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Drew Brees talks about playing the Cleveland Browns

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How do you guys feel offensively as a whole?

"I feel like we moved the ball well.  I feel like we ran the ball well. We were very balanced.  We hit some big plays. I thought we were very patient.  Certainly we took our shots.  I think we had opportunities to complete some of those balls down the field and yet even when we didn't we were still able to convert third downs, keep drives alive and go down and be effective in the red zone.  Statistically if you didn't tell me the score and you just showed me the stat sheet at the end of the game, I'd say, what was it, five yards a carry, 140 yards rushing, 470 yards of total offense, 62 percent on third down, and 4-6 in the red zone?  I would say I think we had a pretty good day."

Do you feel like what you guys did in training camp was able to carry over?

"I do.  Here is the thing, by no means was it perfect.  I mean, certainly you turn the film on and you are like, here is a player, here is a play, here is a play that are game changers.  In a close game like that against a very good opponent who was able to move the ball effectively as well, you just know that every drive counts, every opportunity to get points counts.  You have to make the most of those opportunities."

When you do complete those deep balls schematically from a defensive perspective, how much can things change and open up for an offense?

"Yeah, I mean they do.  When you are able to hit deep passes, people soften up and it helps the run game.  When you are able to run the ball effectively people have to get more aggressive.  It typically opens up opportunities down the field.  So those two things go hand in hand.  Then, your ability to pick up the tempo at times, formate people to death, put all kinds of personnel groups in the game, just put them in a situation where they are on their heels and they are the ones that are having to think and react to what you are doing.  That's the position you want to be in, where you are dictating the tempo and controlling the game."

What do you remember of the 2006 game against Cleveland?

"It is hard to believe that was nine years ago.  I remember us going in just saying hey, can we please get a win today?  Obviously that had been a pretty tough preseason for us, five weeks in Jackson, Miss., guys had just been, felt like they have been beaten.  Just kind of watching it all come together, that was a hard fought game.  Both sides of the ball just kind of scratching and clawing it out to get that first victory.  What a confidence builder trying to get that first one under our belt and I felt like that set up the opportunity to go into Green Bay and get a big win and come back home for the opening of the Dome on Monday Night Football against the Falcons."

Did you think after the first game in 2006 that you might be on to something?

"We won 19-14 and like I said, a lot of it was scratching and clawing and after a preseason where we were just kind of hoping we would win one game.  I can't say the expectations were super high at that point.  I think it was just about man, let's just find a way to win, however we have to come together, find a way to win."

Do you know every score you've ever played?

"You know what is amazing, I will forget something that I wrote down two minutes ago, five minutes ago or told my wife I would do, like yes I will take the trash out before I go to bed and I won't.  But I can recall games, plays, situations, feelings, thoughts, from just about every game in my entire career."

Didn't you throw a pass to a running back that just joined the team like that week?

"Yes, number 33, I can't remember his name but I can picture him, exactly what he looks like, his number, everything."

How do you take advantage of the rookie learning curve with the cornerback Justin Gilbert?

"You don't get drafted eighth unless you are really talented and he has plenty of that.  He has size.  He has length.  He has speed.  He has ball skills.  He's only going to get better with time.  Here is the thing, you turn on the film and they are pretty salty in that secondary.  They are talented.  It is a lot of just bump and run type of coverage, no matter if it is a single high structure, if it is a two safety structure, you kind of know the type of game they want to play and they are very good at it.  You try to do some things to create matchups.  Obviously you are going to put your guys in a position to succeed with those matchups and the scheme and that kind of thing.  Listen, they can all play, we just have to pick and choose our spots."

What is the most unfamiliar thing about playing on the road?

"I think the biggest thing on the road is communication.  It is noise.  It is hey, what are you doing with the snap count?  What are you doing when you have to change plays or make adjustments?  How are you communicating?  And I feel like we got a pretty good system when it comes down to that, but it is always a challenge.  You have to be really locked in and focused."

Do you think about how teams that go 0-2 have a lesser chance of making the playoffs?

