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Transcript: Quarterback Drew Brees Training Camp media availability 8-21-19

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
2019 Training Camp Presented by Verizon
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Post Practice Media Availability

You didn't want to bring your bat out here today?
“It’s a nice bat. You guys missed a good home run derby in there today.”

Were you guys hitting footballs and baseballs?
“Tennis balls. There are windows and stuff in there. It is like what I tell my kids in the house. You’ve just got to know where you are, know your surroundings.”

Teddy Bridgewater said it was obviously going to be Taysom (Hill) winning that competition right?
“I don't know about obviously. Now he did end up winning, but it was close. It was close. We like to incorporate other sports, other challenges in our QB challenges. Stuff that not only is competitive, but might have some applications to football.”

How long will that loss of the Chargers linger do you think and that QB challenge when you have to wait a whole year to get back?
"That's true. It was disappointing, but we battled. They had their four quarterbacks, right? We had our three quarterbacks. We had to get a volunteer in that first, that first day. It kind of hurt us a little bit. Maybe if we had J.T. Barrett, we would’ve been able to come through on that day one. That would have changed the whole complexion of the deal.”

Are you pretty anxious about this third preseason game and how much work do you need in the preseason?
"Listen, I like reps. I like reps during practice. I like reps in games especially. I also understand the balance of, listen, what are you trying to accomplish? At the end of the day, the most important thing is being as healthy and prepared as you can be for a week one of the regular season when games begin to count. I also understand the desire and need to develop young players, to get guys reps at all different positions. The last couple of years, I've just gotten really one game, maybe two in the preseason. I'm fine with that, but I want it to be quality, I want us to be sharp, so it's important.”

Speaking of quality, all the third preseason games you’ve played, what is ideal? Nine, 12-play drive, get a touchdown, and get off the field?
“I think ideally I'd like more than that. so we'll see.”

Doesn't their defensive coach (Gregg Williams) have a reputation for blitzing during preseason games and how do you feel about that?
“You have got to be ready for everything. That is Gregg's aggressive style. I like that aggressive style. He is a very talented defensive coordinator and has had a lot of great defenses over the years. I think it is great preparation for us for what we could possibly face throughout the year. I think I would prefer to challenge ourselves by going up against good defenses like that as opposed to just stuff that is real vanilla that is not going to give you stuff that you feel like is really going to carry over to what happens during the regular season. In the regular season, people were throwing everything at you. I think that's what helps us get better.”

How long have you found that it takes you to develop a comfort level with these young receivers this time of year?
“What I found with our guys is the biggest jumps typically take place during the second training camp. You get through, you get through training camp one, you get through season one, and then you have an entire off-season. You have a whole July and then a whole nother training camp to get through to season two. That's where I feel like in recent years I made big strides with guys like Brandon Cooks, Willie Snead, Brandon Coleman, now Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, light bulb starting to come on, Austin Carr, Keith Kirkwood. When these guys enter that second year and all of a sudden the light bulb for them begins to come on. There's a comfort level with the offense. There is a lot less thinking and more just playing and reacting. More second nature stuff starts to happen and they start playing with a lot more confidence and then things just begin to click and we're on the same page. It's a lot more subtle communication as opposed to needing to stop and really go through and explain a lot of things because now you've been able to develop that rapport and some experience level together. So I think this is a good time for us right now getting some of these young guys to that point."

Is that ever a difficult balance for you with working with the new guys on the team? Cyril (Grayson), LJ (Humphrey), Emmanuel (Butler)?
"Yes, absolutely because this offense, you can look at it on paper and say, oh, they run a lot of concepts that are pretty well known concepts around the league. And yet I feel like we have nuances to all of them that give a lot of flexibility to the receivers and then to me as a quarterback. A guy's ability to feel something and alter the route, alter the route depth, altered the direction, just things that allow the receiver to get open. But also, man, we’ve got to be on the same page because I have to anticipate what you're doing. We’ve got to be seeing the same things and anticipating the same things and that just takes time. Just like I described, I think the ideal time is man, you get like a year and a half of that and going into year two is when you really begin to allow things to figure out for you. I think at this point in camp, it's pretty common that young guy's head starts spinning a little bit because it's now all the installs are in and things are starting to run together a little bit. It's like you just got to calm it back down again and then just continue to build.”

Have you noticed any particular improvements in Austin Carr?
"I think Austin’s had a great camp. He continues to get better each day. I’m really developing a lot of confidence in him. There are a lot of little subtle things he does well. At the end of day for a receiver, there is a timing and then there is a feel to everything. It is where am I in the progression? When is the quarterback can be ready to throw it to me. How can I get separation? How can I get open? How can I be available for him? And Austin has a lot of that feel to him which is good. It's pretty instinctive.”

Did you know Nancy Parker from Fox 8 at all?
“Yes, I had met her on a few occasions.”

Would you like to comment on the tragedy?
“It's terrible. You hate to lose someone like that. Obviously someone who is so well-respected and so cared for and a mother of three. So beyond what she meant to the community in her role as a news anchor and reporter, but just as a mother, wife, great community leader. It's just tragic.”

Did you know Governor (Kathleen) Blanco at all?
“Yes, I've met her as well.”

Any interactions with her and just kind of what she meant to this franchise?
“I had a couple interactions with her. They were always very, very pleasant. I really thought a lot of her.”

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