Saints QB Drew Brees embracing challenge of improving on field, as leader

Saints QB Drew Brees embracing challenge of improving on field, as leader

Credit: Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 16: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 5:06 PM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

METAIRIE, La. -- Drew Brees isn’t going to apologize for playing aggressively. Nor is he going to change the way he approaches leading the New Orleans Saints in spite of a four-interception, two-loss start to the 2012 season.

It’s not because he doesn’t care. It’s because he believes he sees the big picture and that it’s not as dire as one may think.

“The thing is, they’re all fixable,” Brees said of his mistakes. “I’m not going to change my mentality, my aggressiveness, my approach, my preparation, but I do understand how important it is to take care of the football and I understand that my mistake with that interception return for a touchdown, even though it was in the first quarter last week is a critical mistake and I can’t do that.”

Brees, the on-field general, doesn’t take his leadership position for granted.

But with head coach Sean Payton suspended for the season, acting head coach Joe Vitt out for six games and general manager Mickey Loomis docked eight games, there’s a belief that Brees is the next man up and a belief that, as long as he’s on the field, the Saints will be all right.

Yet, the Saints (0-2) head into Sunday’s home game against Kansas City (0-2) searching for their first win of the 2012 season.

“I feel like every time I step on the field, we can find a way to win and that obviously I’m a part of that,” Brees said. “I have looked at so many things over these last two games and say I could have been better here. We could have been better here.”

For what it’s worth, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel, who has a background in defense, hasn’t seen much difference in Brees without Payton this season.

“No, Drew is a professional,” Crennel said. “He is a legitimate quarterback. He knows how to play the game. He knows what needs to be done. He can operate with whoever is calling the plays.”

Through two games, Brees has completed just 54.5 percent of his league-high 101 passes. His 71.6 quarterback rating is 28th in the NFL and falls 22.4 points below his career average heading into the season.

He’s on pace to throw 808 passes, which would shatter the NFL record, and 32 interceptions, which would be a career high.

One difference this season, right guard Jahri Evans said, is that the Saints are seeing looks they haven’t seen in the past.

“I think it’s just early in the season and sometimes you get looks that you haven’t seen, that they haven’t done against other guys that they did against you and you have to adjust on the fly,” Evans said. “It’s too early to tell.”

The Saints did improve offensively from Week 1 to Week 2. It wasn’t enough, however, and New Orleans remains the only team in the NFC without a win.

Brees knows the leadership to guide the team in the right direction must come from his position.

“For me, I know the things I need to work on. I know the things I need to improve on,” Brees said. “Certainly my productivity at the quarterback position, but also as a leader and someone guys look to for guidance and leadership, respect and I certainly embrace that role.”

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