New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees - Post-practice Media Availability - Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Do you have memories of going against Wade Phillip's defenses? What are the characteristics?
"Yeah. So Wade (Phillips) was the defensive coordinator in San Diego when I was there for two years, '04 and '05. Did an awesome job there. He's been one of the best defensive coordinators in this league for a really long time. His players love him and they play hard for him. He's got a very aggressive scheme. Every Wade Phillips defense I've gone up against has had a really good pass rush, and they manufacture ways to get that pressure. These guys just, man, they've got a ton of great players up front and then obviously, they're good on the back end as well. So they fly around. They play fast. They play aggressive. That's what makes them so good."
And they added Dante Fowler…
"I saw that. They couldn't have waited a week. Yeah he's – I don't know as much about him other than seeing a little bit of him on film with Jacksonville. He hasn't been there when we've been playing him but he obviously adds some juice to that D-line that's already really stout."
Have you ever seen two defensive tackles like this on the same team?
"No. I don't think so. Not since we played the University of Georgia in the 1999 season in the Outback Bowl. It was Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour. Yeah. That was a pretty stout defensive interior front. But no, I mean at this level, it's really unheard of to have (Ndamukong) Suh and (Aaron) Donald in there. Those guys are unbelievable."
How much are you guys enjoying this right now? I guess with the stakes being what they are. I know it's early in the season but we're talking about the two best teams record-wise in the NFC having a chance to fight it out for the number one seed with the Rams.
"It is exciting. It is a great challenge. But here is the thing, it is one game. Yes, it is a big game. Yes, it is against a great opponent who is undefeated and is playing exceptionally well right now. But for us, it is just another opportunity for us to take the next step. To continue to improve. I like the track that we are on, but we can still get better."
Does watching Sean McVay and his innovation remind you at all of what you guys have been doing the last decade plus here?
"Yes. I think we like to feel like over the last 13 years that we've kind of been at the forefront of the evolution of offensive football. Obviously with Sean, and Pete Carmichael, and Joe Lombardi and others who have contributed to that. Kind of taking the personnel that you have and then being able to utilize it in some really unique ways. And then from a schematic standpoint, just doing some things that maybe everybody else in the league, you cannot help but turn on the film and be intrigued by the things that they're doing. And obviously, I think Jared Goff is playing as well as anybody right now. He has a bunch of weapons at the receiver position that are lighting it up. Todd Gurley, one of the best backs in the league. But it is the complement of all those guys and the way they play together. And obviously, the scheme and what Sean McVay's doing. And so there's a lot that goes into that. And they all deserve a ton of credit."
How much of that innovation from both you guys has to do with the rules that have changed to "favor offenses?"
"I mean, I don't know. I do not play the game any different. It is just I guess if you look at it and I do not even know the statistics, are they calling more roughing the quarterback penalties now than they have in the past? I don't know. Are they? Are they calling more pass interferences now than they have in the past? I don't know. Are they? So those have been where the rule changes have been the most, right? In protecting defenseless players. But those kind of go hand in hand. So you'd have to tell me where the stats lie in that. We play the game the same. If a guy's open, throw it to him. Be accurate with the ball, move the chains, score points."
Do you think (Brandin) Cooks has something to prove on Sunday?
"I don't know. I mean, I think he has already proven a lot. (laughs) Listen, the thing I really appreciate about Brandin (Cooks) is that I loved his work ethic. When he was here, he was a guy who envisioned himself being a great player. And similar to Mike (Thomas) and similar to some of the guys we have, on a daily basis, you're going to get out of him. There was a work ethic there. There was a focus and just a determination, and expectation, and confidence but also a belief system. And so hey, he ends up being traded (to) New England and plays great there last year. And then goes to L.A. and receives a new contract. Which I think every rookie in this league aspires to get that second contract and a really good one that makes you a feature guy. Which he is. He was a feature guy when he was here. He was a feature guy in New England. He's a feature guy in L.A. So he's done really well for himself and I'm very proud of him. I'm happy for him. He deserves it."
Is home field worth points this Sunday?
"I hope so. We need it. I mean listen, it's a great opponent. Regardless of where you're playing this game, it'll be a great game."
I know you said whatever it takes to win, but how surprised were you when you looked at the box score and you only threw for 120 passing yards and you still got the win?
"Yeah well, I felt like the direction that game was going you know, especially once we got to the second half, was very much ball control you know. At that point, you're not keeping track of anything other than just getting first downs. And I felt like we did that very methodically. We controlled the ball. We possessed the ball. We were able to wear them down a little bit just with that complement of the run game and the short passing game. We were just taking what they were giving us and felt like it worked effectively. The stats may not have reflected it you know, but it got the job done."
You think someone jinxed the interception streak?
"No I don't think so."
Do Sean (Payton), Pete (Carmichael), and those guys ever come up with stuff that still surprises you still like maybe three QBs or anything like that?
"Yeah, that was a Sunday Night Football special. That should have been the name of the play. The Sunday Night special. Yeah, you know just a little ode to Teddy (Bridgewater) you know Teddy Bridgewater and his old team. But I am intrigued you know from week to week. There's always some wrinkles in there that I get the call sheet you know and look at it prior to meetings and everything. It's like I can't wait to ask him about this. Or maybe even saw it on film or something like that. And then all of a sudden we just create our own little variation to it."
Are we going to see you catch a ball at some point?
"I hope so. I hope so. I don't know, we'll see."
Minneapolis was a game you guys wanted back last year. What about this one against the Rams?
"Yeah we didn't really play very well last year against them. I feel like we did a lot of things that we knew better. So I think going into this game, I mean listen, it's two different teams. Even though you have a lot of the same players. Obviously, the season that they are having, undefeated, they have played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball. I mean, their scoring differential is off the charts. Scoring a ton of points on offense and not giving up very much on defense and just doing everything right that you would say is winning football and we're trying to get there as well. This game is just a game against two really good opponents that, obviously, have high expectations for themselves this season and it should be a great game."
Do you see any similarities in that their head coach was a college quarterback and they have kind of coach quarterback connection? I know it's different guys, different teams, but not all teams have that.
"I look at Sean (Payton) you know his, obviously, first (head) coaching job was here. First and only. But coming in as a young head coach who had played the quarterback position, been a quarterback coach, been an offensive coordinator, just a great offensive mind with that young kind of youthful energy and enthusiasm as well. I don't know Sean McVay very well, but just from a distance from what I've seen from his offenses and what I hear about him is that there's a lot of those same traits. And it makes it really fun to play for a guy like that because it does. It, man, makes it exciting and it gives you a ton of confidence. The fact that he came into a situation with a really talented quarterback in Jared Goff, who I got a chance to spend some time with the Pro Bowl and (was) really impressed with him. Certainly the season that he's having this year is off the charts. So you know you got to think that that was a great match as you looked at how those two got paired together."
Have you seen Tua Tagovailoa play? What are your impressions of him?
"I've seen him a little bit just flipping through games and that kind of thing. I could not be more impressed because I mean just in the times I've seen him play, it's not like he's just throwing it to really good athletes with a ton of space and they're just running and making plays. He's making some legit throws down the field. He's making some legit reads just from what I have seen. I could not be more impressed, especially if you go from his first game coming in in the middle of the national championship. Are you kidding me? And playing the way that he did. Obviously, he's throwing the ball exceptionally well, but he appears to be a great athlete too. A guy who they appear to be doing a lot of that you know RPO stuff with him pulling it, throwing it, pulling it, running it. He runs physical, he runs tough, and yet he can spin it down the field as well. That's a rare combination."