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Q&A: Drew Brees talks about Sunday's home opener against the Buccaneers

Transcript of Drew Brees' press conference with local media

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What is the biggest thing you guys want to improve upon?

"You have to take advantage of opportunities.  I said it after the game and it remains true.  I felt like that third quarter was our opportunity to take that game over.  The defense got off the field a few times and we had some chances to go down and get significant points and we just ended up with field goals.  Red zone efficiency obviously (is a priority) as we look forward to the Bucs.  It seems like the last few games with these guys have gone down to the wire and we are going to look at what we have done offensively, what they have done against us defensively.  They have taken the ball away.  They have done a great job taking the ball away, so (there will be) a huge emphasis on ball security. That always is (the case) but I think especially in a game like this because you know any Lovie Smith defense you play that's what they thrive upon, that's what they coach, they teach. They do a great job of it so we have to put a huge emphasis on that this week and being more efficient in the areas where we lacked last week.  (We had) Way too many third downs which tells me we weren't good enough on first and second down, and we didn't get the job done in the red zone."

Any difference in the way teams are defending you?

"No.  It's a one-game study and, again, I think it was more about our execution than anything they were doing."

How important is it to avoid a 0-2 start?

"Yes, it is not even an option.  We have to find a way to win."

You have had a lot of player movements both on the regular roster and the practice squad.  How long does it take for guys to get acclimated to everything?  And having so many newcomers, does that affect what you are able to do in practice?

"No, I actually think we have had some really good practices, last week, this week.  Listen, guys want to work hard.  Guys want to do the right thing.  Anytime you are (doing those things), especially on Wednesday you throw a bunch of information at guys in a couple hour period prior to practice.  You are trying to absorb all that information, maybe work on some of the things from the game that popped up, some fundamental technique things.  So there's a lot going through guys' minds as they step on the practice field Wednesday.  Yes, there are mistakes made, of course there are, but when guys make those mistakes flying around, there's no lack of effort, there's no lack of desire, but obviously we have to make sure we're coaching the right thing, doing the right thing fundamentally as players and approaching it the right way."

How does this team get back to being dominant at home?

"So much of it is about execution.  The last five games of the year last year were an aberration in my mind.  It's a new year.  It's a new team.  There are so many new things about this year and I really like this team.  It stinks that we are sitting here 0-1 but, man, we have an opportunity to get back on track this week and that is what we are focused on."

Do you feel like you have had enough work with C.J. Spiller when he comes back that you will be able to hit the ground running?

"Yes, he's a pro.  Just the time we spent on the field today, I like the way he looks.  I like the look in his eye.  Listen, he is a pro.  Even though we had minimal time in training camp, I just feel like I know the player, I know the player, I know the athlete, I know what he can do for us and I think as we kind of build in nuances for him throughout the season we will have a chance to go to work on those things and build a comfort level."

How important is this week, from week one to week two?

"You want to see your biggest improvement from week one to week two.  You always say that, win or lose from the week before.  So we expect big improvements this week."

How does having Joe Morgan back help you stretch the field?

"Well it is great just because it is another body. Our receivers last week had a lot of reps and so any time you bring a guy in who is familiar with our offense who I am very comfortable with.  He brings certainly an element to the passing game.  Listen, he is a great blocker, he knows what to do, he can (play) a couple of receiver positions.  He is a great addition, a great guy to have back."

How did you prepare yourself for your first road game as a pro?

"Listen, I am not in a position to really give anyone advice at this point.  Listen, I am worried about getting my team ready."

As a quarterback, is there a certain chemistry level you need to hit back shoulder throws to guys?  Is that something you have to put a lot of work in to get that timing down?

"That is just an example of a type of throw that might go along with any type of scheme, within our offense.  There is a bunch of different types of those little nuances I call to a concept.  Hey, this is a concept that we would look at on paper but then as we get on the field and you say okay, if this happens then be ready to do this.  Or if the DB is playing with this type of leverage, be ready for the ball to be here or be ready to come out of the break here.  That is just an example of typically on a go route what would be a certain element to or a nuance to that.  But yeah, all of those things you have to work on, all of those things you need time on task so you understand timing and feel."

Do you have to gameplan a little more than you would in the past to maybe get some guys open?

"If you could only see our game plan from week to week, they are completely different and have been ever since I've been here.  You kind of have your stuff that you do but you do it with different personnel groups, you do it with different formations, you change things so much.  Honestly that is something that we have always done."

What does Lavonte David bring to their defense?

"He's a great player.  He's super instinctive, extremely athletic.  He's competitive.  You can tell he takes a lot of pride in what he does.  He's very versatile.  He's good at diagnosing what is happening, run, pass, getting the first step to his stop, taking on blocks, making tackles, (and has) good ball skills, he is just the total package."

Have you guys seen more defenses drop seven plus in coverage against you in the last year or two than in the past?

"No, you see it from time to time.  It depends on what a defense's bread and butter is.  Some defenses want to rush five and are going to find a way to get pressure.  And other defenses, typically defenses that do that also will give the illusion of pressure and then drop.  You know that everybody has it in their package and depending on the situation that you are probably going to see it at some point.  I don't think we have ever gone into a game where somebody didn't do it at least a few times."

When you face Brandon Browner at practice, what do you take away from his physicality? How key can he be this week with Tampa Bay's big targets?

"Big time, his game's being physical and he's very good at it, getting his hands on you at the line of scrimmage.  Plus he's just a really good athlete for being a guy that big and long.  He's super-competitive too.  I think that is his best attribute is the same mentality he brings to the game is what he brings to practice, so as he is going up against our receivers, he is making them better in the process of him working on his own technique and that kind of thing."

