Saints QB Drew Brees stopped by to talk with us Wednesday afternoon, discussing the upcoming season, Rob Ryan, the salary cap, and a fantastic exhibition in New Orleans right now.
Drew joined us as Bobby and I took SportsTalk on the road to the 'Gridiron Glory' exhibit at the National WWII Museum, an exhibit and facility of which Drew is a huge fan.
"The fact that we have the National WWII Museum in New Orleans is extremely significant, and was able to be showcased during Super Bowl Week," Drew said. “We were running quite a few PSA's and advertisements to try to get people to come and visit, and turnout was great. It's one of those places that, for those of us who had members of our family who either fought in WWII or served in the military had special meaning...Especially for the guys who played in the NFL, it's one of those unique opportunities to see the guys who put away their helmets and shoulder pads for a while, and went and fought to defend our country in WWII. The exhibit that is there right now is highlighting those men and talking about their accomplishments, it's great."
Drew's #9 jersey that he wore when he broke Dan Marino's record is in the exhibit, and it will then be heading back to Canton to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a few more weeks in New Orleans.
"You know, I think it's important to preserve those things, and give other people the opportunity to kind of share in that moment, even if it's just a piece of what you were wearing that day...whether it was your helmet, or your jersey," Drew said. "I think it's important when we went and played in the Hall of Fame Game this year, we had a chance to walk through the museum in Canton and to see some of the items from over the years...The Saints now have a presence in the Hall of Fame. Tom Dempsey's shoe, and other things that are part of that, it's really neat to see. I get excited about that, obviously, being a Saint, and it makes me feel proud to have representation in that way."
We talked to Drew about the salary cap and restructuring, and he agreed: That's just the way the NFL is run today.
"Everybody is up against the cap, and everybody wants to be as competitive as possible. And in order to do that, you're going to have to pay to keep certain players," he said. "You're going to want to build your team as best you can with the amount of money you have, but obviously there's a cap on that, though. You're trying to fit as many talented players and as many players as you want to keep on your team as you can. And inevitably, on every team, you can't spend as much as you want, this isn't the New York Yankees. Everybody has that challenge."
Drew is no longer the top-paid player in NFL history, but he seemed fine with that.
"It doesn't surprise me that Joe Flacco jumped me. And I'm sure it's maybe Aaron Rodgers, or someone else, is going to leapfrog Joe Flacco. The trend is going to continue in that direction as our game continues to grow, and the popularity continues to grow...that doesn't surprise me."
And, when I asked Drew how he responds to people who say football players make too much money, he laughed, and then had this to say:
"Yeah, we probably do. Unless you're finding the cure for cancer, or creating world peace, I don't know if anybody deserves to get that much money. But, that's the industry that we're in. You can probably say the same for actors, actresses, and entertainers. We're in the entertainment industry, and business is business. There's a market, and the market establishes what you get paid.
Drew said he and the entire Saints square are more than ready to get conditioning and training underway in mid-April.
"Absolutely. We're all chomping at the bit. Obviously excited to have Coach Payton back, and excited to get back to work. I always look forward to that down time with the family, and I've taken full advantage of it, this last month or so. But I cannot wait to get back to work when the time comes.
And, his thoughts on going up against newly-hired Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan at practice?
"I really look forward to it. I've got a lot of respect for him and his schemes. I've faced him a number of times...so, he's one of those guys, I like his swagger. It seems like his defenses play extremely hard, and they do a lot of things. They're very multiple in the things they can do defensively. He seems to be very creative, and he's done a great job kind of incorporating the skills and talents of his defensive players into the scheme, wherever he's been. I think that's where you really kind of develop an attitude and a swagger is throughout OTA's, and in the training camp competing against your own defense. We provide ourselves as being one of the best offenses in the league, and hey, we're going to throw a lot at you as well. So, let's make this as competitive as we can. We're trying to beat them every day just like they're trying to beat us. So when you step on the field on game day, you say, there's nothing we can see and face that we haven't seen before in practice."
It's always good to here about veterans being honored. My father served during the Korean war and worked very hard throughout his life to provide for his family. I remember how much he loved watching the no saints play. He scoffed at the idea of his only son playing professional football. It was something that i considered to be very hurtful. Despite my pains i was able to honor him the way god intended....
Who's Joe Marino?
I think you mean Dan, Big Chief...
Great Bobby quote
You'll have to go ask somebody else cause I never threw 5 interceptions in a game!