What the New Orleans Saints need for the next few months is a little normal.
And quarterback Drew Brees can certainly tell them what that’s like.
After signing a five-year, $100 million contract recently, Brees celebrated by doing some laundry and changing diapers.
“That was pretty much standard operation every day during the offseason,” Brees said Tuesday. “So nothing changed. I didn’t jump up and down. I didn’t do anything. Was I excited [the contract] was done? Was it a relief? Yes.
“But other than that I had the same mindset every day. I was preparing as if I was here or as if I was getting ready to go to work at any moment. So the mindset was never swayed in any way. It was always the same.”
Brees joined his teammates for the first time Tuesday, after staying away all offseason until the contract was finalized. In his absence, their offseason was presided over by an interim coach and an interim quarterback.
Now, the Saints have to get to work, and try to compartmentalize the bounty scandal and ensuing suspensions, and getting Brees back is the first step they had to take.
“He’s certainly the greatest player that I’ve been around, and I’m going on 34 years [in the NFL],” interim coach Joe Vitt said. “This is a player whose character and integrity outweigh his playmaking ability.
“We certainly would miss a guy like Drew Brees in the OTAs with his ability to get the team in and out of the huddle and stressing the defense with his throws. But more than anything else, we all just missed the person. And he missed being here.”
Brees said he was excited about the season despite the cloud that’s hung over the organization all offseason, and is trying to keep from putting too much pressure on himself to make up for the absence of coach Sean Payton.
“It’s easy for us all to say, ‘Hey, we have to pick up all this slack, maybe put this undue pressure on ourselves,’ ” Brees said. “The fact of the matter is the pieces have been put in place in this organization since ’06 to withstand anything that would come our way.
“It would be easy for us to sit here and want to lump too much of that pressure on us with Sean’s absence. But in the end, it really is about doing your job and fulfilling your role and focusing on the process, and then knowing that the result will take care of itself if you can just do that.”
That “do your job,” mantra was given to them by Payton on his way out the door. And when the quarterback’s standing there talking about dirty diapers, it creates the kind of atmosphere the Saints need, as they try to get back to football.