New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, November 28, 2013
What are your thoughts on Russell Wilson and your apparent influence on him?
"He's a stud. I've had the chance to be around him at the Pro Bowl for a week, and then we saw each other at the Super Bowl and exchanged numbers. We've kind of kept up throughout the offseason and through the season a little bit here. I think very highly of him. Nick Toon was his teammate at Wisconsin, and all I've heard from Nick is just what a great guy he is, what a student of the game he is, that he followed me in college and that has carried over some to the NFL. Listen, there's plenty of things that that guy can do that I could never dream of doing athletically. You watch the way he plays, you see the intensity and focus which he plays with, and he's won a lot of big games in his early career thus far. I love what he has overcome throughout his career and kind of the road he has traveled. Like I said, I couldn't have more respect for the guy. The way he has handled it too, I think is even more impressive. He's one of those guys that you want to root for and are happy for any type of success that comes his way."
What does he do technically on the football field that is so effective?
"He's so versatile. He's a – what should I call it– a triple threat? Anything you would need from the quarterback position. He can throw the long ball, he can execute the intermediate passing game. That read option that they run, he's as big of a threat running the ball as Marshawn Lynch. Obviously you see Marshawn Lynch make these incredible runs breaking tackles. Unfortunately he had one of those against us a couple of years ago. Then you get Russell Wilson on the perimeter in the run game and he's extremely effective. Then he scrambles around and can launch the ball 60 yards down field or he can get a 20 yard scramble for a big first down. There's just so much he can do that can hurt you."
Do you recall him trying to glean some tricks from you about playing at your height during your time together?
"Not that I recall. It wasn't like we were sitting there comparing notes about being six-foot and under. I don't know. We might've talked about just the fact that you have to see through windows and anticipate. The other senses kind of have to be heightened. If you lack vision at times or whatever, you've got to be able to do other things to make up for that. That's just part of being a six-foot and under quarterback."
What is the main thing that sticks out when you look at Seattle's defense?
"They get great pressure on the quarterback, especially at home where you see them trying to anticipate snap count. You see them cranking up the crowd, getting that noise factor. They thrive in that element: playing with a lead where they can kind of tee off on you a little bit. Their secondary is full of a bunch of ballhawks. They are guys that are around the ball all the time. Balls are getting tipped up, they have great ball skills, great awareness. That's what their defense thrives on."
Even more than just Richard Sherman?
"Sherman's a great player, but they've got Earl Thomas who was an all-pro last year. I've been in the Pro Bowl with him twice now, and I'm extremely impressed with him. He's a guy who loves football. You can tell that he studies the game, studies every aspect of it. He wants to be a great player – not just a good player…a great player. It's evident in the way that he plays and obviously his productivity. I know they've got some young corners, but they're all talented. Their linebacking corps is extremely productive. (In) their front four, they've got all kinds of guys that can rush the passer and do some good things. They don't have a weakness."
What is your memory of watching that Lynch run?
"Somebody please tackle him so we have a chance to win this game. It was an unbelievable run. It might go down in history as one of the better runs, especially in the playoffs, that we've ever seen."
How fortunate do you feel the last couple of days with being able to simulate the weather in Seattle pretty closely with the practices outside?
"It's close temperature-wise, and the fact that it's a little moist. I guess that's what you expect when you go up to the northwest."
Do you agree with the notion that you are not the same team on the road and in bad weather?
"No. Let's just take this year in the NFL as an example. The (New England) Patriots…where did their three losses come? On the road. Denver…where did their two losses come? On the road. Seattle…where did their one loss come? On the road. You can take every team that is kind of at the top and say, 'Where did their losses come?' Most of the time they came on the road. So if you asked all of them if there was an advantage to playing at home, yes absolutely. I think every great team, the teams that perennially have won a lot of games are doing a great job winning games at home and there's something about playing at home and being at home. It is certainly more difficult to go on the road and win, especially in the type of environment that we're going to. The fact that we've been there before in two prime time spots: '07 they were a playoff team and we went up there on Sunday night and beat them. 2010 was obviously a playoff game in which we went up there and played extremely well and they beat us, but it was a close game and it was a good game. If you look at our record over the last eight years, I don't know exactly what the stats are, but I believe we're second most wins since '06 and the most since '09 on the road. So I guess those stats speak for themselves there."
What have you seen from Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane, the next two cornerbacks up for Seattle?
"You don't see a whole lot of Lane. You see a lot of Maxwell. They fit the mold of what Seattle seems like they've tried to go for with their corners: big physical guys that like to get their hands on you. They all play very very well within the system. They're all talented guys. We're still kind of in the process of evaluating every one of those guys and seeing how it kind of fits our game plan and everything else. They're all very good players."
Do you feel like you are showing more patience when you're behind or are in a close game of staying balanced and with the game plan?
"I think we've done a very good job of that this year. When you look at our balance and the fact that we've stuck with that through the course of game, I'd say it's been very balanced. Our ability to take care of the football throughout the season has been very good. Certainly it could be better, but I'd say our overall efficiency on offense and our ability to play complementary football with our defense has been as good this year as ever."
Is that something that was a conscious effort this year?
"It has definitely been a conscious effort. It was something we talked about. You could look back at our Super Bowl year in 2009 and say that was one of our best seasons, or 2011, that was one of our best seasons offensively. What made us so effective? We were throwing the ball well, but, man, we were running the ball well, and the complement of the two was really good. And then how that effects other aspects of the team, how does it help the defense, how does it help special teams, how does that help with momentum. All of those things, it makes a big difference."