Transcript: Quarterback Drew Brees Training Camp media availability 8-15-19

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Training Camp Presented By Verizon
Thursday, August 15, 2019
Post-Practice Media Availability

How did you think the workout went today?
“I thought it was good. It's always good for us to have the opportunity to compete against another team, especially one like the Chargers here and we’ve done this three years in a row. I think it's been really beneficial for us, I think, and for them. You get a different look, obviously a different scheme both offensively and defensively. You come out here and haven't really had a chance to prepare for it a bunch and you just kind of throw yourself in the mix. It causes you to have to really think and kind of adjust to what you see. I think it's just good work for everybody."

In some ways is this as valuable as a preseason game?
“Yeah, I'd say for me it's even more valuable because I'm getting a lot more reps obviously in these practices than I would be getting in a preseason game. You script situations you do not always encounter every situation in a preseason game. But out here you are able to script play action periods and pressure periods, third down, red zone, two minute, everything that would happen throughout the course of a normal game or the regular season. You get to go up against a really good, talented team, a team that is used to winning. That was a playoff team last year. I think it is good, just ramps up the competition.”

Your review of how you guys did, overall offensively?
“We’ll look at the film. I don't think our tempo was as good as I’d like for it to be. But we'll take a look at it and make the corrections we need to make.”

Is the climate change extremely noticeable?
“Yes, very much so. I'm not soaking wet right now.”

Do you see improvement in Taysom (Hill) as a passer and does it surprise you at all that other teams in the league are trying similar things with quarterbacks
"Yeah. Here's the thing. You got to have a rare talent and a rare person to be able to be a jack of all trades like that. Taysom’s a quarterback who just happens to be an incredible athlete and therefore his strength and his skillset and his smarts and his toughness can be used in other areas as well, right? But, I don't think there's many Taysom Hill’s out there."

Do you anticipate other teams trying that?
“Well, if I were to compare it to something and call it like the basketball player tight end experiment, right? That's worked out for a few guys, right. As we've seen, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, I mean Tony Gonzalez for that matter and a few others but, I think different than what they were asked to do.Taysom plays about eight different positions on the field. He plays tight end, he plays quarterback, he plays almost like a hybrid fullback, H-back position, he plays quarterback, right. He can run, he can throw. He plays (on) every special teams (unit), right? In a bunch of different areas. So (that) just requires a very unique skillset and I just do not think there's many guys that have that ability. Especially to play the quarterback position along with that, because I think we know what the quarterback position demands. In regards to your ability to run, pass, lead the huddle, do a lot of things. So, it's a unique skillset that I don't think many possess (what it takes).”

How would you grade the quarterback challenge?
“We got beat pretty good today. The challenge itself was pretty good. Ten throws. That allows you to get into a little bit of a rhythm. I liked the targets. Phillip (Rivers) said they named it the county fair because I guess there is a county fair and it reminds me of (when) you’re throwing the ball trying to knock down the dummies at the county fair or something like that. And it’s basically, we had a myriad of different objects to throw at. It was a combination of a bunch of different QB challenges all in one. Forty throws total. So, it was a good (challenge).”

Were you keeping score?
“Of course we keep score. What is the point if you do not keep score? They won. They won the QB (challenge) today. It was their choice, so then we choose tomorrow's comp. I'm confident that the Saints will come through and win that one and then we get the grudge match on Saturday. And by the way, we won last year and they won the year before. Right? So, there's a lot at stake here. You know, let's talk about the important stuff here.”

How do you feel when you're asked to take a (veteran) day off?
“I hate vet days off. I just like taking the reps. I like being out with the guys. I like getting work done. I just do not want to miss anything and I feel like if the guys are out here, I should be out here. I also understand the value of rest and recovery at times when it is needed. I'm trying to be smarter in my seasoned years.”

Did you always feel that way (about vet days)? Was there ever a time where you would have welcomed that?
“No.”

