WATCH: Cam Jordan talks Tampa Bay’s offensive unit, Drew Brees’ 42nd birthday

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NEW ORLEANS It seems like Tom Brady has found his best rhythm with the Buccaneers in recent weeks. Have you noticed that they’ve figured something out that’s really working for that offense? Or do you think it’s just a matter of (the) defensive line disrupting them and trying to knock them off their game as you’ve been able to do in the first two meetings?

“I feel that Tampa Bay has done a phenomenal job all year of being consistent on offense and defense. I mean, we always speak of their weapons, Mike Evans, Chris (Godwin). LeSean (McCoy), Leonard (Fournette), Gronk (Rob Gronkowski). I mean, they don’t have a lack of weapons for anything on the offensive side of the ball. You know, driven by Tom Brady. Then on defense, you got the great linebacker pairing followed by a great D-line. Then their secondary stepped up this year. So, it’s complementary football for them. And you can see, you know, how they’ve elevated their play this entire year. They’re not the Tampa Bay Bucs we’ve faced previously, these guys are serious contenders.”Advertisement

Is it fair to say though that since you’re probably not going to disguise and confuse Tom Brady a lot, that speeding up his clock is probably the top priority?

“Yeah, he’s been playing, you know, football since 1980 something. He’s seen every look that you can give. I saw a meme, I guess, you know, the picture from Drew (Brees), retweeted off Tom (Brady) where they’re, you know, facing off in the History Channel. And I thought that was, I didn’t even laugh. I thought that was going to happen. I thought that was just a serious event.”

Third time you guys will be playing, but is it almost like they’ve had three different offenses? They’ve had the first offense, the regular season opener, and then they added Antonio Brown, the second one and now it’s, I guess, fully loaded with Antonio Brown, fully indoctrinated. Does this team look almost like it’s three different offenses?

“They’re high powered. They have got a high octane offense. They got receivers in depth and running backs in depth, and one of the three, top two quarterbacks of all time. What can you say about Tampa Bay and how they play football. We played them two times and now have to play them a third. This is the most potent game because it is the next game. This is something that we have to overcome to go where we want to go.”

I wanted to ask you a non-game related question. What’s it like to play for a coach that wears Jordans on the sideline and does the griddy dance after games with players? I mean, it’s got to be a unique experience?

“Better than some other players, better. Like he does the griddy better than a lot of other players that have tried and failed.”

I would imagine there’s a fine line there, though, right? Anybody questioning? I wouldn’t question his authority role, even though he’s getting down and dirty with you guys in the locker room?

“What’s the question there? I mean, that’s his role, he does it well. He is the coach that you know is going to be overly in tune with his offense. And at the same time, he’s a head coach that has his hand in everything from offense to defense and wants to know everything about everything. I mean, there’s a reason why he’s so highly respected on this team. Not because he’s just given the name head coach, because of all the things that he’s in tune for.”

Speaking of Sean (Payton), he said earlier this week that playing against Tampa in the playoffs kind of seemed inevitable. Does it feel that way to you, just how well both of y’all had played this season moving into the playoffs?

“Absolutely. I mean, once Tom Brady, came up at the beginning of the year, and blew on his conch shell and (Rob) Gronkowski popped up. And he assembled a dream team of every murk out in the NFL game. I mean, you talk about what they’re able to do. Everybody had him poised to have a playoff run. (The) moment Tom Brady came on, you knew that Tampa would be lifted up to a playoff caliber team. And we just let our work speak for us. We can’t control what’s happening outside of our realm. We can’t control what’s happening outside of our locker room. As the Saints, all we can control is what’s ahead of us. And we have Tampa Bay again.”

What does it say about your team and this culture, that you guys had been able to get back to the playoffs three years in a row after some of these tough runs?

