NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The New Orleans Saints host the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday in a battle between two of the NFC’s top teams.
The transcript below is of Drew Brees interview with the New Orleans media on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
Q. Just the challenges of facing the San Francisco defense? They have been really good this year.
Drew Brees (DB): “They’ve been pretty dominant. First off, they have really good players across the board and there’s no weak links. They’re all very, very good players, very talented. Big, strong physical, very well coached. Just very sound in everything that they do. The statistics reflect it, the numbers reflect it, the wins reflect it. They’re a stout group.”
Q. Does it start with their front four or five, their defensive line, the pressure they can bring?
DB: “It absolutely does. They’ve been able to get a ton of pressure just with their front four and that’s such an asset. It allows them to have more people in coverage, more eyes on the ball. They’ve been able to generate a lot of negative plays that way and been able to generate a lot of turnovers that way. The number one recipe for a good defense is when you can get after people with the front four.”
Q. How impressed were you by the fact that, I know it was raining, but they held Baltimore down to a total of points and yardage that they’re usually not used to?
DB: “That was a hard fought game. Two physical teams, two similar style teams. Pound the ball, run it, play great defense and obviously the conditions probably affected the passing game to a certain degree. Still, both of those guys go through it pretty well all things considered. That was just a hard fought game all the way around.”
Q. The fact that you guys have injuries in the offensive line, you have good guys, but you don’t have your guys who are usually there. How problematic would this be against this front four?
DB: “You have got to have a plan. You cannot let those guys ruin the game for you. That is our execution. That’s our awareness. You can’t just drop back and hold the ball forever and let them come get you. You’ve got to be able to do enough things where you control the tempo, you dictate how the game is being played. You try to fend those guys off the best you can with the things that you’re doing. Listen, are they going make some plays? Yeah, they’re going to make some plays. They’re a very good defense. We’ve just got to (have) as many positive plays we can, as many good outcomes as we can to so that we can sustain the ball, possess it and score points.”
Q. You’re in this stretch of these last four games, and I know you guys are still striving for that perfect game, especially on the offense, but is this where you’ve got to turn it on here? These are the last four games, starts with San Francisco and does it get to a point where it’s like, alright, eventually we’ve got to clean up some of the issues that we’re having?
DB: “This is what I see. I see us as an ascending team. We just want to continue to get better and better each week. Certainly don’t want to take a step back. There’s still a lot more to be desired. There’s still a lot that we can improve upon. If we can just continue to take small steps each week we’ll be okay.”
Q. Do you think since the Atlanta game, you guys have played a lot better? Why do you saying ascending? Why do you feel that way?
DB: “We know what’s in front of us. We know what we need to do and I’ve seen us make improvements in certain areas when we focus on those areas. We continue to have that same focus process preparation that equals good results, that equals wins.”
Q. After all these years, all these games, do you still get psyched to play in a game with stakes like this?
DB: “Absolutely. Listen, every game from here on out’s big. When you get to this time of year and get to the position that we’re in, every game is big. Every game’s meaningful. Listen, we understand the playoff implications as a result of this game. But if you go in with that mindset every week, if you play with that same mindset, it’s like you’re getting ready for the Super Bowl every week. It’s like you’re getting ready for that big game, that meaningful game each week. If you prepare that way, if you believe that in your heart, then when you step out there on Sunday, you know that you’ve done everything you can to put yourself in the best position to win. That’s all you can do.”
Q. Do you see this game having home field advantage implications?
DB: “Did you hear what I said about playoff implications? I think we all know what this game means.”
Q. What do you think the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be like?
DB: “I think the Dome will be rocking. We need the fans in full force, right? Listen, we’ve got the greatest fans in NFL and they know how to create that homefield advantage, that dome atmosphere that’s just electric, it gets us hyped up. It makes it really hard for opposing teams and it just lets them know it’s going to be a long day and we need the Who Dat Nation out in full force.”
Q. Have you seen Jimmy Garoppolo’s play ascend this season?
DB: “He’s played very well, since he got there two years ago as the starter there towards the last half of that season and I know he got injured early last year, but man, he’s played very well. That whole team in all phases, right? Great quarterback play, great running game, great defense, good special teams and hence why they are 10-2.”
Q. Do you have any thoughts on what exactly Jimmy Garoppolo has done that impresses you as a quarterback?
DB: “Yeah, I think he’s got good poise and composure. I think he throws the ball very well. He’s a very good passer. I think he anticipates well. I think he processes it well, just from what I see.”
Q. Do you think you are close on some of these big an explosive plays?
DB: “We’re close, just a few inches here and there.”
Q. Are you surprised you haven’t had one of those ridiculously good offensive performances like in years past?
DB: “I’d say it’s encouraging that we’re 10-2 and we haven’t had one of those games. I’d like to have some of those games. Hopefully they’re I the future.”
Q. What’s the loudest game you can remember in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?
DB: “It’s hard to say. I mean there’s been a number of them, you know, we’ve had a ton of big games in the dome. The single biggest moment was probably when (Steve) Gleason blocked the punt. Yeah, I mean, as far as just the explosion, right. But man, we’ve had a lot of those moments and there great moments. We want more of those.”
Q. Is there anyone in particular that you idolized or wanted to be like growing up or watched highlights of?
DB: “A lot of guys. I have an appreciation going all the way back to guys like, Otto Graham, Norm Van Brocklin and Fran Tarkenton and Roger Staubach and Doug Flutie and I had a chance to play with Doug Flutie that was kind of crazy. But, of course (Joe) Montana and then growing up in Texas, it was (Troy) Aikman and the (Cow)boys, right. I mean so many guys that you grew up watching highlight videos or watching them play, I guess, live on TV and now that I’m playing the game and had a chance to play the game for a long time. You just have even more of an appreciation for all those guys. Pretty incredible when you think about the hundredth anniversary of NFL football, this being the year and being a part of that is pretty special.”
Information provided by the New Orleans Saints Media Relations