New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
I know you don't directly look at it, but you guys now have Kwon Alexander on the roster, so what are you impressions having played against him in the past?
"Kwon Alexander is a very good player, high energy, it seems like he was a real intelligent football player. Obviously anyone who plays middle linebacker in the NFL has to be smart, tough guy. He always came across as being that, a guy who was a quarterback of the defense, make a lot of calls, make a lot of adjustments, get guys lined up. (A) Very explosive player, real good athlete, great speed and key and diagnosis ability."
Eight games into the season, what would you assess where this team's at now some of the biggest areas of concern? What do you need improve on?
"I think each week we've gotten a little better. It's been an unusual season, especially offensively over the last four or five weeks, especially with the personnel turnover, with guys being injured. I feel like we're hitting our stride a little bit, getting Michael Thomas back, I think he's going to continue to kind of get back into form, with more reps and coming back off the injury. Emmanuel Sanders as well and obviously more time on task. That combined with the guys we already have, young guys that we have, I'm excited to see our evolution."
I don't know how much you were able to remember about Emmanuel Sanders' performance when you played the 49ers last year, I know you don't watch the offense that much. I'm curious what you thought about that and if you thought about it when it became evident he would sign with the Saints?
"I remember the catch he made, the deep ball, kind of backpedaling, falling into it, getting up and running for a touchdown. And then he had the throw, it was an amazing pass back to (Raheem) Mostert, so yes, he had an incredible game (and) did a lot of stuff. He is really a great football player all the way around. I remember when they traded for him right around this time last year and obviously knowing we were going to be playing the Niners, they were on the schedule, four, five weeks later, just thinking to myself, man that guys a good player. I enjoy watching film on him, I remember watching years of Denver film, him always showing up, a guy that's so versatile and could run so many different routes (and) just had a great feel for the game. I just heard a lot of good things about him. I remember thinking to myself when San Fran got him that we have to face this guy, they just got that much better. And then he signs with us this offseason to my surprise. That was a joy for me getting to know I will have a chance to play with a guy like that."
I think every time a Taysom Hill play hasn't worked out this year, the commentator on TV and about 50 people on social media all said, 'I can't believe you would take the Hall of Fame quarterback off the field and put Taysom Hill in'. What is your argument for why it's a good thing for this offense to sometimes take you off the field and put Taysom Hill in?
"I think if you just look at the productivity. And look at, I think what people don't realize too is the stress that that puts on a defense. The defense has to have a plan for when Taysom (Hill) is in the game at the quarterback position. And the myriad of things that we can do. You know, we can run read option stuff, we can do RPOs. Sometimes he's handing off, sometimes he's running it. Sometimes it's designed quarterback runs. Sometimes we're throwing it, sometimes it's shorts, sometimes it's deep. We have the opportunity to do so many things when he's in the game and when he's at the quarterback position. So, it's just that much more stress on the defense and there's big play opportunities and big play ability there. I think coming off a game like the one we just had against Tampa where Taysom (Hill) had over 100 total yards of offense, receiving, running and throwing. So that just becomes a great element for the offense."
What are your thoughts just looking at this 49ers defense now that, you know, they have a rash of injuries, you know, you don't have, you know, (Nick) Bosa there or Richard Sherman there in the secondary. What have you just seen from the 49ers? And how different are they than when you faced them last season?
"I know this, they're very well coached and they've got great leadership. And they still have a bunch of great players. Obviously, they're short a few guys that, you know, were key guys from last year. But, I think just like any team, you have young guys that, have to step up and play and contribute and be able to execute this game. And I think despite the injuries that they've had, they've had guys that have done a good job doing that."
There's recently seems to be a very big game feel to almost every time you play the 49ers from back in the playoffs eight years ago into last year, when maybe that game kept you from home field in the NFC. Any thoughts about why these games with this team always seem to come down to something big?
"I don't know. But I was thinking about that, as well. And we've played these guys a bunch of times since I've been here. You know, for a team that, obviously they're in the NFC, but they're in a different division. That's, that's unusual. I feel like we've played them just about every year. And yeah, they have been, always very meaningful games."
There's recently seemed to be a very big game feel almost every time you play the 49ers from back in the playoffs eight years ago, until last year, when maybe that game kept you from home field in the NFC. Any thoughts about why these games with this team always seem to come down to something big?
"I don't know. But I was thinking about that as well. We've played these guys a bunch of times since I've been here. For a team that obviously they're in the NFC, but they're in a different division, that's unusual. I feel like we've played them just about every year and yeah, they have been always very meaningful games."
What was Jameis (Winston's) reaction when he actually got some playing time last week, and obviously he only through one pass and was in for just a handful of plays before he kneeled it the rest of the game. But what did you see from him, when he got that chance to finally go out there again?
"He was jacked up. He was excited. When I came to the sideline, after we had scored to obviously go up by quite a bit and there was about nine minutes left in the game, Pete Carmichael came over to me and said, 'Hey, you are out. Jameis is going in.' And I looked at Jameis and he just looked at me and said, 'Man, thank you!' (laughter) So I was excited for him. And then at that point, it was like cheering (on) our defense to, obviously get them (Buccaneers offense) off the field as quick as possible so Jameis could get out there and get some action. And then he starts handing the ball off and, obviously, it's that type of situation. But I'm sitting there whispering in coach's ear like, 'hey, let him throw it." So he got one pass in, which was good."
I was also going to ask about Jameis (Winston), no preseason games and most of the stuff he's done probably has been scout team work. But have you been able to have any sort of opinion or evaluation of him over the last eight, nine weeks working side by side with him?
"It's interesting because listen, this is a guy that started for five years. Similar to Teddy Bridgewater, who came in, these guys have developed their own routines. They have their own routine from their time as a starter. But now, it's okay, new offense. It's Hey, how does Drew (Brees) do it? How can I maybe incorporate that into what I like, what I'm comfortable with. But at the end of the day, they've still got to be themselves. I think what I've been really impressed with Jameis is his work ethic, like this guy's here early, he stays late, he puts in a ton of time, and he's got the way that he watches film, breaks down film. He spends a ton of extra time after practice receiving additional reps, additional throws, really trying to master the game, master the position and this offense. I appreciate that a lot about him."