I've heard Philip Rivers doesn't like them either. Did you two just have similar routines when you played together?
“Maybe our personalities lend itself more to being a little bit in control of the situation. And so obviously when you're asked to take a day off, there's nothing worse than sitting on the sideline and watching everybody else do it. If you're going to tell me to take a day off, go put me somewhere where I'm not going to drive myself crazy staring at it."

Do you do yoga now?
“I'll do yoga, I'll do pilates. I do a lot of stuff. I think there's benefits to all those things."

Do the days off have benefits?
“Absolutely. They absolutely do. Yes.”

Do you feel (better) after (a day off)?
“It's a little bit of stubbornness that I’ve just got to overcome. That's really what it is.”

What is the significant difference between Mark Ingram and Latavius Murray?
“I think they're both similar in the roles that they'll play with their offense. I've been really impressed with Latavius. He's played at a high level wherever he's been and I think he adds a good element, just that similar element that Mark added. And I think the complement of him and Alvin (Kamara) is really good. The ability to put them both on the same field at the same time gives you a lot of options.”

Since you left San Diego, Philip’s (Rivers) never missed a start, can you speak to that sort of consistency and longevity that he’s had?
“Yeah, it's a great testament to his toughness. His ability to, I'm sure fight through a bunch of injuries at the same time. You don't make it through this game or play every season healthy. So, testament to him and his competitiveness as well.”

Is there an element of luck?
“Yeah. There is, there is. I mean, listen, as a quarterback, you're in vulnerable positions a lot. And you're relying on a lot of things that are outside of your control. So you certainly hope that those things go your way.”

Back to Latavius Murray, what is your relationship like with him?
“It's good. It's really good. I mean, we've had what, couple months together now? I really like him. I enjoy our conversations outside of football. Just getting a chance to know him just like other guys as well, Jared Cook and other teammates that are new here. And I think everybody appreciates what we have with the Saints, as far as our locker room and camaraderie, you know, there is something to our locker room and I think it's a big reason why we've been successful. Guys care about each other, guys enjoy being around each other off the field as well. And I think that that trust and that love carries over to what we do on the field and the success we have.”

How did you, did you have trouble adjusting to a new helmet?
“I did not have trouble adjusting to it. It was more so the fact that it just looks like I am going to Mars instead of playing a football game. So I do not know if I told you guys like four or five years ago and a lot of these helmets started coming out and man, I had the old school one. I was like, ‘all right, well maybe it's time to try the new one.’ The equipment guys are pushing you to do it. Everybody's pushing you to do it. So I put it on, I stepped in the huddle and Lance Moore, one of my favorite guys ever, he gets down and he looks at me and he stands up and he's like, ‘Bro, I cannot take you serious wearing that helmet. I just can't, I can’t even process the play you just said. I can't look at you the same.’ So I was like, ‘Oh, I forget this stupid helmet.’ Go back to my old school one and rocked it for four more years until they outlawed it this year. I guess it is technically outlawed this year. But, it’ super comfortable. It feels good. (It) Just looks weird.”

You are a creature of habit, right? I mean, did you want to fight it?
“No, not really. Again, worry about things you can control. (I) Didn't really control that one, right? They were outlawing it. And they scan your head, and they do all this fancy stuff and, I figured that if it's going to help protect me a little bit more than (the older helmets), that's probably a good thing.”

What is the attachment to a helmet? Like, is it safety? Is it comfort? Is it taking you out of your routine?
“Well, I think it's comfort and familiarity. There are all kinds of different helmets now. There's a million different brands and styles and everything else. Everybody kind of has their own, their own deal. I just, I liked the old school one for the longest time.”

I guess you’ve had two incarnations that you’ve played long enough to see two phases of equipment outlawed.
“Maybe they should like bring leather helmets back just to get a laugh (laughter). Or a single-bar suspension. Yeah. I could go that route. Again, it’s all for the right reasons, right? I tell myself that if it's making the game safer and making me safer, then that's probably a good thing.”

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