Saints quote: Drew Brees (September 26, 2018)

Saints QB talks about maintaining an 80 percent completion rate

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

Post-Practice Media Availability

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

You've had a few games like Sunday. How long does it take you to purge that kind of game and move on to the next?

“24 hours right? 24-hour rule for wins or losses. Anytime there’s a road win, especially in the division like that. At this point in the season for us that was a big win. Listen, we enjoyed it. We enjoyed the locker room after, we enjoyed the plane ride home, and the bus ride home, but man once Monday rolled around it was time to get back to work and focus on the next opponent. Then, obviously Tuesday, a big day prep yesterday and then today get our first day of practice in.”

Physically, how big is it to recoup after a game like that where you guys play a lot of plays, play an extra period?

“Right. It goes to overtime, 80, 82 plays, or 84 plays. There were a lot of plays. I think everybody woke up Monday and you put in maybe a little extra time based upon how your body is feeling in regards to maintenance and that kind of thing. I see a lot of guys doing that. I think a lot of guys have developed pretty good habits in regards to getting their bodies back and that's really what Monday and Tuesday are for right? You watch the tape, you put that game to bed, make the adjustments or talk through the adjustments that need to be made, and then you're moving on to the next opponent. Making sure that you find yourself ready to practice that week, have a great week of practice, and have a great week of preparation.”

Is an 80 percent completion percentage sustainable?

“I don’t see why not. Listen, it's not easy. I think there's a high expectation level with our offense and certainly my mindset when I take the field within the framework of the offense at the end you want to make great decisions right? That's both in the run game and the pass game. Obviously, we have a lot of responsibilities at quarterback. It's identifying matchups, it is making sure that you get positive plays and in just about every case a completion is a positive play right? Maybe that is the difference between you being third-and-seven and third-and-four. When you look at the percentages of conversion at that rate, that is a big deal. That is a difference maker and the will sustain drives and they will help us get points. I am just going to keep doing my job and keep trying (to) make great decisions.”

Why have you guys been so effective in the fourth quarter?

“Well, we talk through those situations, we practice those situations. I think we've got guys that, obviously, once you get to the fourth quarter that's crunch time. That's when you know you need to be as efficient as you possibly can. Guys need to step up and make plays. Help us win the game.”

How much does having Mike (Thomas) help with the completion percentage?

“Oh man it's huge. He's a great target. He's a great matchup. When he's covered that usually means that somebody else is going to come open. It's good to have the weapons that we have an offense. I think more so than that it's good that everybody has the mindset that they have and that is that at any time their number could be called. A play that in practice has gone to this guy and this guy all of a sudden it becomes their play because of the way the coverage is now tilted in their favor. I think we talk through the situations. You're trying to make guys aware of that. We have smart guys. We purposely try to go out and get those kind of guys.”

What kind of advantage do you have when Mike (Thomas) lines up in the slot?

“No matter where Mike is, it all comes out of Mike's drive, competitive nature. You look Mike in the eye and you believe that he is going to get open no matter who is covering him, no matter what the situation. He just has that mentality. He's got the highest, we call it ‘competes,’ and he’s got the best competes I’ve ever seen in a guy. The guy wants to win on every single play and he's going to give you his absolute best on every single play. That's a rare trait.”

It seems like when he catches the ball on some guys, he just turns and gives them that look. Have you seen that?

“I see in practice every day. Mike (Thomas) goes to another place. When it's time to compete, Mike goes to another place and he flips the switch and it's just like he puts on the cape and here we go.”

What have you seen from the Giants? I think Sean (Payton) said they play a little bit more man-to-man than Atlanta who play more zone.

“Yeah, I mean here's the thing: you can look at the team's tendencies and say that they're more weighted towards man-to-man or more weighted towards zone and then you get out into the game and you have to see how they’re going to play us right? So yeah, these guys certainly are capable of playing a lot of man. They’re certainly capable of playing a lot of zone too. We’ve just got to wait and see, be prepared for anything, and try to exploit the matchups when we get them.”

