NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
(on if he got a sense on if wide receiver Michael Thomas was emotional after breaking the record, or if he was laid back as always)
I wouldn't say laid back is Mike T (Michael Thomas). I think he is a fierce competitor and there is a great sense of urgency with everything that Mike does. We see that on the practice field every day. We see it in the locker room. He is also a fun-loving guy. He loves his teammates. He loves the locker room. He will be the first one to tell you – he said it after the game – "I love this team, I love playing for this team and I love battling for this team." I think he just has an engine and he has a fire that is pretty rare. I think we all pride ourselves in being competitors and preparing the best we can to go out and perform on Sunday's. But, he's pretty rare. He's very rare in the way that he goes about his business each and every week. Everything you see on Sunday is what we see literally on every rep in practice. There is not a single rep that's an "I'm just going to take it easy this time," kind of thing. He is full go all of the time preparing himself for that championship rep, because I think in his mind that is how he is getting ready to play on Sunday. That is how he is getting ready for bigger games down the road. He is always putting himself in that position.
(on the first touchdown pass to Jared Cook jumpstarting the offense)
I thought that was really important. Obviously, they jumped out with two consecutive touchdown drives and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot offensively with our first four or five possessions it felt like. It was penalties, just miscues and not very good execution. Yeah, that was big. I think that obviously gave us a lot of momentum going into the half and then we came out with the ball on the first possession in the second half and took the lead right there and never looked back.
(on if he checked to that particular play on the touchdown to Jared Cook)
Yeah, we checked into it. I felt like we had an opportunity to throw a seam ball to Jared (Cook) and he made a great catch, great run and a great block by AK (Alvin Kamara) outside on the corner that kind of sprung him down the sideline.
(on if he checked to the Alvin Kamara touchdown run as well)
Yeah, we were checking passes and checking runs and scoring touchdowns. That's good stuff.
(on if Michael Thomas addressed the locker room following the game)
Obviously, he got a game ball. It turns out you get game balls when you catch 145 passes in a season. He got a game ball and he got a chance to tell the team how much he loved being a part of it. It is always great to hear guys say that.
(on if he knew that Michael Thomas needed one more reception to break the record)
I didn't. I knew that I had thrown a lot of balls to him and I knew that he needed 11, so I felt like he was close to it or eclipsing it on one of those.
(on if he can put into perspective how hard it is to catch 145 passes in a season)
If you break it down it is almost 10 catches per game through 15 games. That's remarkable especially with as much as teams target him and have a plan for him. Again, testament to his ability to get open and his desire and his work ethic.
(on if it was good to see running back Alvin Kamara have a big game, especially the long run for a touchdown)
Absolutely. That run and then the tough goal line run. He was great all day.
(on if not scoring a touchdown since week three was starting to weigh on Alvin Kamara)
In a way it weighs on all of us because he is such a big part of this offense and what we do. He is highly productive. Typically, with that comes touchdowns. That is a product of the productivity. But for one reason or another he just hasn't gotten in the endzone for a while. But I hope we broke that seal and obviously he got in twice today and hopefully there is a lot more where that came from.
(on Alvin Kamara's block downfield on the touchdown by Jared Cook)
That's the thing – he is a team player. For a guy like me, quarterbacks are used to throwing touchdown passes. But if I get to hand it off five or six times a game and watch our running backs go into the endzone, I will be the happiest guy out there, too. I don't care if I throw it or not. So, what's my job – to put everybody in the best position to succeed. And then Alvin (Kamara) doing whatever he can to put the offense in the best position to succeed and getting some of those hard yards that doesn't result in him getting the touchdown, but Mike Thomas got it, or Latavius Murray got it, or Jared (Cook) got it, and it was because of his block that Jared got it. That's good football.
(on the second touchdown pass to Jared Cook)
I trust him. I tried to throw it where he could get it and the other guy couldn't.
(on Mike Thomas' intensity in practice)
You will definitely get a helmet slam once every week or two. Whether he didn't run a route just like he wanted to, or the ball wasn't where it was supposed to be. Rarely does he get a hand on it and not bring it in. Again, he just has high expectations for himself and everyone around him. It makes everyone better.
(on defensive back C.J Gardner-Johnson's confidence and the play to force the fumble in the fourth quarter)
Yeah, he has a ton of swagger. I love that about him. I think that is what makes him a great player and you love having him on your team for that reason. I think not only does that lead to plays like that, but I think it gets everybody hyped around him, too. He is one of those guys that has a way of just getting guys excited.