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Drew Brees: "we have a really good locker room"

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

With Mark Ingram being out for a few weeks, how important is it to have depth with Khiry Robinson as well as with a veteran in Pierre Thomas?

"I think it is going to be a great opportunity for all three of our backs. Of course Khiry, probably getting some more opportunities, Pierre as well, and then Travaris Cadet. All of those guys are in a position to step up and take on those reps and kind of fill that role. All three of them are very capable. Obviously we are going to miss Mark for whatever period of time that is, but I'm very confident in those other guys."

What is your response to the charges brought on Adrian Peterson? Especially with so many players, many from Texas, saying this is what it was like when I was a kid.

"I feel like there is so much that, maybe, we don't know. Yes, I've seen the pictures. Yes, I've just kind of heard what has been said. But similar to the Ray Rice thing, we are not on the inside so we really don't know everything that has taken place. I'll leave my comments at that. Everybody may have their own opinion but I'm here to talk about football."

As someone who has been involved in the union for so many years, is it troubling to see everything that has been going on for so many weeks?

"I would say this, obviously we are in a very high-profile business, a high-profile sport, so anytime something happens that gets magnified greatly. I guess what I hope doesn't happen as a result of this is that the perception is that we are a bunch of brutes and that we beat our wives and abuse our children. Obviously we've all seen the Ray Rice video, we don't know exactly what happened with Adrian Peterson yet, that's still yet to be determined so we can't make a judgment there, but you're talking about maybe four or five cases across the league right now that are known amongst over 2,000 players. So 1 in 500 right now. Listen, I'm not saying those are good odds or bad odds, but I think the perception right now is being portrayed that we all are in this category. We're not all in that category. Listen, guys are going to make mistakes. There is punishment and consequences for those mistakes. Once you serve them you hope that everyone can move on. But at the end of the day there are a lot of guys who are doing a lot of great things and they represent all of the great things about humanity and what it's like to be a leader and what it's like to be a great member of your community. Obviously that is not focused on enough at all. That doesn't sell."

Being one of the faces of the league, Adrian Peterson has been a guy that the NFL has marketed for years and you're in basically the same boat, how much do you feel a responsibility to promote the right message?

"It's a tremendous responsibility. I don't feel it as pressure because I am myself. I understand that we are high profile and so even things that you could do that aren't a big deal can be misconstrued, they can be interpreted a different way depending on who is the one doing the interpretation or how somebody wants to spin something. Again, we are in a media age where everyone is just going to click on something if it has a good headline. The headline doesn't always depict reality or the truth. I'm going to be the husband and father that I can be, the best player, the best leader for this team. I do understand the platform that I am on as well being in this position, the influence you have on a lot of young people and certainly you want to be someone they can look up to."

Is this something that you guys reinforce with the team with everything that has been going on?

"I feel like we have a really good locker room. Certainly this is a topic, guys sitting in the training room, guys getting ready for practice, locker room, whatever, the topic comes up, sitting at lunch. Guys have a chance to talk about it. We haven't had a state of the union team meeting about it but I feel like we have guys that are conscientious and understand kind of what's going on and certainly it has caused discussion, which I think it is good, I think that is healthy and I think that gets guys all on the right path if they weren't already."

A couple of your teammates on Sunday called this a week of crisis. What do you think that means?

"I don't know if I would term it like that, a sense of urgency certainly. We need a win. We know we can play better. It's hard when you lose games like the way that we lost the last two games where they are one possession games, one play games, one play in each of those that could have made the difference. In many cases they have gone our way in the past, we found a way to win by being the smarter football team or the more prepared football team or whatever it is and yet lately, unfortunately, we have been on the other end of that. There is a lot to be learned, and unfortunately in some cases it takes you losing them and feeling the sting of that in order to win."

Is there a different sense of urgency by losing two games in the beginning of the season compared to losing two in the middle of the season when the team was rolling? Do you approach things differently?

"I would just say this, at the beginning of every season you are kind of like 'Hey, what type of team do we have?' and with every win early on you gain confidence. If there is a spell during the season, like there always is where you're facing adversity, then it is always lean on that early success of 'hey, we know what we can be.' For us right now, despite the fact that we have a lot of veteran guys, a lot of guys who have been here for a long time and won a lot of games, this is a new team so it's kind of reestablishing and recreating your identity and it's like 'Ok, who are we, who are we trying to be?' We're certainly a lot better than what we've shown but you are what your record says you are so we have to go out and get a win so we can start feeling better about ourselves so that we can start gaining some momentum."

Would you have ever believed you guys would be 0-2?

"No, I go out there thinking we can win every game. That's difficult, it's possible, but we have high expectations around here."

It hasn't been there the first two games but do you feel that the deep ball is coming?

"Yeah, I think we'll have opportunities. We know this, we have them up in every plan, a lot of them in every plan. You take what the defense gives you. If you have those opportunities, great. If not, we're ready to move the ball. I feel like we've sustained some pretty healthy drives here over the first two weeks. It's better to be that than the other way around where you have to have a big play or else you are going to shoot yourself in the foot at some point having to drive the ball 80 yards. We've proven we can do that. And what does it take to do that? Well, you have to convert well on third down, you have to be in third-and-manageable situations, you have to be good with the run game and blitz pickup, and all of those things that translate to being able to maintain possession and score points. It's nice when the big plays come."

Did you see Darren Sproles?

"I did, I did see it. He is having a great season thus far. I'm happy for him. I'm not surprised, that guy is a stud."

How has Marques Colston been since the Atlanta game?

"Number one, Marques doesn't talk a whole lot period. Listen, he's all business. He's all business. The guy wants to play, the guy wants to be great, the guy is a huge part of what we do."

What have you seen out of the Minnesota defense?

"I think that they are extremely well coached. I have a ton of respect for Mike Zimmer. I think he's done a great job kind of implementing his system. You can see the guys playing with a ton of confidence. They've got some talent back there. They have a lot of young, first-round talent when you look around mixed with some solid veteran guys. They fly to the ball, they are extremely well disciplined, they're rarely out of position, everybody has awareness and ball skills and are around the ball making plays. They've got a good pressure package, especially in the nickel, that can be problematic for people. All things that you have to have a plan for, just know that they're going to come to play, they're going to be ready and we have to have a plan."

Do you expect to see more defensive backs? What is the trend?

"It depends on the scheme. It depends what philosophy you're going with. It depends what lineage you are a part of if you know what I mean. The Rob Ryan, Rex Ryan, Coach Pettine, there are guys around the league that their M.O. is to really throw a lot at you from a personnel standpoint with different looks and some base and nickel and dime and sub. I think each guy is a little bit different. You kind of look at the times you've played in the past, you look at their history, their philosophy, maybe their evolution. It depends on who you are playing."

How confident are you in Khiry Robinson picking up the blitz?

"I'm very confident. I'm very confident in his ability to do that. From the first time that he stepped foot in our building until now he is light-years in improvement in every facet of his game but especially in the nickel where you are required to be a little more involved in regards to protection and then getting out and running routes out of the backfield."

Photos from New Orleans Saints practice on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Photos taken by Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)

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