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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 03:47

The real thing: Brees vs. Brady as New Orleans Saints meet Patriots

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Brees-panthersWhat can you say when reportedly close to fifteen thousand people showed up for a practice featuring the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints?

Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Both quarterbacks broke Dan Marino’s single season in 2011.



Both are expected to play some on Thursday as the two teams face each other for the “real thing”, an exhibition game at Gillette Stadium.

Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune  writes that it would be best for all parties if Vilma takes the reported settlement offer that may or may not have been put on the  table by the NFL that would reduce his suspension from all season to eight games.

Duncan might be right.  This thing has gotten uglier and it sure looks like pride and ego have emerged on both sides. It might be time for a compromise that would settle this situation and allow the Saints and the league to move forward.

Notes from Saints-Patriots practice...

The Saints took it to the Patriots in 11on-11 drills, and it started up front. The Patriots' offensive line was one big sieve against the Saints' active front and it threw off the entire Patriots' offense, including QB Tom Brady, who only completed 7 of 16 passes and threw an interception,..Because of inquiries, the Saints were down to their 4-6 CBs for much of team drills.  Conversely, the Saints terrific offensive line easily handled the Patriots up front as Drew Brees hit 18 of 26 passes with an intercept4ion...

Saints S Malcolm Jenkins and LB Curtis Lofton intercepted Brady passes. Chase Daniel and Luke McCowan threw interceptions.

Schedule: Wednesday: 11 a.m. practice. Thursday: 6:30 p.m. game.

The All-State Sugar Bowl  (New Orleans) was one of 10 cities that has received a request for a proposal from threw SEC and the Big 12, setting up the bidding g guidelines for the host city for a new bowl game that will  match the highest-ranked teams from the two conferences that are not in the four-team championship playoff game that begins  in  2014. New Orleans also will bid on hosting the national championship playoff game separately...Former LSU QB Jarret Lee is in camp with the Chargers and Jordan Jefferson is of football after being released by the Bucs in May...

New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt

Media Availability

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Opening Statement:

“It was emotional this morning.  Andy Reid is strong and his family is strong and everybody knows our thoughts and wishes are with him.  It’s always great when we practice against a class franchise like this franchise.  We got a lot of good work done today.  We got some first and second down, we got some situational third down stuff and then we got a two-minute drill.  We got good work today.  We’ve got a few nicks and bruises, but we’re okay and we’re looking forward to coming out tomorrow.”

A lot of attention is going to be about your new defense going against a really good offense, but that’s what you want, right?

“Yeah I mean I said at the start of practice today, if you’re putting in a new defense, who better to go against than Drew Brees and then all of a sudden you’re going against Tom Brady.  Both those guys do a tremendous job of looking people off and getting you off your spot and fitting the ball in there.  The tempo is great.  The chemistry between him and (Wes) Welker is unbelievable, so you’ve got to have you’re A game.  This is going to do nothing but make us better.”

Was the planning between these joint practices easier since you did this two years ago?

“Yes, I think so.  I think there’s a lot of trust involved.  We know what we want to get out of each day.  I think the biggest thing is the players trust one another.  They know that we work tempo, angles to the ball without just beating each other up.  Whenever you have that trust between two teams, I think it makes it a lot more compatible.”

Is there anything you can learn from the experience the Patriots had and the season they had with going 17-0 after Spygate?

“Let me just say this, number one - I made this statement yesterday and Sean (Payton) has made this statement – that this franchise that we’re going against is the Microsoft of our industry with what they’ve done.  Number two – in my era as a coach, Bill Belichick is the coach of my era.  He’s the Don Shula, the Bill Walsh of my era.  So they’ve had some adversity and have done a great job of handling it.  I’ve had conversations with Bill.  We know that our players are strong.  We’ve been through adversity before, but there’s really no comparisons as you’re getting out to these practices.  We’re trying to get better, both teams every day.”

Would you take one of these tight ends from either squad over the other?

“Hey listen, we like our guys and they guys they have keep me up at night trying to defend them.  They’re a good group.”

Can you talk about how these tight ends are kind of the new era of tight ends?

“They can run, they can catch, they can run routes, they can block, they can get to the edge and kill you, they can catch the deep ball, they can catch outside of the framework of their body, they’re all good dancers, they’re good cooks and they love kids.”

Has the intensity level changes in these joint practices as opposed to when you’re practicing against your own team?

“The intensity of practice is the same for both sides.  We’re trying to get better, but we’re trying to get better being smart – staying up off the ground, making sure we have good fits and taking proper angles to the ball.  These are two teams that have won a lot of games over the last couple of years so that hasn’t changed.”

What’s been your approach about how you lead the team?

“Our program is set.  I am doing what Sean (Payton) has established since ’06.  Our schedule is intact, the way we evaluate personnel is intact, the way we install is intact, our teaching progression is intact and our players don’t talk about it nearly as much as everybody here does to try to sell papers.  We’re trying to get better and trying to get prepared for the season.”

Do you have a sense of how much talent is out on the field at these practices?

“I think there are a lot of Hall of Famers out there right now.  I think the two guys pulling the trigger out there are going to have a bust someday in Canton.”

How important is Pete Carmichael to getting you guys through this?

“Did you see us play last year?  Pete Carmichael was the play-caller.”

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael

Media Availability

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


What are some differences between Tom Brady and Drew Brees?

“The biggest difference would be the size and height.  Obviously, they’re both great quarterbacks.  They’ve both had great success in the NFL.  Today was a great opportunity to watch them both go out here and compete and get better.”

Is it as simple as our team going against their team to see how we match up offensively and defensively?

“We’re two days coming off the game, so for us today was just how was the tempo going to be and get out here and hit again.  The nice thing is it’s seeing different defenses than what we’ve been seeing in training camp.  We’re still practicing our base stuff.  There’s not game planning going on.  I think both clubs made it a priority to come out here and get better.”

Why has this relationship between the Patriots and the Saints worked so well?

“I would say the relationship between Sean (Payton) and Bill (Belichick) back to a couple of years ago was great when they set this thing up.  We had a meeting with the coaches last night from the Patriots staff and just kind of talked about what we want to get out of this week.  We’re not looking to come out here and fight and do all that.  We’re out here to compete.”

How much are we going to see out of the first team offense on Thursday?

“We won’t meet about that as a staff until tomorrow afternoon.  That’ll be led by Joe Vitt as far as how we’re going to play the guys.”

The offense looked a little shot-handed without Devery Henderson and Mark Ingram out there.  Was that by design?

“I think just getting those guys some rest.  We’re just two days off the game.  We felt good.  It wasn’t a ton of reps coming out here, so it was smooth.”

So it was just giving them the day off?

“Yes.  If there’s anything to talk about, Joe Vitt would talk about that.”

Can you talk about the Saints having an us against the world mentality?

“I think it was a tough offseason for the team, but we stuck together.  We know what we have in our locker room and who we are.  The teamness of our group is second to none.”

Does it feel good to get on the field and get reps against another team?

“Yeah, I think we’re treating this training camp just like any other training camp.  We’re coming out here to get some reps against another opponent and see what we have with some of the younger guys in some of these preseason games and see where we stand.”

With all the fans out here and the types of players and celebrities coming out, it doesn’t feel like an ordinary week of training camp.

“It’s exciting.  It’s fun to be out here.  For me, it’s a little personal because I come out here and there’s family up here for me so I enjoy that aspect.  I think this atmosphere is perfect for football.  You wouldn’t want it any other way.  This is perfect.”




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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.