New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
*Pro Bowl, I know that's not one of your main priorities right now but it's always good, especially six of you all getting in. *"It's a tremendous honor. All the guys that were nominated, it's a great honor for them. We have quite a few others that were alternates that certainly deserve the opportunity as well. When you win games guys get honored and we appreciate that."
*(Mark) Ingram and (Alvin) Kamara, that's pretty great? The first time in over 40 years that running back mates have made the Pro Bowl together? *"Yes, I was just about to say when was the last one? Who was it do you know?"
*Two St. Louis Cardinals backs in 1975. *"That's pretty incredible. I've certainly never seen that before. But I mean both of those guys were incredibly deserving."
*Obviously hard to call a regular season game a playoff game but the implications of this game are pretty significant, just how big is it? *"Of course it is big. It is the end of the year. There is a lot at stake. Obviously we want to be playing our best football, it is a divisional opponent, one we are very familiar with. We just played two weeks ago. It's all about the week in preparation and going out and playing our best."
*You've played this game at home and on the road, how much of a difference can a crowd make? *"Crowd can make a huge difference because at the end of the day you expect a game like this to be determined in the last possession. There's defining moments throughout the course of a game. There's moments that make a huge difference in a game and crowd noise can have a huge impact on that. All of a sudden you can have them jump offsides on our third and three and its third and eight and all of a sudden guys get off the field and we get the ball back. Or you knock them out of field goal range because we were able to get off the ball and get a sack. Whatever it might be, that can be a huge determinant factor of the game. We love that. We know our fans are all about that so we need the Who Dat Nation out in full force as ruckus as they can be."
*How happy are you that a wide receiver you've been throwing to made it to the Pro Bowl? *"That's significant. You guys have been here for majority of that time. A lot of good ones have come through here. A lot of guys that you certainly feel like are deserving at different times to be Pro Bowlers, in my mind they were but to actually have the validation to have one go in, that's awesome. I wish some of the O-line could have been in there. They certainly deserved it as well. I know there are a lot of good O-linemen out there but our guys certainly deserved it as well. Look what they did from the passing and the run game this year, they're pretty phenomenal, their versatility and what they were able to accomplish."
*What do you see in the Falcons defense? *"Very well-coached. Very disciplined. They are great tacklers and they do a good job at the point of trying to get the ball out. That's how a defense is coached. That's the philosophy of that defense, keeping in front and rallying a tackle. We know the challenges that come with that."
*Dan Quinn as Seahawks defensive coordinator and Falcons head coach is 5-2 against the Saints since 2013, is there any reason why maybe they've given you guys some issues? *"I don't count Seahawks, that's a different team. But they've got us the last three times. They're a good football team. They're very well-coached."
*That last matchup, I know that was one that you guys kind of feel like got away. How special is it to be able to get a rematch of a game like that so close together? *"Well bottom line is it is pretty familiar, just the fact that it was only two weeks ago with this opponent and obviously they're a divisional opponent. I think there's familiarity on both sides and we have a lot of respect for these guys as far as level of talent, their level of play. We know the type of game it's going to be. We just have to go out and execute to perfection."
*You talked about that interception being a risk you wish you wouldn't have taken, how much credit goes to Deion Jones and how special has he been? *"He's been a very good player. I'd say he's been an exceptional player on both the run and the pass. He's very smart, very instinctive (and) makes a lot of plays."
*How has Mark (Ingram) changed or grown since early in his career? *"I think it's probably a level of comfort with the offense and his own ability, being healthy and having an opportunity. His first few years he was just injury bug, injury bug. Keep in mind too we had (Darren) Sproles, we had Pierre (Thomas), so stuff was getting spread around quite a bit to where I think most running backs need a good flow, a good rhythm. I think in the beginning Mark was kind of that base personnel back because we had Sproles and we had Pierre and they were kind of filling those other roles. But Mark is blossoming (as) this total all-purpose back. He can do everything and Alvin Kamara can do everything. We said it all year. You can plug those guys in to any situation and feel very comfortable, very confident in their ability to do their job. I know they feel that way about themselves. They are confident guys. (It's) Been fun to watch Mark grow over the years because we've had a lot of time together now. This is his seventh season, so seven years. And obviously Alvin is just getting started."
*Just about Mark, after the game the other day, just how glad are you that he gets this honor with the Pro Bowl? *"Yes, it's a tremendous honor. He's so deserving of it. I think too when you look at coming into the season with Adrian Peterson, just the talk of how this all was going to work out and certainly how from the outside that would affect him and his opportunities. Just the way that it has played out, Mark has been a true professional. He has been an incredible teammate. I think he is all heart and soul. We feel it as his teammates. We want to win for him because we know how much he wants to win for us. He's one of my favorite guys."
*Mike (Thomas) has the opportunity to set the franchise record for receptions. What stands out to you about his hands? *"He attacks the ball. Have you ever watched him? Again, we do a lot of things. We spread the ball a lot. But when you know, there's going to be those situations where you have to throw, you're identifying the best matchups. I always feel good about a Mike Thomas matchup because I know he is so competitive that when that ball is in the air (and) he sees it, it's his ball."
*Mike said the other day that he's aware of when he's near the goal line and that he's not near he's not going to reach because of what happen to Derek Carr. Does he have good football smarts just for a young guy and awareness? *"Yes he does, very much so. And he tries to be so detailed like he is so conscientious of what's the depth of this route and the timing of when you're looking for me and where the window is and where he is in the progression. Just all those things and great receivers have that awareness. They understand the bigger picture. It is not just about them. Or their specific responsibility. They see the bigger picture. I've definitely seen them grow and learn in that capacity and for a second year player, that's impressive."