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NFC Championship Chat with OC Pete Carmichael

    <span>New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.  

Can you talk about Drew Brees' progression as a quarterback and keeping up at a high level of play?

"Obviously with Drew, his preparation every week is as good as it can be. I think he grows every year just because he gets more and more experience at that position. He just knows the position better every year. I would say his biggest progression comes with the experience he gets day in and day out."

Can you tell how unique the relationship between Sean Payton and Drew might be? Between a head coach and his quarterback kind of being an extension of one another in the league? Does this seem rare?

"Yeah, I would say among a head coach and a quarterback, this is a place that relationship may be as good as I've ever seen. They're two similar people. Obviously, Sean's a great head football coach, but he's a great offensive mind. But the two of them, both of their brains are always working, you know. Looking to attack, attack, attack. I think the two of them have such a similarity outside the building, too, they enjoy doing the same thing, so their relationship is vital to our success. "

During a game does Drew have more than the average amount of input?

"Absolutely. I think Sean's only going to go into the game and know going into the game these are the plays that we put together, but which ones does Drew like? And that is communicated before the game and which ones he feels good about. And then Sean will go through it and say this is what I'm thinking. When I'm calling this play, this is what I'm thinking. So obviously they're on on the same page. "

You may have heard Gregg Wlliams say that the coaches may have thought he was nuts when, you know, defense was chasing every ball. Did you think he was nuts? Could you see this evolution of a new swagger coming to play here?

"It was definitely something different. You know after each play they're trying to rip the ball out. I think it was beneficial to both the defense with the success they've had. And it was beneficial to us that, hey, you better protect that ball at all times."

Not nuts though?

"It was nuts. But, no, it was good. It was the right way to do it, and you obviously saw the difference. "

Do you guys script a certain number of plays at the start of a game?

"Coach Payton puts that together every Saturday night, the night before the game. He'll put his top 15 place together and present that to the team in the Saturday night meeting. What he likes about doing that is they're going into the game knowing, okay, I've got to think about these plays and put a little extra thought into those plays. So that's done every week. "

Can you talk about real quick your own position being the go between between Sean and Drew Brees? Two guys that are at the top of their games right now and where your job has kind of changed this year with the additional title?

"With the title, when Sean's not around, he's doing these things or whatever he's got to be doing as a head coach to make sure what he wants getting done is getting done. So going into the offensive staff rooms, if he's not around just making sure, hey, guys, this is what Sean's thinking. Let's make sure we're getting it coached. Really, you know, going into the quarterback meetings with Drew. Sean's not always able to be a part of that and communicating to Drew, hey, this is what the head coach is thinking on this subject or whatever it is. "

In your perspective on them both being a part of this offense. Like going sole well with Sean and the play calling with Drew as the quarterback? From your vantage point, how do you enjoy getting to be a part of it?

"From my perspective, it's great to be a part of it, and I'm working with two of the best minds in the game. Really every day I'm seeing myself learn just little coaching point that's Sean has or maybe even after a play, hey, Drew, what were you thinking? And he said, well, you know whatever why he has his reasonings for doing what he does. And you'll see Sean and him communicate that to each other. A lot of times, hey, I like what you're thinking. That's a great thought. "

Did you see a difference in Reggie Bush last week?

"You know, I think he obviously played very well for us. We're expecting that every week from him. He played extremely well last week. "

Maybe you can't judge somebody's impact on when they have the ball. What kind of stress does he put on defenses that, maybe he can't be measured as much of in yards and his own production?

"I think you've got to know where he is on the field at all times because he's so dynamic. You get the ball in his hands and he has the ability and talent to go the whole distance every time. I think as a defense when you're putting together your game plan, you have to account for him on every snap. Whether he's split out, whether he's in the back field. You've got to have a plan on what you want to do. So I think from an offensive advantage, that gives us an advantage that maybe they're doubling him and you have an opportunity to go work somewhere else. "

Is there anything to raising your level or is that just a sexy term? Or is there something to raising your game in the playoffs?

"I think he has raised his games in the playoffs. And I think I don't think you have a hard time getting guys motivated or ready to play in the playoffs. This is when it counts. You know, I think like I said, he played extremely productive for us last week. You know, I think he made some big time plays in a big game. "

Considering how complex offenses are now and just in general how difficult it is to attack defenses of the how important is it for quarterbacks to have the kind of experience that three of the four guys left have and somebody like Drew has, things they can call on that maybe a guy like Mark Sanchez wouldn't have?

"I think what's important for, you know, speaking on Drew is just his experience, obviously is important, but his preparation week in and week out. When you're talking about the offense, we don't put together a new playbook every week. You know, you're trying to keep as much similar as you can, and come up with new thoughts for the week. So by the time you get into the playoffs, you've run these plays, you know, enough times that hopefully you know them in your head like that. You know, go into this game and we want to make sure what's going on are the plays that our players know. "

You've watched a lot of film. How good is this front four? Would you say this is the best front four from left to right and right to left in the NFL right now?

"Yeah, I think this is obviously a very good front four. On every snap you've got to account for all of these guys. "

So why when you played them the last time, they had one sack and I think it was by a corner back? You were able to do such a good job protecting the last time you played them?

"I think you've got to go into the game with a game plan thinking how are we handling these guys and what's our plan? So you've got to account for these guys at all times. "

Those 15 plays Sean Payton comes up with as you mentioned, do those usually involve as many players as possible?

"No. I think it's just however he feels. What place he likes in openers. It doesn't necessarily mean, hey, I'm trying to move it around or anything like that. It's just these are the plays I feel are good openers. You'll jump off those openers and all of a sudden you're in the red zone and in a third down situation."

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