New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees - Minicamp Media Availability - Tuesday, June 12, 2018
How good was it to have Mark (Ingram) out at practice again?
"It was great man. Just to see his face and be around him again. (I) Love Mark as a teammate, love him in the locker room. Love his presence too. I know he's been training hard, working hard, preparing himself for the season. So it was great to have him back for this week."
How do you prevent Ingram's absence from becoming some type of distraction? Is it because you have a veteran team?
"Yeah, probably. (It) Certainly hasn't distracted me. I do not think it is distracting anybody really. So yes, we're not we're not worried about Mark or his readiness to play when it's time."
You understand when a guy is looking for that contract; you've been in that spot before, right?
"Yes. I mean again, it's not something this distracting anybody."
Do you expect Ingram to carry even a bigger chip when he gets back for the last 12 games of the season?
"Yes. We're going to need every ounce of it (laughs). Yeah. Again I'm not I'm not worried one bit about Mark or his readiness to play when it's time. Yeah. We're not worried at all."
Is there a certain comfort level if the team signs Tim Hightower?
"There's a huge comfort level with Tim Hightower. So you know we'll see how it all shakes out. But it was great; it was great seeing him back. It was a little bit of surprise. He had a couple of great years here, was super productive for us along with Mark and then got a nice contract to go to San Francisco. Crazy how circumstances (happen) and then he's back for this week and hope he sticks around because he's a veteran guy that I think is a tremendous influence on young guys just the way that he works and the way that he approaches his job and his profession. (The) Type of guy he is you know what he's overcome I think there's great lessons that a lot of the young guys can learn from a guy like that."
Do you think players that sit out a non-mandatory workout take too much grief?
"Yeah. I mean at the end of the day, what's the ultimate goal? The ultimate goal is to put yourself in the best position to see once the season comes around. There are important elements to the offseason when it comes to training and you know getting yourself ready to be your best. I know each guy here, especially as you become more veteran, you begin to you know kind of fine tune the stuff that you're doing. You begin to realize what works for you and what's going to get you in the best position, not just physically, but mentally and psychologically. So I mean just like I have guys who I train with elsewhere, Mark (Ingram) has guys he trains with elsewhere. So just because Mark hasn't been here during the offseason that doesn't worry me one bit because I've stayed in constant communication with him. I know what he's doing to get himself ready to play and I know the comfort level and the confidence I have in him and the accountability that he feels for this team so I'm not worried about that one bit."
How special is Michael Thomas among all of the receivers you've worked with throughout your career?
"I think his mind-set and his work ethic to get better like each and every day (is great). Every rep's the most important of the day if not his life. He really approaches it like that. Every rep's a game rep, every rep's like a Super Bowl rep. So not many guys I have ever played with are that competitive. I mean there's really no situation where it's just like, 'Ah, I am going to take this one off' or 'Not going to take this one seriously.' No. Every rep is the same mind-set. So you know what you are going to get out of him every day. And those are the best teammates you know. So, I love that about him. I think it's as one of his greatest qualities. I think it's a great quality that a player can have."
Do you think this team grew this offseason?
"Yes. I mean listen, it's early. I like the additions that we made in free agency. Only time will tell with the rookies that we brought in. I mean just as far as the mind-set I see there's a lot of confidence. I think that shows at practice. You must continue to keep the foot on the gas and create a sense of urgency. That each and every day is the opportunity to get a little bit better and if you don't have that mind-set then other people are going to pass you up. We have too much to prove still and then we have too much of an opportunity in front of us. I think with the guys what we have and the situation we are in. So certainly, want to maximize that."
How do you navigate through expectations that you haveSuper Bowl aspirations that surround you, how do you and the team navigate them?
"I think of it like this are only as good as your next performance so it doesn't matter what happened last year or yesterday. You've got to prove it every day and then you've got to earn the respect of your teammates every day too. Just because you've been a team leader around here for a while doesn't necessarily mean that you'd (be) given that responsibility, you have to earn that responsibility, by the way that you act, by the way you conduct yourself, the way you communicate with your teammates, the way you get the best out of them. So that's an ongoing thing. It's an ongoing responsibility and (you) can never get complacent with any of those things."
Do you like the quarterback room?
"I love the quarterback room. (Tom) Savage is a great guy. He's been a great addition. He's been in the league now for four or five years and so he's got the level of experience behind him, he's been a starter. Taysom (Hill) one of these guys, super-talented really been interested to see what he can do. He came into (the team at) a time last year where everything was just kind of set, and all of a sudden, he's playing special teams and kind of this crazy sequence or this set of circumstances. But then J.T. Barrett the success that he had in college, he broke all of my records. But no, he's got some moxie to him so it's fun. I love our QB room dynamics. I mean nobody's safe. We bust each other's chops quite a bit. We have our quarterback challenges, kind of got an ongoing tally with that. So, we find a way to have fun. We're all competing against one another but we're all we're all having fun doing it."
Whose winning those competitions?
"I don't know where it stands right now. JT (Barrett) got his first one today though so we let the young buck win."
For Father's Day this weekend do you guys have any plans?
"For Father's Day, time for family, that's all I want.
I know you've kind of always been kind of into the World Cup, are you into it as much this year with the USA out of it?
"Yeah. My boys all of a sudden became really into soccer. They've been football-crazed for the last couple of years but they have all of a sudden gotten into soccer. Like (for example) my son went got a haircut a couple days ago and he told the lady when he sat in the chair I want it to look like Cristiano Ronaldo. So, we had Cristiano Ronaldo running around the house right now and then one of them wants to be Messi and then one of them wants to be somebody else so it's we've got the world well-represented, (and) the World Cup well-represented at our house right now."
What have you seen from Boston Scott on the field?
"Boston Scott? He looks good. He's got some savviness, some feel to him for a young guy that typically takes some time to teach and to work out. But a couple of things he's done out there where I've just kind of sat back and said OK that's something I'd expect a guy who's been in the system three or four years to do, but he's doing it in his third or fourth practice. I haven't gotten a ton of reps with him specifically, but I like what I see so far."
Have you gotten some reps with Tre'Quan Smith?
"Yeah, he's been banged up a little bit this last week or two. But prior to that, he's (been) a big target. He's got a lot of confidence on the big targets. I think just like anything especially the receiver positions, there are so many nuances to what we do so it just takes time. But I look forward to getting those reps with him and getting him in the mix."
The New Orleans Saints during day 1 of 2018 Saints Mini Camp presented by Verizon on June 12, 2018 at Ochsner Sports Performance Center.