Several brief synopses from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees'Wednesday news conference:
- As you might expect, Brees, one of the all-time "team" guys, has high praise for his offensive line this season. Injuries have ensured a shuffling along the line, especially on the left side, but Brees leads the league in passing yards per game (346.8), is tied for third in touchdown passes (14) and has been sacked eight times in 225 pass attempts. "They've done a phenomenal job, really in all phases – pass game, pass protection, the run game," he said. "We do a lot of things offensively, we move the pocket a lot, we change up the launch points. We do a lot of things that require a lot of expertise and attention to detail on their part. They're so steady, they're so poised. Really a tough group."
- You can't have great passing numbers without a standout receiving corps. Brees' group, which includes Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomasand Willie Snead IV, is a potent punch. "We put high expectations on ourselves," Brees said. "I think we see this as, 'We're all in this together.' The coaching staff works tirelessly to try to put those guys in the best positions to succeed and give each guy opportunities. Throughout the course of the game, you never know how it's going to end up. Did we know that Brandin Cooks was going to have two big plays (an 87-yard touchdown and 49-yard catch) that result in seven catches for 173 yards or whatever it was in the last game (against Carolina)? Nah, some of that stuff just happens. But all those guys are ready. They're always prepared and they know their opportunities will come."
- Sharing Coach Sean Payton'ssentiments from earlier in the day, Brees is impressed by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, who has 13 interceptions in 21 career regular-season games. "He's playing as well as anybody in the league right now in the secondary. He's a very dangerous player. He's got exceptional skills, exceptional ball skills, great instincts, especially for a young player. He just seems to have a nose for the football and he's got a great group around him. He's got great safeties and a great front seven that can apply pressure on the quarterback to force them to get the ball out sooner than they want."
- Having defensive tackle Sheldon Rankinsback in practice was a welcome sight for everyone. Rankins has been out since fracturing his fibula during training camp. He will be eligible to play Nov. 6. "I think it'll be tremendous," Brees said. "I think Rankins will not only add depth, but he's an explosive player. We got to see three weeks of him with pads on, and he was impressive. When he does come back, I think we're all excited about the opportunity to have him out there and the element that he'll add to that defensive line."