New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Bennie Fowler
Video Conference with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
What was your first impression of Drew Brees when you guys first started working out in Denver and how has that translated to training camp?
"My first impression was that he was a pro and I was very excited just to have the opportunity to work out with him, playing with another Hall of Fame quarterback or getting the chance to play and work out with another Hall of Fame quarterback. I think my first impression was very unique because I was already at the field and I was already kind of warmed up. So I just kind of asked him and Emmanuel (Sanders), like, Hey, you guys need what 5-10 minutes to get ready and Drew was like I probably need 25-30 and he went through his actual like pregame warmup and I thought that was very impressive, just in terms of the fact that he treats everything like the game and just his attention to detail."
What was it like to you know catch passes from Drew Brees and now apparently he was really instrumental in getting you here. A guy like Drew Brees future Hall of Famer really wanted you here like how does that make you feel?
"It makes me feel really good. It makes me feel like all my hard work and dedication has paid off playing with guys like Peyton Manning, Eli Manning you know I played with both of the Manning brothers for two years apiece winning the Super Bowl and just you know, I'm all about team first and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make this team and then whatever my role is on the team is to perfect that role and for Drew to vouch for me like that, it really means a lot just because he is a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he's a Hall of Fame person as well. And I just really appreciate you know him going out of his way to help me get here."
Are you a good blocker and is it a specialty of yours?
"I think it's from me playing in the Big 10, you know, blocking for backs like Le'veon Bell, playing with Kirk Cousins and things like that, you know, playing in the Big 10 it's always about blocking for the running back first, we do run a lot just because it is cold up north. And that's one of the ways I made the team in Denver was having to block and you know, do some of the dirty work and that's exactly what I'm going to bring to this team is, you know, doing the little things and blocking and making sure that whatever impact I make on this team I will make."
How are guys like Peyton and Eli Manning and Tom Brady similar to Drew Brees?
"I think the fact that I've gotten to play with all four of those guys, both Mannings, Tom Brady and (Drew) Brees, they both have attention to detail. Their attention to detail and they just notice all the small things, but it's about being in the right spot. And it's all about cohesion and it's all about, you know, just winning. At the end of the day that's what I take away from all of those guys they all just want to win and they're all different in certain ways and the way they throw the ball, but one of the biggest things that they all do is that their attention to detail is so great and so fine tuned."
Is there something you see in Drew Brees that you didn't see in those other two?
"Drew's attention to detail is right up there with all the quarterbacks I've played (with) and his timing is incredible, just the way he throws the ball. He's on time with everything, going through every read and even though I do not play quarterback, you can just learn a lot from his preparation and just the way he goes about his everyday business."
What was your reaction to the Big 10 not playing football this year?
"It's tough just because they don't have the everyday testing. And it's just tough because those kids have their dreams of making it to the NFL and they go to college for education, but also to play. But right now is the perfect opportunity for them to pivot and understand what life could look like after football. So I think there's pros and cons to it. Yes, they want to play, but right now, they can't. So what's the next step? What does life look like after football, focus on education, just focus on what you can control. It sucks for those kids, but at the same time, this is an opportunity for them to develop as men and for Michigan State who has a new coaching staff, it's going to give them more cohesion."
You talked about some of the great quarterbacks you've played with, but you've also played with some really good wide receivers. I was just curious what you've seen out of Michael Thomas now that you guys are on the same practice field?
"His work ethic's incredible. His attention to detail, just the questions that he asks in meetings and the way he goes about his everyday business. He knows how to get open, has some of the best hands I've ever seen and just his route running ability. I do not think he gets enough credit for the way he runs routes and how crafty he is. He is definitely up there with the great receivers that I've played with, Demaryius (Thomas), Wes Welker, Odell (Beckham), Emmanuel (Sanders), now him."
I'm curious about the process of you getting signed. Did you think anything was going to come out of that first workout or did you and your agent kind of reach out to the Saints later in the summer to see if something could be done about a new contract?
"I just wanted an opportunity to get in front of Drew (Brees). Emmanuel (Sanders) invited me so I decided to go out there and a couple rounds in he asked me if I was on a team and I was like, 'No, I'm not on a team right now because of COVID. I haven't had a chance to work out with anybody or travel to any teams.' And he was like, 'I'm going to call our guys right after this.' I was like, okay, we'll see. Then my agent maybe called me like a day or two later and said, 'hey, Drew really did call about you and whatever you did, you must have really impressed him.' To get in front of a Hall of Fame quarterback, even just to catch passes from him, if nothing came out of it, I learned a lot from him and I'm glad that it did come to this to where they reached out to me and signed me. They just said, 'once training camp starts, we'll bring you in for a workout.' And they just ended up signing me because Drew vouched for me so hard."
You mentioned just being a blocker earlier. What position or role have they had you primarily playing since you joined the team?
"Right now, I'm just playing outside and inside, I'm just learning the whole entire offense. That is the way I kind of go about things, just being able to fill in for anybody at any given time. But, the way I learn is I learn all the positions and all the concepts. That's the way I've gotten into the league and that's the way I've made teams is to know all the positions so I can fill in anywhere."
Do you feel like you have to buy Emmanuel (Sanders) dinner for the rest of the year for for making all this come about?
"Buy him dinner? No, not necessarily. Emmanuel is like a brother to me. He pulled me aside early in my career, so this is our fifth year playing together. We have a great relationship like that. We have a big brother, younger brother relationship. So yeah, I'll definitely take him out and take him out to dinner, but I don't know about buying him dinner for the rest of the year.