SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
You've played a lot of games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. What was that, like out there? How different was that?
"I'm not going to lie. You know, you run out and obviously you're used to the energy and the emotion in the dome, (with) the fans, obviously with each and every play. You're waiting for that fan reaction like that big cheer on big offensive play, big defensive stop or special teams play whatever it might be. And you know, obviously they play stand up and get crunk and it was it was only at 75 decibels, right? Not at about 100 decibels like it normally is with everybody singing and dancing along with it. They didn't do choppa style justice either. They had to keep that volume down too, which was disappointing. We wish that we had fans out there. We wish they were they were, able to be out there with us and be a part of this, but it's At this at this stage. Listen, this is this is the normal for now and so I think for us coming into it, obviously, we knew it was going to be different, we knew there was going to be just some unknowns. But at the end of the day, it was 'worry about what we can control', create our own energy, focus on the job that we have to do. And listen, I thought it was a great team win. We're going to look at the tape and there's going to be plenty of mistakes in all areas of this game. And obviously, we can get so much better in so many areas. But at the end of the day, it was a great team win."
Actually have to have you ever noticed how loud it actually is compared to today?
"Yeah, here's the thing. Everything was toned down, like even the smoke machines and all that stuff. I'm telling you, it was probably like 25% of what it normally is. So even just kind of that little buzz in the stadium that they they create No, in between plays, kind of during the game at 70 decibels. That just feels like a whisper, compared to what it normally is."
Did you guys come out with the intention in the first quarter first half to do more intermediate and shorter throws? Or was that more of what the defense just happened to be giving?
"They were staying on top, you know, they weren't really allowing us to push the ball down the field. We call the few shot plays, actually one of them, they brought a pressure and just got to me otherwise, I think we have a big play. Otherwise we wanted to establish the run against a very good run defense. We felt like that would open up opportunities in the passing game. There was plenty of room to be more efficient. We weren't as efficient with the passing game as I know, we can be as I want to be. But at the end of the day, we were the beneficiaries of good field position, from special teams blocking a kick making plays, defense, turnovers. So great. I think we felt like man, we were always had the momentum every time we stepped on the field, which is a good field (position situation)." Sean Payton described his own play calling in this game as awful. That was his word. Did it feel out of sync to you up for a big part of this game? "Well, if you ask me how I felt like I played, I'd probably say I played awful as well. So I guess we get to be our harshest critics coming off of this game. I know that certainly we are used to playing at a much higher level, offensively, and I think especially the passing game. So we'll get that back on track."
Were they doing some stuff in coverage that maybe you guys weren't expecting? And they were doing more of it than you usually see from them? Can you just describe some of the stuff that we're seeing that that did make it a little bit harder to move the ball?
"Yeah, yeah, they did some different stuff. And listen, Todd Bowles is a great defensive coordinator, he's always going to have a very specific plan for you. They executed very well. I think the best thing we did was, we took care of the football, and we ran the ball well, and we put together some long drives, we're only three of six in the red zone, which obviously won't score touchdowns every time you get the red zone, or at least be much more efficient than that. Third down was pretty pitiful. We can be a lot better there. But listen, we always know that regardless of what you see on film, you got to go out and you have to play the game."
It seems like on those on those first couple third downs you targeted Jared cook a good bit you were obviously successful with a number of them were in the game. Is that just a result of the chemistry growing between you guys and kind of carrying over from last year?
"Yeah, absolutely. Listen, I'm so confident with Jared. I think he's a great matchup, regardless of who's on him. Obviously his size, speed and his ability to separate (are big). Typically he's getting safety and linebacker matchups, and that's good for us. Listen with all of our personnel, you throw out personnel grouping with Tre'Quan (SmitH) and Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and Alvin (Kamara), Jared, I mean, it's like pick your poison. So that's a good problem to have."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints playing host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.