"I don't think about that.  I give every opponent tremendous amount of respect because they deserve it.  You have to come and bring your hard hat every week to win in this league no matter where you go and no matter who you play.  It is not who you play, it is when you play them.  They want to win just as bad as we do.  They have a ton of talent.  Forget their record from last year. Forget the fact that they are 0-1.  What they did in the second half last week was pretty impressive so we expect that team to show up.  It is their home opener so they have a lot to play for, a new coaching staff, all of those things.  I have a lot of respect for this head coach and that defense.  We just figuring out how to score points, protect the ball and hopefully win the game."

How much is being made of the one loss?

"Well, I guess it is carnival or crisis with the media, in many cases where if things are really great or it is doomsday.  We don't feel like it is doomsday, but there is a sense of urgency to get better.  We can't walk away from that game and exonerate ourselves.  We have a lot of work to do.  We can get a lot better even though statistically on paper the numbers might say hey, you did okay offensively, no we had a chance to win and we didn't do it.  We had opportunities to score more points and we didn't do it.  Obviously, that can get your beat.  We have to make strides as an offense.  We want to have our biggest improvement from week one to week two.  That's what you would say about your team in every case."

A lot of it is context right?

"Yeah, but it is how you react to the loss.  What will that loss do for you and your team?  There are many cases that I can point at throughout our careers here in the last nine seasons where that loss translated into something better down the road because you learn something from it, whatever it did, it created that sense of urgency or it just brought you together.  We are hoping this will be the same result."

Is that kind of the case just like in 2011?

"Yeah, we lost to a very good football team, the former World Champs Green Bay Packers. Then I think we ended up starting off 5-3, so at the end of the day you never know how it is going to shake out.  You have to have that optimism.  There is nothing we can do about it now, but certainly we can control how it effects our perception and our work ethic and how we move forward.  I feel like we had a good day of preparation today.  It is one of those like, you are not going to hang your heads but then again, you are not going to let the little stuff slide either.  You have to pick you head up, stay positive, stay enthusiastic and think about putting together a great game plan to go win this week."

Should Roger Goodell be held accountable for admittedly making a mistake?

"I think this has been talked about a ton over the last few days.  My sentiments are the same as every player as far as seeing the video and just how tragic that is and just how unacceptable that is.  At the end of the day everyone, we are all held accountable for our actions as players.  Certainly every owner should be held accountable for their actions.  The commissioner should be held accountable for his actions.  I don't know the full story.  I don't know who all does but I think that's what is trying to be found out here.  Everyone deserves to be held accountable for their actions because certainly that is the expectation for players."

Do you find it a little more difficult to play against press coverage when teams try to disrupt timing between you and the receivers or zone?

"It is the difference in philosophies. Typically when you say we are a heavy zone team, typically what that means is we are going to try keep everything in front of us, not give up big plays and really make you earn it all the way down the field.  Man-to-man teams are more hey, we are going to get pressure, typically those are teams that are going to get pressure on the quarterback, we are going to force you to get the ball out before you want, we are going to be hammering your receivers and those throws have to be extremely accurate and we are trying to throw the timing off with the pressure and with the coverage so that that creates turnover opportunities and that kind of thing.  On the flip side, hey, you get loose on man coverage or you turn a guy loose in man coverage down the field then it opens up big plays opportunities for the offense.  It is risk reward with whatever you are choosing to do.  Obviously you play a lot of man, you run a lot of pressure, it is higher risk, higher reward."

How special is Brandin Cooks?

"He's awesome.  I think what I love about him the most is just his attention to detail and just how locked in he is.  There is never a moment on the field where he is just kind of you know, he is just always locked in, ready, focused, and ready to take instruction in teaching.  You tell him something about a little nuance or route or concept or whatever and man, he's got it.  He makes a mistake he fixes it immediately.  You don't see him make the same mistake twice.  Man you love guys like that, just the work ethic, attention to detail and desire, desire to be a great player and help this team win."

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