Saints quarterback Drew Brees admits there is a part of his personality that can be somewhat irritating.
"I'm extremely positive," he said. "I am annoyingly optimistic and confident. I've been told many times by teammates."
That positivity is the reason Brees and the Saints never believe they're out of a game. Like last Sunday: The Saints were down 14-0 and 21-10 against the 49ers but still rallied back to take a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
But when the Saints can't close out those games with a win, past mistakes are magnified. In 2014, Brees' interceptions have been at the forefront of the discussion. He's thrown 10 in nine games, Including two costly ones last week - the biggest coming right before half when Brees was picked off in the end zone when the team was in field goal range.
"Man, I know better," he said. "I can't let that happen. And regardless of how it happens or what man, sometimes you catch a bad break or whatever it might be, and yet ball is in my hands. I'm responsible, and so I have no problem taking the fall, taking responsibility or accountability, because at the end of the day, it does fall on my shoulders."
So Brees lives with a mental balance. He knows turnovers at crucial moments are bad but insists he will never be afraid to make a big play out of fear of a turnover.
"You know what? I'm going to come back out the next series, and if that throw is there, you can be darn sure it is getting thrown. I'm going to expect to make the play, I'm going to expect the guy I'm throwing to to make the play, Brees said. That's also how we've made a ton of big plays."
"As for the amount of criticism Brees receives, he says he understands it. But he also says no one can be harder on him than he is on himself.