New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
How do you and the offensive line handle J.J. Watt?
"It's not like you can just say we're going to run away from him because you don't know where he is going to be. He is all over the place in the nickel as well, so in regards to pass rush they do a good job of moving guys around and obviously making it unpredictable. You just have to have an awareness of where he is and certainly what he is capable of and just knowing that you cannot hold onto the ball too long."
What's been the reaction among players in the locker room in regards to Rob Ryan's firing?
"Well, I think first of all I loved Rob. We all loved Rob felt like he was a great man and a great coach. We all loved being around his passion for the game and the emotion he coached with and obviously you could tell he loved his players. He wanted to do what's best for them and he grinded. He worked hard at what he did. It's unfortunate that things like that happen. Just like throughout my years here you make changes with players in regards to starting roles or guys getting released or new guys coming in it's just part of this business sometimes and so I think all of us as players just understand that any decisions made is in the best interest of the team and nothing is ever personal and it's all about putting us in the best position to win and if anything the response should be we all need to take a very close look at ourselves and recognize the things that we need to do better to make ourselves play better and execute better and as a result of that win games."
Were those offensive changes after the bye just fine tuning?
"I mean I think the bye week does a few things. First off for us after 10 weeks of the season it allows us to get healthy. Which I think was important because we were banged up in a lot of areas. Number two, it allows you to do some self-scout. You're able to look back at the things in the first half of the season that you did well. That you can continue to build on. The things that you did not do so well with need significant improvements or maybe we scrap that and we move onto something that will be affective for us. At times it's maybe to simplify a scheme or something relatively small and yet that can breed some confidence in guys just because you know you do it well and you know that no matter what the look you will be able to execute that. I think that for all of us not only offensively, just as a team there are things that we recognize from the first half of the season that will build on and move forward with for the second half of the season."
Do you feel a sense of recharge and are you guys ready to make a run as a team these last six games?
"Yes definitely we recognize where we are at and we also know the road that's ahead of us. We can only win one game at a time. There is no greater challenge than the one that's right in front of us. I think the Texans are playing as well as any team especially defensively .When you turn on the film from the last few weeks these guys have been dominating. We understand how important our execution is going into that environment on the road and trying to get a win to start the momentum for what we are trying to build in the second half of the season."
What do you think you have to do to make a late run at the end of the season?
"Well again from the bye week you put yourself in the best position physically and mentally to win a game. Physically the bye week was extremely helpful for us to get healthy and kind of get away and recharge your mind or your body. Mentally taking a look at those things that we can hang our hat on. Our bread and butter and I think mentally that's a big thing as well. There are times in the first half of the season where things run together and yet when you really boil it down this is what we need to do in order to be successful from a scheme standpoint and just a mindset standpoint. What type of team are we and what do we want to be known for these last six weeks?"
Talk about Jahri Evans this season and what it's meant to have a guy like that for 10 years?
"Yeah he is a stud. He has been so dependable. He has just been a war daddy and has always been there and fought through countless injuries he has gone through these last 10 years yet again has always been there. He is right there at that right guard position and it's a big deep breath just sense of relief knowing a guy like that is in front of me just knowing how much history we have together and I know what I'm going to get out of him every day. Every day at practice and every game."
What do you know about what he goes through to play in games?"
Listen those lineman when you say in the trenches, literally it's contact and physicality on every play and you are talking about big bodies running into each other and the violent nature of that position and say wow what those guys go through and what they do to themselves to play each week and just the unselfish nature of how they go about it as well They're all just lunch pail kind of guys. Just come to work to get the job done. There a tight knit community or tight knit group. They all look out for one another. There is no group that has to have more continuity and trust and togetherness and I feel like we have one of the best."
When you self-scout, especially over the last two weeks before the bye, what did you identify as something that kind of let things get away from you a little bit?
"Again, I think that at times simplification is a good thing. You're taking the things that you do well, you're taking the things that guys on your team do well and you try to put them in those positions. There are some schemes that work well for you. Maybe it's from a blocking standpoint or maybe it is just man, we have gotten a lot of production out of this stuff. Each week is different, in regards to the game plan, and the type of team you're going up against. It is the JJ Watt (type of players) that you're concerned about, among other guys. At the end of the day, it is what are we hanging our hat on, what is our bread and butter and what do we want to be known for. Let's make sure that we're doing those things because that gives us the best chance to win."
That's mostly x's and o's types of stuff; did anything need to be tweaked with the approach?
"When I talk about our preparation, it is not like we're sitting here saying our preparation is not good, our work ethic in practice or our practice habits, meeting room habits or weight room habits (are not good). It is really not that stuff. That is stuff where guys are doing the right thing. Guys are grinding. I think you stay the course with the preparation, and yet you're trying to put the guys in the position to know what to do so that they can do it fast, and that typically results in good things."
To what do you attribute the Texans success in third down defense?
"I think they lead the league in third and longs. So what does that tell me? Well, they are doing a good job on first and second down, getting the teams into third and long situations. That allows them the opportunity to dial up their pass rush a bit because you have to hold the ball a little bit longer to push the ball further down the field on third and longs. Obviously, they get a ton of production from their front four or five man rushes. They're getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback, they're getting a lot of sacks and are getting a lot of production there. I would say everybody in the secondary has that ballhawk mentality. They all have good ball skills, good awareness and good cover skills. (It's) a combination of those two things where the quarterback is under duress and has to get the ball out quicker than he wants to, and then to tight coverage. That typically results to good third down defense."
Do you pay any attention to what the team has to do to make the playoffs? Do you pay attention to what is going on with the rest of the league?
"You do and you don't. You do because, obviously, you're always holding out hope that you'll get there based upon what's happening around the league. But the most important thing is worrying about your own team and the things you can control. We can't control what happens with other teams. The only thing we can control is our preparation and our ability to go out and win each of these games, one at a time. If we don't take care of business, it doesn't matter what happens. There's so much football left to be played. If we were sitting with two or three games left, then maybe we could start talking scenarios. Bottom line is that we need to take care of business here, in the near future, in order to even put ourselves in that position."
I know probably with a defensive back or with a linebacker, you can be aware of what they're doing (and have) a chess match within the game; does that rarely happen with a defensive lineman?
"It is different because it is not like he is in a middle linebacker position where that guy is making a lot of calls. Maybe, he is responsible for setting a front and making checks. That doesn't seem to be JJ Watt's role. JJ Watt's role is to line up where he is supposed to line up on the line and wreak havoc. He does a good job of that. A little bit different there but (you just need to have) that awareness of knowing where he is and knowing just what he is capable of. Again, (having) a sense of urgency and knowing that the ball has to come out because he is relentless too. He might be blocked for a short while but eventually he is going to find a way. You just want to make sure that the ball is out."
It hasn't been Sean (Payton's) MO to make a staff change during a season. What does it say to you, of the time, that he did that this year?
"I don't know. I have been here long enough and trust that whatever decision he is making, Mickey (Loomis) is making or they're making together are in the best interest of the football team. Nothing is ever personal. I know that there was a situation back when we hired Gregg Williams, (Sean Payton) had to fire Gary Gibbs prior to that, not during the season but it was during the offseason. Gary was one of his great friends, and yet he was doing that. There is nothing personal about it. It was totally professional. This puts us in the best position to win to maybe go out and get this coordinator, and then you go out and win the Super Bowl the next year. There are tough decisions that have to be made by management and by Coach Payton. I respect those decisions, even though they might not be popular. I am not saying that this one was or wasn't. I am just saying just in general that tough decisions have to be made, and he has always had the ability to step up and make them in the best interest of the team."