Drew Brees Talks Jameis Winston


(On Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston)
“I really haven’t had a chance to see hardly any film on Jameis other than the highlights – ESPN or what have you. There’s no doubt that he is extremely talented. I had a chance to actually have dinner with him this offseason in San Diego. I know he was getting ready for the draft there and that’s where we spent a portion of the offseason. So I had a chance to meet him there for the first time, talk with him a little bit and I was impressed with his knowledge of the game. I think he’s an intelligent guy who is only going to get better [with] the more experience that he gains. It’s tough to come in as a rookie and play the quarterback position. There is so much on your shoulders and there’s a big learning curve – just the level of talent that is around you that you are going up against and all those things. He’s certainly a very talented guy and I’m sure he’s going to be just fine.”

(On how often the Buccaneers actually play the Tampa-2 compared to other looks such as single-free or cover zero)
“If you broke it down statistically it ends up being about one-third, one-third, one-third Tampa-2, one-third single-high safety zone and a third man-to-man. I’m sure they self-scout and they try to keep it even. They try to disguise it at times and do different things, all of the good defense do. I know this, I feel like I’ve been going up against Lovie Smith defenses for a long time and they are always very, very well coached, very well disciplined. Some of the things you know he’s teaching very, very well. They pretty much invented the Tampa-2 defense back when and their ability to take the ball away and do certain things has always been a great strength of the defense.”

(On what he remembers about going through his first full season as a starter)
“You definitely feel the effects of a long season. It’s certainly a grind. It’s a grind for players that have been in the league for a while, especially for a young guy that is used to a college season. All of a sudden you’re going really 17 weeks and hopefully more. It’s long. It’s your job, so every day it’s not you go to class and then you go to football practice and study some football. It’s all day long, all day every day if you’re really entrenched in the process of preparation and everything else. It’s definitely a change, but guys that make it to the level Jameis Winston has made it to and had success that he’s had – you can tell he loves playing the game of football. He’s extremely enthusiastic. It seems like he is having fun doing what he’s doing. Is it tough? Yes, it’s a grind and it’s competitive and stressful at times and all these things and yet you love the game, so you do whatever it takes.”

(On possibly reaching 400 career passing touchdowns on Sunday)
“Let’s get there first. Let’s not speculate what I’m going to feel like when it happens. [I’m] just focused on winning the football game. All that stuff kind of takes care of itself. All those stats and everything else, they kind of pile up as you go along, but the most important thing is finding a way to win the football game. If you can knock down some milestones in the process then that’s pretty cool too.”

(On what Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin can reveal about the Saints’ offense)
“I don’t know. Obviously, he has knowledge of our offense. He was quarterback here for three years, but I think there are plenty of guys that have left this team and have gone elsewhere and we played against them and they would have had knowledge of the system. Unless somebody is inside of our helmet and can hear our plays and know exactly what they mean, I’m not sure if it helps. It’s a divisional opponent, I think both teams know each other pretty well at this point – from a personnel standpoint and exchange standpoint. There’s always wrinkles that you kind of build in, but I think we are more worried about our execution rather than worrying about if somebody knows what we doing.”

(On Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy)
“He’s awesome. Man, he’s a stud. I’ve worked out with him over the last few offseasons. He’ll come down to San Diego. He’s a guy that works. He loves the game. He takes a lot of pride in it. He’s the total package. Pretty relentless and he can cause you a lot of problems if you don’t account for him. I tell him every offseason to take it easy on me. I hope he does.”

(On how hard it is to be the signal caller on defense)
“It’s hard. There’s a transition. There’s a lot to see, there’s a lot to call. You’re kind of the quarterback of the defense. You have to communicate a lot. That’s definitely a tough job and typically you’ve got a lot of information thrown at you.”

(On if he wants to have a more balanced offense)
“I think ideally, but I also would say ideally that if I’m throwing the ball 48 times, I would expect to complete at least 40 of them. I would just say efficiency. If we are throwing it that many times I would like to be more efficient. If we are running it more, I think overall that’s a better balance and I think that’s what we’ll strive for. It’s funny, because I walked out of that game and I was surprised when I saw the stat sheet saying that we only ran it 20 times and we threw it 48. It felt much different. It felt like we ran the ball pretty evenly to pass. Our offense, the pass is an extension of the run game in some sense. Some of those shorter passes kind of take the place of runs at times. Every plan is different. We preach balance; certainly we strive for that – whatever is working.”

(On if running back C.J. Spiller can fill the void left with Darren Sproles’ departure last year)
“Yeah I do, absolutely. He brings a great element to what we do – not just in the pass game, but in the run game. He’s electric if you give him the ball in space and he can really do some things with it. If you look at his highlight reel it gets you excited about what he can do in this offense.”