New Orleans, La. - The last time Drew Brees faced the Jets' defense, he only amassed 190 yards passing and was held without a touchdown.
The following are the quarterback's comments to the media Wednesday, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
Can you talk a little bit about playing against a Rex Ryan defense?
"Obviously we don't get a chance to play against a Rex Ryan defense, just like you would say a Bill Belichick defense or anybody really in the AFC all that often. As you reflect on when he was in Baltimore as a coordinator or the last time with the Jets, the reputation and everything that you've seen on film. You know that they're extremely well-coached. You know that they're extremely multiple in the things that they can do. I feel like going up against some of the defenses that we've gone up against just in practice, ourselves the last three years you talk about Gregg Williams, Steve Spagnuolo and Rob Ryan, you feel like you've had a lot thrown at you that at times you might see similarities on film with what Rex has done in the past. You always know that he's going to have a plan for us, he's going to try to give us things we have not seen or maybe have not prepared for. Really going into a game like this it's expect the unexpected at every level and so we just have to be ready for everything. But you know you have to be ready and have a plan."
How do you prepare?
"You have base rules that kind of go along with your offense. It's kind of if in doubt or if you see something, go back to your base rules, you instincts and build things in, try to prepare yourselves for every eventuality."
Have you been taking more hits than in the past?
"We're 6-1. Certainly there's a lot that goes into a sack. Maybe was it a breakdown up front, maybe was it a pressure where they brought one more than we had to block and it's my job to get it out or whatever, great coverage downfield and was I not in time with the throw therefore I got myself sacked. Whenever you pull up all the sacks from this year, you would say that there's a combination of all those mixed in. We can all do a little bit better to avoid maybe that one, those two or three. They add up after a while. At the end of the day, you would say that they're part of the game to a degree and there are times where taking a sack was the best thing that could have happened on the play, based on everything that was happening around you and you try to keep them to a minimum because you want to avoid negative plays. At the end of the day, those happen sometimes and you try to keep them to a minimum."
Are all sacks created equally?
No they're not, just like you say every incompletion, every interception, you would say there are some circumstances surrounding it, that it's not necessary always this person's fault or that person's or anyone. That happens sometimes and you move on from it and learn from it."
It seems though that the line feels like they need to do better?
"That's a good mentality, because I feel the same way about myself."
Will you take us through those two illegal procedure penalties you were assessed back to back on Sunday?
"One was under center, one was on the gun. I know that this was talked about in the past. I think the way that this was phrased to us two years ago when we had one of the heads of officiating come to us, I believe the terms he used was demonstrative hand movement in the gun mainly, kind of like this thrusting of the hands forward, that that would be illegal and would be called a penalty as you try to draw them offsides. If under center, there was a demonstrative body movement of some kind, knees, body and so I feel like I've always tried to be aware of that. Typically in a game if there's something that happens, an official will say watch your head or I'm going to call something you next time or watch your hands, I'm going to call it next time. They give you a warning. Every officiating crew has tendencies to call something a little differently. Maybe give you a little bit more leeway here or not so much here and to have it called back-to-back is a little unusual, especially with no warning and then when you look at the film, I'm saying did I do anything differently there than I've always done? No I didn't. It is what it is and you try to make the adjustments."
Did you see anything in that officiating crew before that made you think you would be a little more susceptible to that?
Even after their loss Rex Ryan said that if his team plays like they did defensively that the Saints will throw for 700 yards. When you look at the team on film and see how they struggled, how do you prepare yourselves for them when one week they're up and one week they're down."
"Cincinnati's got a very good offense. They have a lot of weapons. Andy Dalton played spectacular. They were ready for them. There are times there where whatever you dial up seems to work and that's just kind of how it was with the Cincinnati offense. I'd say that's very much an aberration for the Jets defense and if you take that game out and watch the tape consistently week in and week out they are a very formidable defense in the pass game, creating turnovers, getting sacks, all those things, creating pressure. I almost just kind of log that one away as an aberration. Maybe there's something you can take away from it. As you look at the rest of the tape, you see a defense that's getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and very, very good against the run and you just know that they are going to have a plan for you. You just try to think of all the eventualities of what that plan could be."
On those false start calls did you see an explanation?
"No, during the game I did and I was kind of dismissed. Not this week."
It's not something big to you?
"Not this week. I've moved on."
Looking at Geno Smith and his rookie year, can you look back on some of the ups, downs and challenges you had early in your career, especially thrust into a starting role?
"I think he's handled himself very well. All their wins have been come-from-behind victories in which he's orchestrated an impressive fourth quarter drive. Their team is making plays around him. I think he's done very, very well. Just knowing all the things that go with playing quarterback in this league and as a rookie, in that big market, obviously high expectations and the circumstances surrounding him and getting the starting job, I think he's done very well."
