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Through The Facemask with Drew Brees

    <span>New Orleans Saints Saints QB Drew Brees  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Q: Can you talk about how you feel about this first game?

A: We're all excited. It's been a good and tough camp, very competitive, but that's what you pay the price for to have the chance to go out there on Sundays during the regular season and play for keeps and play when it counts. This is what we're waiting for.

Q: Can you discuss how Detroit is a different team than last year?

A: They got very much a makeover on defense, a lot of new personnel; a lot of veteran guys, the two corners are veteran guys, the linebackers. It's a team that kind of made those changes and they're playing well together right now. Obviously you play that first game and you have to expect anything and everything. We have a good game plan going in. It should be a good battle.

Q: Will you bring up to the team how the Saints had a big turnaround in 2006 from tough times?

A: Yes, we definitely all understand it. I guess heading into last year's game obviously these guys had nothing to lose. They were going to be turning it loose and playing loose, but this year, obviously it's a new season and new expectations for everybody. I feel like they have a new team and much better team than they had last year and I'd say they do. You look at the changes they've made. They have a new head coach. You come in and create a new attitude and culture. They seem to be playing with that.

Q: Do you think the fact that you have a veteran team saves you from a letdown?

A: The fact is this is the first game of the season, so everybody's up, everybody's hyped. There won't be any letdown. Obviously the fact that it is the first game, every team is trying to find, somewhat of that identity for themselves and of the season and that sort of thing. Everybody's in that boat right now.

Q: Do you see ways for you to be more productive this year?

A: The fact is at 8-8 there's plenty of room for improvement. We need to win more games. Something we've talked about all offseason is finishing strong and really knowing the situation, always playing to the situation, because you look at all of our losses last year, whether it's a point here, a point here, a play here, a play there. One week it might have been short yardage. The other week it might have been two minute offense, the next week it might have been two minute defense, so knowing the situation, understanding what's at stake, developing a sense of confidence because you've put yourself in that situation so many times throughout the offseason in your mind and on the practice field that when you step into that situation again, you know you're going to make the play that's going to get us the victory.

Q: How tough is a quarterback's first regular season start, especially for a rookie?

A: It's different obviously. It's something you get pretty jacked up for, kind of living the dream. I think that he's (Matthew Stafford) a very talented guy or else he wouldn't have been chosen number one. The story is still to be written about Matthew Stafford, but the fact is that it's his first regular season start, I'm sure he's preparing as best as he can.

Q: Since Jim Schwartz and Gregg Williams have worked together do you expect a Lions defense similar to the one you practice against?

A: Yes, maybe so. The thing about the first game is the only thing you have to really look at is preseason film. You might be able to track the coach back to his roots, where he came from, lineage, but you're not 100 percent sure what he's been working on in the offseason and preseason, because a lot of times, coaches hold things back. You figure in that first game, you could see just about anything.

Q: Are you sick of Chase Daniel yet?

A: No, Chase has been great. In a lot of ways he kind of reminds me of myself, being the fact that he's a Texas kid, won a state championship in high school, wasn't really highly recruited, had to go out of state to Missouri, turned the program around that hadn't really been all that successful in previous years. They did some great things there and he did some great things, yet still you look at his size and his stature and you say a 5-11 quarterback or whatever he is can't play in this league, but I think the guy's talented. Obviously you look at his past history as the starter; everywhere he's been he's won. You can talk all you want about physical attributes, but the quarterback position's played up here and I've only know him a couple days, but I think the similarities are there.

Q: What do you remember from your first start and how nervous are you?

A: Nervous, but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was at Cincinnati in 2002 from it being 34-3, obviously I hope that's not his first start, but yes, just like anytime you do something for the first time, and it's your first opportunity. Of course you're going to have the butterflies, but I think the quarterback position, obviously you understand there's a lot on your shoulders and you just try to go out there.

Q: How nice is it for you have all of your receiving weapons except for Billy Miller finally healthy?

