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Quotes from Drew Brees following the Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Drew Brees spoke to the media following the week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Dec. 23

On what Ted Ginn Jr's return did for the offense:
"It's big having Ted Ginn back. We've missed him. He's a great veteran presence. I think he gives us great diversity with our receiving corps. Obviously, everybody knows he can run, but he can do a lot of other things. He obviously came up with a huge catch on that third and 20 or whatever it was to keep that drive alive and for us to go and score and win the game. It was great having him back."

On securing the number one seed in the NFC playoffs:
"It's hard to secure the one seed but knowing that we've done it and knowing that the road comes through New Orleans, that gives us a lot of confidence. Obviously, we love playing in the dome. We love playing in front of the Who Dat nation. Obviously, they make this a very tough place for somebody to come in and play. Obviously, we have goals throughout the season and this was one of them."

On if he was surprised by the Steelers fake punt late in the fourth quarter:
"No, I'm not. You try to do the unexpected. That's part of this game. Expect the unexpected and great job by our special teams tackling him about a half yard short and giving us the opportunity to drive down and win the game."

On different storylines for each victory and finding different ways to win:
"There are. I think that's what makes you battle-tested. That is what molds you and straggles you and gives you a ton of confidence and hope that no matter what you find yourself in it throughout the course of the game and you feel like you are going to find a way to win. It is going to take everybody. Everybody contributing. Certainly, the fourth quarter was that way today. Our last three victories have been from overcoming fourth quarter deficits to win the game. That's what I love about this team."

On being able to take that next step to prepare for the playoffs:
"It's a bit of a 30,000 feet view here. Let's map out the next couple weeks here as we prepare ourselves for that first playoff game. Obviously, we don't know (who) we're playing yet. As you begin to think about that, you lay out a plan for your routine. For us, it is just staying on course with our practice habits and preparation. Having a chance to get some guys healthy which I think is the biggest part of that first round bye. That is something that will be much needed and when it's time to get back to work we will get back to work."

On the importance of knowing physically and mentally that they have a week off between next Sunday and when they have to play a playoff game:
"There is a benefit to having a first round bye and being the one seed so we are going to take full advantage of that, make sure that we do all the right things to come back and give ourselves the best chance to win."

On Ted Ginn's third and 20 catch:
"It was designed to go to Ted with, obviously, other guys in the picture as part of the progression. He did a great job. Ted is a big-time player and, obviously, a guy that we count on. That was a huge play in the game. Obviously, a huge momentum shift after getting the holding penalty and we're sitting there at first and 20, second and 20, third and 20. To be able to convert that was huge."

On what it was like to see Mark Ingram II break the club's rushing touchdown record:
"It was awesome, well-deserved. He's such a stud. He's been such a staple for us and such an emotional leader for our team. That's something we're all very, very happy about for him."

On the offense's perseverance to convert the third and 20 play:
"Just to overcome something like that, we encountered a fourth down prior to that that we were able to convert with a PI. That was actually a tough situation because four minutes and 15 seconds was when we walked out there, Pittsburgh has three time outs left, and we need a touchdown. How do we score a touchdown and give them as little time as possible to try to put a drive together? Obviously, our defense came up with that huge play. A minute and 25 seconds is what they had left with no time outs. You play in that game because you know how explosive they are on the other side of the ball. Obviously, we had the holding penalty and had to convert a third and 20, but that's part of the game."

On appreciating the one seed even more having done it before:
"Yes. You appreciate it very much. Obviously, a first round bye. I don't want to say it's a week off because you're working, but you're not preparing for a game. You just take a step back and assess where you're at and you're getting guys healthy and you're preparing a plan for how you're going to approach that first playoff game. Obviously, you don't find out who you play until the first weeks' games take place, but this is why you fight for that. It's great to have that week off, but it's also nice to have that one seed and know that everybody is going to have to come to us. We like to be in that position."

On the offensive lines' performance:
"Those guys did such a good job. That's a heck of a front. That is one of the better fronts in all of football. They played tremendous today, especially with all the guys that had to rotate in and out. I think Andrus Peat may have played three positions today which is pretty incredible, that versatility. Those guys deserve so much credit. They really battled."

On whether Michael Thomas got a rise out of Antonio Brown playing well:
"I'm sure. Absolutely. That's why those guys are two of the best in the game."

On if he has stayed steady during a four-game touchdown drought:
"He has. He is the same guy during the week. He approaches it with the same sense of urgency and work ethic. Obviously, gameday rolls around and he just kind of goes to another place mentally where he is in a zone. He is always open which all great receivers are. They are always open. He is a guy I know I can count on in critical situations."

On wanting to approach the time off the same way they did during the 2009 playoffs:
"I'm sure Sean (Payton) is going to look at that schedule and obviously make the best decision for what he feels like we need. Every team is different. It's one of those where you take advantage of the time to rest up, get healthy, get your body right, all those things, but at the same time you want to keep the momentum going. Just keep the good habits and process in place as well. We'll have a good plan when the time comes."

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