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Drew Brees: "We can always continue to get better"

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post -Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What are the aspects that make Willie Snead a good, effective route runner?

"He's a quick twitch. He makes a lot of routes look the same. I think the best route runners I've been with you're not sure if they're running a go route or slant for the first 15 yards on the breaks, whether they break right, break left or on the double move. He's one of those guys that can make things look the same, that short area that is important to being a good route runner. Obviously quickness and ability to transition in and out of a break is something he's very good at as well"

Have you developed good chemistry with him in a short time?

"Yes, I have a lot of trust in him and our offense and nuances within a certain concept or route he has the ability to break this way or break that way. I find that he's a very good decision-maker and his body language tells me what he's doing. That's what we'd consider chemistry."

How good did a win and three days extra rest feel after everything you guys went through in the past week to top off with a short week of preparation?

"When you're scrambling to get six days worth of work done in three and so you're cursing the whole thing as it's happening and then you go out and win and on the drive home you say this is awesome getting three days off or three days extra of getting your body back and spending time with family both physically and emotionally, so that was good."

What's your impression of everything that happened with Joe Vitt and how he's doing now?

"Just listening to Joe Vitt tell the story about it is priceless, because he's a great storyteller and obviously that's a firsthand account, but there's so many things he's taught me over the last ten years from stories like that with other people. Now it's just ironic it's happened to him. We're all able to laugh about it. I'm just glad he's okay. In true Joe Vitt fashion, he said to me and kind of shook his head, I'm not going to let you down. I'm here everyday. I'm going to be grinding. I just can't jog from drill to drill. I have to push the button on the cart. He's just the same old Joe Vitt."

When you heard what he did to chase after the assailant were you surprised or did you expect he would do that?

"It was absolutely what I would expect him to do. I was like is there any inkling to call the cops? That's what the police are for. Let's chase after these guys in your socks. It's some good stuff all around."

He can't be very happy on that scooter can he?

No, that's not his deal. I'm sure you've seen him at practice many times. He wants to be in the mix. He has his little spot back there. He's moving along with his players and he's running in there and yelling at his guys on offense and defense and everything else and special teams, it doesn't matter. He's just a football coach. He's not used to sitting in a cart. You can still hear him across the field though."

What are some of the attributes you've used through the years to maintain success and longevity and be so good for so long?

"Obviously there are a lot of qualities that go into playing the quarterback position and playing it at a high level and so, I think any quarterback has to possess those things. First of all, leadership, confidence, you have to be smart, you have to be tough. I think being dependable and consistent might be two of the most important things, just because your job description and I think the best quarterbacks to have played this game have made everyone around him better. How did they do that? Why did they do that? Those guys had confidence, so everytime they stepped on the field they were able to relax and go play, but in order for them to have that confidence in you, you need to be there all the time. You have to be the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. Any day. It doesn't matter who the opponent is or what. You're dependable and consistent and they know what to expect of you every day."

How much do you see from your time with Andrew Luck and the time from a far?

"Yeah, actually the first time I spent a lot of time with him was this past year at the pro bowl. It was really one of my main reason why I wanted to go last year. I didn't think I deserved it, but I had a chance to go and spend time with guys like that. I think he is a stud. He's got obviously all of the physical tools and mental tools, intangibles that you need to play this position and play at a high level and play for a long time. He can make every through. He is a great athlete for his size and strength. He is very poised no matter what the situation. He has won a lot of games for them over the last few years. This guy has a really bright future ahead of him."

How much do your communication skills help you in being an affective quarterback?

"That is very important. You have to be able to identify with them and get the best out of them and at times that's finding ways to motivate and inspire them and other times it's to make them understand what's expected of them and what they need to do from play to play and I think a lot of times it's being a good communicator. Simplifying what you're saying, being direct, assertive, but at the same time showing confidence in people. Listen, different guys respond to different types of leadership. Show you have to find out which one works for which guy. It's part of being a quarterback."

Did you take public speaking in college?

"Yeah, it was Com. 315 or something like that. No, I kind of dreaded that class, but got through it."

Why hasn't C.J. Spiller had a bigger impact and how can he going forward?

"Well, I mean we have a lot of guys on offense that we feel are great assets. You try and build in the game plan opportunities for each guy and then you never know how it's going to play out. Did anybody thing Ben Watson was going to have ten catches for 127 yards, you know I mean you just never know whose weeks it's going to be. A couple weeks ago it was C.J. Spillers catching like eight balls and obviously catching the game winner against Dallas. We always want to come into the game and establish a running presence and establish it with the running backs, even if it's not necessarily all running the ball. It can be catching balls out of the backfield or the screen game doing different things. Obviously C.J. is a matchup for us and we can do a lot of different things with him. Just a matter of getting those opportunities and seeing how the game plays out."

