METAIRIE - The Saints got a mild scare on the opening day of training camp when Drew Brees took a fall on the practice field after a lineman was blocked into him. In typical Brees’ fashion, the veteran quarterback brushed it off.
“I just kind of went down, popped back up. I’m all good.” he admitted with a grin.
However, taking more hits in the pocket could be a real possibility with left tackle Terron Armstead expected to miss at least half the season. That leaves the possibility of rookie first round pick Ryan Ramczyk protecting Brees’ blind side in Game 1.
“We hope to get him (Armstead) back as soon as possible,” Brees said, “but in the meantime you’re looking for where Ramczyk can play. Obviously he can play both sides. He can do a lot of things.”
One valuable resource Brees believes Ramczyk has is the perfect mentor in the locker room: veteran tackle Zach Strief.
“Zach Strief is such an incredible leader and mentor for any young offensive lineman coming into this league, especially a guy who’s playing tackle, playing the same position,” he said. “I know that Strief has worked with him a lot, been in his ear, and will continue to be. I think that’s the best influence a young guy can have.”
If Ramczyk doesn’t work out for the team at left tackle, the Saints can always fall back on another former first round pick, tackle/guard Andrus Peat.
“We would obviously like to have him kind of solidify one position,” said Brees, “and yet you’ve got to have some versatility…You encounter situations where guys get hurt and you just got to figure it out.”
What Brees and the Saints will eventually have to figure out is the quarterback’s future with the team. Brees is in the last year of his current deal with New Orleans, and at this point neither side seems interested in him signing an extension like he did last offseason.
“My mind has not been there at all. It’s really a non-issue,” he said. “For me it’s all about this season and how good we can be this season. That’s all I’m focused on right now…..I don’t expect them to (offer), I don’t desire them to.”
“That’s not my sense of urgency…..That shouldn’t be the priority right now,” said Brees. “All that stuff will take care of itself.”