Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Brees on Saints' closing kick: "Each week is gonna mean something"


Even after taking a loss their last time on the field, the 10-2 Saints are positioned very well with one quarter of the season remaining. Quarterback Drew Brees discussed the importance of the team's last four games Wednesday night on WWL Radio.

"Each week is gonna symbolize something," Brees said. "Each week is gonna mean something. This week, if we win this game, we're division champs. And that was goal #1 on our list of goals coming into this season was to repeat as division champs, and we have the opportunity to do that... Then we'll worry about each game as it comes after that because each one is gonna be meaningful."

Brees made the comments during his weekly "QB To QB" segment with Bobby Hebert, and he was asked about the improvements the Saints defense has managed over the course of the season.

"They're playing so well together, really all facets of it," Brees said. "The ability to make a team one-dimensional is huge. So the run defense #1 in the league, that forces teams to be one-dimensional. That allows you to tune up your pass rush, tune up your pressure packages, and then you get pressure on the quarterback, you get sacks. Then that creates turnovers, and turnovers have been coming in bunches for our defense, especially over the last four or five weeks. Man, that's winning football. That's not just winning football. That's championship football."

Brees then turned his attention to the Saints' next opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and how their defense has evolved after the firing of coordinator Mike Smith in mid-October and the subsequent hiring of Mark Duffner.

"The scheme itself is pretty similar," Brees said. "They've had a lot of turnover at different positions with some injuries and guys in and out of the lineup from week to week. For example, we might see a whole new group of corners this week that didn't play last week, but they played the week before or the week before. So that's been a little different for them. But they've played really good up front. They've been getting pressure on the quarterback. They've been getting a bunch of sacks. Obviously everyone knows Gerald McCoy but the addition of [Jason Pierre-Paul] was big for them in this offseason. Vita Vea is playing well inside and they've got some other guys, too. So they've got some horses that can rush the passer.

"Over the last couple of weeks, they've been able to generate some turnovers on the back end. So they're playing with a lot of confidence. They've won two straight. They're playing well. I'd say the mentality maybe is a little different than when we played them under the previous coordinator."

Brees and the Saints travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday at noon on WWL. Our coverage starts at 8am. You can hear the full audio of "QB To QB" by clicking the podcast link.

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