New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees Conference Call with New Orleans media Wednesday, March 14, 2018
What is your reaction to the new deal?
"I'm very excited about the opportunity again and the near future with our team. I have made it known from the very beginning that I wasn't going anywhere else and it was just a matter of us getting together, getting a deal done and continuing things on. That is what we were able to do and I think we've always had great communication, we've always been very honest and up-front with each other and so, it was just a matter of getting it done before the free agent deadline."
Given that you said you didn't plan to go anywhere else, was this process stressful for you at all in any way?
"Maybe just a little bit from the standpoint that you're trying to do something that's very fair for both sides. I think I've always tried to take a logical and reasonable approach to every contract, but I think especially now, you want to be able to look at the big picture and see how it affects the rest of the team and how you continue to build the team so that you can make a run at the ultimate goal."
How closely do you watch all the free agency news that's flying right now?
"I really don't watch it that closely other than our team. Typically I hear stuff second hand from everyone about what's happening with other teams, but obviously there's a lot of movement, there's a lot of action right now."
It seems like Chase Daniel is going to the Bears. What do you think about the possibility of having a new backup this year?
"Is that official?"
The reports are that it's agreed upon.
"I've loved my time with Chase from our first four years together to last year. He's really a great quarterback to have in the room. I think when he gets his opportunity, I think he's going to be a very productive quarterback. We had a great relationship. There were a lot of things that I would come to the sideline and ask his opinion about. There's things you see from the sideline that you don't really see from the field and vice-versa. He was always a great sounding board for me. He had a great routine. I loved his preparation. There were a lot of things that we could work together to do during the week and on gameday, so you miss that. We'll see if it's just me and Taysom (Hill) or if it's somebody else that they bring in. I know Sean (Payton) is excited about having Taysom. I love having Taysom in the room as well. So, we'll see what happens there."
How much easier did your decision become seeing the upward trajectory your team is on? If you guys weren't as successful on the field in 2017, would it have been a more difficult decision?
"'14, '15 and '16 were hard, those are hard years, going through what we went through, not having the success that we wanted, feeling like things had gotten away from us a little bit. I feel like I've always been committed to turning that around and making sure I was a part of the solution. So, there was no doubt in my mind that we would have success this year. I think we did a great job of finding the type of free agents that match what we're looking for in character, toughness and intelligence and I felt like obviously we were able to hit on those draft picks at least in year one. Those guys have to improve themselves each and every year and we are always looking for improvement, always looking to get better. Certainly, you look at the potential that we have in our young players and you should feel excited if they continue to progress in the same manner that we have."
What was your reaction when you saw reports of Jimmy Graham signing with the Packers and did you get a chance to talk to him?
"Yeah I spoke to him. It's always tough when you know you have other teams that are vying for him as well. It's not like we were the only opportunity and there is a lot that goes into that decision and it sounds like Green Bay made him an extremely good offer. Obviously I would have loved to have him back. We have a great relationship both on and off the field, obviously there is a lot of chemistry there that would have fit in very, very nicely with what we are doing, but you also understand it's the nature of the beast. Sometimes that stuff doesn't end up coming together."
Was it weird to hear from other teams in free agency?
"Yeah that was because I've never been in that positon before, except for back when I was coming off of my injury in San Diego. That was the first time that I really was in a positon where I was in essence people were able to make offers towards me. It felt a little weird and again my mind-set has always been that I will be playing for the Saints and I'm going to retire a Saint. It's not like I was really taking any of them seriously, but just to hear the offers (from other teams) and feel the attention that was interesting."
During this recent process have you thought about how long you can ride your career out?
"Just take it one year at a time, but I do have a goal, I do have a vision. I'm not going to share it with you guys, sorry. But I do have a goal and a vision for where my career's going to go and how long it's going to last, but I'm very, very focused on each year, one at a time."
What are your thoughts on Taysom Hill as a potential backup?
"If you take his measurables and his intangibles, I think he does have everything it takes to be a great player. Obviously there is so much that goes into that and there is so little tape obviously on him in the NFL right now. He has a few preseason games under his belt with the Packers last year. This offseason he'll get a chance to really dive into our system and get a lot of reps during OTAs, minicamp and then into training camp and we'll see how it progresses. I think just knowing his work ethic and his mentality and his character and toughness and intelligence and his desire to be a great player, I think that he certainly has all the tools and all the intangibles."
Did you do anything else to celebrate signing the new contract yesterday?
"Not really, just family life as usual. I coached the first grade flag football team in practice, put in a little bit of no huddle, a little bit of hurry-up offense, we have a package called Wildcat and a package called Volunteer and then a package called Quad. I'm feeling pretty good about those no-huddle packages for my first grade flag football team. That was kind of the highlight of my day yesterday, after signing the contract."