Quarterback sacks haven't been a frequent sight this season. Enter Minnesota's struggling O-line on Sunday.
Saints’ QB Drew Brees joined the Tampa Bay media for a conference call on Wednesday to discuss this Sunday’s game with the Buccaneers. Below is a transcript of the call.
On New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham)
“Well, he’s obviously got all the physical tools. He’s 6-6, 260 pounds, he can run like a deer, go up and high point the ball. I’d say more so than that though, he’s just a fiery competitor. He’s really learned how to become a great professional. I like the way he prepares, I like the way he studies, I like the way he takes care of his body – he just handles himself like a true pro. He loves to compete. He’s passionate about the game and about trying to be a great player and doing whatever he can for the team. I could not ask for a better teammate or a better player.”
(On if he has noticed Tampa Bay having trouble defending tight ends)
“Not necessarily. I guess that hasn’t really jumped out at me. Bottom line is, we go into every game just trying to get the ball to different guys based upon what we’ve seen and just because that’s what we do. Of course we’re going to try to get Jimmy his touches, we’re going to try to get Marques [Colston] his touches, we’re going to get the running backs their touches, we’re going to get some of these younger receivers their touches. We kind of go into a game with the mindset that we’re going to spread the ball around regardless.”
(On wide receiver Brandin Cooks)
“He’s been really productive. I tell you what, he is a smart guy. He’s extremely intelligent. He’s very talented; he can do a lot of things, and I think a lot of that is because of his intelligence. We can put him in multiple receiver positions, we can line him up all over the field. He’s one of those guys who never makes a mistake twice. You tell him something one time and he’s got it. He works extremely hard at it. Again, couldn’t ask for more in a young receiver, just his work ethic and his desire to really fit into this offense. Certainly he’s been very productive as well.”
(On factors for success in two-minute situations)
“So much of a two-minute drill is just you managing a situation. You know you’re going to go down and score and now it’s a matter of figuring how to do it. How much time is on the clock, how many timeouts you’ve got, what kind of chances you’re able to take, where your matchups are, how the defense has been playing you, what scares them about you – I mean, all those things throughout the course of a game that you learn and gain, it all kind of applies for that last drive. There’s a lot of confidence that comes with that, though. Confidence in the scheme that you’re running, what you’re calling and who you’re throwing the ball to.”
(On the discrepancy between New Orleans’ road and home records)
“Here’s the funny thing – well, it’s not funny because we’ve lost a bunch on the road lately – but I’d say up until midway through the season last year, I think we had the second-best road record in the league for like the previous five years. Then, for some reason, last half of the season last year we were terrible on the road and, obviously this season we’ve been terrible on the road. [Not] terrible, I mean, we just haven’t won many games. That’s disappointing. Offensively, I think we – last year it being the year we did not handle the elements very well. The communication was a bit lacking and just some other things. This year I think we’ve made big improvements in regard to that, but, for one reason or another, I feel like maybe we’ve had fewer opportunities and just haven’t made the most of the opportunities that we did have. I’m not going to overreact, but certainly there are some little things we can get better at in that regard.”
(On whether Tampa Bay having a new coaching staff, players and scheme makes game planning more difficult)
“It does. I have a lot of respect for Lovie Smith. I think he’s a terrific football coach. I think he goes out and finds the right kind of people and I respect his scheme. We played against him a bunch when he was with the Bears and he kind of gave us fits. We know the type of team they can be. Obviously they have had a tough run just like we have this first part of the season, but they are looking to turn it around like we are, so we expect their best game.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Had the Saints beat last year until Schiano let Brees have the ball one last time. Glad he didn’t mention that when he discussed the two minute situation. Took less than that for Brees to snatch victory from us.
With three plane crashes we could win the NFC South.
Of course what else would Drew Brees say, “They are awful and I’m going to have a field day this Sunday?”!
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