Photos of new Saints running back Adrian Peterson.
Drew thank you so much for having us out at this Jimmy John's location and man, let's just jump right in. I know you want to welcome the fans and after that, you want to welcome in another future Hall of Famer and that being Adrian Peterson.
Yeah, this is fun. Man, this is a beautiful day. We've got a ton of Saints fans out there. The lines all the way out to the road, probably wrapping around the parking lot soon. Looking forward to spending some time with them soon here in a little bit. But yeah, that was big news today with Adrian Peterson becoming a Saint. Obviously, I've had a ton of a respect for this guy for a long time as has just about everybody in our league and our locker room. I know he's going to come in with a chip on his shoulder, ready to show what he can do and I'm sure he'll embrace the opportunity.
On the running game:
I know this, I was told this early in my career, a quarterback's best friend are two things. It's great defense and a great running game. That will help you play a long time in this league. I know this, it certainly takes a lot of pressure off of you as a quarterback because, just to kind of explain this to the fans, so when you're running the ball effectively, when you're a balanced attack, that really puts the defense in a tough situation where they have to defend both the run and the pass. One thing a defense is not going to do is they're not going to just sit there and allow you to run and run and run on them. So they're going to bring defenders into the box to try to stop the run because there is nothing more demoralizing to a defense to just give up play after play after play.
Exactly. Exactly. So you begin to get these eight- and nine-men boxes. Well, now you get matchups outside and it's much easier to complete passes when you have one on one with your top-flight receivers versus trying to throw into double coverage or trying to wait for routes to unfold because you're having to manipulate so many defenders at the passing game. There's so many benefits when you're running the ball effectively and have a balanced attack. To how that can translate to just being even more effective in the passing game, which means we're controlling the ball, which means we're staying on the field longer, all those things go hand-in-hand. They complement.
On playing with a chip on your shoulder:
No, listen, it's a must. It really is must and I just think certain guys are just wired that way. I play this game because I've been blessed to play this game and I want to be the best that I can at it while I have this opportunity. Throughout my career, there have been plenty of moments where I was told that it was not going to happen for whatever reason. Too small, too short, too this, too that and there is a little bit of satisfaction proving people wrong but I want to be great because I'm just wired that way. I mean whatever, I'm competitive, I want to win, I want to be great at it and I take a lot of pride in everything that I do. If you told me sweep this parking lot, I'd tell you well I'm going to make it as clean as I possibly can because I want to be the best at it that I can be. Well Adrien Peterson, look at his career. He has an ACL injury and he comes back and rushes for 2,000 yards. I mean what that guy has accomplished in the face of a lot of adversity has been tremendous. I mean from every word I've heard about his work ethic in the offseason to prepare himself for the season is that this guy is a workhorse. So to be 32 years old, which in most cases you know in this league guys are once you get past 30 guys are on the backend of their career. Well, he has not showed any signs of slowing down. Obviously, staying healthy at that position is a challenge. It always is. We know the type of fire and passion that's inside this guy,
On what can be done as team on offense, defense and special teams:
Yeah, listen, it's complementary. We know as an offense, we need to do our part and our defense needs to do their part and special teams needs to do their part. I know there's things offensively that we can do to help the other parts of the team, you know the other phases. We call that being complementary football. We can take better care of the football. We cannot put our defense in tough positions. We can possess the ball better, obviously with a great run game, with a consistent run game. That's what you're able to do and possess the ball, control the clock. So all of those things will only help the cause but to your point, yeah it takes all three phases.
On the quarterback position in the NFC South:
I'm going to kind of piggyback on what you're saying and compliment these guys. You're talking about the two defending MVP's right, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan. You're talking about one of the more exciting, young quarterbacks in this league who when you look at his progress from year one to year two, I was very, very impressed with. I think that team, the Buccaneers, is under the radar right now but they are a team that is going to have to be dealt with. I think they've got a lot of talent. I think they've done a good job at building that roster and he (Jameis Winston) is only getting better. Mike Smith has done a great job with the defense. To that point, I mean there is no free lunch, no free Jimmy John's in our division. It's going to be a battle within the division and obviously when you look at just how key every victory is in the grand scheme when you get to the end of the season and you're trying to find a way in, that's going to be a challenge.