felt like New Orleans just doesn't have enough festivals," Brees joked on the broadcast.
Brees took on tennis legend John McEnroe in an exhibition match .
"I don't think I held up very well against Mac (John McEnroe)," Brees said. "There was a skill level and experience level there that I couldn't quite match up to, but doubles I got him back."
Brees said Pickle Fest will be an annual event and had over 600 participants. The event benefits the Brees Dream Foundation.
Despite his enjoyment of pickleball, he said it doesn't quite live up to his old profession.
"I don't know that there's a way to replace the feeling that you get running out of a tunnel on gameday. As fun as pickleball is, it doesn't quite match up to the feeling to throwing a game-winner on Sundays."