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Drew Brees: "Marques Colston has as big a contribution now as he ever has"



Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Post Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

With Mike Neu, did you know him his first stint at all and how has he been with the transition from (Joe) Lombardi?

“I know when he was a scout he used to sit in our quarterback meetings a lot actually, then he goes to Tulane with CJ (Curtis Johnson) obviously and was a quarterback coach in this offense so I think the transition was pretty natural for him coming from what is the same offense, same terminology and all those things. Ryan Griffin, kind of a familiar face in the room as well. There’s a big comfort level with Mike (Neu). It’s not like he’s coming in and there’s no familiarity at all. Like I said, he sat in our meetings. He’s done a great job and I love our room. I love the dynamics in our room. Pete (Carmicheal) and I have been together for a long time, going back to the San Diego days, and now Mike (Neu), obviously Luke (McCown) going into his second year here and Ryan (Griffin) as well, we add Logan Kilgore as another quarterback. We’ve got a great room.”

I don't mean to say anything against him (Mike Neu) but when you have a 35 year old quarterback whose been in the league a long time, how much do you teach him and how much does he teach you and vice versa?

“I know this, he is a great resource for me because there’s times where, as a player, you’re starting to get a little bit of tunnel vision on the field and there’s a perspective that’s gained from somebody on the sideline or up in the box that can be very beneficial. I come to the sideline and Luke McCown is there for me to be able to bounce things off of. ‘Hey, what did you see on that? Am I not seeing something correctly or is there a little tip you can give me or something that you’ve noticed’? It’s the same thing with Mike (Neu). I don’t know if he is going to be up in the box or down on the sideline but I know with Joe Lombardi the case was he was up in the box and Pete (Carmichael) was down on the field so I kind of got this perspective from both and there were times where Joe (Lombardi) would get on the horn down to Pete (Carmichael) to maybe say something to me about something that he is seeing from up there.”

We just spoke to Marques (Colston) inside and he said that his foot feels much better this year then it did last year. Knowing that, how much easier does it make it for you guys as a team and for you as a quarterback just knowing that he is in great shape at this point in the year?

“That’s good. He is such a big, physical guy and a lot of his catches are taking place between the numbers and there are big guys in there so, you know he has taken a lot of big shots. He goes through a lot of punishment throughout the season so by the end of the season I know he’s hurting pretty good. So to have an offseason where he can get through it and be healthy come this time of year, I know he’s had to miss a few of these OTA and Minicamp sessions just due to surgeries and just trying to get nursed back to health. It’s nice to have him be healthy.”
 
I know you don’t like to make excuses or anything but it seems like last year wasn’t as good, numbers wise for him personally. How much do you think his foot had to do with that just from where you were standing last year?

“Jimmy Graham had a huge year. Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles. We spread the ball around quite a bit so I can’t really think, besides maybe the year Jimmy (Graham) had, with everybody else, you’re just spreading the ball around and you’re trying to keep everyone involved. Marques (Colston) has as big a contribution now as  he ever has. Even if he’s not getting the ball, he’s a threat so teams have to game plan for him and therefor that opens up opportunities for others even if he’s getting the ball.”

Lance (Moore) isn’t here anymore, Devery (Henderson) isn’t here anymore, (Robert) Meachem left and came back on different circumstances. Why is Colston still a good fit for this offense? Why do you think he’s lasted in this offense?

“He can play everything. He can play outside, he can play inside, he’s extremely intelligent, he’s a big physical target that even when technically covered, he’s not really covered. There’s always a place where I can throw Marques Colston the ball where most players can’t get it just because he’s 6-5 and 220 pounds. There’s a way a route is drawn up on the blackboard and then there’s a way you actually execute it on the field depending on the type of coverage and the technique and what you’re seeing. We know all those things because we’ve been doing it together for eight years and it’s come up many times in practice and during games so there’s just a huge trust and confidence factor between the two of us.”

You talked about that before. About how younger guys are like ‘wait a minute. That’s not how it was drawn up’?

“That’s exactly right. We just tell those guys, you’re a rules guy and not a guidelines guy. There’s guys that are rules guys, in other words, this is the rule, this is the way it is on paper, this is the way you do it and there’s other guys that are guidelines guys like here’s kind of what’s in the framework of these guidelines as to how this route is to be run but if you feel something or see something and you’re on the same page as the quarterback then you, by all means, do it. Marques is a guidelines guy.”

One of Colston’s best traits is finding spots in the zone, would you agree?

“Yeah, He’s got great feel and he’s a great target.”

Nick Toon only had four receptions last year but Coach Payton said it’s not about the numbers, it’s about who was in front of him last year. Some of those guys are gone now, He (Sean Payton) said he (Nick Toon) has been looking fantastic in camp. Obviously in this minicamp he has been doing well. Is this the year that we finally see nick maybe bump those into double digits and more receptions?

“Yeah, absolutely. I think with (Nick) Toon, it was just a product of you have Marques, you have (Robert) Meachem, you have Lance (Moore) and Kenny (Stills) with big contributions and there’s only so many guys you can suit up on Sunday. I think he has come along extremely well. I’ve been very impressed with some of the things I’ve seen from him out here. He’s another big target that can run well, he transitions very well for a big guy. You watch the way he catches the ball sometimes and it’s so confident, he goes and he goes after it and plucks it. He’s very natural and confident when he catches the ball which you like to see. I think he can have big contributions on this team. I know that it’s extremely competitive with the receiver position right now with a lot of guys fighting for spots but he’s certainly right in the mix.”

You had crowd noise pumped in today. Sean (Payton) said that was the first time you have ever done that during minicamp. He also says, you guys have talked about the road record last year. Could you just talk about the noise and discussing things like the road record even in something like minicamp?

“Well, at the end of the day, what are the difficult things about playing on the road? Well, typically it’s you’re inability to communicate and what makes it difficult to communicate? It’s the crowd noise. So the more that you can practice it and rep it, the more that it becomes second nature with maybe just those non-verbal cues that are helping to get in and out of the huddle, help getting the ball snapped, so if you are used to it, it just becomes automatic and it’s something that you don’t stress about”.
 
 

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