<span style="">New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
(on playing for the city of New Orleans) "It's a great source of strength for us and our team, just knowing that we are playing for much more than another 'W' or a Super Bowl for our organization. It's a Super Bowl for our city and our fans and everything they've been through the last few years. There is no organization or city that deserves a champion more than New Orleans."
(on how important it is to establish the run) "It is very important to be balanced, to be able to run and pass and have each of those set the other up, because you can't be one-dimensional against a team like the Colts. They've shown with their pass rush and their ability to bring a safety down in the box to stop the run, if you are one-dimensional, they can eat you up. You have to be able to mix both the run and the pass and be effective at it."
(on if he is concerned whether Dwight Freeney is playing or not) "We're planning on that he is playing. We feel like they are going to have all of the bullets in their gun and their full arsenal, just like ours. Anytime you play a team like this in an atmosphere like this, you expect everyone to play."
(on his study of the Colts' defense) "I don't think there are any holes, but you hope that you can catch them from time to time and be able to get a big play. You rely on the ability to catch, break a tackle and get yards after the catch, run the ball efficiently and be balanced – to be able to mix the run and the pass and never be predictable. You always want to feel like you have the upper hand and that you are setting the tempo for the game."
(on which Super Bowl-experienced players or coaches he talked to prior to the trip) "I talked to a few quarterbacks who have been in this situation before, Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Also, our head coach Sean Payton was here as a coordinator in 2000 with the Giants. He was able to give me some words of wisdom on how to approach the week and how to handle it and prepare to deal with the media and the hype and stay within your routine."
(on what the Super Bowl means to New Orleans and himself) "It means so much. I have met season-ticket holders since New Orleans started in 1967. For so many of them, just to have waited so long through so many tough times to this point, and what people went through in New Orleans post-Katrina, it's so much more than just a game to us. It's a feeling that we have an opportunity to give them so much hope, lift their spirits and give them something they deserve."
(on coming through adversity) "You have to go through some tough times and fight through adversity in order to get to this kind of level and have these types of opportunities. Had you not gone through some of those things earlier in the history of this organization or in my own career, you wouldn't have learned the lessons you learned in order to get here – have that chip on your shoulder or have the motivation we have to be here and take part in the Super Bowl. I believe wholeheartedly the fact that everything happens for a reason. At times, God is going to put you in a position to wonder why this is happening to me or to us, and yet you know it's happening for a reason. It's there to make you stronger and to give the opportunity to accomplish something later on – and here we are."
(on if he feels any pressure from Saints fans) "We don't look at it as pressure. We feel like we are playing for so much more than just to win a game for our organization or team, we're playing for an entire city and region. And you could say for an entire country because there are still so many New Orleans natives who had to evacuate after Katrina who have not been able to move back yet. We know we have fans across the country who are pulling for us and rooting for us, fans who will eventually come back to New Orleans, but are just waiting for the right time. Whatever we can do to give them hope and raise their spirits, that's what we want to do."
(on a formula for success against the Colts) "We have to be balanced and mix the run and the pass. We have to have a plan for their pass rush, because we know how they can rush the passer. Take care of the football, try to keep Peyton (Manning) and that offense off the field as much as possible and take advantage of the opportunities when we get them."
(on having offensive balance) "You can't be one-dimensional against these guys, because they are too smart for that. You have to be able to do both. If you can do efficiently, possess the ball, convert third downs, keep them off the field, eat up the time of possession – all of those things that you talk about as an offense, that's the key for success."
