New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew BressPost-Practice Media Availability Wednesday, October 7, 2015
How does your arm feel a few days after the game?
"(It) Feels good. (I'm) Ready to roll, better than last week."
Were you able to make all the throws at practice?
"Yes, I'm full (fully participating in practice). Listen, I told the trainers and Sean (Payton) to take me off the training report. I don't like being on there."
Are you sick of us asking questions about your injury?
"Yes I am. So you don't have to ask me anymore."
Were you curious what Monday morning was going to feel like?
"I felt like it would be typical game soreness. Just like there always is, but I the guys up front kept me relatively clean, so I figured I'd be okay coming in. Just the typical soreness. Now it's Wednesday and it's on to the next one."
Was it good to take that first hit?
"Yes, well again it wasn't necessarily the hit or a hit that I was waiting to occur. It's just what happens in a normal game, in regards to, reacting to certain throws. Maybe having to throw off balance. Do certain things that you can't simulate in practice, but all that stuff came through."
So you're back to the regular Brees maintenance?
"No, I'm still doing more, but I'm off the injury report."
Is it fair to say you would invite the Philadelphia secondary to cheat up and dare you to throw deep?
"My best rehab is when I'm home because I have like an hour long wrestling match with all three boys yesterday, where it was over the head body slams and their jumping on me. I take more of a beating at home, than I do on the field."
What about matching wits against Malcolm Jenkins outside of a practice setting?
"Yes, (I have a) ton of respect for Malcolm. I've been really happy for the opportunity he has had there. Obviously, (I) hated to see him go because he was such a part of our team and not only just productivity, but from a leadership perspective. I mean he is everything you would want from a teammate and (you love) his approach, his work ethic, his intensity and focus on gameday. He's just a competitor. (I) miss those offseason times where we could be on the same team and we'd have a little draft and have a competitions, like a conditioning competition and stuff like that. I would always try to get on Malcolm's team because he is a stud and he does a lot of things for them. He is such a versatile player for them because he came in the league as a corner and he has been a safety for a long time and he still has great coverage skills. You see him, they put him on the slot receivers. Playing bump and run and do it on the tight ends. He will play middle of the field. He'll play deep half. I mean he is all over the place. He's just an outstanding football player."
For a guy that doesn't miss games, how sharp did you anticipate being?
"Extremely sharp, I mean no different. I kind of looked at it as if it was a bye week, but it really wasn't because I was locked in getting the mental reps and I felt like I played the Carolina game. Even though I wasn't the one throwing the football. I still went through my whole routine, just stay(ed) in it."
How do you think the offense can grow after driving down the field in two minute to set up the game-winning field goal attempt?
"A lot of these happen throughout the course of the game, obviously you want to be as balanced as you can be. You want to be as sharp as you can be. Convert as many first downs as you can. Score as many points as you can. All of those things and yet all that matters at the end of the game is whether you're up a possession or less or you're having to catch up a possession or less whatever it might be. Bottom line is are you going to be able to make those plays? It was obviously good to see us able to do that. Not just in regulation, but then obviously in overtime. The more you have opportunities to do that the better and more comfortable you are with it. So that was all positive."
How different is it to play a team like Philadelphia that will give you extra possessions because of their speed offensively?
"Yes, there's a give and take and a balance to that. For us, offensively, your conscious of understanding the speed at which they operate can be problematic for defenses. When we have the ball on offense we want to try and possess it and give our defense a rest and we want to wear them down a little bit and that's kind of the back and forth with a team anyway, but especially when you're going up against a Philadelphia team that operates so quickly on offense."
You ever pay attention to what Zach Strief says about the team since he's kind of our go to spokesman for the team?
"He's a captain. He's a captain and guys obviously elected him that way because they have a ton of respect for him, not just as a player, but as a person. A guy who can represent the team, when asked the tough questions about a number of different things, but he is going to be one of the guys. I feel we have quite a few of them in the locker room. That can speak on behalf of the team and talk about the feelings and emotions that come with certain situations that come about during a season. Whether it be the good times or the rough patches. Zach has always been a good person for that."
Is there anything that Zach can say that the quarterback can't?
"I don't know maybe. Just because he's an o-lineman and o-lineman can pretty much say whatever they want and get away with it."
Does winning a game translate to having more success as a team?
"It does not entitle you to anything the next game, right, so you have to understand that. As good as it feels to win, maybe (you) have that victory Monday. You still have to have focus and have mental toughness and discipline to say alright. I am getting the guys together that we always would. We are going to work out and go take care of our bodies. We are going to get in the film room and get a jumpstart on this next opponent. (Be)Cause again each week is so different. Your gameplan is so different. The opponent that you're playing is so different. From a personnel standpoint, from the keys to victory to how we beat this team is much different than the game plan or the keys to victory going into the Dallas game and then the one previously to that and that. I think that while it does breed confidence and makes you feel better about yourself, maybe puts a little pep in your step on Monday and Tuesday. Bottom line is you still have to put the time, effort, the work and be disciplined with your routine and preparation. If you want to win again."
Was there a special way that opposing defenses played when Darren Sproles was in the game?
"You have to have a plan for him. He is such an explosive player, such a versatile guy, obviously we saw the plays he could make (during his) three years here. Not just on offense, but special teams the guy is one of the best returners in the league, but I think we knew from a gameplan perspective going up against defenses that they had to have a plan for Darren Sproles. You couldn't just say we're going to focus on Jimmy and just focus on this guy or that guy and will just put so and so on Darren Sproles. Sproles was one of the guys that you had to make sure you had a plan for. Cause you get him in space on a guy and that's where his greatest strength lies."
Can C.J. Spiller bring that element, especially after what he just put on film?
