New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Are you happy to play at home for the next three games?
"It is nice to get in front of the home crowd. I feel like we have some momentum going with these last two victories, one home and one on the road. No more important game than the next one and especially just the way our season has been going, we want to take advantage of this opportunity and this momentum that we have and continue to focus on getting better. Listen, the schedule doesn't get any easier. It only gets tougher. San Francisco is a very good football team. They have won more games over the last three years than anybody in the NFC. They have been to the NFC Championship game or better three years in a row. We've played these guys the last three years in a row and it has always been a tough game and a physical game. We know what to expect. We know they are going to be ready so we have to make sure we are ready as well."
Do you look more to your personal experience with them than how the 49ers have played recently?
"As we know things can change quickly. You can't take anything for granted. In many cases it is not who you play, it is when you play them. They probably feel this week like we did a couple of weeks ago where you are in desperate need of a win. Because of that we know the type of team that is going to come in here. They are going to be ready. They are going to be prepared and they are going to give it their best. We have to make sure, listen, execution is at a premium. We come in, we execute our game plan, we play the type of game we know we can play, that gives us the best chance to win."
Is it a bad time to play the 49ers?
"I don't think there is any good time to play them. Listen, they are a good football team. The fact that they've lost the last two games, we know that feeling around here because it happened to us just a little bit earlier in the season. You know the type of sense of urgency there is in their locker room. I would say our sense of urgency nears that as well. It is going to be a great football game."
Do you think Sean Payton is good at capitalizing on the Dome-advantage?
"Hopefully we keep that streak going for a while. It is what it is. There is a reason that home field advantage is an advantage. Look around the league and percentages of teams that have that type of winning atmosphere and winning record at home. I think it is for obvious reasons. At the end of the day just because we are playing at home does not entitle us to anything. We still have to go out and execute and play well."
What are some of the challenges of having a stretch at home?
"You can ask me this in three weeks when we've played three consecutive home games but for now it is just, man, this is the next game. It doesn't matter where we are playing them whether it is in the Dome or there or at Tad Gormley. You are just focusing on the football game and the details and the execution."
What have you been most pleased with this team the last two games?
"I think that we've really been able to narrow the focus and block out a lot of what could be potential distractions and just stuff that maybe we don't have any control over. We've really done a good job of focusing on the here and now and the opportunity we have each day to get better to get our work done on the practice field that carries over to positive results on the field. With that emphasis comes success on the field."
How salty do you think they are considering the way last year went?
"I don't know. Ask them about it. From our perspective that was a game that went back and forth. I think there were maybe breaks on both sides throughout the game. Bottom line is we were down six points in the fourth quarter and we found a way on two consecutive possessions to go down and get points and win the game. A lot of things can happen in the course of the game. You just want to have a chance to win at the end and the team came together. We really fought hard to get that win and that's all I can say about last year. We are really focused on this year and what type of team we have this year, the team they have this year and how we can put together a great game plan and go out and execute that on Sunday."
What is your advice to guys that are quarterbacks and only have been in the league a couple of years?
"I think the first thing is pretty obvious, so much is not what you say it is what you do. You lead by example. You want to be the first one there and last one to leave. Guys see your approach, they see your process, they see the way your work and your focus. I think that becomes infectious. That speaks louder than anything you could ever say and at the end of the day your teammates want to know that you care about them and that you have their best interest and the best interest of the team in mind. I think those are probably the two most important things from a quarterback position."
Has the consistent production of the run game, has that taken a burden off you a little bit?
"Yes, that's a huge help. You say a quarterback's best friend is a defense and a great run game. Anytime you can run the football effectively it opens up things in the passing game because if you're getting four, five or more a pop, you run the football a lot and it's going to be a long day for the defense so at some point they have to do something to stop that and typically what that does is it opens up opportunities on the perimeter with one-on-one coverage with receivers and opportunities to push the ball down the field. I feel like we have the guys to do that. Yeah, it is a benefit there and I think just over time you wear a defense down, you pound them, you pound them, you pound them and it may just be small chunks early on but by the time the fourth quarter rolls around it takes a roll. I think that is when you can really see the benefit to that."
How is Perrish Cox playing compared to some of the cornerbacks you've played against?
