New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
*Is there a different feel playing for first place compared to the last three years? *"I'll be honest it's really just narrowing the focus to one game and still striving to find our best game. Obviously coming off a loss on the road, ee want to rally and get back on the winning track. Especially the scenario with the team we are playing being a divisional opponent. They have the same record as us. (We're) both fighting for the same thing. This is a very important game."
*Do you take a little extra role as a leader heading into a game like this for the division lead? *"Sure you do and that's respect for the opponent too. We've had battles with these guys for many, many years and we've played in a lot of big games against these guys. They're a team that's used to playing these types of games, I'd say especially over the last few years. We're a team that I think is continued to surprise a lot of us who have been here for a while. In regards to the maturity for being as young as we are in some areas, the situations only get bigger as we go along here and it's everybody's responsibility to be able to step up and make this our best week of preparation and therefore our best game on Sunday."
*How well is the Panther defense playing during this four-game win streak? *"They're playing extremely well. Obviously it has been a little while since we played these guys, week three is when we last played them. They have always played with a ton of confidence. I think that comes from some real veteran guys on their defense. Obviously their two (veteran) linebackers, Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly and now this Shaq Thompson plays this really versatile role for them is playing extremely well. Kurt Coleman in the secondary is a veteran guy who's been around a long time, they have Mike Adams and the two young corners that are both playing very well and then their front four they rotate guys throughout (the game). Those guys are playing extremely well too, both against the run and the pass rush. Really there is no chink in the armor here. These guys are an extremely solid defense and do many, many things well and they are playing very well right now."
How would you describe Alvin Kamara*'s running style? *"His feet are always on the ground. Except when he's jumping over guys, but that's a rare talent, that's how you break tackles because you're using the ground as extra force to shed guys and obviously he's extremely athletic and extremely talented, but there is a gift and there's certain guys around the league that you just say what makes that guy so good or so good (with) run after the catch or breaking tackles. A lot of times it's guys that keep their feet on the ground."
*Does the Panthers leading the league in time of possession affect the offense's mindset in a game like this? *"You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get and I think we pride ourselves on being that kind of team that can possess the ball. Obviously we look for the big opportunities, but we're ready to drive and move the ball, convert third downs and possess it and get points."
*With the eight-game win streak ending, do you think having no separation in the NFC South standings with the Panthers will motivate this team? *"Sure, yeah. Again we're trying for our best game. Even if we were sitting here with a four-game lead in the division after winning eight in a row. I think the mindset still needs to be we haven't put together our best performance. We are still striving for that and that needs to be reflected in practice and obviously what we carry over for the game, but the fact is we play in a really tough division and there are a lot tough teams sitting at the top fighting for that spot and we are all within a game of each other. This is a tough stretch, the toughest stretch as we could possibly have, but it is good for us. We need this. Hopefully it brings out our best football."
*What is your assessment of where the passing offense is at this stage of the season for your team? *"I think we've been efficient. I'd say just from sheer numbers and big plays I'm sure that the numbers aren't what they have been in the past, but take a look at what's going on. We've been running the ball extremely well. We've been in games where it hasn't been necessary to take additional shots or chances. We've thrown the ball efficiently to keep the chains moving, to keep drives alive, to go down and get points and possess the ball. It's been a great complement with the run game. At the end of the day you have to pay attention to the flow of the game and how everything else is going. I just don't think it's (the passing game) been required as much as it has been in the past certainly."
*Thought's on Eli Manning's consecutive games started coming to an end? *"It's unbelievable. That's 210 games. That's a lot of games, a lot of football. I remember Kurt Warner started the year and at some point Eli took over. It's phenomenal and I know he's played through a lot. He's had injuries just like everybody, but he's played through them and definitely been an iron man at the position."
What did you think of Ted Ginn Jr. when he played in Carolina and what it's like to have him as a teammate?"I think my perception always was extremely explosive player. Obviously a great vertical threat everywhere he had been. That seemed to be the way that teams used him, but it seemed to be as the only way teams used him. Where is I feel like he's come in to this offense and really flourished and I feel like we've given him the opportunity to showcase a lot of the other things that he can do. I think he is a very complete receiver that can do a lot of things. He's very smart, he's very savvy and I think he's been a great addition to our team."
*Explain what happens when you have a full house in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on gameday? *"There's an energy, especially in the dome. There is an energy in the dome and that place is packed and our fans are loud and crazy, especially when we have success and the fans get going. It just gives us the feeling no matter what we do it's going to work and I think it gives the opposing team and oh boy here we go. We need the dome to be rocking on Sunday."