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Transcript - Drew Brees Conference Call 12/28/20 | Recap Week 16 vs. Vikings

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees recaps the Saints' offensive performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, December 25, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, December 28, 2020

When you guys are able to run the ball as effectively as you did on Friday, how much more so does it open up what you're able to do offensively?
"Yeah, listen, running the football does a lot of things. Obviously, it allows you to really control the line of scrimmage. It sets up your play action passing game. Typically, if you run the ball, well, you're talking four or five yards a pop. It's allowing you to really control the tempo of the game, time of possession becomes, really something in your favor, obviously, because you're chewing up the clock. And I think just, over time, there's an attrition, it wears defenses down. When you talk about having to defend that type of a run game over the course of three, four quarters, I think that's when you really start to see the benefit of it as well."

Sean Payton has always talked about Alvin Kamara's intelligence, saying all the way back to when he coached Marshall Faulk for comparison and that he hasn't had many running backs with that intelligence. How have you seen that both on the field and maybe even in conversations you've had with him?
"Yeah, listen, he knows football. He knows about a lot of things. He's just one of those guys that can hear something one time, and he's got it. There's some guys who need to be able to rep something a few times before it becomes ingrained. And I think, listen, I'm kind of one of those guys, I'm a rep guy. I like reps. I like feeling timing and rhythm, and just doing it kind of over and over again, to get the feel of something or the confidence with something. And Alvin (Kamara) is one of those guys who, you can just tell him something, he doesn't necessarily even need to get out there and rep it. And he's got it. He'll remember it, he'll retain it. And I think that's just, that's a rare trait."

As you guys head into the final week of the season, what are some of the goals you still have laid out that you want to accomplish during this last game?
"In my opinion, I just want to be playing our best football. I want to be as sharp as we possibly can, understanding that, obviously, we're still missing a few guys that hopefully we'll have when we get to the playoffs. But, still be as sharp and efficient as we possibly can, like, understand exactly what wins football games. And let's make sure we are doing all those things and putting ourselves in the best position to succeed every time we step on the field. Because I think there is a confidence that comes with that, an edge that comes with that and listen, everybody who makes it into the tournament, at the end, is a team who has found ways to win in order to put themselves in the position to be a playoff team. And so, once you get into the playoffs, you're playing against teams that know how to win, that have found different ways to win. And so, each one of those games just becomes that much more important when it comes to kind of the finer details of winning those games."

On days like yesterday, when you are off, are you using that day? Are you being a cheerleader, are you being a scout? What are you sort of doing on a Sunday, like yesterday?
"I'm spending a bunch of time with family. But listen, my kids love ball. And so most times we have a game on. And so, we're sitting there watching for a bit and then we'll go outside and (the) kids will jump on the trampoline, or we'll go to the park or for a bike ride or do something and then come right back and watch some more. So yeah, we watched bits and pieces of a bunch of different games yesterday."

I know your kids are big football fans. So, I was curious what their analysis was on Alvin's (Kamara's) game on Friday?
"Alvin officially won Baylen his fantasy football championship with that performance. So, Baylen was in the finals going into this week, and I guess six touchdowns gets you 56 fantasy points. And so that turns out to be pretty good. That pretty much sealed the deal. He destroyed the other guy, thanks to Alvin (Kamara)."

Sticking with the Alvin (Kamara) theme. This season, I wonder if you could comment, big picture his influence on the Saints. I don't know if you agree that it's his best season. But, in a year when the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year is not available for nine games and obviously you were hurting, there were some other guys in and out of the lineup. How would you kind of characterize Alvin's (Kamara) season?
"Listen, he's had a phenomenal season. He's been available. He's been as good in the run game as he has been in the pass game, as he has been in protection. So all around, I certainly feel like this has been his best season. He's done great things all the way up to this point. But I think, especially too, coming into a year where he just received an extension to his contract, right, and commitment from the Saints, that you're our guy, you're going to be your long term. And then, for him to have the year that he did when I think you may look historically at some guys that, where maybe the motivation isn't quite as much. I think Alvin's (Kamara) one of those guys who is such a, he's a prideful guy, he takes pride in his preparation, representing his team, and then going out and his performance on the field. And similar to what Michael Thomas did last year, coming off of his contract, this year with Alvin (Kamara). And I think it says a lot about the type of guys that we bring in here. And their love of the game, and their commitment to what we're trying to accomplish here."

You said last week after the Chiefs game, it was about getting rhythm and feel back in terms of getting more comfortable. Are you still at the stage of trying to get that back? Or did you feel that the Vikings game was a little bit better there?
"I definitely feel like the Vikings game was better. I felt like we moved the ball extremely well, both on the ground and through the air. We didn't punt the whole game, had what, 580 yards or something in total offense. So, we were moving the ball. We were rolling, we were doing what we wanted to do. I think there's definitely more to be desired. There's definitely room for improvement, especially as we kind of get to this last game and on our way into the playoffs. But, I think I'm pleased with the progress."

Speaking of this next game, no team in NFC South history has ever swept the entire division. And there's been some really good teams in this league, a couple Super Bowl champs, several other teams to make it there. What would that mean, I guess, for you and the team to just add another piece of your name into the record books and lore and all that stuff?
"I was thinking about that a little bit. Just because, this is our 15th season here in the Sean Payton era. And we have had a bunch of great teams here. And there have been a bunch of great teams around our division,that have been Super Bowl caliber teams. And I think it just says a lot about the division, when no team has ever swept the division. You understand how hard it is to win the division, kind of week in and week out. And there are so many battles. And it is kind of like regardless of record too, you are getting everything that each of those teams has and I think we just, we understand the significance of that. And obviously, that would be a great accomplishment. But at the end of the day, it's just getting another win, which just even better positions ourselves for the playoffs."

I know, these are regular season games, obviously. And so, they don't have that sudden death field. But, have these last couple of games been, I guess somewhat kind of a playoff atmosphere? When you're jockeying for a position, and there's still so much to play for?
"I think you try to take that approach, you absolutely try to take that approach. You get to December and all of a sudden things really begin to define themselves. And listen, there's so many divisional games, that there are just still so many things that can happen, right? Because each divisional game is almost worth two. And so, obviously we're in a position where we secured the division, we've won the division, and yet there's still so much out there in regards to playoff scenarios. So, we want to best position ourselves for the tournament. And we also want to be playing our best football going into it. So, we're constantly thinking about how we can improve."

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