With such a young roster, younger than normal, how much emphasis is there on not looking at what Tampa Bay did last week, and to just focus on what you guys need to do to win?

"Obviously, you are game-planning for a specific opponent. You watch film, you see what they do, you see what their strengths are, and you see the guys that you have to handle, offensively, defensively and on special teams. At the end of the day, and we say this too, it is a faceless opponent from the standpoint that if we don't go out and execute our stuff and do the things that we know are our bread and butter and that make us great, then it doesn't matter. No matter who we play, where we play them and when we play them, we need to focus on going out and doing what we do best and doing it the right way, with great technique (and) the way we have been coached. That is first and foremost."

I know you said that you didn't want to think about last year's home schedule, but for so long we couldn't explain why you were so good at home. How can you control home field advantage as being an asset?

"Typically what it is it's the ability for you to communicate really well on offense, verbally, and defensively, create that crowd noise and that crazy element so that opposing offenses have trouble communicating. Our ability to execute, to score points, to get up on people (makes a difference). Obviously, it is much easier to play with a 14-point lead than it is to play with a 14-point deficit. I'd say that that was something from the previous five games from last year; teams jumped out on us early by a lot. It wasn't close, unfortunately. I think that that was a lack of execution on offense. That was a slow start for us. That was not what we're used to. We're used to starting fast wherever we are. (It's about) getting back to those things again that make us really effective offensively."

It seems like communication is at the heart of success, whether you have it or not. Do you find that this team this year is better equipped to communicate better? Are you guys communicating well on and off the field?

"Yeah, very good. Again, I think that we have a different personality this year as a team. Even the guys who were here last year who maybe had their struggles, I think are light years ahead of where they were last year in regards to understanding what it is to be part of this team, (as well as) their pride, their work ethic, their ability to take coaching and their ability to go out and execute that. We understand the expectation level around here and I think that the guys that maybe came in that didn't understand it at first, now do. Any time you have young players, winning breeds this momentum and success breeds that confidence. The more that we can be successful and the more that we can win, the more confidence we'll gain as a team and the better we'll do."

I know you are not in charge of personnel but there has been turning of the roster this year. Other than injuries, do you see more of a willingness to make those moves? What are the positives and negatives when you have guys coming and going so quickly?

"There are strategies to that. That is a head coach or general manager (issue). You are still trying to find the right 53. From week-to-week there are roster moves made because, all of a sudden, a guy gets hurt. Maybe he is only going to be out for a few weeks so you open a roster spot to bring in another guy to take his place for a short time. Maybe you find out that you are thin at a positon, and maybe that will last a few weeks but then you're going to have to, at some point, get another person there. If you bring somebody up, you have to bring somebody down. There are a lot of elements there. Maybe there is a guy on the practice squad where you feel like he deserves the opportunity or he can help us this week, but then you'll put him back on the practice squad after that. There are moves like that made all of the time. At the end of the day, it's what is going to help us beat this team this week, and what do we need. Do we need a receiver, do we need an extra DB or do we need an extra whatever it is. We find ways to make that happen."

Is it a concern at all that they have a player on their roster that was in your quarterback room pretty recently?

"No, that has happened plenty of times, where a guy is there who has knowledge of the offense. Unless he is piping into the Mike linebacker's helmet and saying that this is the play that is coming in. Even so, it is about execution. A lot of times I feel like even if teams knew what we were (going to do), we should be able to make it work."

You have a chance to pass Dan Marino this week in completions. You can pass more of his records this year. Did you think, at one time, that those records were unbreakable?

"You know what is funny, I played in my first preseason game ever in Miami in 2001. I wasn't there for the first preseason game, I was but I didn't play. The second preseason game I played a lot. I am looking around at the ring of honor and they have Marino, and they have all of his numbers up there. You're sitting there going, how in the world do you play long enough or have the ability to do that. Humbling, but I don't think about it. I just think about winning."

There is going to be the prevailing thought that if a rookie quarterback, in his first game, could do that against Tampa Bay's defense, what is Drew Brees going to do.

"That is so dangerous. It's two completely different teams (and) two completely different kind of mindsets. We know the type of game that this has been with this team the last two times (we played them). Look at the two times that we played them last year. I'd say that they're a much better team than they were last year and I'd say we're a much better team than we were last year. Those games went down to the wire, both of them. Regardless of the team's record, it is a divisional opponent. We know each other well. These games just always seem to be extremely competitive and very close. There are so many stories that would just debunk that whole thing. That is like saying, if you beat this team by 40 and then they beat that team by 40, then if you play that team, you should beat them by 80."

You understand that but is that something that you had to explicitly explain to some of the younger guys this week?

"That has been clearly explained to everybody, definitely."

Why do you think that this team is much better than it was last year?

"Better people, better guys. Guys that care about each other, guys that trust one another (and) guys that believe in the process."

Do you pay attention to other games around the league, especially ones that you will be playing down the road?

"Yeah, I am a fan of the game. I enjoy watching it. Even a lot of the players, a lot of the schemes and a lot of the coaches. It is fun to watch games and watch things unfold. You're always, maybe, trying to grab an idea here or there, too. Whether it is offensively or you are looking at the defense and saying, ah ok, that is what they're doing, that is how they're going to defend that. Just as a fan of the game, I enjoy that."

Has anybody impressed you in particular?

"I don't know if it's any person. You just kind of watch different schemes and say, oh, that's a good one."

Photos of Drew Brees during the 2015 preseason.

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