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Drew Brees talks about the Saints' preparation for Panthers

Drew Brees talks to the media about the Saints moving forward and how they're preparing for Carolina on Sunday

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Media Availability
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
What do you think is the key to getting the offense back to where it has been in the past in terms of productivity?
"I think execution. I think overall we've put together some good drives. I think the drives that have stalled on us in large part are because of penalties. There are times where we just haven't had a chance to get a drive going. And in some cases have been stopped has been because of penalty. In some cases we're putting together drives and we're just not getting some of those touchdowns when I think the opportunities are there to get them. When you play close games, those are the difference makers."

Defensively Carolina has only given up three points each game, how are they looking defensively?
"They are very good. They are extremely disciplined. They have a great front seven that've been together for a long time now obviously those linebackers. They rotate that d-line in and out. They have some pass rushers and run defenders. They have the young corners that are now into their second years and play with a lot more confidence. The safeties are very good players as well. So all in all, it's a very sound defense that plays really well together."

Julius Peppers drinking out of the fountain of youth or something?
"He has a role that he plays very, very well. You still see him get off the quarterback in the pass rush. He's a big powerful guy."

Is this situation starting to look like the past two years facing the possibility of starting 0-3?
"We're doing our absolute best in regards to preparation to try to win the game during the week. If you have that type of mindset and focus on the process you feel like the result will take care of itself. It's a division game. It's on the road. It's a very good team. It's a team that's 2-0. It's a team that's playing with a lot of confidence. But we're just waiting to break the seal. I feel like it can be this week. I hope it's this week."

Missed opportunities?
"We have missed a couple of things by a very small margin. But it is a small margin for this business. I think the more time we have together the better we get. I can't blame anything that happened in the last game because of a lack of time on task. We just had a couple that were just right there, just wasn't able to make the play however that was."

Fans are frustrated, message to the fans?
"We believe. We believe in ourselves. I hope that our fans believe in us too. I believe they do. I've heard from people and it's been very positive."

Thoughts on (Luke) Kuechly?
"He's a very smart football player who can diagnose very quickly. He can anticipate a lot of what's happening. Rarely will you get him on something twice. You may gameplan something and you get him the first time and then you feel like you can run it again and he's right where you're going to be running the ball or throwing the ball or whatever it might be. He's just an extremely intelligent football player. He's a great leader. You see him just directing traffic all the time, getting guys lined up at times changing the call to put his defense in better position just like the quarterback would on offense. He is definitely the quarterback on defense."

What is it about playing there that hasn't resulted in the wins in Charlotte the last two years?
"No, I really believe we've played some good games there. I guess we've had our share of losses there but no I don't think there's anything out of the ordinary."

How similar are (Alvin) Kamara and (Christian) McCaffrey from what you've seen?
"I don't know much about McCaffrey other than he's a very dynamic player. The same way we feel about Kamara."

What has stood out to you about what Alvin's been able to do so far?
"He's a real versatile guy, we can use him in a lot of different ways. I think he's an even better runner than I ever expected. Most guys are great out of the backfield at times those guys and pinch the hole then too. That being their thing. And yet, he's really a great pure runner. He runs with a lot of patience. He's extremely athletic. (He's) Very quick through the hole. (He) Just does a lot of things very naturally, very instinctively."

Mark Ingram II became the number two rusher in team history on Sunday, what are your thoughts about his stability to stay in that role with so much turnover?
"It's impressive at the running back position. It's a tough position to play. It's a very physical one. One where typically guys get beat up pretty often. I've really appreciated his career. He came in when Pierre (Thomas) was a guy and when (Darren) Sproles (had arrived). Mark kind of had his role and then he was banged up quite a bit early on. Then he just kind of found his way and not only became a great downhill runner for us but just all-purpose. I think he's one of the best all-purpose backs in the league when you account for what he does just running the ball between the tackles, outside the tackles, what he does in the pass protection. In the pass game we split him out when he's out in the backfield. He's really a complete player."

Is there more of a sense of pressure when trying to get through to the younger guys that we are close and we can turn this thing around since they haven't had a taste of that yet?
"Yes, but it's step by step. You have to start with the process and preparation. Just understanding that if you do not just go out on Sunday and snap your fingers and it happens. There is so much that goes into the preparation for gameday. We talk about winning the game before you even play, winning the game before you get there. Then you go out in the game and it becomes fun, things slow down because you've seen it so many times on film or you've practiced it so many times you've anticipated it and visualized it in your head. I think once you begin to reap the benefits or see the success from the work from the preparation that is what brings them the confidence and the momentum."

What do you remember about A.J. Klein when you guys studied film with him when he was in Carolina?
"Well I did not get to play against A.J. Klein (in 2015). Luke McCown played the game when he was the starter (in 2015). That was when Kuechly was out and I was out. I saw he was a very good player that would come out in a role when (Luke) Kuechly went down, he would come in. If the Mike or somebody else went down he would come in. Really the Sam. He was a guy who could play all the linebacker positions. He seemed very in tune with what was happening defensively. He'd kind of get in and again, quarterback the defense. He came here and stepped into this role and has basically done that for us. He's done a tremendous job for us."

What are some of the challenges for you and the running backs when the offensive line has the guys shuffling around a lot?
"Continuity is always what you hope for obvious reasons. Guys get shuffled around that's just part of it. I don't think that affects too much of our approach and my mindset other than throughout the course of gameplanning you're trying to get the gameplan to help certain guys and alleviate the stress or the pressure off of certain guys. But it doesn't really change a whole lot."

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