Q and A with Brees...
http://neworleanssaints.com/Articles/2009/12/QA with Saints QB Drew Brees 1223.aspx
Q: Mike Ditka said that when his 1985 Bears lost a game after starting 13-0, it helped them refocus and he thought that was a big thing. Do you look at it that way?
A: Thatís the only way you can look at it. Yes, it stings more than a normal loss would just because of where we were in the season having made it so far undefeated and having a chance at a perfect season. You just donít have many opportunities like that. You donít know if youíll have another opportunity like that, so that's why that loss hurts more than maybe one from last year, the year before or another year. I definitely think youíre right that you have to be able to turn it into a positive, somehow, someway. What itís done, itís clarified things, as far as we know that we win this game then we are the number one see in the NFC. Thatís all that matters and that was a big goal on our list of goals as a team. Thatís whatís important. Obviously thereís things from the team weíve had a chance to look at and point at and say, check your ego at the door, these are the things we need to get better at. This is what got us beat and we fix these things weíre going to get back to where we want to be and even beyond where we were and be playing the kind of football we want to be playing going into the playoffs.
Q: Darren Sharper said after the game that maybe the game could serve as a wake-up call since the team hadnít been playing that well the last three weeks. Do you see anything to that?
A: Has it been perfect? No. Have we found a way to win? Yes. When I look at the three weeks prior to that New England on Monday night, where we played very, very well, then on a short week having to go up to Washington, win one on overtime. We were down ten points on two different occasions. That was big. That was a big win and then going to Atlanta where on paper you say yes we should beat them because our recordís a lot better than them. Weíre getting everybodyís best game. I felt like we got Dallasí best game. Everybody wanted to be the team to knock us off. Like I said last week, I have been a team that was playing a team like that, you wanted to knock them off. Knowing the extra motivation there, I feel like weíre getting everybodyís best effort now. There are definitely some things where if you win, the things that need to get fixed or the problems or areas of improvement, itís easy to not necessarily sweep them under the rug, but we still found a way to win. That could always be our response. We still found a way to win. This time around we didnít even give ourselves a chance to win, being down 21 points in the fourth quarter, so there are definitely some areas that need to be improved. I felt that todayís practice with a day of rest and that kind of thing was crisp and guys were locked in.
Re: Q and A with Brees...
New Orleans Saints - QA with Saints QB Drew Brees 1223
Q: Do you feel the team as a whole was a big overconfident going into the Dallas game?
A: I wouldnít say overconfidence, but maybe the fact that weíre playing at home. We know what kind of home field advantage that is, our fans, and the Saturday night primetime atmosphere. You canít just walk in the door and expect to win if you donít play well. You still have to play well. You still have to do all those things youíve been coached to do and execute the game plan. Looking back on the game and I know the defense feels this way offensively, us too, we just feel like we really didnít do anything very well. Give credit to Dallas because I think they played a very good game and had a very good plan, but we got outplayed and I think thatís when you have to be able to put it aside to say what improvements can we make to make sure this doesnít happen again, but certainly just understanding what we have in front of us.
Q: After Sunday nightís loss by Minnesota, it still gives you a shot by giving you home field advantage in the playoffs if you win Sunday. How excited are you about that?
A: Like I said, we win this game, all that weíre guaranteed is hosting a game two weeks after the end of the season, but it doesnít guarantee us going to the NFC Championship.
Q: Did you know that in 43 years there hasnít been an NFC Championship played in New Orleans?
A: I hope that happens.
Q: You havenít had the run pass balance the last few weeks that you had earlier. Are there other factors that go into that?
A: We havenít executed as well as we should in the run game. Thatís everybody. I have a hand in the run game as much as the offensive line and the running backs and receivers, blocking down the field, situations and everything else. Thatís something weíre all taking a look at to make sure we improve upon and get that going again, because obviously we preach balance, talk about balance. Certainly weíre going to get in a game and if the defense tries to take something away, weíre going to find other areas to take advantage of. All in all, when youíre balanced and able to mix the pass and run effectively to really just be efficient in both then each one kind of sets up the other. You become very efficient on offense.
Q: Are teams coming up with a formula to take away the downfield throw?
A: No. Thereís opportunities for big plays no matter who youíre playing. Itís just kind of finding the right situation, the right timing. Obviously itís give and take. I guess you could prevent the big play, throwing it 40 or 50 yards in the air down the field by putting four guys that deep every time, but youíre giving up a lot of space underneath. I thought in Atlanta we did a good job of converting third downs with the football and taking advantage of the opportunities that were given. We had a lot of possessions in that game, but Dallas, we just did not execute on third down. When I watch the film, thereís plenty of places where we couldíve, shouldíve, converted, but Iím not going to sit here and say could have, should have, would have. We didnít execute, but there are things that can be fixed. We have been a good team on third down. We have ever since Coach Paytonís been here and weíve all been here for four years. We just didnít do it very well the other night.
Q: Are you amazed at the number of Pro Bowl votes you get from the fans?
A: Iím more concerned about me continuing to help my team find a way to win and the grand prize at the end which would be a Super Bowl. Certainly itís an honor to have the fans vote for you that much and know that the Who Dat nation was madly clicking their mouse online for everybody on our team. There are a lot of guys on our team that are well-deserved. When that stuff comes out, I hope we do see a lot of our guys on there, because guys deserve it. Itís definitely an honor when the fans show their support that way.
Q: Do you feel the same way about MVP talk?
A: I think just like Pro Bowl, certainly the award goes to an individual person, but a lot of it is about your contribution to your team and how your team plays and responds, your record and all those things. Whatever happens there, happens. Iím not concerned with it besides the fact that I want to play well for my team and help us win games and put us in the position to win.
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