"At the end of the day you look at production and its PBUs, passes broken up, and turnovers. He leads the league in picks and fumbles. At total (takeaways), he has six. (He is) Just a guy that has a nose for the football right now. If you're in the right place than good things happen. They're a defense that historically they have been very, very good at creating turnovers. They do it with their pass rush and they do it with their physicality. That has always been a big factor in the games that they play. It is a big part of what they do defensively. Perrish Cox in particular is having a great year in regards to that and I think just being a really productive player overall."
Are there hits in your career that stand out more than most?
"Here's the thing, I think I forgot about it for about 364 days until we are playing these guys again. You see it on film as you are prepping and you get asked about it. It mixes together with a bunch of other stuff. I wouldn't say it is something that I think about all that often."
Do you need to be more careful against these guys because their propensity…
"Yeah, they are opportunistic. I'd say unlike other teams that take a bunch of chances in order to create turnovers and that becomes susceptible to big plays. These guys, the great balance for them is they are creating turnovers without putting themselves in position to give up big plays. They lead the league in the least amount of big plays given up. It is less than four a game. They are one of the top teams in turnover differential and creating turnovers. If you talk about what you want a defense to be, those are the two most important stats you can think of. You are making offenses earn it all the way down the field knowing that you play this physical brand of football and eventually you are going to get one. For an offense it becomes even more important. It is about execution. It is about taking care of the football and certainly taking advantage of opportunities when we get them."
Do you appreciate how rare the kind of pairing between you and Sean Payton is?
"Man I am thankful for it every day. I wouldn't want to play for any other coach. I love his aggressive nature. I love his love of the game and his approach to each and every practice and to preparation and then on game day. He has a swagger to him. I love playing for him."
How important is it to you to go to dinner with your position group?
"It builds camraderie and it takes a relationship beyond just the playing field. We all have to be on the same page. We all have to be tight on the field when it comes to communication and just execution. But when you have that type of relationship off the field where you are doing social things together, you families are getting together, O-line dinner, all going out to dinner and hanging out where it is nothing about football, it is about everything else. That is what builds the real relationship and you really start to care guys so it makes it even more so that man you don't want to let them down. That is the biggest factor."
Is there anything particular about New Orleans dining culture that's stuck out to you in that realm?
"You have to be careful with how many dinners you go out to. The food is good but yeah you might put on a few extra pounds. We have fun. That is part of what we do to spend time with one another and just kind of blow some steam off as well. The pressure-packed week of preparation and practice and all that stuff mentally can wear on you. Everyone has kind of ways that they balance out their life. For me it is going home and spending time with my family and kids but man, I look forward to Thursday nights and being able to hand out with the O-line a little bit."
How much do you appreciate Jimmy Graham's production the last couple of weeks?
"He is a tough guy. He wants to be there for everybody. He is the ultimate team guy. He really is. For a guy that is as productive and as much as he has been featured over the last four or five years, I think it would be easy for someone on the outside to think that this is a guy that has to have 10 catches a game for over 100 yards. But he is the ultimate team guy. Whatever he can do to help the team, that's what I love about him. His preparation throughout the week in order to get himself ready, his body ready, his mind ready to play the game is pretty tremendous. I can't say enough about him especially the fact that he is a relatively young player and yet he has accomplished so much and yet he still has this fire burning to accomplish more and to be great."
What do you like about using no huddle?
"That is an affective part of our offense. We have the ability to do a lot of things with formations and personnel groups and the speed at which we play. That is how we blitz a defense. When you are able to throw a lot of different things at them at different speeds, that is what keeps them off balance and creates opportunities for us."
Are there drawbacks to using it too much?
"No if it is working then it is all good."
With Mark Ingram being able to carry the ball every down now, does that help you with keeping the tempo going?
"Yeah, the more guys you have the more guys that you can funnel in and out. Obviously it keeps guys fresh but also keeps the defense off balance because a lot of times they are keying in who's in the game and they are trying to decipher that very quickly. The faster you can operate at times; it can really put a defense in a tough stop and maybe catch them out of position in the wrong personnel group."
Official New Orleans Saints photos of Drew Brees against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, October 30, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)