A lot has been made about the hits with Clay Matthews and stuff like that. Defenseless players and hits on the quarterback. Do you have a feeling about that? Do you feel like it is protecting the quarterback? Do you feel like it's become a little bit too sensitive for defensive players?

“Obviously, the main rule here’s protecting the quarterback in the pocket, right? When you are in a vulnerable position, the low hits, the late hits the driving QB into the ground. Listen, all those things benefit me. Benefit the quarterback. But I will say just from what I've seen in regards to what's been called now, I think it would be hard to be a defensive player right now. It would be hard to be a defensive lineman right now just knowing what's appropriate and what’s not appropriate. Especially for a bigger quarterback. If you're going to tackle a guy like Roethlisberger or Cam Newton or something like that, you've got to give it all you can to get those guys down. So is that going to be deemed as too much? Some of those hits I look at and say, ‘Man that was just a good tackle. That was just a good, hardnose football play.’ And others you look at and say, ‘Ah, listen he hit him in the head or he drove him into the ground. That was legit.’ It's hard. I mean, it's a bang, bang call for an official, right? Are they going to start reviewing every one of these now? I don’t know.” I’ll let the competition committee worry about that. I’m just going to worry about playing ball.”

Do you have any thoughts about being within striking distance of the passing yardage record at all?

“Nope. One at a time. One at a time. That stuff takes care of itself.”

What is your relationship with local guys like Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning?

“Yeah. I think I told the story back when we played them last time the dome a couple of years ago. It was right around Halloween and my son wanted to go as Odell Beckham Jr. for Halloween like two days before we’re about to play them. I’m like, ‘No, you can get the jersey after we play these guys, but you are not getting it beforehand.’ So then my son was all bummed out when it was that crazy game 52-49. I come up in the family area after and my oldest son was bummed out because Odell and Eli lost. I was like, ‘Whose son are you?’ But no, my boys are football fans and they love it. Obviously, there's Newman pride for the guys who came through Newman. The Mannings and Odell. But yeah, I've played in a Pro Bowl or two with Odell. Phenomenal, phenomenal athlete and phenomenal player. Eli's been doing it a long time at an extremely high level. A lot of respect for him. So yeah, both those guys.”

Has your son grown out of the Odell phase? Is he rooting for you guys this week?

“Yes. It is funny. Taking them to the Pro Bowl this past year, they are at the age now where you bring them in the locker room and they can have conversations with guys. They’re older and a bit more mature, but still this is crazy life for them right now to have that kind of access. But yeah they're football junkies.”

At this stage in your career, is it meaningful to have evidence that you’re producing at not just the level of your prime, but even greater than that perhaps? Is it validating to you?

“I've always had a goal that I want to continue to get better each and every year. Sometimes you can't always measure that. But the thing that's tough about our position is there's – if a guy breaks free and I scramble and I throw the ball away and I avoid a sack. Well, how does that show up on the stat sheet? It shows up 0-1, right? So that could be deemed as a bad thing. But in fact that was a good thing. You avoided a negative play. You threw the ball away. You gave your friends a chance to be in a better situation. Right? So there are certain things that stats don’t always show in terms of your true production. But I know deep down that I want to be a great decision maker. I want to build confidence with my offense. I want to be in control of the huddle, I want to lead the huddle. I want to make those guys believe and get the best out of them. So I want to make great decisions when I have the opportunity and then produce. So as long as I'm able to do those things than that's what drives me. That's what I work for every time out.”

Was there any good humor in film review when they watched how you made the spin move on the touchdown with the offense? Did anyone say anything that stuck with you that you enjoyed?

“Well no. The best thing is, so I coach all my boys in flag football, right? And so I made the comment after the game about how I tell them all the time that spin moves are good. They don't believe me and so we had practice on Monday with all the teams and the first thing all the kids said to me was, ‘We saw the spin move. It worked!’ I was like, ‘See, I told you so.’ So the video evidence. It's good when you can back it up with action. And so they're not just giving lip service. So hopefully we're going get some spin moves in Friday’s flag football game.”

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