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Transcript - Drew Brees Conference Call 12/21/20 | Recap Week 15 vs. Chiefs

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees recaps the Saints' offensive performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, December 21, 2020

How do you feel physically this morning? And the second part is, what is your quick assessment of the offense now that you've had a chance to kind of digest it a little bit more?
"I feel pretty good. All things considered, obviously, day after a game soreness and the normal stuff. As far as our performance yesterday, obviously, (there was) a lot more to be desired, (I) felt like, there were a lot of completions that we left out there, opportunities to keep drives going and possess the ball and try to get points. As I look at some of the key statistics from that game, obviously, the time of possession was pretty lopsided. So opportunities for us to possess the ball, you know, wear their defense down a little bit, go down and get points, and, obviously keep their offense off the field, I think would have been helpful. And then just, you know, some of the, I think, just the timing and the rhythm of the passing game. You know, a lot of yesterday was just kind of getting the feel back, you know, for me, honestly, especially to start that game. So, you know, there were times where we got rolling, there were times where we made some big plays, and did some good things, but just not quite enough."

You mentioned some of the things you wanted to correct. A short week ahead to this next game, what are some of the adjustments you guys have to make to the schedule and routine in order to accomplish that, but also be prepared for the game?
"Yeah, listen, it's a short week. So, there's always the challenge of, how do you get basically seven days worth of preparation and recovery, squeezed down into five days. And so, everything's just accelerated, you got to spend a lot more time with recovery on your body, doing all those things. So, I've already kind of mapped out a plan for myself, for this whole week as every guy. Also, as we approach practice, it's, typically, you might be putting shoulder pads on one day a week, or what have you, you know, obviously, that's not something you do on a short week like this. So, it's how do you balance the recovery, but also getting the reps that you need in order to prepare yourself for the game. So we'll have a good plan."

When you were talking to Coach (Payton) about the desire to start this week, when did you start to feel your body was ready to go? In other words, when did you guys get those conversations going?
"So last week, building up to Philly, again, it was hard to anticipate the timeline. When I first got hurt, just because I never dealt with anything like that before and you understand just how important the healing process is for the ribs and the lung and that kind of thing. So it is tough, because my personality is one to be very, very proactive and try to get back out there as quickly as possible. And yet, you understand there's healing that has to take place. And so, I was put on IR, so basically, I knew I was out for three games minimum and then immediately, I am thinking, hey, Philly, how do I get ready for Philly? Get ready for Philly. And it was very obvious during that Philly week that I was not ready. I couldn't, you know, move or throw the ball the way that I wanted to, and just felt like the healing process was not, you know, even close to where it needed to be yet. But, when we got to Philly on game day, I told myself, I'm going to go out and do everything I would do pregame and kind of see where I'm at. And I felt good to the point where, you know, the game adrenaline was pumping, even during the pregame in Philly, even though knowing I was not going to play. And I felt like, man, I got this. Next week I got this, and so, I still kind of had some benchmarks I'd hit Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, just to make myself feel like, you know, I had enough. And I felt like I had enough."

Just considering that you've made it pretty clear that you're taking this on a season by season basis. Is it any different when you're at this stage of your career when you have to miss 4 games? Do you look at this differently than you would, you know, in year 10 or something like that?
"Well, I would still try to get on the field as quickly as possible. I'm just wired that way and don't want to miss any time. Never want to miss any time, always want to be there to play, play for my teammates. But, obviously knowing that, I just don't know how many more opportunities I'll have. There's even a greater sense of urgency. Sure."

Has the team sort of acknowledged, or do you just keep it in mind in your own head, that you want to try to figure out a way to avoid sort of the swoons that you guys have hit late in the season last year, I know it kind of came in December two years ago. And then last year, obviously, it was the first round playoff exit, have you tried to pinpoint how you can peak at the right time?
"Here's the thing, every season is so different, right? And there are so many factors that go into that, we are kind of in an interesting spot now. Because, hey, we decided to put Mike Thomas on IR, right? For three weeks, knowing that that will go a long way for his ankle and what he's been battling throughout the season. We missed him for six weeks. And then he was back for a little bit. Now, he's out for a bit. So, it's that in combination with COVID, having to deal with that, and all these things. At the end of the day, you are right, you want to be playing your best football going into the playoffs. We understand that we've sealed a playoff spot. But, the most important factor right now is for us to win and win the division, right? And then, continue to kind of build on and ascend, going into the playoffs. And listen, I missed the last four weeks, I'm trying to kind of get back into it again, and get the feel and the rhythm and all that. So, I think there's just a little bit of that going on right now. But, at the end of the day, we're only going to get better week to week, from now until the end of the season, and then going into the playoffs. And so, is that an emphasis? Yes. Absolutely."

How has it felt to play with a flak jacket on? Has that been restrictive at all?
"I have always played with something. So, going back to when I first came in the league, I had kind of a bigger, thicker flak jacket on. And then at some point, I kind of, moved to something that was a little bit thinner, but kind of molded to your ribs. And then I went to something else yesterday. There are all kinds of different products out there. Everybody comes out of the woodwork when you have rib injuries, and tells you that, hey, wear this you can jump on a grenade you'll be okay. At the end of the day, I think every QB wears something."

Earlier, you talked about the big plays, one in particular, that touchdown to Latavius (Murray), I guess, how many reads did you make on that play? How did that kind of unfold? And how big was that for you to go through as many reads as you did? And have a play work like that?
"Yeah, he was the fifth progression. 1,2,3,4 and then scramble, five. He did a great job, you know, because actually, he was in protection. So, they brought both linebackers, line picks up one, he picks up the other. And it's, block block block, we kind of had them all wadded up, and then you're going through your progression, realize you don't have anything, you go to scramble. And that's just great awareness on his part of, you know, he had kind of stalemate with his guy. And then he sees me basically needing an outlet. And then he makes himself available. It was a really good job by him."

I know you guys would rather have Mike (Thomas) on the field right now. But can this be like an opportunity for you with him not out there to get something going with like Emmanual (Sanders) and Jared (Cook) and everybody else?
"Listen, absolutely. And that's the way it was for six weeks. Right? I have so much confidence in Jared (Cook), so much confidence in Emmanuel (Sanders). And obviously, we've got some young guys that are now going to play some key roles, down the stretch here, that I'll continue to develop a rapport with there. But man, we're going to find different ways to win. And obviously the most important thing for Mike (Thomas) right now is just to get healthy, so he is as good as he can be going to the playoffs."

What did you think of Lil'Jordan Humphrey's play yesterday and where have you seen him develop as a receiver?
"Yeah. You know what? He's, I think we've always seen a lot in him. He played for a period of time last year, unfortunately was when I was hurt, where he was playing a lot last year for, you know, a couple game stretch. And then, you know, he was down most of this year on IR and then he was able to come up. And listen, I think he gives us some juice, you know, he can do a lot of things, he can play outside, play inside. He's a pretty smart football player. He's got good size, really good athletic ability, I think (he has) good feel as a route runner and ability to go up and get the ball. You saw the catch he made in the endzone for the touchdown there at the end. I mean, obviously, that was a huge play. That gave us a chance to, you know, go out there and have a chance to potentially get the ball back and win that game. So I think, (the) sky is the limit for a guy like him. And he's a great complement in this offense."

Did you go with the jacket that can survive a grenade blast by the way?
"Supposedly, yes. I'm not going to try that one (laughter). I won't be the one to prove that theory."

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