It’s an offseason of what-ifs in New Orleans. What if the lowered punishments of many of those involved in Bounty Gate would never have been set so high in the first place? What if coach Sean Payton’s sentence would’ve been reduced like that of nearly everyone else? And what if the Saints could have somehow snuck their way into the playoffs?
Alas, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is doing his best not to fret about such questions. He’s awaiting the Super Bowl, if only because he’s allowed to get back in touch with Payton and start brainstorming for 2013 the day after the big game.
Drew Brees joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his quirky pregame routine, why the Saints aren’t in the playoffs, what the year might have been like if Sean Payton could’ve coached it, not having answers to why Payton’s punishment wasn’t lowered like nearly everyone else involved in the situation and breaking the mold of the cookie-cutter quarterback.
Do you have a pregame routine that you have to go through every single time?:
“Oh yeah. If you were to sit there and watch it and document it, you’d feel that way about most guys — you’d look at what they’re doing and say, ‘Do they even know they do that?’ I think that’s what it is, it’s become such a habit and such a routine. It is OCD, but you’re trying to get yourself mentally and physically ready to play and you think that’s going to help.”
“I always go to my locker, put tickets at will call if there’s anyone I’m leaving them for. Otherwise, I kind of lay my clothes out the exact same way every time, get dressed, put my game plan in front of me, sit down for a period of time and just kind of go through certain sections of it, in order, the way I always do. Then I go and get stretched, come back out, tie my shoes the same way, go out, do warmups the same way with the receivers. … It’s pretty sick.”
What’s the biggest reason the Saints aren’t in the postseason?:
“We didn’t make the plays. I mean, plain and simple, I felt like we could point to at least three or four games — and you do this every year at the end of the year — you say, ‘Oh, we could’ve had that one, could’ve had this one.’ Obviously that would’ve made a difference. There’s definitely three or four games where you say, ‘If we make this play and that play, I think it completely changes the outcome of that game.’ … Maybe it would’ve been enough to get us in. … Obviously we lost our last game at home against Carolina, but prior to that, I felt like we were playing some of our best football two of those last three games. And you want to be playing your best football at the end of season. … So, had we been able to sneak in, I felt like we would’ve been a tough team.”
Finish this sentence: If Sean Payton had been our head coach the entire season…:
“I really can’t speculate. I really don’t know if that, how much of a difference that makes. Obviously his presence, not only on the offensive side of the ball but the defensive side of the ball, and just this guy that has such an unbelievable, uncanny ability to read our team and know the message that needs to be communicated and delivered at the right time, certainly we miss that. But it’s really hard to sit here and say how that would’ve affected either side of the ball or the team.”
Why do you think he was punished to the fullest when everyone else’s punishments seemed to get reduced throughout the process?:
“Listen, I asked the same questions that you’re asking right now. And I think a lot people asked those questions and still don’t have any answers. Will we have the answers? I don’t know; we probably won’t. It’s a shame, but what happened, happened. Unfortunately, we have to be able to move on and Sean is to be reinstated the day after the Super Bowl. At that moment, we’ll be on to the 2013 season.”
On the smaller-statured Russell Wilson following in his footsteps and if that stigma of the cookie-cutter quarterback mold will ever end:
“I think that’s going to be hard to break, that mindset. Each team kind of builds their team differently, and I think there’s some coaches a little bit more old-school philosophy where they’re looking for certain measurables. … They just don’t see it any other way.”
Do you see Johnny Manziel having success in the NFL?:
“I don’t see why not. I mean, the guy is unbelievable as a redshirt freshman. Obviously there’s a jump from the college game to the NFL game, and just because you have success in college doesn’t guarantee you anything in the NFL. But it seems like there’s a lot of intangibles that come with a guy like Johnny Manziel.”