New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees spoke with WWL Radio’s Kristian Garic Thursday evening about the New Orleans Saints offseason moves and family life. Below are some highlights from the interview.
On his reaction to the Jimmy Graham trade:
"I think it shocked all of us. A lot of crazy things happen during the course of free agency for a lot of different teams. Unfortunately, if you've been around long enough, you see some of these things happen at times. If anything, I think it shows the confidence our organization has in the young skill players, especially on offense, feeling like there are some guys that now have a great opportunity to step up and fill a big role and continue to progress forward."
On his relationship with Graham:
"Jimmy was like a brother to me. He was close to so many guys on the team. That part of it is something people lose track of. Obviously, as a football player, he's a rare, rare talent. Certainly, not having a guy like that on the field with you is a difference maker. But the relationships you build in the locker room - that's really the part that's the hardest. You're used to seeing each other every day, being around each other, your families do things together, you build a relationship and become very close. Then things happen and all of sudden you're on a different team. It doesn't change the way we all feel about each other, but we're just not going to see each other that often."
On C Max Unger:
"I was with him in the Pro Bowl a few years ago. I think he's a very good player. I know he was bit by the injury bug a little bit last year, but obviously he's somebody who can play at a high level. He's still very much in the prime of his career. I think he'll be a great addition to that front five."
On RB C.J. Spiller:
"He's a rare mix of size and speed. What he can do in the nickel package: running the football, catching it out of the backfield and very good in protection. I think he's a smart player, a really high-character guy who I think will be a great addition to our backfield."
On his reaction to the false trade rumors about him:
"I did not pay attention to (trade rumors) one bit. This is that time of year where I am very focused on the family. It was funny because people would come up to me and say 'I heard you were getting traded to Tampa' or 'I heard you are getting traded to the Jets' or whoever else. I would say 'OK, that's great' (laughter). I have a close enough relationship with everybody in the Saints organization that if something was going on, I know I would hear it from them. I know if there was any seriousness or reality to it there would be discussions. Anything that I hear or get wind of, it's typically false reports."
On raising a daughter after having three boys:
"She's only seven months (old). There's something about when I am holding her or when she's looking at me – just that connection. What's great is watching how the boys interact with her. They are so good with her and gentle with her. They love her so much. She hasn't started walking yet and getting into their stuff, so their attitude might change once she does that. It kind of played out just the way we hoped. We loved the fact that we had the three boys right off the bat and to have a little girl at number four with the built-in protection of three brothers, it's a great scenario.
On if he expects to retire a Saint:
"I do - absolutely. I also understand the reality of the business. You have to perform. You have to give them reasons to keep you around."
On WRs Seantavius Jones and Brandon Coleman:
"They're big, physical guys who can stretch the field for you a little bit. I think they're young, raw talents. Just like most guys who come in as undrafted guys, you see sparks of greatness. It's just about getting them enough time on task and reps to work at certain things to hone their skills. I think we run a pretty complex system just in regards to what we ask certain skill position players to do. It's very much a mental game for them - the adjustments that come with different concepts and with different defensive looks and just very much being on the same page with me, obviously. The more time that we have together, I think the more comfort and trust I gain in them and vice versa."
On TE Josh Hill:
"He's a guy that can do everything. He's very tenacious as a blocker in the run and pass game. We ask our tight ends to do a lot of things. They're not always inline like a traditional tight end position. They're off the ball, they're blocking, they're coming across in the run game, they're stretching the field downfield. They have to be tough, smart and able to run all day in our system. I think he fits that mold very much, just like Benjamin Watson does."
Associated Press and player photos of Drew Brees from the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona.