The following is a transcript of Quarterback Drew Brees' post-practice press briefing. He discussed his comments on Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit for the natonal anthem.
“I’ll say one thing about it because obviously you saw my comments yesterday and this is the one thing I’ll say about it so that there’s no confusion. It does not matter who the players is. It happened to be Colin Kaepernick, it could have been anybody. It could have been a white player, and African-American player, somebody of any race, any color and it could have been any issue. It happened to be injustices against African-Americans. It could have been any issue, it could have been health care reform, who’s running for President, it could have been anything. The thing that I disagreed with is that there’s a person who’s disrespecting the flag of the United States of America to make that point, so it’s not that I disagreed with the protest. In fact, I agree, it’s very valid, his reasoning. What I disagreed with was the method by which he chose to protest, which is to sit down and disrespect the flag of the United States of America. End of discussion.”
What do you think went into coach Payton’s decision he said to play the starters more than usual on Thursday night?
“I don’t know the playing time at this point, but I know the mindset all week has been that we’re playing. We have a lot to work on, coming off of last week and it’s just part of the process. We have things that we are trying to fine-tune, some things that are still in the works to be honest with you, to be expected in Week Four of preseason. We’re still in preseason, guys are trimming down the rosters, guys are still fighting for positions, still a lot of work to be done. Whatever the playing time ends up being, we’re all anticipating that we’re playing.
Would that surprise you considering you haven’t played in a preseason finale since 2006?
“Football’s football, a game’s a game.”
Is it a process for this offense now?
“The more time we can get together the better. If whatever amount of time we play we’re going to try to go out and do our best.”
Do you have concern at this point?
“I’ve been a part of plenty preseasons where we have looked like rock starts, we were 4-0, 3-1, team scored the first time they touched the ball and then we had a slow start to the season. I”ve also been on teams where we looked awful in the preseason and we jumped out to a fast start. Does preseason perfectly indicate what will happen at the start of the season? No it doesn’t. I think as long as you feel good about your gameplan, your execution and what you’re doing going into that game one and you go out and actually do it, that’s all that matters. I know that we’re taking the necessary steps and we are very much focusing on the process to get to that point to where we can go out and play our best.”
Is this another chance to get the line some more fluidity?
“There’s been some moves like with Andrus Peat and Terron (Armstead) being out of the lineup and obviously a lot of Andrus moving around has been a product of Terron being out, so listen, I think we have a lot of versatile guys honestly on that o-line, guys that are playing guards, that are swing guards that are playing center. Senio (Kelemete) played left tackle for us in the last game of the season last year. Andrus Peat played tackle, he can play guard. So, yes, we’re trying to find that right lineup, but it’s also been out of necessity that we’ve had to do these things. It’s given guys necessary work at a lot of different positions. You never know how this thing will play out. Senio’s played center, guard and tackle. So you never know where you’re going to be needed, but it’s nice to have a little bit of confidence of “I’ve done this before”.
With the franchise’s 50th season, how were you and Sean Payton able to take a losing program and turn it around in 2006?
“It’s hard to reflect, getting a ton of questions about what’s on the horizon and what we’re focused on, so we just want to keep taking steps forward. Each year brings something new. It brings a new level of challenges. It also brings excitement because you get different guys, different dynamics and some things you can do that you haven’t done before and in a very positive way. We’ve been able to win a lot of games here with a certain formula. I thought we lost that formula a little bit for the last couple years and hopefully we’re back on track with that formula that’s conducive to winning and playing for championships.”