Metairie, La. - Six days after throwing five interceptions in a loss to the Falcons, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he had just recently gotten over his performance. He credited the gap between games for how long he let the Atlanta outing hang over his head. The following is a copy of his conversation with the media, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
What do you think of the nickname Pelicans?
"Is it official? It was funny. I was hearing all the names and I thought I'd throw it out on twitter and see what the fans thought. I haven't had a chance to check it, but what is the consensus? In just about every case, the name is indicative of the city or the culture of the region. You look across all of professional sports and you see where at times names have gone along with the team and remained. It's no big deal. Now they're kind of stuck. In other cases, they've changed the name. look at the LA Lakers for Minneapolis. They are in the land of 10,000 lakes (because of their origination in Minneapolis), but in your mind you couldn't imagine the Lakers being called anything different, where for a generation that's what we've known them at the "Lake Show". But LA's not the land of 10,000 lakes. But then you have the Houston Oilers. I grew up watching the Houston Oilers as a Texas kid. The Houston Oilers go to Nashville and become the Tennessee Titans. I guess they were the Tennessee Oilers for one or two years and then it became the Tennessee Titans. Obviously oil, Oilers, very representative of the state of Texas. Then you go to Tennessee and it's not the same. There are plenty of examples. I guess one is the New Orleans Jazz and it goes to Utah and became the Utah Jazz. That's not indicative of Salt Lake City or Utah. Yet, they have success there as a team and you have Hall of Fame players in John Stockton and Karl Malone here from the state of Louisiana, Louisiana Tech. They've made a name for themselves. That organization has established themselves with that name. Obviously we brought the Hornets over from here (Charlotte). Sometimes teams take the name, sometimes they don't and I think the fan base certainly loves it if they have a say in it or if it represents the city or region. Pelican is the state bird, brown pelican"
Have you hung onto last week's game more than some others?
"I probably hung onto that Atlanta loss a little bit more than normal because we had more time. I dug deep to find where I can make the corrections, we can make the corrections and how we can move on from that. Obviously we're in a situation this season at 5-7 where the margin for error is very tight. We understand that if we want a shot at postseason play, we have to win out. This is the fourth quarter of the season. The last three don't mean anything if you don't win this one and we understand how important this game is going on the road playing the defending champs in their house. They've come down here on two occasions and now it's our turn to go up there. We understand what it's going to be, the type of team we're going to play. They're very much in the hunt. They have a lot to play for. They are very well-coached. We know we have our work cut out for us."
Do you have high hopes despite the record?
"I believe the last two Super Bowl champs have been 9-7 (or 10-6). Green Bay had to win I believe the last two to get in two years ago. The Giants had two very big victories at the end of last season to put themselves in position to win the division. Obviously it came down to that last game against Dallas for the NFC East championship or they were going home. They've played in these types of games. They're playoff games before the playoffs. It's the situation we're in."
What would you like to accomplish in the next four games, personally as well as the team?
"We want to win, because our record is what's going to get us in the playoffs. (We) strive for efficiency. For me as a quarterback, not only am I responsible for much of the pass game, but for much of the run game as well, (in addition to) our mode of operation as an offense, our tempo. My decisions drive the offense in a lot of cases, so we have to be on point like I expect to be and am preparing to be. That's my mindset."
Will there be an emphasis on starting fast and getting on the scoreboard early like you have in the past?
"We always feel comfortable with our starting 10 or 15 plays. We always go into a game with our first 10 or 15. We always feel good about those. For one reason or another, sometimes you go down and score. We've been very good (at that), among the best in the league. Certainly that's an expectation every time we get the ball."
What drives the Giants, their pass rush or their secondary?
"I think it's a combination. They have some very talented players in the secondary. They've been able to force a lot of turnovers, interceptions. Typically whenever your secondary is bringing in a lot of balls, it's a combination of a few things. Number one, you need to have some ballhawks back there and typically it's also a pass rush that is forcing the quarterbacks to get the ball out or forcing errant throws. That's something they're good at, both of those."
How have you guys been successful in slowing down their pass rushers in the past?
"They are a group that you absolutely want to be able to control the tempo of a game against and try to stay in the most favorable positions as possible as an offense. You get into a bunch of pass only downs, third and long situations, that plays right into their hands and strengths. I think a lot of it is just situational football and understanding the situations you want to be in. Doing the best to handle those guys and mix it up on them and that kind of thing."
Is their defense similar at all to what Steve Spagnuolo is trying to do here?
"No, it's a different scheme. I'm not sure if Perry Fewell was there with Spags or if they crossed over or their relationship. They're a different team."
How do you get back to playing your best in the fourth quarter?
"That's absolutely been the case. It's something we talk about and emphasize. We're obviously not doing a good enough job and we need to find a way to better finish these games both offensively and defensively, making the plays that we need to make to put ourselves in position to win. We have some of these games we could have won and should have won, had we been able to do that better. We haven't. It's resulted in probably losses that could have ended up differently."
Do you feel you have to be more cautious with the ball?
"You stay aggressive. You stay confident. If you don't have trust and confidence in this league as a quarterback you can't play. I understand the importance of taking care of the football. I understand the percentages and the odds for teams that have it taken away and ones that protect it. The last two weeks, the amount of turnovers can't happen. It's something I have to fix. I'm doing my best to do that. As far as being cautious or conservative, that's not going to happen."
How do you alter your mindset in terms of chasing a playoff spot instead of sealing one up at this time of the year?