New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
In terms of all the receivers you've worked with, where does Kenny Stills rank right now in terms of his talent and what he's trying to accomplish?
"He has all kinds of talent. I like the role that he has taken on this year, especially in the absence of Brandin Cooks down the stretch. We've been able to utilize him more at some different positions and he's shown he can handle that mentally. He's really versatile in a lot of ways. I think he just has a great feel for the game, certain things you can't teach, a lot of times you can just tell him a route or give him a vision for what we're trying to accomplish and he goes out and executes it just the way we had it drawn up and you never showed him the drawing. I'd equate that to a guy that has great feel."
How do you ensure that everyone approaches this game like any game?
"I see guys handling it well. This week it feels like this has been the theme for five or six weeks where there was a difference in schedule whether it was coming off a Monday night game, whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas. I think again what this week does with Christmas, it just makes you realize what you're thankful for. We're all thankful for each other. We're all thankful for this organization and the opportunity to play for the New Orleans Saints. That alone makes you want to go out and do your best."
How hard is it this week to recover mentally and emotionally from the finality of last week's game?
"I know for me, you can't change anything about the past. The more you dwell on it, the more negativity that you allow to kind of hang around. That's certainly not going to do anything for us this week. It's an opportunity to go out with a bang and that's what we're doing."
Since you've been here, you haven't played in many late-season games that didn't matter in the playoff discussion. Is that weird?
"Again, I'm not reflecting on that. I'm really approaching it the same way and again every time I step on the field I have something to prove and it doesn't change this week."
When you see a guy like Peyton Manning struggle on Monday night do you think people maybe don't understand how hard it is to play your position at an elite level all the time?
"I don't know. I guess you'd never truly know what it's like to play the position unless you've played the position. But, again, I don't give myself any excuses. I guess that's something for maybe somebody who recognizes that like yourself to write about (chuckle). It's not for me to really comment on. Of course it's difficult, but I take great pride in it and realize it's not always going to go your way, but I'd say the most important part of the positon is being able to let go of things that don't go your way and go your way. You need to be able to put the game behind you the same way, whether you're not able to lead the two-minute drive at the end of the game or whether you were perfect and threw six touchdowns and that kind of thing. You still have to put it behind you, let it go, learn from it and move on."
Is it tough for you to not be selected to the Pro Bowl?
"The guys who were chosen are very deserving."
With that being said about how you don't get too high or too low, how difficult is that mentally to be that strong?
"I think if you allow yourself emotionally to have the fluctuations of the season each year, I don't think you can last very long. You have to be really steady. You have to be really even keel. I think otherwise you get burnt out. I think I've learned that over the years. I've also learned that from those who have done it before me, well before me, mentors I still have in my life, the ability to really focus on the positive, really focus on getting better and really being able to let go of things that happen that you can't change. Really being able to move forward and good or bad, because hanging onto the good is not going to help you in the future, nor is hanging onto the bad."
Outside of football, have you looked at people who are successful on staying on the even keel?
"I have. I did it after the Super Bowl year. I've done it quite a few times. Whenever I encounter guys like that or people like that, that's definitely one that comes up. That's one of the first questions that come up for me, but I'll continue to do that."
Do you want to tell us who you talk to?
How comfortable are you that it could be a quick turnaround and get back to what everyone's used to next year?
"That's a long way away, so I'm not even thinking about next season at this point. I'm thinking about this week and this week only. I'm very confident. I look around at this team. I feel like we have all the pieces in place knowing we are going to go out and add pieces as well too. I'm very confident in our management to do that, our general manager Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, our entire coaching staff. This year did not dissuade me in this way in feeling the way I feel about this team, myself, what we have here and what we're continuing to build here."
What do you want for fans to see from you and your teammates Sunday?
"For us to play well and for us to win. It's pretty simple. Keep it simple."
I know you don't look ahead, but we look ahead at Marques Colston and what his future might hold similar to a lot of veterans last year in the decisions. He's one of the ones you've been here with the longest. What do you think the future holds? Can you talk about the relationship you two hold and how important he has been to you in the past and this season?
"First of all I think he's going to be here for a long time, but just as I talk about him as a player, person and teammate, he's everything you would want. I've been lucky to have him for nine years and I'm going to be lucky to have him for a few more. He's a mainstay. There's not any person who I have played with who has been more steady, more consistent in every way. He's the consummate teammate."