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Drew Brees' Rams Week Press Conference

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Press Conference with Local Media
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do you agree with Kenny Vaccaro saying you have to play like a desperate team?
"Yeah, I mean typically we say the most desperate team wins. Because there is a great sense of urgency that comes along with that. I mean here is the thing, my preparation won't change this week, compared to any other week. Do I begin to do a bunch of different things? No, I don't. I do the same thing because I feel like my thought process is one that I have honed in on for a long time and it works. I know it works and I think there is just little things about how we have lost these last two games that are important to recognize and important to fix. Which throughout the course of the week, in regards to our practice habits and just some of the things we're doing. I think some of those things can be emphasized, but as far as the way I am preparing for this game, it is the exact same, but I also know how important it is."

Do you have a sense of what you will see out of a Gregg Williams defense?
"Yes, I mean I know what I see on film. I know obviously the things he's done in the past as far as his scheme. I mean listen I know that he's a very good defensive coach and I know he's going to have some things for us I'm sure that we haven't seen or that are new. My philosophy going into every game is always to expect the unexpected and to trust our rules, to trust in our plan and then just to go out and execute it."

Do you think people carry Gregg's (Williams) departure over or does time heal all?
"I just know this – I choose to focus on the positives and not the negatives. Obviously, that was a tough situation, the positive is Gregg Williams was our defensive coordinator from 2009,10 and 11. We won a lot of football games together and he did a great job here with our defense and we share a super bowl together from that 2009 season. I choose to look at that and I appreciate that and as far as what's happened since then, coaches go to different places. I think he is a very talented defensive football coach and I know his defense has played extremely well this season, especially the last four weeks. I know that we will need our best to beat them."

You know he wants to beat you though?
"Yes, I am sure he does. I know his attitude, I know his demeanor and his approach. He is going to have those guys ready to play and we'll be ready to play too."

With Aaron Donald, what are the challenges when you have that pressure coming from the defensive tackle position?
"He might be one of the most talented interior guys there is. Just his energy, his motor and then his ability, both in the run game and the pass game, to just be extremely disruptive. He is a guy that you have to have a plan for in both phases. You know that he is going to make some plays. You just hope to contain him as much as you can."

Is there something that makes it more difficult when the pressure is coming from the middle, as opposed to the edge?
"He's got inside moves and he's got outside moves. Every play is a little bit different, in regards to how you are attacking the defense and obviously, how you are keeping him in mind."

If they do some of the things that Carolina did last week, in terms of taking away the deep threats, have you seen a way to better attack that?
"There are going to be games when you are limited, maybe in regards to the amount that you have to push the ball down the field. That's okay because we have made a pretty good living this year of just taking what defenses give us, being patient, moving the ball, sustaining long drives, converting third downs and then ending up with touchdowns. If that is what we have to do, then that is what we have to do."

Do you have more confidence at this point, now that the defense is playing so well, that maybe you can take a few more chances?
"We're going to play our game. We're going to play aggressive, but aggressively smart. If it's not there, there is no reason to force it. Live to play another day, so to speak, and understand the formula for winning. Taking care of the ball is a huge part of that formula."

Do they blitz as much as they did when (Gregg Williams) was here?
"It's different types. It comes in different forms but yes."

So you don't expect them to play coverage against you guys?
"It's probably going to be a mix. It's going to be a mix of everything, I'm sure. That's what we have to be ready for."

Sean (Payton) talks all of the time about not being that team; how much has that been kind of the emphasis, especially since you guys are showing your potential this season? Are you sort of tired of settling for this win-loss, win-loss cycle?
"We're hitting on a stretch in the season where every game means so much and they're so important. We know the formula for winning. We've enjoyed that at times this year, during our four-out-of-five stretch. Unfortunately, we've had those stretches where it's been one play here, one play there or just some really costly mistakes where we know better. We continue to emphasize getting rid of those mistakes. Mistakes are going to be made but understand the ones that are the ones that are going to get you beat. Avoid those and focus on all of the positive things that we can do because certainly, we're capable of a lot."

Is Thanksgiving at the Brees house just practice for you or do you do anything special? Do you cook?
"My wife does all of the cooking. We're here working from early until pretty late. I get home in time for thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately, I am no help in the kitchen. Maybe tonight I'll help clean up a little bit. Brittany (Brees) does all of the cooking. When I get home though, it is a football game with the boys. Whatever football games are on will be on the TV and we'll be reenacting plays from that game. We'll be running around and trying to keep Rylen (Brees) from dumping out her milk or trashing the place. It's all good. It's fun."

What do you think of the job Zach Strief has done?
"I think he has been phenomenal. I think he has done such a good job. Credit him, his confidence and just his veteran nature. He's one of the most intelligent football players I have ever been around. When you talk to him about his technique and scheme and just how to block certain guys. That whole line works together too but him and Jahri (Evans) being next to each other and just working together – in so many cases, yes tackles are one-on-one a lot, but there are also things happening up front where you've got be working with the guard next to you or the tight end next to you. He is such a smart and tough football player. I am really happy for the season that he is having because he certainly deserves it and he has worked so hard to be at this point."

With those close losses, do you reflect on that and say we should be in a lot better spot than we are right now? Isn't it kind of human nature to do that?
"But we're not. There is nothing you can do about it. So much of this game is don't do what human nature tells you to do. When you win, human nature tells you to relax. When you lose, human nature tells you to overreact. Well, we're not going to overreact. We are still going to play confident and aggressive as ever but we also understand what it takes to win."

What are the emotions like going on the road as a rookie quarterback and dealing with the environment like (Jared) Goff will on Sunday?
"Being a rookie in this league is an exciting time. Getting an opportunity to start and play at that level, but every game in this league is so hard-fought."

What traits make a good fourth-quarter comeback quarterback?
"You've got to have a level of mental toughness, to maybe move past some things that have happened earlier in the game, in order to put yourself in a position to where you can win the game. A high level of confidence because inevitably, you're going to have to make some tight throws. You're going to have to make some tight throws with guys bearing down on you. And, obviously, confidence in the guys around you to trust what's happening because those are split-second decisions that need to be good ones."

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