(on his injury while with San Diego) "The injury happened in the last game of the 2005 season, my fifth year in San Diego in which I did not have a contract after that. All of a sudden here I am thrust into free agency two months after a right shoulder dislocation, which I was told by some doctors that I had a 25 percent chance of coming back and ever playing. Only two teams were interested in me in free agency to be the starting quarterback – Miami and New Orleans. That was a defining moment in my life and one that brought me to New Orleans with a sense that this is a calling for me, an opportunity that I have to not only come to a city and be a part of the rebuilding of the organization, city, community and region. This was an opportunity that really doesn't come along for most people in their lifetime, and yet here it is staring me in the face. So it was much more than football and I felt it was destiny that God put me there for a reason. It's been such a special experience. I was embraced by the city in a way that I can't even describe. My wife and I had our first child in New Orleans a year ago, so it seems like so many things beyond football, from the standpoint of our family. Our foundation (Brees Dream Foundation) has raised or committed $3 million dollars to the city of New Orleans. That's just the beginning. I want to be somebody who is not only a leader on my football team, but a leader in the community, somebody who is going to follow through with what I say I am going to do, be accountable, show integrity and give back."
(on when he felt at home in New Orleans) "It was right away. That first year in New Orleans in 2006, we made it to the NFC Championship Game, the first time in the history of the club. It seems like we have had so many 'firsts' as a part of that organization, a first time to go to the NFC Championship Game, and this year a first time to start 13-0, first time to host an NFC Championship Game, first time to be in a Super Bowl and hopefully it will be the first Super Bowl championship as well. My wife and I felt like a part of the community quickly because of the way we were embraced by the city. I've had more people come up to me on the street who tell me, 'Thank you for being part of our city. Thank you for being a part of our community. Thank you for what you have done and by the way, good luck on Sunday, but we love you for being part of this community.'"
(on the Saints' pregame chant that he leads) "I am not going to tell you what we say because that's what makes it unique and special, because it is just for us. It's for our team, and if you are a member of our team, you know the chant. For everybody else, you can keep wondering what we are saying. I think that's unique because each year there is an inspiration for that. This year's inspiration was from an USO trip that I went on to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. I got to do P.T. (physical training) with the Marines one morning, and as we are jogging in formation and doing calisthenics, there are all of these chants that the Marines do. So I took one of those chants, made it applicable to us as a team, and that's what we chant about. It's inspired by the Marines at Guantanamo Bay. That makes it unique."
(on how the comeback against the Dolphins in Sun Life Stadium earlier this season might help them in the Super Bowl) "Walking into the stadium today and for the Pro Bowl, all those memories come back from that game, everything that transpired. Being down 24-3 in the second quarter and going into halftime with that touchdown with six seconds left where we jump over the top. We score feeling like that was what we needed momentum-wise, and we come out in the second half with an interception return for a touchdown, just this sequence of events where all of the sudden we have this huge come-from-behind victory. The feeling in that locker room, looking around and saying, 'You know what? This is the feeling that we want a couple of months from now on Super Bowl Sunday when we come back here.' And sure enough, here we are and I hope we do have that same feeling in the locker room."
(on the team's progress in the last four seasons) "We had that special season back in 2006. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hits. the team relocates to San Antonio, has a 3-13 season and never really plays a home game, playing in the Alamodome, Baton Rouge and a Monday night home game in New York against the Giants. Everything they went through and I've heard the stories from the guys how it was tough. Back in New Orleans, the team's facility had been used by the government as a staging ground for rescue missions throughout town to save people. Here we are trying to come back and find ourselves. Sean Payton gets hired, I get brought in as a free agent with Scott Fujita, Reggie Bush and Marques Colston gets drafted, we bring in guys like Mark Simoneau and Scott Shanle. The list goes on of the guys we brought in that year as free agents. In a way all of us were castaways, guys who were obviously free agents because there were plenty of teams out there that didn't want us. Yet, the New Orleans Saints wanted us and they wanted to give us an opportunity. We all used that as a rallying point to come together and accomplish something special and we did. It was the first time we made the NFC Championship Game, and we fell one game short of the Super Bowl, which is our ultimate goal of being Super Bowl champions. To take that memory and that bitter taste, to go through the adversity we've gone through the past two seasons of missing the playoffs – all that's done is build our motivation, our strength and mindset to be able to get to this season and to say, 'You know what? This is our time. Why not us? Why not the New Orleans Saints?' And here we are."