New Orleans Saints vs New York Jets
Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Quarterback Drew Brees
On if today was kind of a grind it out game:
"It was. I think on offense it was a fast start. The first three possessions were good, 17 points. Then we hit a bit of a lull there where we were kind of selfdestructive in the late second quarter and into the third quarter. Three turnovers in that period of time, obviously, took points off the board on two of those where we were driving, we were in the red zone, and had a lot of momentum. That part of it was disappointing because we felt like there were opportunities there to distance ourselves and score points. We made it harder than I think it needed it to be, and yet, when we needed to put together and drive, and convert some third downs, and make plays at the end, we were able to do that."
On the fourth quarter drive where Michael Thomas came up big and what he has meant to the offense throughout this season:
"It was superb. He had a big third-down conversion, then he went up and made a great play. It might've been the very next play or soon thereafter. Then obviously the touchdown catch. It was just a tough, physical play on his part. Really that entire drive, you could see it in his eyes. He wanted the ball and he wanted to be making the plays."
On if he is surprised he does not receive the attention of some other wide receivers in the National Football League:
"I certainly feel like Mike Thomas deserves more attention, as far as where he stands amongst some of the league's best receivers. He has had two very good years thus far and he continues to get better and better. He is a guy that wants to learn and wants to be put in as many positions as possible to help this team and make plays. He envisions himself as that type of player and he is. What is fun for me is coming into work every day with a guy like that who approaches each and every practice like it's a game. His attention to detail, and his focus, and his intensity. There isn't a walk through for Mike. It's always full-go, where do I need to be, when do I need to be there, and when do you expect me to be there. I love that attitude in a player."
On how the offense works to avoid some of these mistakes on offense again during this stretch run:
"The interception's unfortunate because you're throwing a checkdown and the guy throws his hands up and you kind of get hit as that happens. Just the timing of that, where it is the end of the (first) half, and it's two-minute (offense), and you want to be the one going down and scoring points, and going into halftime with momentum. Instead you give it to them, they kick a field goal, and then they have the momentum. So that stinks, but two fumbles and I'd say that's happened too many times this year. We are knocking at the door and we give it back and squander the opportunity. Maximizing our chances at points and our opportunities is going to be key for this team moving on."
On putting his finger on the third down struggles today and during the entire season:
"Here is the thing with that, we are certainly not pleased with where our third down numbers have been this year when you just look at the whole season. In our defense today, I felt like we had a bunch of good drives and a bunch of good conversions. Points where we were not even getting to third down, and we went down, and we were doing good things. You get into some third and long situations based upon penalties and stuff like that. We converted on a fourth down there which kind of negates the lack of conversion on a third. If you count that then that is 40 percent and if you get one more then that is 50 percent. You're so close to the number that you want. I think the way we look at it though is your 30 percent on third-down and one of those fumbles happened on third-down so there's your 50 percent right there and then it's a totally different conversation. When you can still score 31 points and you're at 30 percent, that just tells us 'where can we be if we are at 50 percent.' There aren't wholesale changes (needed), it's nothing miraculous, it's just one more. One more and instead of being a middle of the pack third-down team, you're a top five, which is where we are used to being."
On Cameron Jordan's ability to bat down passes:
"He's like Dikembe Mutumbo player defensive end. It's pretty awesome. Those are game-changers. Especially the one on the two-point conversion (didn't count as a pass defensed officially since it was a two-point conversion attempt). That was a huge play."
On if with the Jets defense there was anything specific they presented to him early on that confused him or was it more miscues offensively:
"We scored on our first three possessions so I felt like we had good rhythm, we had good tempo, we were able to hit some big plays and then it was really just the turnovers after that. I felt like we were in position to make plays and, unfortunately, they got the ball out on us. We need to do a better job of hanging onto the ball out on us."
On if they scoreboard-watched during the game:
"No. You find out about it after the game. We just focus on what we are doing at the time."
On if it's not human nature to sneak a peek:
"It's human nature, but you have to fight human nature a lot of those times."
On his reaction to Reggie Bush's career upon his retirement from playing football:
"Great memories. He had an 11-year career, a phenomenal career. Obviously, a great five years here and he went on to play really well in Miami, Detroit, and Buffalo. Reggie was a special player. A guy that when he first came out, you look at what he did in college and what he did when we first got him in this offense, he revolutionized the position a little bit. All of a sudden, there became that position, that guy that everybody was striving to have as part of their offense. When the ball was in his hands, he was electric. Out of the backfield, carrying it, catching it, split him out. He was basically a receiver when you split him out. He could return punts and do a lot of things. I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to play with him. We, obviously, won a Super Bowl together so we are locked together forever for that."