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Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees laughed while he was talking about his new foe, James Laurinaitis, the other day. But he wouldn't reveal exactly why. It was an inside-the-playbook joke between ...

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Old 06-11-2016, 06:23 PM   #1
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Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis
METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees laughed while he was talking about his new foe, James Laurinaitis, the other day. But he wouldn't reveal exactly why.

It was an inside-the-playbook joke between the New Orleans Saints quarterback and the new "quarterback" of their defense.


"There was something he did today -- I'm not going to say because it's kind of a game-plan thing and I don't want to give it away. But he did something today where I was like, 'Oh, that's so clever,'" Brees recalled. "And it was just on the fly. So I see stuff like that, and it's like, 'Oh, that's a veteran move.'

"So it's going to be a fun camp going against him. ... He challenges you. Whereas maybe you're used to doing something that's just, 'Ah, that works every time,' then all of a sudden he's got an answer for it, and you're like, 'Oh, OK. ... You move, I move.'"

Those in the media who have been around Brees for a while instantly thought of former Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma when he shared the anecdote. Brees was asked if the competition feels similar.

"That's exactly right. It's a chess match," said Brees, who used to love his daily competitions with Vilma on the practice field -- with the two of them always keeping score.

Laurinaitis also can appreciate that comparison, for a number of reasons.

The eighth-year veteran said he thrives on that same type of competition. And he played with the Rams under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the same coordinator who coached Vilma in his prime years with the Saints.

More than anything, Laurinaitis has described himself multiple times as a passionate fan and student of the game (he responded to a Saints fan on Twitter that he is well aware of former Saints linebacker Vaughan Johnson, who previously wore his same No. 53 as a member of the legendary "Dome Patrol.")

Laurinaitis said Vilma's performance in New Orleans' Super Bowl XLIV victory over the Indianapolis Colts "really was like a work of art."

"The one thing I knew about Jon was that he studied the game so well, he always seemed to be ahead of the quarterbacks," said Laurinaitis, who signed a three-year deal with the Saints in March. "When we had first hired Gregg Williams before he had gotten suspended [in 2012], I had tried to call Jon and talk to him about the scheme and just respected the heck out of how he did it.

"That Super Bowl against Peyton Manning, how many times he checked, I mean you hear stories of it, back and forth. And it wasn't just blitz to Cover 2, it was blitz to blitz, kind of the opposite direction. Being a Mike linebacker, that's stuff that's hard to do."

When Laurinaitis was told that Brees praised him as a stiff competitor, he said it's a "compliment coming from him."

However, Laurinaitis lamented that, "we've still got to find a way to get some interceptions. I think we're oh-fer right now on Drew. He dropped some dimes in there [Thursday]. We've gotta find a way to get some."

Laurinaitis said it is good for a defense to have the offense apply that kind of "stress" every day in practice.

"Already the tempo is just super-fast compared to anything I've been around in practice," Laurinaitis said. "Just the way they come out of the huddle and get on the line of scrimmage, it puts stress on the Mike linebacker, because if you make one bad call, there's no making up for it, which is a good thing.

"We're seeing things that stress us right now, and not every offense is like that in this league."

Laurinaitis also seemed to take a subtle jab at his former team. Although both the Saints and Rams went 7-9 last year, the Rams never won more than seven games in his seven years in St. Louis.

"We have a lot of guys here who are extremely hungry to be good. And I think it's refreshing to me being in a place where they've won [and] the expectations are to get back to that," Laurinaitis said. "Coming from a spot where we couldn't break .500 ... you know, in college I lost nine games, that was it, playing for Ohio State. And then we went to a situation there in St. Louis where we had to try and climb out of it. Then to get back to here where you hear 7-9 is just not acceptable, it's awesome to be around that hunger.

"And then, heck, you get to practice against one of the best offenses in the league. So that naturally makes you better."

Rest: Saints' Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis - New Orleans Saints Blog- ESPN
Freaking sweeet!!!!
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

Oh, and Laurinaitis is pure gold for a young LB like Stephon Anthony to learn from.

His physical skills may now be just average, but his football IQ is off the charts. It can only help our young players.

I hope Anthony follows him around like a lost hungry puppy.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

The "young grasshopper" (Anthony) should learn a lot from JL.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

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Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Oh, and Laurinaitis is pure gold for a young LB like Stephon Anthony to learn from.

I hope Anthony follows him around like a lost hungry puppy.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

Love hearing this. I want to see JL get in there and command this D. I'm excited.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:38 AM   #6
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

Rams never won more than seven games in his seven years in St. Louis

That wears on a player year after year. A change of scenery maybe just what the dr ordered for him
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:23 AM   #7
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

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Just don't eat him
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:58 AM   #8
 
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

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Old 06-12-2016, 01:17 PM   #9
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

Getting excited!!!!
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: Drew Brees has new 'chess' partner in James Laurinaitis

This is the kind of competition that drives both sides of the ball to be better. The chess matches between Drew and Vilma honed the rest of the defense and I look forward to Laurinitis being that guy who sparks the defense now.
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