Saints quotebook: Drew Brees (Oct. 17, 2018)

QB talks about facing the Ravens' fierce pass rush

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

Media Availability

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

You’re going against a team that had 11 sacks last week. What is it about their pass rush that kind of enables them to be so good?

“Well, they have a lot of good pass rushers. So a lot of good matchups for them. It is obviously something they've done well for a very long time. They do it well with their D-Line, their front four so to speak and then, obviously, from the linebacker position as well. It's a 3-4 defensive structure, so bigger body guys, strong, powerful. You feel like that's been their scheme for a very long time and they've always been really good at it.”

What about (Terrell) Suggs specifically? How is he still able to play at such a high level still?

“He’s the ageless wonder. He's played a long time and done it at a really high level in such a physical position, outside linebacker. Very much a pass rusher, but really good in all phases, a very smart instinctive player. You don't play that long or that well unless you've got a great feel for the game and, obviously, he's a real pro.”

How has your offensive line been able to keep you so clean this season?

“Our guys do a great job. We spend a lot of time with our scheme and fundamentals I think just within the framework of our offense and all the things that we are able to do both in the run game and the pass game. I think what we try to do is keep defenses off balance with the things that we're doing. Our guys play extremely well together. I think they take great pride in that.”

Where does beating Baltimore rank compared to the passing yardage record?

“Listen, I would love to beat these guys. They’re always a great team when you play them. So you always know it is going to be a slugfest. You do not get to play them all that often right. It's a once every four year deal being AFC and NFC, but they're a great team. They’re the number one defense in the league right now, so we have got our work cut out for us.”

Part of it is a joke, but you’re such a competitive guy. How much does it nag at you to have one team that you’ve never beaten?

“A little bit. Again, you try to make it like any other game, any other opponent. You turn on the film and you know you just digest what you see you know. Take the name off the helmet and just go off you know what you see on film and they are an extremely talented defense across the board. Front, linebacker corps, back end in secondary. You see they've built that defense to fit those pieces and execution has to be at a premium to beat these guys.”

Shutouts don’t happen very often in this league right?

“Yeah, that's really impressive. That’s really impressive. They’re a great defense.”

How peculiar is it that that there is one team that you haven’t beaten? Is there anything about them? Is it their defense is just typically one of the best since you’ve been in the league?

“It is what it is. Yeah. This goes back to the days of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and (Terrell) Suggs. The last time we played these guys was Monday Night Football at our place right. Four years ago. What did they beat us 34-27? Something like that? I remember those scores.”

These last few years your completion percentage keeps going up. Is there a reason your completion percentage is getting better?

“Just trying to be very efficient. Trying to execute the play that's called. I know that completions are typically positive plays. Positive plays are good. They get you into third and manageable situations. They move the chains and then, at the end of the day, they get you points and it also allows you to possess the ball and sustain drives. Those are all good things for the team.”

The approach hasn't changed or anything though?

“No no no. It's just do my job the best that I can.”

What would 500 touchdowns mean to you?

“Listen, obviously, that's a significant milestone. I hope it's within the framework of winning a game.”

Even before Mark (Ingram) was able to come back and Tre’Quan (Smith) and Cameron (Meredith) were still getting integrated, this offense was putting up big numbers and points. Now that you have those three additional people, what is the potential here and how do you have to manage that?

“I think that's something that we've always done pretty well around here. Going back to the days when we had our big four receivers and tight ends and a litany of running backs, just finding a way to spread the ball around. Everybody has their package of plays The things that they are going to know stone cold, so that when we go out there we can play with a ton of confidence and everybody knows that their opportunity could come at any moment. One game it is one guy carrying the load in the backfield for 100 plus yards and a couple touchdowns. The next game it might be the tight end position. The next game it might be you know a young guy like Tre’Quan coming up with two touchdown catches, three catches for over a hundred yards. So you just never know and those guys understand the importance of their role each and every week.”

Does that dynamism make it easier to make a halftime adjustment if the other team is doing well?

“Yeah it does. It does. Because again, I think what we tried to do is we try to paint the picture for each guy that hey we're not sure what we're going to get, but if we start getting this man this is your opportunity, this is your matchup, or this is your play. This is your kind of package and so guys get excited about that and they get ready for that and they understand that their role is very, very important.”

Do you need a couple of big plays in this game to maybe get them to back off a little bit or do they ever back off?

I don’t think you can just force big plays. We're an aggressive style offense that calls a lot of them and then it is a matter of if it is there, great and if not then we will check it down and we will come back and call something else down the line. There is so much that goes into that. How are we holding up in protection? How are we running the football? All those things play a role in your confidence to be aggressive. We take it one drive at a time. Sometimes it takes a little while to get things opened up. I think we go into each game knowing that we want to be hitting on all cylinders, but if they're bound and determined to take something away then man we’ve got to lean on something else and we're ready to drive the ball. We're ready to you know be happy with a three- or four-yard run or a five-yard completion or something like that that's just going to keep the chains moving and put us in a position to score points.”

Is there an awareness that this team will be right in the thick of the division lead every week? “No, there's still so much of the season left. We understand the importance of each game, each and every week. There’s just so much football left to be played and each game is so important. It's one unit, it's one game within the framework of 16. Our whole division plays this whole division right. We're playing Baltimore and then the rest of our division has to play Baltimore at some point and so on and so forth. Just a lot of football left to be played.”

How difficult is it to set a record for passing touchdowns, to get the 500 mark is hard enough?

“Well it's a lot of touchdowns and a lot of games and a lot of passes, but you just if you take them one at a time and you just focus on winning the game and scoring points, regardless of if I am handing it off to one of these guys are throwing to one of our guys. We focus on winning games and the rest of that stuff kind of takes care of itself. Numbers add up.”

Does the team scoreboard watch the Rams at all?

“I don't know about scoreboard watch, but obviously there are fun offense to watch with some of the things that they are doing. They are explosive, they have some weapons. Jared Golf is playing really good. Obviously, they went out and did some things in free agency this year on defense and offense, for that matter, to get some more weapons. They are explosive.”

How did you celebrate the passing yardage record?

“We just went out with some friends. Some of my best friends, my dad, some family, some of my great mentors, people who have been along for this journey the whole time and had a big impact on my career (and) life. It was actually a perfect night. Took it easy, but spent time with them and then spent time with my boys all week long. Coaching football practice, coaching games., My son Bowen made it on “You Got Mossed”. Did any of you see that? Can I even tell you, that was probably the greatest part of my bye week. Hey there is a lot of cool stuff and it was relaxing and all, but to be sitting there watching Sunday NFL Countdown with your boys and all the sudden your son pops up on “You Got Mossed” and he's the one going up and over somebody and making a great catch. Like to see the look on his face and just sheer joy and excitement. It was priceless.

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