There is a lot of hype going into this game with Drew Brees having the chance to break the record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. What are your thoughts on him being able to do that and how you think he’s grown as a quarterback since the two of you were teammates?
“Obviously that’s a lot of games in a row with touchdowns. If something stands for 50 years, it shows what an awesome accomplishment that is. That’s just one of many records and many great things he’s done over an 11-year career. He deserves all the recognition he’s received. I was only with him those two years kind of early in his ascent to where he is today. He was a heck of a player then, obviously before the Super Bowl and the other great things he’s done since he’s come to New Orleans. It’s certainly been impressive to see.”
Besides how long the record’s stood, can you quantify how hard or easy it is to throw a touchdown pass in every game?
“Obviously game circumstances and a lot of other factors, factor in. The one thing that holds is, it’s scoring seven points. It means you’ve scored a touchdown in how many straight games as well. It’s a heck of an accomplishment. To quantify how hard or not hard (it is), it’s obviously very hard, since it’s happened only a handful of times in this 50-year span. You look at how it hasn’t happened and look at all the quarterbacks that have played in those 50 years, that’s a heck of a deal.”
You talked about one of the potential reasons for this happening is his ability to stay level-headed. Is that one of the qualities that you think has helped Drew along this path and one of the things you may have learned from him?
“Yes, I was more commenting on the way he prepared, week to week, whether they won lost, whether he played good, bad, whatever happened he was going to have the same routine and go about his preparation (the same way). It’s different than in college, where if you lose a game or two, your hopes of winning a national championship or a conference championship a lot of times are shot at that very moment, but in this league, as we’ve seen in years past, there’s 9-7, 8-8, 10-6, teams that find a way to get in the playoffs and win a championship. I think that being said, Drew’s ability to maintain that level of preparation and even, steady keel win, lose, whatever, helps give his team the best chance to win. That’s something I took from him as a young player when he was here. The question I was asked was about the Saints being 0-4. Nobody here’s worried about what their record is. We know what we’re going to get. We know what type of team they are. We know how they prepare and Drew’s obviously the leader of that group. We know what we’re getting into this weekend down in New Orleans.”
Do you understand that there’s going to be a connection between the two of you as long as you are playing?
“Yes, it makes sense. We were on the same team there for the first couple years.”
Are you able to not worry about the fact that Drew won a Super Bowl already in the comparisons? Has it grown easier to do that since time has passed
“Yes, I never really found that part of it difficult. You know those things exist. You know they exist with players you were drafted with. Players you played with. That had never been a distraction or something that has bogged me down or anything like that. It’s something you’re aware of. I appreciate having played here with him those two years. Yes, we’re linked, but I don’t feel any sense of competition. It doesn’t give me any drive because of that link.”
What kind of teammate and competitor was Darren Sproles?
“First, as a teammate, top notch. (He was) one of the best, one of my favorites of all-time and as a player, he ranks right up there as well. He was great to have, the way he worked, practiced and how he worked in the offseason and just the type of guy he was in the locker room and off the field is awesome. Certainly, we’re excited about the backs we have here now, just thinking about what we had last week with Jackie Battle and Ryan (Mathews) complementing each other and sharing the load with the carries and Ronnie Brown having some big third down catches out of the backfield, it’s slighting the guys we have here, but certainly having Darren here all those years and the way he played for us was awesome. Certainly you miss a player like that, but it’s always fun to watch him. It’s tough to watch him sometimes seeing what he does in New Orleans and knowing he’s not here, but you’re always pulling for him.”
Drew Brees kind of recruited him away from the Chargers. Did you do anything to try to keep him in San Diego?
“I did all I could. I’m sure Drew recruited him. I don’t know if it was a straight-up recruitment down there. Obviously there are other things involved.”