New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees talked about the Falcons' new-look defense, Dunta Robinson and the progression of quarterback Matt Ryan when he spoke with the Atlanta media Wednesday.
On the out-of-the-ordinary schedule New Orleans has had to start the season:
"It's been kind of crazy, but I think we've adjusted well. It's nice to be able to get back to playing Sunday games again, kind of get back into your in-week routine and not have to adjust it. Although, this being a short week, we have to adjust it somewhat, but just glad to be playing on Sundays again."
On the Falcons' defense:
"They've played very well here these first two weeks against Pittsburgh and then obviously Arizona last week. I've seen them pressuring quite a bit, making a lot of plays. They've always played a pretty aggressive style and they're flying around, so definitely, we're going to have to do a great job this week of handling that pressure and the overall execution on our part."
On what Dunta Robinson adds that wasn't there last year:
"He's a very talented player. Obviously, I remember him from playing against the Texans when I was in the AFC playing with the Chargers, and he's only gotten better as he's gotten older. He adds an element where obviously they feel pretty confident locking him up on a receiver backside and doing whatever they want to do frontside. That's probably another reason you're able to bring more pressure, when you're confident the corners are able to hold up one-on-one. He's definitely been an upgrade for them."
On how losing Reggie Bush to injury affects the offense:
"It's tough. It's tough because, obviously, we do a lot of things with Reggie, but we've had times before where he's been out of the lineup and other guys have just had to step up and fill that role, fill that void. It might not necessarily be the running back position. It's just more opportunities for the tight ends, the wide receivers. Everybody has to pick up that slack."
On Matt Ryan's progression:
"Yeah, I have been following him and I have a lot of respect for Matt. I think that he's a very talented young player who seems like he's very much a student of the game, as well. He wants to be great, so he's doing all the little things just to work towards that and you see his progress here over the last few years. I haven't seen a whole lot of him early in the season. But obviously, for a quarterback in this league there's a learning curve and just a maturation process that you have to go through. Obviously, he's a guy who had success very early on and he just continues to get better. I think he's got some pretty good veteran influence around him there offensively, guys like Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, Just Peelle, who was a tight end that I played with in San Diego, who I know thinks highly of him. He's got all the tools, and it seems like mentally, too, he's very sharp. You can tell that he studies the game and wants to be a great player."
On whether familiarity with the Falcons affects the game plan:
"I think, any team that you play in the division, the fact that you play them twice a year every year, there is a level of familiarity, and I think, a lot of times, the games are close because of that on both sides of the ball. It is what it is. Obviously, we buy or take what we see on film, take what we know about players from a personnel standpoint, try to create matchups but you never really know how the game's going to shake out until you actually get there on Sunday and see how they're trying to play you."