The New Orleans Saints just got better on the defensive side of the football when they signed veteran defensive end Alex Brown to a 2-year contract late last week. Brown, who played 8 seasons for the Bears before being released earlier this off-season, brings a relentless motor and knack for the ball to a Saints defense that made plenty of big splash plays last season in route to their Super Bowl title. Brown will team up with the explosive Will Smith along the Saints defensive line, making Greg Williams’ defense even more potent in terms of its ability to get after the quarterback.
Alex Brown joined WWL in New Orleans late last week to talk about his remarkable durability (he’s missed just one game since his rookie season), how he knew right away that New Orleans was the perfect fit for him, how he plans to bring some Florida Gator pride down to LSU country, how he fully expects to play left defensive end opposite Will Smith, and how he just plans to bring his tireless work ethic and love of the game to the champion Saints.
On his remarkable durability:
“Well I’d like to say I’m just tough enough, but I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been very blessed to not get any serious injuries during the season, and anything that I had that had gone on during the season I could just get it done or get it fixed during the off-season. So that’s pretty much the reason why I’ve been able to play so many games in a row.”
On his versatility and if he thinks he can play some left defensive end opposite of Pro Bowler Will Smith:
“Oh yeah, I fully expect to come in and play left end for the Saints, because we have one of the best, if not the best, playing right defensive end right now. And that’s Will Smith. I mean, I’ve admired his game from afar and I enjoy watching him play the run and get after the quarterback. So, I can’t wait. Before I was let go here, I was really excited to play with a guy like…I mean, I played with Adewale Ogunleye him for the last 6 years, and being able to play with a guy like him and having the opportunity to what I thought was to play with a guy like Peppers, now I get another opportunity to play with a guy in the same caliber, the same type of guy as Peppers in Will Smith, gosh, I think we’re going to have a good time. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with Coach Williams blitzing, changing it up, giving us different things that we can do on defense. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, and we’re going to get after the quarterback even more than they were able to do last year. So hopefully that’s the case.”
On if he visited other teams and on why he ultimately felt the Saints were the right fit for him:
“Well, New Orleans was my first visit, and I was talking to a guy yesterday and I said that my wife and I, when we actually found the house that we have here in Chicago, we came to the house and I was like ‘boom, that’s the one I want.’ We can go look at how many ever more you want to look at, but that’s the one I want. I don’t know, when I see something I like, boom, that’s what I want right there…The Saints were perfect, they were a perfect fit for me. Everyone I ran into, everyone I met, they were so nice, they believed in me. When you have a Super Bowl team believe that you’ll make their team better, you can come in and help out – it makes you feel good, it makes you want to come play, it gets you jacked up a bit. So I’m really excited to come play for the Saints. It felt like home. It was the same way with college. I’d never been to a University of Florida game, I took my visit there, and boom, that was it. I’ve been a Florida Gator since. We’re going to see, I know there’s a lot of LSU fans down there, but we’re going to have to get the Gator chomp going down there too.”
On what he plans to bring to the table defensively and with his preparation to the Super Bowl champion Saints:
“Well like I said, I’m coming here not to change anything because the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl without me. I’m coming here to just be me. I’m going to come to work every day, I’m going to be a consistent player, and you’re going to get 110% from me every single day, every practice because I really enjoy what I do. I enjoy football, so practices I love. I mean, it’s going to be a little hotter, but I still think I’ll enjoy it. I enjoy camp, I enjoy everything about football. And it’s fun to me. I’m a consistent player, I’m going to play the run and if there’s something…they’re not going to run the ball to my side, and I’m saying that now so if they do pop one on me during the year, I know we’re going to come back to this. But I don’t think about pressure, I put pressure on myself. They’re not going to run the ball to that left side. If I’m in there, no way. That’s just my mindset, that’s what I want to do, so I want to help this team and I think that’s the best way I can help this team. And then possibly with myself and Bobby, we can take some of that pressure off of Will. Because teams to win, they’re going to look at Will and want to stop Will when he’s coming around the corner getting to the quarterback. So hopefully I’ll take some of that pressure off of him and then we can all hunt, we can all go get after the quarterback.”