You talked about the drive home and your excitement after the Atlanta game, how excited were you about everything clicking?

"Yes, we can still do a lot better though. You watch the film and it's never as bad or never as good (as it seems to be). When you feel good about beating a divisional opponent the Atlanta Falcons, the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, this is our time to take steps forward. Then you turn the film on and there are some things showing up of some things we have to get better at. We do and so, no time to sit back and relax by any means. We still have a lot of work ahead of us."

Can you talk about having this type of performance again?

"We need to show that we can do this on a consistent basis. Not every game's going to be perfect, but if you do enough things right, we are a smart football team that's going to win games. We just need to show we can do that on a consistent basis."

Is it ever possible for a big win like that to mask problems you may have?

"Yes, if you allow it to. We're a 2-4 team. We're not masking any problems. We have plenty of things we can work on."

How would you describe your relationship today with the people of Indiana? It is an important chapter in your life. They remember you well from Purdue and you beat the Colts in the Super Bowl.

"The ironic thing is that Mitch Daniels, who was the Governor of Indiana back when we beat the Colts in the Super Bowl and had a friendly little bet with Bobby Jindal, is now the president of Purdue University. He asked Brittany and I to be on his President's Council. There is kind of a little irony there. He's a great guy. I had so many relationships back at Purdue. The first NFL game that I ever went to in person was a Colts game, back in 1998. It was a playoff game and I watched Peyton (Manning) play the Titans. All of my college roommates are going. I have a bunch of college teammates that are going to this game. I still know a lot of people and have a lot of great relationships back there."

To get your passing game and running game going, your offensive line has to work well. It has been challenging with injuries and things of that nature. How difficult has that been? How good of a job did they do on Thursday night, considering all of that?

"I think the offensive line did a tremendous job. That is not five independent contractors. That is five guys that have to be working together, have to be on the same page (and have) great communication. (It was) pretty amazing what Tony Hills was able to do, having only been here a week. The complexity of some of the things that we do in the run game and the pass game, and just the verbiage in the huddle. There are so many things. He really did a phenomenal job and that whole group did. It says a lot about their preparation and just about the type of guys that are in that room."

You lead the league in third down conversions and are pretty far up there in total offense, yet (you've scored) 22.3 points per game.

"If you recall, coming off of that Philadelphia game, I said we need to score more points. The third down percentage is good because that means that you are holding onto the ball, that your sustaining drives and hopefully you are getting down in the scoring zone and you're scoring points. Points are good when you are down there but you really want touchdowns. I think that all of these things work together. It is not just one stat here or one stat there. At the end of the day, it is about who scores the most points. How do we get points? We want to sustain drives. Yes, we need to be efficient in the red zone and I think we can do a better job there. I think that we can continue to find ways to make big plays and some of those game-changing type of plays. You calculate those into the third down numbers and if we can get some of those other things up, then we'll be doing much better."

So more explosives plays are a big part of it?

"That's always (the case). What helps you get explosive plays? The better you run the ball, the better your play-action game looks. The more efficient you are on first and second down, then teams have to maybe pressure you a little bit more, or play a little bit more man and be more aggressive to try to stop you. Therefore, that opens up opportunities. If you're battling first and second downs and you get into third-and-long situations, then teams typically sit back and make you throw underneath and rally up and tackle. That's tough sledding. (There are) so many elements to being a good offense and a high-scoring offense. We can get better at all of those things."

Joe Vitt always says that playing in primetime gives everybody that helped you an opportunity to watch, which is more inspiring for the players; is it like that for you going back to Indiana? Are you doing anything in particular for the people that you know back there that are going to the game?

"I am going to see a lot of people after the game. I want to focus and play this game. That is my job. That is being dependable, consistent and being the quarterback of this team. (It's) getting myself ready to play and eliminating distractions. I am going to get ready to play this game and go play at my best. I'll see all of those folks after and hopefully we're celebrating a little bit. That is what I am worried about at this point. Certainly, it is a little bit more, like when I go back to Texas, whether we're playing Houston or Dallas. That is my home state so I know that there are a lot of people there that are friends of mine, family, people that watched me play high school football and that kind of thing. There is a bit more meaning there just like there might be some here because of my connection with Indiana and Purdue."

Photos of Drew Brees vs the Atlanta Falcons. Photos by Michael C. Hebert.

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