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Transcript: Drew Brees Post-Practice Media Availability - September 5, 2019

Quarterback Drew Brees speaks to media prior to Week 1

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, September 5, 2019

J.J. Watt, the last time you all played them in Texas, he was pretty productive. (What is) just the pressure that that defense can create even without Clowney?
"They're a phenomenal pass rush group and really across the board. It's not like it's just one or two guys. They've got a litany of guys. Obviously, there's a huge focus on JJ watt. He's one of the elite players in this league, elite pass rushers. (He) Has been for a long time. That's what this defense thrives on. When you turn on the tape from last year, they are getting after the quarterback."

This is your nineteenth season, your eighteenth entering at the starter. Is there something that you take from those previous 17 opening days as a starter that you bring into this and that I guess eases your mind? Or is this an accumulation of all that that you bring into the season?
"It's always fun to take what you've been working on from the offseason and the preseason and then apply it. Every year is truly a new year because even if you have the same guys, they're at different stages. We've got all these young receivers now that are a year older and it's like, man, the light bulb starting to come on, they're able to do more things. The confidence level is even higher. You kind of ask yourself like, man, how good can we be? And that's the exciting part when you come to work everyday is, is man, how good can we be? But it's still about the process. It's still about one day at a time. I'll bore you guys to death every week with that, but it truly is. It's like each day has a purpose and a focus and you gotta get your work done each and every day before you move onto the next one. Then by the time game day comes around, man, have I done everything I possibly could to put myself in the best position to succeed? And you want that answer to be yes."

You haven't had a chance to work with him in a game, but Jared Cook is kind of the new toy around here. Is it an exciting thing to go into the season thinking about what you can do with him on the field?
"Yes. I'm very excited about him and, and the element that he brings to the offense and just the compliment with the other guys that we have as well. You try to give defenses a lot to have to worry about and plan for and then that kind of thing."

You can't get away from people saying, how are the Saints going to respond to what they went through last season. How does what you guys went through in any way, shape how you enter the season?
"It's got to strengthen you and motivate you. I guess it's one of two directions. Anytime you have some sort of negativity or some sort of adversity is, are you going to allow it to affect you negatively or are you going to allow it to affect you positively? I think we take the approach that we're going to let it affect us positively. The togetherness on this team, the strength of this team, the way guys are there to lift each other up and support each other, it's pretty remarkable. I think if you went around to a man in here, especially the guys that have been other places, I think that's the first thing they'll tell you when you say, what's different about it here? They'll say the locker room, the guys. There's a genuine love and care for each other and trust and that carries over to what you see on the field."

How important would your first week one win in six years be?
"Listen, it'd be really important. It would be nice to start out in the win column."

Why hasn't losing early and not winning in openers and getting off to a slow start had an effect on the rest of the season in 2017 and 2018?
"There is always a sense of urgency. You are not going to sit here and say like, are you preparing that much harder for week two if you lose week one as opposed to a win. You're always fighting human nature. Human nature is that when you are winning maybe it is like it is all good, we're winning and little mistakes kind of get swept under the rug and that kind of thing and then you still feel good about everything. You have to self-discipline yourself to just sit there each and every week and just take a hard look at everything. Whether you won or lost, It's when we got to get better and it's a race to get better, especially early in the season. It's a race to get better. We're always looking for constant improvement. We've never arrived and we're always striving."

(Ryan) Ramczyk told me that he is most likely going to be blocking J.J. Watt and he said that there's something different about him. What is so different? What puts him above the rest?
"Size, strength, explosiveness, awareness. He has got just a great feel for the game. In any one on one situation, he's going to feel like, there's a few guys in the league that you sit there and say, all right, that's a tough match one-on-one for anybody. I don't care who you are. He's just an extremely talented player because of his size, his speed, his strength, his explosiveness, his awareness, his smarts, his energy, his motor. He is really like a one of a kind player. There's not many like him."

Did (J.J. Watt) consult you at all after the hurricane about how to have an impact on that?
"He did. Obviously, I think we're all aware of the work that he did after Hurricane Harvey and the amount of money that he was able to raise and the amount of help he was able to give so many people, which was remarkable, and really spearheaded that. I remember seeing a lot of his social media posts and just his activism to get that done.
He called me and it was really one of those like, man, where do we start? How do we know who to trust? All those hard, tough questions. He's got a big heart and just wanted to help people and give people the opportunity to come back stronger and really looked at New Orleans as a model for that. I think a lot can be said about what we were able to accomplish coming post Katrina."

Erik McCoy was four years old when you made your NFL debut. How do you stay relatable with those guys who are so much younger than you when you're a leader on the team?
"Listen, football is football. First and foremost, just try to model the way that you would want. I try to be the teammate that I would want them to be for me. Me, be the teammate for them that I would want them to be from me. Try to model that with everything I do from my preparation to my approach. I want my car to be one of the first ones they see when they drive in and my car is going to still be there when they leave. When we're out on the field, man, it's constant communication. It's constantly talking through things and hey, this is what I'm seeing. This is what I'm expecting. This is what you'll hear from me. Just trying to give him a level of expectation so that come game day it just becomes automatic and then the more time you have together the more you just begin to think alike and all those looks are seen at the same time"

It seems like a lot of teams would like to do what you guys have done with Teddy (Bridgewater) and Taysom (Hill) in terms of keeping three quarterbacks on a 53-man roster, but have you actually seen instances of that happening anywhere else? It seems like with roster limits, it's easier said than done to keep three quarterbacks active on game days.
"Good luck to anybody who wants to try to find another Taysom Hill. Obviously, we know all the freaky stuff that guy can do. Pretty much play every position on the field. Just the flexibility it gives you and at one time last year we had all three of us on the field. Who knows what this season holds in regards to the personnel groups that might pop up."

So you're basically saying y'all are going to start with three quarterbacks on Monday.
"You never know. Why not (Laughter)?"

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