A: It's big. Plus the fact, (Jeremy) Shockey in particular, we've had a lot of time to spend together. Now we're trying to get Dave Thomas up to speed. It was kind of a similar situation to what Shockey was in a year ago, throwing a bunch at him and seeing what kind of role he can play on offense. Obviously with Lance (Moore) being healthy and around, that's great to see. I'm expecting big things from him, as well as really all the guys. I think everybody's kind of slid into a role that they're all comfortable in, utilizing everybody's strengths. It allows us to do a lot offensively.

Q: Are you a little worried that Scott Shanle/Jammal Brown.aspx">Jammal Brown and Pierre Thomas might not be available and that Reggie Bush hasn't played much in the preseason?

A: I'm not worried one bit. I'm really not. We'll find a way. No matter who's down or who steps in. No matter who's down, we're very confident the guy who steps in can do the job. They've been groomed to do that. That's probably when you find your next stars, when they get that opportunity to get some significant playing time. I think we have so much confidence as an offense. You plug somebody in and you make it work. We're going to encourage you the whole way, be positive with you and make sure we're working to your strengths.

Q: Watching offensive film, how would you evaluate how Jermon Bushrod has played?

A: I just told him give me that lookout call if I need to move a little bit. He's been awesome. I have all the confidence in the world in Bushrod. This is that opportunity for him. This is that defining moment in regards to getting that first opportunity to start in the NFL. I think he's made great strides from his rookie year until now. He hasn't really gotten any significant playing time or the chance to start. I'm really confident in what he's going to be able to do. I think he prepares very well. I think he's talented, but he works hard and has a great group around him. I think that's a big thing. What I've told him is play your butt off. You're going to get beat time to time. It's my job to get rid of it.

Q: If you go back as you prepare for the season opener, do you feel differently than a year ago?

A: I always feel comfortable going into the first game. Last year, I think just the thought that maybe a little bit of anxiety or concern with not having gotten a lot of time with (Jeremy) Shockey. He might get some significant playing time. What are the routes? What are the things we haven't gotten a whole lot of work on? Really we went into that game just kind of winging it a little bit with him, but catching six balls and playing really well. I thought timing was there, feel was there, all those things. That was the only difference, maybe a few question marks in that regard last year whereas this year, I can't think of any question marks we have.

Q: Do you feel better about the team as a whole this year?

A: Sure I absolutely feel better about the whole team. I think it's the best team we've had since I've been here.

Q: Are you worried that Reggie Bush hasn't played much in the preseason?

A: I feel like I know what I'm getting, but then again, it is a new year and he's one year more experienced and all those things. I expect him like any young player to get a little bit better every year. I think without putting too much pressure on him or anything else, I'm never going to do that to a guy. I know where his mindset has been at this offseason in regards to his preparation and everything else. I think he'll improve one game to the next and one season to the next.

Q: Do you look at last year's film of Detroit after all the changes to their coaching staff and roster?

A: No. Personnel are so different. If personnel was similar you'd want to say you'd want to see how their guys played our guys, but you can't even do that. Philip Buchanon is a guy we played against in Tampa and Anthony Henry from Dallas, so we're familiar with those guys from playing on different teams with different defenses. Obviously everybody teaches everything different. The linebacker corps, getting (Larry) Foote from Pittsburgh and Julian Peterson from Seattle. They've gone out and gotten some guys. No, really you try to look at everything but understand that you could get anything. You're looking at the type of defense you're playing; you're looking at the personnel. You're looking at all those things. You have to expect the unexpected.

Q: Did Buchanon have an interception against you?

A: He has two. I remember that. He had two. One in each hand.

Q: How do you try to get a feel for a Jim Schwartz defense?

A: It's a little bit of everything. I'll continue to try to say you expect a little bit of anything and everything. You expect the unexpected. First game, you know they're holding stuff back. Every team does from the preseason stuff, so you watch the preseason games. You watch maybe games on the d coordinator. You watch games on the defensive head coach like it is. You watch maybe a little of last year's game. The fact is, it could be anything.

Q: Did you go back and look at Schwartz's Tennessee film?

A: I can tell you we are looking at everything.

Q: Are you talking to Gregg Williams about him?

A: I'm talking to everybody that knows the guy and might know tendencies.

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