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Transcript: Quarterback Drew Brees media availability - November 26, 2019

Saints quarterback Drew Brees speaks to the media prior to the week 13 matchup against Atlanta.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post Practice Media Availability
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Facing this team for the second time in such a short period, what stands out as what you could do better from the first one?
"Obviously, we did not play very well that first time around and credit to them, they did play well. Bottom line is it's the next game. It's a very important game. We have the chance to win the division if we win this game. (It will be a) Short week so obviously all that preparation is kind of compressed into a few days here. Honestly, at the end of the day it does not matter who we are playing, where we're playing, bottom line is it's the next game. We're just trying to be better than we were the previous time out and just keep searching for that best game."

Did they play kind of like a desperate team the first time?
"Coming off of a bye week, they were 1-7. Obviously, a lot of what they'd been doing wasn't working. They came out, you could feel it, they had renewed energy and excitement and they just played better than us. They outplayed us. Hopefully this is a different story."

You mentioned a little of this after the game, but you guys are actually on pace for the most offensive penalties by far in the time you've been here for. I know that you do not have a lot of control over all of them, but what frustrates you about that?
"I don't know exactly what those stats are or what those penalties are, but I certainly know the way it feels, the way it feels at times is that there's a lot of unforced errors. A lot of things where we're just beating ourselves. Listen, from time to time, are you going to get a holding call? Yeah. Are you going to get a penalty based on something that the defense did that caused you to get that? Yeah, that's going to happen from time to time. But, man, we have to understand that number one, let's eliminate the unforced errors and then let's also understand the situations where man, it's a premium that you just can't have negative plays. It just sets you back, it puts you in really tough positions, it stops drives, it prevents you from getting touchdowns, instead you're kicking field goals and at the end of the day, those are difference makers in a game. If we want to be as good as we know we can be, we've got to clean that stuff up."

You have some great pass rushing teams coming up here and you don't have Andrus (Peat) at this point and you don't have Terron Armstead at practice today. How much more difficult does that make it to not have those guys?
"Well, we've got to manage. I think the other two guys have done a good job and that's a team thing. That's a unit. When I say team thing that's a unit thing. Those guys all work together and obviously things we do from a gameplan perspective can hopefully help those guys as well. Every week there are challenges when it comes to whatever it is, pass rushers, pressure packages or whatever it is. You gameplan, try to build in answers and then you also understand that there's just times where guys got to battle and hold up and let's get positive plays and certainly try to avoid the negative ones."

Can you give us a sense of how difficult it is to get cohesiveness when guys hadn't played a whole lot like Patrick (Omameh) or like Nick (Easton) and they go into a unit that's been fully functional all season and kind of jump in?
"Well the good thing is Patrick and Nick are both veteran guys. They're guys who have started other places. It's not like the guys that don't have any experience. That's a benefit and again, you manage. We've been in situations in the past where you've got guys stepping in and either doing it for the first time as a rookie or they're a backup and they're having to step up and do the job. So like I said, we'll manage."

How much do you have to maybe change protections to solve that riddle of how they had so much pressure on you guys the first time?
"The protection is not just, hey, you block him and you block him and hold up for as long as you can. There's a lot that goes into it. It's, hey, let's build in protection schemes that benefit them. Let's get the ball out. Let's avoid the negative plays. Sometimes the best thing that can happen is you just throw the ball away. Live to play another day. Instead of second and 15 it's just second and 10 and then you come back and you get a positive play on second down and now you're in a third and manageable situation. There's lots of ways to do it. I'm a part of that, the play callers part of that, the lines are (a) part of that, the tight ends are a part of that, receivers part of that, everybody has a little hand in that."

Have you worked with the NFL or NFLPA at all on any potential ways that you could improve some of these Thursday Night games, whether it's with a bye or schedule or any solution that you might find?
"Not in a while. I don't know. Maybe there've been some other conversations, but not that I've been a part of recently."

Do you have any solutions at all?
"I think there's plenty of solutions, but I don't know. I'm not worried about it right now."

You were asked a lot last week about Michael Thomas, throwing to him and find the open man, how he's going to get an open. But how many times would you say you've actually thrown to him because he's Michael Thomas and another guy wouldn't be open?
"Plenty of times. There is just a trust factor there and also just it's time on task, you know what I mean? You could say the same thing for (Marques) Colston when he was here. Listen, everybody kind of has their role, everybody has their strengths. You try to put those guys in the best positions to succeed and for me as a quarterback, just knowing this is when I can take a chance, this is where I can put that ball and I know he can get it. Those kinds of things."

I don't think any receivers since you've been in the league has ever caught 85% or whatever he's doing two years in a row. Are you aware that he catches that high percentage?
(Nods head.)

Is there anything you attribute to that?
"It doesn't mean that you just force the ball to him. Throw it to him when he's open."

How refreshing it to see him perform considering sometimes guys get a huge contract and they don't necessarily play the best football they have ever played right after that, but he's having one of the best seasons in the history of the NFL?
"It says a lot about the person (and) a lot about the competitor. I know what he's about. He wants to win."

Do you think replay overall is working?
"I don't know."

Are you frustrated by some of the things you've seen?
"No because I don't control it. Just when you thought you kind of had it figured out, maybe you didn't. At the end of the day, I think with the limited number of times that, you're referencing pass interference I know, the limited number of times that pass interference has been overturned and I don't know the exact number, but it's like 90 times it has been challenged and maybe six times it has been overturned or something like that. You got kind of the impression that the only way they were overturning it was in a critical situation where it's just one of these like obvious scenarios like the NFC Championship game. Where it's just an obvious no call or just a blatant everyone in the stadium, everyone at home, everyone watching knows that that was or wasn't and it just gotten missed. Listen, bottom line is there's still a human who's making a decision. So it's a judgment call. There's a judgment call. It's hard when you are reviewing judgment calls versus timing and stuff like that."

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