Has Muhammad Wilkerson caught your attention?
"He's impressive both in the run and the pass. He's a very, very good player."
With your passer rating up this year and interceptions down, is that a byproduct of everything being better this or did you correct something?
"Every year's different. Three's three types of interceptions, bad throws, bad decisions and bad luck. I think typically there's a combination of those three every year and usually they're kind of even amongst the three. I'd say the years in which they're a bit lower than normal, is maybe you've had a little better luck. You didn't have the tipped ball at the line of scrimmage or the tipped ball down the field off of one of your guys or the two or three hail marys that you threw that they ended up coming down with and in the line at the end of the season there are the three extra that don't have to be there. For me, it's about being as efficient as I can be and the best decision-maker that I can be and there are going to be those games where for whatever reason you toss a few. You have to be able to just kind of get it out of your head, learn from it, stay aggressive and confident and know that you're going to have a chance to win the game at the end and be ready for that. Just try to be a great decision-maker and as efficient as I can be."
Have you seen any difference in Rob Ryan's disposition this week?
"No, it's early in the week still. He's pretty consistent which is a great thing. He's serious when he needs to be serious, but he's fun-loving when it's time to mess around a little bit. I think that's why the players love him, because he's a real guy and he's fun to be around and fun to watch out here working those guys on defense and when we have our competitive periods it's who he is. He loves to compete and loves to win and I love having him as a part of our group."
What was it like being on the field and in the huddle with Chris Ivory?
"Chris was one of those guys, a great success story. When you look around our team, (you see), all the undrafted free agents that become good and productive players for us over the years, Chris was absolutely one of those guys. Unfortunately at times with him it was a matter of not being healthy or having that stable of backs and getting the chance to get opportunities. You'd say going back to 2010, man when he got opportunities he made the most of them and he really did everything we asked him to do and more, but I think just like anything it's a matter of opportunities."
Isn't it one of the narratives of the league where a few guys are lucky enough to play for one team, but to get those opportunities sometimes you have to move around to find them?
"A lot of it's timing, a lot of it's opportunity and being in the right situation at the right time and that kind of thing. I think we all knew that Chris Ivory, wherever he went, whether with us or in this case, trading him to the Jets, during the bye week I was able to watch that Patriot second half of it on the plane coming back. That was as good and consistent as I've seen him run. He made some plays for us over the last three years. He's making some plays for them and was part of that victory that day. I think we all know what he's capable of and we all wish him the best."
Is there any consistent rhyme or reason of how people have been defending Marques Colston lately?
"No, I feel like we are spreading it around a lot, maybe as much as we ever have, when you talk about the tight end position, three really capable guys, the wide receiver position, five really capable guys, the running back position, four really capable guys. So, you go down the list, the skill position (players), to come out of a game with ten different players catching balls last week and then I would say that's not all that out of the ordinary for us. When you're only throwing the ball 35 to 40 times and looking to complete 25 to 30 of those, ten guys are catching balls, do the math, two to three balls to a guy on average, but what's the end result. If the end result is 35 points and a big victory and no turnovers, you'd say we got the job done. The great thing about Marques is that I think he understands the big picture and he knows that you might have a quiet three-game stretch and the next thing you know you're doing what Kenny Stills did, averaging 43 yards a catch or you're catching three touchdowns and that's the way, you've seen enough of it from our offense over the last eight year, each guy each week, you never know who's opportunity it's going to be to make those big plays."
Speaking of Stills, could you see it building to what he's done the last couple of weeks?
"Absolutely, and it's going to be Kenny here at some point and now that Lance (Moore) is back in the fold it's going to be Lance. (Robert) Meachem is going to catch three for 180 at some point. That's just the way this thing goes."
But Kenny is a big-time player?
"Yes. (He's) just been consistent every week, just coming to work. It hasn't been too big for him. (We) continue to increase his role in different capacities. (He) just embraces it and he's very mature beyond his years. You're talking about an underclassman who left early, was drafted in the later rounds, coming in with who knows what expectations. He's lived up the challenge. Whatever we give him and ask him to do, he does it like a pro. I'm very impressed with his development."
What do you think about all the scoring around the league this year?
"I'm not sure why. You definitely see the differences in styles of play. For example you watch Denver and they're going to run the same offense the entire game. At the end of the game if there's 60 points on the board, there's 60 points on the board and it doesn't matter how many points are on the board there. You're going to play consistently that way and that's because they have an extremely capable quarterback and position players. That's how they operate and New England the same way, Green Bay the same way. You want to just win, at the end of the game you think they have a 20 point lead, they're not going to come back at this point, let's try to run the clock out and get out of here as quick as you can healthy and move on, so there's different strategies. I don't think anybody's trying to run up the score. I think people are just trying to operate effectively, get out and do it the next week."
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