"Absolutely, C.J. can do a lot of things. It is fun now that we have him healthy and that he has a few games under his belt. Now we can see how we can incorporate him into the offense. I think kind of the three-man punch that we have going with Mark (Ingram), Khiry (Robinson) and now C.J. really gives us a lot of elements. We've got a lot of confidence in all of those guys doing a lot of different things. Certainly, C.J. gives you a big play element."
When a defense is scheming to take away a receiver, are there things that you can try to get him involved or would you rather just let it go?
"There are definitely things that you do in order to help create opportunities for him. There are a lot of different ways to do that, but you're also not just going to bang your head against the wall. If a team is determined to take a player away, (for instance) if you remember in a Monday Night game a few years ago – it was the Falcons versus the Patriots and the Falcons were driving to try to beat them at the end of the game. The Patriots literally (stopped) Tony Gonzalez. Two guys, in-and-out at the line of scrimmage, like we are not letting this guy beat us. Well, you're going to have to go somewhere else with the ball. There are things that defenses will try to do to, in essence, double a player. You try to work around that with certain elements. Usually, there are other matchups to exploit."
On the play that you made to C.J., a rookie linebacker had just came in because of an injury; did you note that or was that going to be the play no matter what?
"It was going to be the play no matter what. It is not like that was his first appearance in the game. He had been in the game quite a bit. They were shuffling linebackers in the game quite a bit once Sean Lee got hurt, it felt like. There were three or four guys that kept coming in and out. It felt like if were able to get to the line with some tempo and run that play, that we might be able to get a step on him. If C.J. can get a step on him, usually, that is a good thing for us."
Do you think teams, knowing what you just went through, will defend you differently and force you to make throws downfield more?
"I'd say I'd love it if we had that opportunity. I didn't see a difference in what the Cowboys did. They pretty much had a philosophy that we had seen on film from the way that they had played us in the past. Every team is going to have a different plan for you according to how they feel like they can best defend you. I don't think it changes anything for us."
Is Philadelphia a different environment, as a player, when you go in there and play?
"You feel like that is one of the Meccas of football. That is one of the places where the fan interaction is amazing. It is kind of a crazy and raucous crowd at times. Their expectations are high for their team. We get a bit of the perspective from Sean Payton, his first job in the league was with the Eagles. Joe Vitt was there (too) so we get that perspective from those guys having coached there, and having been involved in a lot of games there, being in that division when Sean was with the Giants and the Cowboys. I guess that was the old Vet (Veterans Stadium) and now it is the new Lincoln Financial Field. Still, it is a good environment. It is a fun environment and a crazy environment to play in, especially when they're rolling. That crowd can get loud. It puts communication as a key point for all of us. It is also a fun place to go, play well and get a win."
When you review the film, are you seeing teams do a lot to take out Brandin Cooks? What do you tell him? I know that can be kind of frustrating.
"His opportunities will come, just like all of our guys, as we find our rhythm and find our groove. Obviously, he is going to be a big part of that."
How important has Mark (Ingram's) development as a pass-catcher been for you guys?
"He has been great. To watch his development from when he first came in to now, obviously he carries the load for us in a lot of cases in the backfield. Out of the backfield, I think he is a very good receiver. I think he is a very patient receiver. He has come a long way in regards to that. He has a great understanding of our pass game and protections. I've got a lot of confidence when he is in there doing all of those things."
When you say patient, what do you mean?
"There are certain things that even as a back coming out of the backfield, routes need to be set up. There are times when you could be too quick getting into something. You have to allow things to unfold and allow things to express themselves a little bit, and then you're able to get that matchup or that space that is going to allow you to get open."
All of the veteran regulars that were out at certain points over the first three weeks, to what extent was this team's identity still in flux a little bit?
"I think it was. With guys being out, and just understanding how everyone is kind of fitting into the big picture, all of the pieces of the puzzle as they come together, what is our bread and butter, so to speak, offensively and defensively, the sooner we can settle into that and really begin to understand that, the better off we're going to be."
How long does that typically take?
"I don't know if I could put a date on it. It is different and just depends on how many guys you have coming back, and all of those things. We do have a lot of young guys. We have a lot of veteran guys that were coming in to fill big roles. I like to believe that if we can continue to be successful and stack some wins together, then I think that confidence builds and you really start settle in with the things that you do well. "
We don't ask you guys anymore about your ability to win on the road. Do you think that has a lot to do with your last trip to Philadelphia (26-24, playoff win)?
"I think we understand that you have to prove it every time. It doesn't get any easier. Just because we broke the home losing streak this past week doesn't mean it gets any easier when we have to come back here and play Atlanta the next week. You still have to go out and prove those things. I do feel like we always have a good plan and a good mindset, especially going to play in places like Philadelphia that have a ton of tradition and can be crazy environments. I think just the plan and being able to visualize it and feel it prior to getting there is something that Sean has always done a good of communicating with us."
Did the wristband you wore on Sunday help with tempo at all?
"That was something that we were all doing. I think it makes it easier on a lot of people. It helps with tempo a little bit. It gives you a few extra seconds to get in and out of the huddle, which obviously can be beneficial."
What did you mean by "all of us"? Was it other offensive players, besides quarterbacks?
"No, it's the quarterbacks and coaches. (It's) really just the communication from Sean to the quarterback (that helps). It allows you to say a number as opposed to an entire play. It gives you a few seconds."
What do you think was the effect of the veterans coming back last week? Can you reflect on the return of the three defensive guys?
"Maybe a confidence boost. Everyone is available so you kind of have all of the ammunition there. We'll decide who we're going to use and when, but we've got it all. We are stocked. Just their presence (as well). Veterans bring more of a calming presence just because they have been there. They understand the ebb and flow of the game, and maybe the emotions and the momentum swings don't affect them as much. That is just because they are more experienced. That experience helps."