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Transcript: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater media availability - October 16, 2019

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
Post Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Opening Statement:
“It's good to be back for another week. Facing another tough opponent. We're looking forward to this week's matchup and continue to just try to make the right strides in the right direction and try to find ways to get better."

I guess the first guy you look at on their defense that you have to always have to pay attention to is Khalil Mack?
“Definitely. The Mack attack or no return of the Mack, all that stuff. He and I are actually good friends, (we were) drafted the same year, but I am excited just to be able go out there and compete. We look forward to these kinds of match-ups. Our offensive line loves those kinds of challenges and we understand their personnel and some of the things that they do well. It’s a good football team that we're up against.”

You said you guys were friends. How well did you know him?
“We went through the draft process together. I found out he's from Florida. I got to know that much. I'm pretty sure he won't be my friend Sunday, but I'm just looking forward to this week’s matchup.”

Is ball security a big thing because he's really good at forcing fumbles? Is that just an extra emphasis this week?
“Definitely and every week you talk about ball security and just protecting the football. When you look at the tape and you understand the way this defense slides around, Khalil is making plays up front, their entire defensive line. You look at the guys on the back end with BoJack (Eddie Jackson) and Ha Ha (Clinton-Dix), (Kyle) Fuller, Prince (Amukamara), all those guys, man. They're making plays and we understand that they're going to be trying to create turnovers. They're at home, trying to continue to just find different ways to help them with football games as well.”

Do you feel like you could take something a little bit extra going into this game knowing you’ve played against them a few times there, you’ve played there, you’ve had them at your place with the Vikings?
“It's a totally different team, different personnel, different coaching staff. But, I’ve played there before and we understand the conditions of the field. We want to make sure we're on top of those little things so that we don't give them an advantage come Sunday.”

When we were in Seattle, somebody asked you, have we gotten a chance to see the real Teddy yet? You said you didn't think so. Now that you’ve got four starts and a body of work out there, do you feel like everybody's been able to see the real Teddy?
“I'm still just continuing to grow each and every day and I'm learning new things about myself each and every day. That's the joy of being in this locker room. You find out new things about yourself just from having conversations with guys on this team. This is a great place to be and I’m just enjoying learning something new about myself every day.”

Do you think over the last month you've proven yourself a little bit, not that you had any doubts, that you could play at a high level in this league again?
“Like you said, it wasn't trying to prove anything to myself. It was just proving to the ones who believed in me that they were right. But it’s not about me, it’s about this team. It’s about the things that we are doing well and finding different ways to win football games. That's what's most important to me.”

We've talked about you and Michael Thomas building a rapport. How is the rapport and that relationship with Alvin Kamara as a receiver gone for the last couple of weeks?
“It's been great. I texted him after the Tampa Bay game when I threw the interception, I texted them right after the game and was like, ‘man, sorry, I'll get you a better ball so you can catch it and run’. And he's just texted me, ‘man, forget that. We won.’ That is just the attitude around here that it's all about winning, finding different ways to win football games, and whatever it takes. To have a guy like Alvin (Kamara) coming out of the backfield, catching the ball, and (being) that security blanket is very beneficial as a team and as a quarterback.”

If he can't go, how much is that a loss for you or trying to find that production to fill if he can’t go.
“That's the other part that's beautiful about this league is that if you look at my situation, my number was called and I'm trying to answer. Another guy's number may be called and we expect him to answer. It’s the way this league works, you just always have to stay prepared and stay ready. No matter what happens, you don't want to take a step back or miss a beat."

You said it is not about you. It is about the team. What does it say about this team or what statement has this team made by winning four straight games without Drew Brees?“It just shows this is a team that’s determined to win and do whatever it takes. You look at how well we're playing on defense, how well we're playing in the kicking game, and we're trying to get better on offense. When you look at the overall picture, we are playing great team football. I think offensively, we are doing a great job of protecting the football and not turning it over. Defensively, holding our opponents to field goals, and preventing them from scoring touchdowns. In the kicking game, we're playing the games on our opponent’s side of the field. When you look at that, it is like, man, the outcome should be in our favor and you when you look at a scoreboard we have been winning football games.”

You were kind of critical of your own performance after the game. What is it that you wanted to clean up most of this week?
“I think for the most part just being consistent and continuing to trust my process and routine. I think last week I did something a little different that wasn't like me. Well, I changed my shoes so I’m superstitious (laughing). Just continue to trust the process. You can't get fascinated with the success. You have to be fascinated with the process and the routine that you’ve established. That's something that's been working for us around here. We've been fascinated with the process and it's been paying off for us.”

What is it like to get Jared (Cook) going these last few weeks?
“It’s great. A big guy like that who's fast, strong physical and you know, when you throw it in his vicinity, he's going to probably come down with the catch. It's very good to get a guy like him going and he's a guy with a high motor and we love that about him.”

You're always careful with the ball, but on the road against a defense like this, do you think I guess maybe I have to be extra, extra, extra careful?
“Like I said, this is the defense that finds different ways to create turnovers. Defensive line, the guys in the back end, the linebackers as well. For me, I just have to play the game the way that I know how to play it. We'll continue to protect the football and not put ourselves in difficult situations that make it hard for us to win.”

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