New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees*
Post-practice Media Availability
Wednesday, December 5, 2018*
How did you evaluate your performance against the Cowboys?
"There was a lot more to be desired there. You turn on the film and (see) just play after play where you felt like there were opportunities or just better execution that would have gotten us some first downs, maintained or sustained some drives and gone down and gotten points. I think we left a lot of opportunities out there, we left a lot of points out there. They played well, but I'm more worried about our execution, our execution was certainly not up to our standards. That part of it was frustrating."
What do you have to do to come back this week and improve?
"Just focus on the details. Focus on the little things. Back to work. Back to the details. Back to our routine. Finally we get a normal week, after a while (with) a couple extra days rest. I think that'll settle for a lot of guys. We're ready get back to work."
How does this Tampa Bay team look different from week one?
"Obviously new defensive coordinator. I would say for the most part the scheme is the same and yet maybe they're doing some things a little bit differently. Obviously, there is always a game plan specific thing when it comes to us or any opponent, any divisional opponent especially. They've had a lot of personnel in and out just with injuries and that kind of thing, linebacking position, secondary, but I think those guys are playing really well right now. (The) Last two weeks especially, they've been getting a bunch of takeaways. They do a really good job getting pressure with their front four and that's always been a strength of that team and continues to be. They're playing really well right now."
Could that loss in Dallas refocus this team?
"Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war. You learn a lot from something like that. I do not think we were getting ahead of ourselves or anything like that. I just think we honestly just had a bad day and you turn on the film and it's glaringly obvious where we failed and (we need to) make sure that that doesn't happen again."
What are your thoughts on possibly winning back to back division titles?
"Yeah, the bottom line is we control our destiny right now. We win this game, we win the division and that's the first step, first goal that we set for ourselves this season, was to accomplish that and then we'll worry about the next goal. But that's significant. Like you said, this division has been one where it's highly competitive and each and every year it seems like there is a different team or sets of teams that are all fighting for it at the end and then one of us gets it. But yeah, that would be a big, big first step if (we) win the division with a win this week."
What does it say about the team that you have a chance to clinch the division at that point in the season?
"It says a lot about our success and that ten-game win streak, that run was a great run. We gained a ton of confidence, a ton of momentum and had a ton of guys step up and play really well. Guys that we are going to need down the stretch. I think we really established an identity for ourselves as an offense and defense. And listen we know how to play winning football, but you have to prove that each and every week and you have to go out there against divisional opponents, non-divisional opponents, home/away. I mean you've got to find ways to win these games and at this point the season especially and everybody's fighting for something."
What are your thoughts on the trust you have in the young receivers you've been relying on?
"We are building on it every week with practice time and obviously with the young guys. We didn't have necessarily all the benefits of the offseason. That is when (I) spent a lot of time with Mike Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. and some these other guys and all of a sudden these young guys step up and they're having significant playing time. Yeah every week it is just kind of trying to focus on new things. Obviously, very gameplan specific. Hey this is what we're doing this week and let's work on this stuff in practice and developing that trust and confidence and chemistry."
Was Keith Kirkwood the intended target on that touchdown in Dallas?
"Yeah, it was nice. It's was a good third down (call), big play."
I don't remember anyone asking you after a game, was (Keith) Kirkwood the intended target and the intended route on that touchdown in Dallas and what would you think the catch he made?
"It was nice. It was good. Third down. It was a big play."
A bigger picture question about you and Sean (Payton). How have you kept that relationship (the same over) 13 years? I read about sometimes around the league that it is not as healthy or successful as you all have been for such a long period. How have you all kept it fresh?
"There's a player coach dynamic. He's my head coach. He is a play-caller. He is the boss. I respect that. If something's bothering me I have no problem telling him or if there's communication that needs to take place, I have no problem talking to him. I think that's the biggest thing in regards to just communication and there's no ego. I respect whatever boundaries there might be between player and head coach. I respect that and yet there is a friendship or a bond because of our experience together. There's a great deal of respect that allows us to communicate very freely and nobody takes offense to anything and it allows us to be as successful and productive as we possibly can."
How different is your offense now compared to 2006?
"It's light years. Man, it's light years. We pulled up a call sheet like three or four weeks ago from the '06 season. We might have been playing Atlanta or even before that. I said 'hey just for fun let's go pull up the call sheet from 2006 and look at like what our third down calls (were).' Everything was so basic. It would be like first grade elementary school stuff and now we on like freaking calculus 303. Just the stuff that we're doing and it's an evolution right. It's the evolution of the offense, evolution of the game, evolution of defenses and how are we combating. We are always trying to stay on the front end of that. We're trying to be innovative. We're trying to be the ones that everybody's copying. But for that reason, things can become more complicated and maybe it increases the workload a little bit, but at the end of the day you feel like that is going to help you maintain success."
Given what happened with Mike McCarthy, how fortunate do you feel that Sean and the franchise were able to kind of weather 7-9, 7-9, and 7-9 seasons from 2014-16 and now you guys are back to where you guys want to be?
"I think there's a there's obviously a lot of trust and confidence especially when you talk about the leadership in this building from ownership to Mr. Benson (until he passed away) and Gayle and down to Mickey (Loomis) and then to Sean (Payton) and other members of the coaching staff that have been here for a long time. I think there's obviously a relationship there. We all know that this this business is about winning. It's about results, but also you understand at times that there's a plan in place. As we know, you guys were all here for that tough stretch 14, 15, 16 where everything kind of flipped and we had to kind of steer the ship back on course and build the foundation again and re-establish our identity and not take for granted the fact that guys have heard it before. All of a sudden it's a bunch of new faces and they haven't heard it before. Just getting back on track and I think just trusting in the process for so many from the top down. I give credit to them for having that vision."
How is Brandon Marshall doing just behind the scenes?
"He's doing what he's doing. He's a smart football player. Veteran guy. He gets it. Obviously, he's chomping at the bit you know, but we've got a lot of guys. I'm sure his opportunity will come."
What about playing at Raymond James Stadium? I can recall in 2011 Sean Payton got hurt. There was a rain delay one year. It seems like a lot of weird things happen at Raymond James Stadium.
"I guess we've had some we've had some wild ones there. We've had some really close ones there. We have had some monsoons. Sean (Payton) going down. That was wild. When you play there, a divisional opponent, you play there once a year. I guess you're bound to have some memories."
The return of Terron (Armstead), aside from the obvious, how does it feel to possibly have him in front of you again?
"He's a difference maker. He's a difference maker for sure. (I have) big confidence when he's there on the left side so we'll see how that shakes out."