METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - After practicing on a limited basis Wednesday, Drew Brees addressed the media for the first time since reports surfaced that he had a rotator cuff contusion.
The following is a copy of that transcript as provided by the New Orleans Saints:
How do you feel Drew?
"I feel good."
Is it a bruised rotator cuff?
"That sounds accurate."
What were you able to do on the practice field today?
"I did not throw today. I participated, but was limited for some stuff, ran around. The idea is to make progress every day."
How strange is it to be in this position since you have been healthy since you've been in New Orleans?
"I'm not used to it. Don't like it. I have obviously dealt with things in the past. I have every intention of playing, but I do have to take it day to day. I have to be smart with this."
Are you just seeing how it feels as the week goes on?
"Again, day to day. Each day you wake up and see how you feel. See what you can do more compared to the day before. Obviously, you have to be smart because you don't want to aggravate it or re-injure it more. There is a balance to what we're doing here, in regards to rehabbing, recovery, and rest versus trying to get back."
Did you know something was wrong after you took the hit?
"I knew. I've felt this before in my other shoulder. I knew it, I felt it and I just managed it."
How long was the recovery time the last time you felt this?
"It depends. I've had it on the other shoulder a few times. So obviously they're not the same since I'm not throwing with that shoulder."
What about the balance of preparing yourself along with Luke if he does have to play?
"It's a challenge for both of us because we're having to devote the same amount of time to preparation and at the same time practice, if I'm not getting reps, I have to get those mental reps by going off to the side and doing that, and then having to take care of everything I need to take care of in the training room during the day. Unfortunately, I don't get to see my family."
How hard would it be to say you're 75% and for the good of the team Luke at 100% would be better?
"I'll have to evaluate that when the time comes."
Did you try to throw at practice today?
How many days can you go without throwing and feel you still can be effective?
"There have been times that I haven't thrown in four or five days and come back and been fine. It's not like I'm not doing things that aren't related to throwing. Even though you may not actually be throwing a football, you're doing strengthening exercises. You're doing things that are throwing related."
What is your confidence level in you playing on Sunday?
Do you do anything with that shoulder, specifically with deep balls, since you're older?
"No. When I dislocated my shoulder back in 2005 and (went through) rehab throughout 2006, I was told by Dr. Andrews 'you're always going to have to stay on top of that shoulder. You're always going to have to do a little bit extra to keep it at the level you want to keep it at.' In a lot of ways it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I started doing things that I'd never done before. So I learned so much about my shoulder and how to manage my shoulder. I felt my shoulder was stronger than ever after the rehab process and I just stayed on those things. I continue to fine tune and add or tweak each and every offseason. I have people that I talk to about those processes and continue to throughout the offseason. I continue to do these things so that through the season my shoulder continues to get stronger as we get towards the end of the season."
How do you game plan for Luke Kuechly with the possibility of him not playing?
"He is a game changer. He is the quarterback of their defense and makes almost every tackle and rarely comes off the field. That's for him and Thomas Davis, who is one of the best linebackers in this league. You see him and A.J. Klein filling that role (in Kuechly's absence). So they all do a very good job and have the mentality of next man up. They are a smart group."
Have you ever been told that your shoulder has an expiration date on it due to your past surgery?
"No, absolutely not."
Do you feel more pressure to play since your team is 0-2?
"No, I feel the same amount of pressure to play. Just from a pride standpoint. I want to be there for my team. I want to play, but this is one of those injuries you have to be smart with."
Do you have to know your limits if you play?
"Yeah, but if I play there will need to be that feeling that I need to do everything that I need to do."
Would you alter some things?
How important is the running game to alleviate some of the pass rush?
"It's important. If you look, statistically the last couple of years the team that's run the ball most effectively was the winner. I think both sides understand the importance of that going in."
Can you remember the last time you missed practice because of an injury?
"No. Obviously (last) preseason I missed (some time) with the oblique. Maybe just practice being modified to what I could and couldn't do. So, yeah, it has happened from time to time."
Did Dr. Andrews talk about the state of your arm or how fragile it is if you would have a minimal hit?
"Yeah, that's what you think about when you think of your throwing shoulder. Not wanting to do more damage. I've had many conversations with Dr. Andrews many times in the last 10 years. About joint issues, he's one of my first calls since he saved my career 10 years ago. So I put a lot of trust and faith in him and what he has to say. We're both on the same page as far as my route to recovery and if and when I play on Sunday we'll be good with that."
Is re-injuring a factor in your decision or is it based on how you feel?
"It is going to be how I feel and how effective I can be."
Are you going to know or is someone else going to tell you if you're playing?
"No, it will be me."
How important is getting a win on Sunday?
"It's very important. I mean every game is important, especially division games and road games even more so. Against this team, whom we've had some pretty good battles with over the years, their team that's won the division for two years and it's come down to the wire with us. We know how important it is to set a tone and set a tone for this season."
You talked about not seeing your family. Is that because of being injured and preparing?
"It's more time invested because you're taking the same amount of time from a preparation standpoint for the game itself with film study, in addition to rehabbing 2-3 hours a day. That adds up."
What is your diagnosis and prognosis for the offense two weeks in?
"I think we have the opportunity to do a lot of great things here in the near future. I think that we need to take advantage of things we haven't taken advantage of up until this point. I think we just need to find our mojo. We have all the guys together, now it's just a matter of coming together. If we can start locking in on the things we do well at, then we'll start cooking."
How do you feel on a scale of 1-10?
"It's not about it hurting. It's hard to describe. It's rest but at the same time rehab, strengthening and I'm finding the balance between those two. (We will) See where it leads me on Sunday."
Are you confident in playing Sunday because you know your shoulder so well?
Are you confident you still will play Sunday, even though you didn't practice?
If you play is the whole playbook open?
Are you downplaying this injury?
"No, and I wasn't downplaying the oblique. Guys battle with stuff every season, some more than others, and it's hard to be specific and you kind of don't want to know. You just want to find a way to play through it and find a way to manage it and play with it and however I can make that play, obviously within the rules, then I'm going to make it happen. I don't want to give myself an excuse."
Did you fear the worse when you got hit?
"I knew I was fine long-term. I thought maybe short-term I could have an issue."
Do you talk to a sports psychologist during this time?
"No, there is no need for that. I have people that fill that role from a mental, psychological standpoint, in regards to preparation and getting ready for a game."
Would there be any reason to talk to Tom House about mechanics?
"I've already talked to him."
Do you know you have completely blown the Pope's arrival off the front page?
"Yeah, I am surprised. (The injury is) just another hurdle I have to get over. So to me, it's not that big of a deal."
Which article did you read first?
"I actually read the pope article first."