[Editor’s note: Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared on Tuesday’s edition of PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. Hopefully, you heard it. If you didn’t, you can read it.
Q: When you hear someone say future ‘Hall of Famer,’ does that make you feel good? Or do you think don’t jinx it, don’t give me the label yet?”
Brees: “No there’s still a long way to go for me before any of that talk. You know, I still feel like I have a lot to prove.”
Q: “You don’t feel like the hay is already in the barn though to get to Canton?”
Brees: “Regardless I kind of cringe a little bit. I’ve got a lot of football games left to be played, I hope. So that’s where my minds at.”
Q: “You said back in July of 2014 when you guys were at the Greenbrier here in West Virginia for the first time, that you’d like to play until you’re 45. You’ve got two more football seasons that you’ve played since then. Are you still feeling 45 is attainable?”
Brees: “I certainly think it’s attainable, you know. I think physiologically it’s possible. I think we can push the envelope with that. I mean, there’s challenges. Obviously, as you kind of get up there in age and that kind of thing but I think so much of it’s just what’s in your mind and what’s in your heart. And that kind of controls your body. But I said it then and I’ll say it now. As long as I’m having fun and I’m playing at a high level and I’m able to stay healthy then why wouldn’t I? Obviously I’m different than when I started in this league. I have a family now with four kids ages six, five, three, and one. So that presents its level of challenges but also excitement and fun. They’re starting to get into football and football season and they know players from other teams. They follow it and every time I get home they want to play catch and wrestle and tackle and all that stuff. They love going to games. They love being a part of that Superdome atmosphere and so that too also makes me want to play even longer.”
Q: “You have the injury that you suffered last Monday night, the torn plantar fascia in your foot. How did that effect you, turning around on a short week and playing on a Sunday? How did that make it different for you than a normal game?
Brees: “Just mobility, really. The challenge was obviously being a short week and Christmas and just all those things last week. Last week was crazy and just trying to experiment with how I could be as functional as possible on Sunday. So different tape jobs and orthotics and this and that. Just trying to play with how effective I could be in throwing the ball and pushing off and just all those things. So I felt like we had a really good plan going into the game. Obviously I was limited but felt like the game plan and just kind of the way everything unfolded I ended up being okay.”
Q: “Do you anticipate it being any better this weekend against the Falcons? Or are you going to have to deal with the same challenges to get yourself into a position where you can go out and perform? Not just perform but perform very well?”
Brees: “I’m sure there will be challenges but I can definitely say I feel better right now as I talk to you versus last week at this time. So hopefully the foot will continue to improve. I mean, the fact that I’m playing on it, it’s not really giving it a chance to rest and heal. That’s what the offseason will be for but, yeah, I’m hoping that I will be able to do a little bit more come this Sunday
Q: “Where does the motivation come from once the playoffs are unattainable? The motivation to go out and play hard, win. That same motivation you had back when the postseason is still a possibility.”
Brees: “Well, first of all, I take a lot of pride in what I do as a professional football player and representing the fleur-de-lis that’s on my helmet. The New Orleans Saints, our city, our community, I mean I really do. And so regardless of what we’re playing for with playoffs or not, I feel like I always have something to prove and something to represent. Like a great sense of responsibility.
“I’m also thinking about next year. I’m also thinking about could something happen in these last few weeks with our team that becomes a catalyst for something in the future. Like some type of tipping point. Maybe it’s just for one individual player. Or all of a sudden there’s just this moment where it’s a huge confidence boost and then that’s going to allow them to accomplish something great in the future that’s going to help us win and win a championship. I mean because that’s what it’s all about. And I feel like we’re building something really great with our team. I feel like we have great character, great leadership, and some young talent that will continue to get better and better with experience. This is where you begin to build and create that type of culture and foundation for what you’re going to accomplish in the future.”
Q: “How do you reconcile thinking about a future with the Saints with the business side of it that could get in the way of what happens next year?”
Brees: “I think that lingers for every team come the offseason. I mean there’s, ‘Where do we need to make changes?’ or ‘Where are we trying to improve? What are we trying to add?,’ and that kind of thing. So bottom line is I don’t see myself in any other helmet but a Saints helmet. I don’t see myself playing for any other coach than Sean Payton, but I know there’s all kinds of speculation. Especially when you’re not heading to the playoffs. Everybody immediately wants to jump to, ‘Well what are they gonna do this offseason and how is it gonna look for next season?’ But I’m confident that a plan was laid out last offseason for how kind of how we were going to build this thing back to a point where we can make a run. Like we made a run in ’09, ’10, ’11 and that’s where my mind’s at and I feel like there’s a lot of people that feel that same way.”