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Drew Brees: "We See the Opportunity in Front of Us"

QB Drew Brees met with the media Saturday to discuss the team's first full-pads practice of training camp


New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

Post-Practice Media Availability

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What prompted you to bring in the snoballs?

"I never intended that. It was funny because a few days before camp, it was a hot New Orleans summer day and we were at Audubon park just playing on the swings there and thought to get the boys some snoballs at Plum Street. We drove on over and at the time their catering truck was headed out to go somewhere. I asked if they would come out to training camp and take care of the fans and they said absolutely. Especially the first weekend, when a lot of fans couldn't be here and watch us practice, it got rained out the first two practices. I just wanted to do something special for them, just cool them off on a hot summer day while they watch their boys play football."

Was it good to get the pads back on today?

"Yes. We have been chomping at the bit to get back on the field. We had a couple of days of pretty extensive walkthroughs, a lot of meeting time, just installing a lot of the offense and defense. Defensively, it is a new scheme. There is a lot to get through. Offensively, a lot of the same guys are here. Some new guys are being brought up to speed. It is camp, it is that mindset. We are here to work, we are here to get better, we are here to prepare ourselves for, hopefully, a great season. We see the opportunity in front of us and this is the first step."

Does this still feel like install to you?

"The offensive system is one that we are all very familiar with. It is the same one we have been running for the past six years here. Every camp, for me especially because I wasn't here for OTAs and minicamp, it is just getting in the huddle, calling the play, getting up to the line, seeing the defense, making the proper checks and whatnot. And throwing the pads back on as well, that is always an adjustment. It has been six months since any of us had pads on our shoulders. To get the feel of that again, it is always a slight adjustment. This is what we do. We try to get back in it pretty quick."

How does it feel to not have Sean Payton here in camp?

"It is different, definitely. I have said this before and I probably will be saying it every time I get asked that question, there are things that he taught me and us that resonate with us every time we step on the field. Regardless of if he is physically present or not, we feel his presence. I hear his voice in my head. I know the things that he has taught me personally. I try to apply that every day. That has become the fabric of who we are as a team. That is the way we operate. While it is not the same as having him here in person and his presence and him knowing exactly what to say at that moment, we still try to apply everything that he taught us."

What are your thoughts on Jabari Greer's interception today?

"I know this, that made me angry. The very next play, Pete called the play and I said, 'Can I call this instead because I want to throw one over the top of Jabari?' He got depth so we weren't able to get past him but I was looking to make him pay the very next time."

How is it different reading a completely new defense at the line in camp?

"Personnel is largely the same. Patrick Robinson, Jabari Greer, the safeties with (Roman) Harper and Malcolm Jenkins, different linebackers except for (Scott) Shanle. You know the personnel but you don't know the scheme yet. You try to watch and see how they are being coached and the coverage schemes and the pressure schemes. You just try to recognize those things and pick on every little thing that you can. We are only in day three here but it is the first time with pads on. That is when things change. Now, it becomes a much more physical element. It is live bullets so to speak and you try to treat it as such. Things happen faster because guys are flying around. Every day and camp is a cat and mouse game, it is a chess match. We are here to compete against each other. In the end, we are trying to make each other better. Every time I step on the field, I want to beat our defense. They want to beat the offense. In the process, we know that we are making each other better."

What do you expect from Mark Ingram this year?

"I expect great things. He impressed me last year, coming in as a rookie. As physical a back as he is, he is not as big as you would think. When you watch him play, he plays much bigger. He had the injury last year that sidelined him at the end of the season but I look forward to having him healthy and seeing what that second year can bring for him in regards to opportunities. Every time you get past your rookie season, it is kind of like your introduction to the NFL. Now, the chance to take it to the next level and find your role on this team where you can fit in. He is a guy who can do everything. He is not just a down-hill power back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He is very smart. He is great in protection, picking up linebackers and rushers. He is smart and can make adjustments on the run. I love his attitude. He comes out with a positive attitude every day. He is fun to be around."

Will you comment on the growth of Jimmy Graham and his growth this offseason?

"It is still early. The guy is so hungry and so competitive all the time. He never lets up. We demand a lot out of him. He runs a lot. He is in there a lot of plays. He is in about every personnel group because he is so dynamic. He can do so many different things. There was a play out here that would have been a challenging catch for most, I think in his mind it is routine for him. He missed it and he hasn't stopped talking about it for the last 45 minutes. Just saying 'I can't believe I missed it. Come back to me again and I'll make that play. You know I am going to make that play.' I know. I know. I am going to come back to you. In his mind, he has such a high expectation level for himself. He set the bar so high for himself. That is what you love about a guy is that you are not having to push him or motivate him, he is self-motivated and self-inspired. You love to see that in a young player, especially after the season that he had."

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