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Transcript - Drew Brees Conference Call 11/04/20 | Week 9 vs. Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees talks about Tampa Bay’s defensive unit and the Saints offensive game plan for the Saints Week 9 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 8, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

I noticed you were wearing tape last week on a shoulder? Is that because of an injury? You're a routine guy, usually you don't change that up.
"I'm 41 years old, I've got a lot of stuff going on, but just keep ticking."

Speaking of 41 and Tom (Brady) being 43, you guys are obviously the veteran quarterbacks. Is that a testament to what you guys have been able to do? Maintain that you guys have your teams where you do right now? It's the league where everybody is always kind of looking for the new, young thing. And yet, you guys are battling for first place in the division.
"Listen, we both play on very good teams for very good organizations for great coaches and great systems, great players around us. So I'm just grateful for the opportunity to compete, grateful that we're in a situation where we're battling here in the division."

It's kind of a small sample size, but over the last couple years, you've been even better against the blitz than years past, really like terrific numbers against the blitz, is there anything that makes you just feel really comfortable when teams blitz you or that you think you're doing really well recently?
"Well, typically, when teams blitz, they're exposed, it's risk reward, right? So if know where to go with football, you've got guys that can get open, you can make big plays."

That being said, Tampa Bay blitzes more than any other team in the league. And they've had a lot of success with it, do you almost invite that, do you hope defenses try to blitz you?
"Listen, they're very good at it. You look at them, statistically, obviously, they're just a very aggressive style. That's Todd Bowles and that's why he's one of the very best and you can tell those guys play extremely hard for him. They've got a very good scheme, they've got very good players, they can get after you with the pass rush, whether they're rushing four or they're rushing five or six. At the end of the day, they're just playing at a high level, they're playing with a lot of confidence."

You and Tom (Brady), when you're looking at it right now, you're one and two in career touchdown passes. I'm not really asking if you're looking at that record, or if you're focusing on that, but just as a fan of the game, is it kind of just maybe unique or maybe just absurd that a record like that has been being set or reset like almost every week?
"Yeah, I mean, it's pretty cool. When in history has that ever happened? Again, I think, I know speaking for myself, I'm just laser focused on the job that is right in front of me. And the opportunity that we have this week. And winning the football game is the most important thing. And however we can get that done."

You kind of talked about the Tampa defense. Do you think that maybe because of the way Alvin Kamara's been performing as a receiver out of the backfield that that might open up some things in the running game, despite the fact that they're tops in the league run wise?
"Yeah, We want to be a balanced offense, we feel like we are a balanced offense and a very complementary one. So every element of our offense we want to be effective with we want to be efficient. And from game to game, we expect to do a little bit of everything. Now, depending on the way a team chooses to game plan you or the plan that they have for you, some things may end up working better than others. And maybe you hang your hat on certain things more so than others on any given Sunday, but at the end of the day, I think that that's what makes us dangerous as in offense. We've got some versatile players, some guys that can do a lot of things, especially Alvin and our ability to run the football inside, outside, the screen game, shot game, play action, the drop back, the quick game. You combine all that together and you do it fast and execute effectively makes you tough to defend."

For years, Monday Night Football was the game to watch, kind of like the big game of the week. It really looks like it's transitioned to Sunday night, that's the one that everyone's watching, all the hype and everything. I mean, even at this stage of your career is that little extra juice to prove that, hey, I can still do this while everyone's watching?
"Well, I think just the opportunity to compete, regardless of whether anybody's watching or not, you just kind of click in and there's a job to do, and we're blessed with the opportunity to compete, would love to win, but at the end of the day, just love to execute effectively, and put guys in positions to succeed and win. Obviously winning feels good."

Years back, Reggie Bush almost caught 90 passes in a single season when he was a rookie, how does Alvin compare in terms of a running back who can catch the football and get you first downs on third and five and whatnot?
"Yeah, I mean, similar in the fact that they're both such dynamic players, such great athletes, such matchup problems for a defense. Listen, I'd say Tampa has two of the best linebackers in the league, maybe the two best tandem. So those guys are great athletes, they can cover, but for the most part, linebackers can't cover Alvin Kamara. That's where as you kind of look at the array of weapons that we have and the way that we spread guys out, move guys around and the template which we play at the end of the day, our job is to put those guys in great matchup positions. It's my job to find those matchups and get those guys the ball."

We've seen Alvin run those choice routes with a lot of success this year. What makes him good at that? And how much of that is like preparation and understanding where you've got to band after the play starts?
"Well, it takes a guy with great feel, patience, understanding and timing. And the great thing about choice routes, as you say, is that you have a three way go. So in most cases, the defense can't be right."

Their ability to be effective in the run stop game, is that more concept? Or is it more athlete player? What they're able to do?
"You're saying with them in the run game?"

Yes.
"Well, they're big, they're physical. Typically, 3-4 teams can set the edge very well, because they've got big, strong bodies outside. Those outside linebacker positions are such hybrid positions in a 3-4. They're typical bigger and heavier, but are great athletes. So I'd say just their ability to set the edge, to have basically big bodies on the field, that can pick and defend the run and rush the passer. It gives them great flexibility."

With how good you guys are running a two minute drill, is there a reason you don't do more up tempo during other times of the game? Or is there a benefit to saving that for those late half situations?
"I mean, there's a time in place. We've got all kinds of no huddle packages within the framework of our system. It's just a matter of when we want to pull them out."

On Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders first, what's it been like playing six games without Mike after you have gotten so accustomed to being able to rely on him? And what were your impressions of Sander's progression before he suddenly had to go out?
"Yeah, I'll start with Mike. Listen, obviously, Mike's been such a huge part of this offense for so long. You always hope that you wouldn't be without him, but obviously I think that that time comes for everybody where you've got to find ways to win without a certain guy or maybe a few guys. Unfortunately, I think in the early going with this season, we've seen that, more so than maybe any other year. So it'll be great to get him back in the lineup. Obviously, we know what he can do. We know the type of matchup he is, and so that's a great thing for us. Emmanuel Sanders, man, I couldn't be more impressed with him just as a teammate and the way he works, the way he practices and our rapport and I felt like we were really starting to click and then obviously, he's been out the last two weeks. So I think, just, listen, all the young guys stepped up and did a great job in their absence, and I think that's going to serve us well down the stretch because there might come times when we're going to need everybody again, but to have those two guys back with just their experience and their productivity, and their playmaking ability will be good."

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