New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees OTA #3 Media Availability Thursday, May 24, 2018
Is Taysom Hill now your competition in your normal practice race routine?
"Yeah he has. But usually you kind of like got to fight for body position a little bit to touch the ladder as it kind of gets pulled out. He's a little bit bigger and stronger than (the guys) who we normally had around here. So I have our work cut out for me now."
Is this may maybe the most exciting year entering OTA's returning off the success of last year?
"Yes. There's always excitement coming in every offseason. I think the fact you look around and just really love our team. I love the type of guys we have. I love to walk in the locker room everyday being around this group. I think we (have) had a good offseason thus far. (I) feel like it has been productive. I feel like we got some talented receivers that we brought in as well to kind of add to the mix of guys that we already had. I think getting Benjamin Watson back was awesome, (as well as) making the additions we did on defense. Guys like Kurt Coleman and guys that have played against us quite a bit that I had a lot of respect for. This is an exciting time as you watch your team kind of build and see the draft picks come in and I think for a lot of the young players just that jump from year one or two to the next year that and that learning curve just kind of accelerates. The confidence level raises and you some modifications or evolution to your defense to your offense and you continue to evolve and try to stay ahead of the curve and you got the things that you're working on. All that stuff gets you excited to come to work every day."
Are you guys more excited to come in after how last season ended?
"Yes, listen you're always excited but I think we feel like we've got the makings of what could be. And so now this is the hey you're starting back at square one and you just got to build this thing and you don't start where you left off. Yes, we feel like we've got the pieces in place, but we also understand this is a game of inches and you have got to set the tone now for a successful season. You have to build the foundation now. You have got to develop good habits now and so we understand there's still so much work ahead of us and there's a sense of urgency each and every day to improve and get better and just to stay stay ahead."
Can you remember a significant moment in a previous OTA that carried over to a training camp?
"Yes. There was a stretch there like (from) 2009-10 where it was like it was real competitive. (At) times where you'd walk off the field and be like I hate our defense or just stuff that happened that (made the both sides) fired up, they were fired up and that competition, just being at each other you felt like we were playing each and every snap like it's a game like a real game. We're trying to beat them to trying to prove something and that's a good mentality to have because by the time you get (to) the (regular) season you feel like you know iron sharpens iron. You've both prepared each other to go out there and be successful and I sense the making of that right now."
Do you have any reaction to the new anthem rules?
"I think you guys know where I stand and I think I made myself very clear I will be standing up with my hand over my heart showing respect to the United States of America and the flag and everything it stands for."
Do you expect to play a leadership role on the new rules?
"I'm really not too worried about it. I would expect that everybody is going to be out there with their hand over their heart showing respect to the flag and to the country."
What have you seen from Cameron Meredith thus far?
"I can't say I've seen a ton just because he's still coming off the injury and slowly making his way back. But I like talking to him. I like his attitude. I like what I've seen from his prior film, I like his size and his strength. I think he fits the system well and I think we're going to be able to do a lot of things with him. Now it's just a matter of know getting that time on task together and building that chemistry."
What were your early thoughts on Boston Scott?
"Yes, he's doing well. I think, obviously the running back position, we have a chance to go do a lot of things with those guys. They're versatile guys. We're getting a lot of reps. We'll just continue to develop."
How special is it to be on pace to being the league all-time passing leader?
"I try not to think about that. I just try to think about obviously taking care of business one day at a time then as the season rolls around, you take it one week and one game at a time. Eventually those things add up and they stack up and then you are in a position to do it. There's so many people that are a part of that. There's so many things that come into play with that. I'd rather reflect on that stuff down the road and for now just focus on one day at a time."
You seem to be aware that you are in striking distance of the record?
"Well there's a reason they put Week Five on Monday night. I don't think any of us are dummies but just again take it won't take it one game at a time. It's hard to see how it shakes out."
Anything major changing about your offseason preparation?
"No nothing major. Little things, little tweaks. Just focusing on really being very focused and diligent and disciplined on my training and my recovery as it pertains to making the best quarterback I can be. Anything and everything that I do, if it doesn't make me a better quarterback or a better leader in this locker room, then it's a waste of time, right. So those are the things I have to focus on and be very efficient with my time because I've got a wife, I've got four kids, I got a lot of things going on in my life. So the balance of life is crucial and so when I'm training when I'm away from them when I'm focusing on this, I just want it to be as efficient as possible."
How much does this group have to do to make up for the loss of Mark Ingram for the first four games of the season?
"Well for the first four games. We'll see how that plays out. Obviously, we hate to miss a guy like that is such a huge part of what we do and such a great teammate to such a well-loved guy. You just you hate to not have him for that period of time so we'll manage and we'll figure it out. I don't have an answer right now. We'll see how that shakes out as we go along here but I know as far as right now goes I know Mark's doing what he needs to do to get himself ready to play this season. He's doing what's best for him and therefore that's what's best for the team. So I spoke with Mark a few times over the last couple of weeks and I've got a good understanding of where he's at where he's trying to be and then obviously once we get into the season we'll figure out how we handle the first four weeks and then we'll get him back and we'll get rolling again.
Obviously, having an incredibly efficient year last year, what do you think you can do to get better this season?
"Well I think you said it the efficiency aspect of it is, I think is, very key being that you know you never know from week to week how it's going to play out. I mean listen, I hope we can run the ball as well as we did last year with the complement of Mark and AK (Alvin Kamara) and whoever else might be in the mix because that just adds balance to your offense. That makes it to where hey maybe a guy like me doesn't have to take as many chances as I have had to take in the past at times because there is risk-reward with that. So I think for me it is about efficiency, it's about how to get us in the end zone. And if that means handing it off 70 percent time down the field and then you know taking some completions converting a third down or two and then making a throw in the end zone whatever it might be, I have to be ready to do whatever I'm called on to do. And I feel like I've had, in my going on 13 years here now, that we've been in a lot of different roles where there's times where, hey we're running the ball well and can be a bit more balanced and just think more efficiency. As opposed to we've got to push the ball down the field or else it's just we're not going to win. But listen I love balance."
Because you didn't throw as much last year, is the offseason recovery at all easier this year?
"I still take the same approach in that same amount of time where just kind of get away from football, get out of the weight room, just kind of recharge my battery, set a plan for what I want to do during the offseason. You're always kind of back to square one from the standpoint that so much of our game is about fundamentals and just laying the foundation each and every offseason for by which you can then build as you go along."
The New Orleans Saints hold their first week of OTA's at Ochsner Sports Performance Center on May 24, 2018.