“It’s a testament to the players we have in the locker room. The ups and downs of any season can take its toll, especially how we have lost the last three years. But at the end of the day, you know, we were able to have another chance, we’re able to have this season, go all 16 games and come out with a 12- 4 record and put ourselves in the best position to have a playoff run. And whether we’re 6-10 or 12-4, as long as you make the playoffs you have a chance. And that is all we have to do. We have to keep on fighting for each and every available snap, to each and every available quarter, to finish each and every game stronger than the last. And if we keep on doing that, we’ll end up where we want to be.”

I asked Coach, what he’d planned to give Drew (Brees) for his birthday on Friday? And he said, a good red zone plan. What do you plan to give him? The guy is going to be 42 years old, Cam.

“Is Metamucil, a proper answer? A heated blanket? If anything, I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody can buy Drew Brees anything that he doesn’t already have. So, when you talk about what we’re going to do, I’m just going to co-sign on the red zone. I’ll give him a great look on scout team if he asks for it.”

Kind of speaking on Drew (Brees), I feel like I’ve heard a lot of stories about his competitiveness, maybe even outside of the football field. When you’re thinking about Drew’s (Brees) competitiveness as a player, human being, whatever, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

“Ricky Bobby. If you’re not first, you’re last. At the end of the day, he’s the ultimate competitor and you know that the first day you ever meet Drew (Brees) in a football environment. He’s always been at the top of his fierce competitive nature. You just catch that wind just going in. For my rookie year, I had a lockout year, and we’re practicing over at Tulane. And you realize how competitive he was. 10 years later, he’s probably even more competitive than he was then. I mean, he wants to win everything, from throwing trash away, being the first there to do it, to whatever, quarterback competition they have during camp, to every miniscule detail, he wants to go over it 1,000 times. Whether he’s taking the rep or not. He’s going through all of his motions, seeing things that I cannot, clearly. When he’s going through his motions and how he’d attack a defense. I mean, these are some things that you just come to expect, the standard in which he is. So, (his) competitive level, always been high.”

Has he ever beat you at Super Smash Brothers?

“I’m unbeatable. And ping pong, ask him about it.”

Coach said this morning that the defensive line had a big influence on the two victories earlier this year, especially the second one. Could you kind of summarize what you felt like you guys did really well and how expect them to respond, you know, in this third meaning?

“Come on, you’re asking me how I feel about the defensive line? I feel like, what do you mean the first two games? All 17 games we played, all 160 plus games that I’ve been a part of? I always think the defensive line is the most impactful component of a game. Without the defensive line, we always say we are the spear, not the tip of the sword, not one of the weapons. No, we are the entire weapon and then everybody else can feed off of our energy level. And at the same time, it’s awesome to see, you have linebackers that roll downhill, you have DBs that cover. But I’m jaded, if you say what’s the most important part of any game, I’m going to say the physicality within the D-line, and how we affect the quarterback.”

Do you expect them to have changed things up a bit or respond in a certain way or did you notice anything studying the film of their recent game?

“Yeah, the way we attack practice, the way we attack this game is all I’m focused on. And the film that we break down and how they change up, they switch up their game plan, that’s entirely on them. What we are capable of doing is, controlling what we can control and that’s how we set the edge and play the interior line.”

You were joking about that meme, you know, thinking it might be real. Was it because you guys were on Nick (Nickelodeon) last week that you thought, maybe they might be putting us on?

I’m just saying, it was the first time it’s ever been a Nick (Nickelodeon) game, I thought, maybe History Channel might have been next.”

I just wanted to ask you, kind of following up on what Brett (Martel) said, just how important is, you know, getting pressure and kind of making that team one dimensional considering the running backs they’ve got?

“Very important, the most important. So, I guess following back on that last question. Yeah, I do believe that the defensive line, anytime they take the field has the ability to take over a game. Whether that’s containing a quarterback that’s able to scramble or getting after Tom Brady who has one of the fastest releases in the game and has 17 different weapons on his offense. So if we take away the run, then we eliminate something that we’re able to control. If it comes out, if the outcome comes out like any of the last two games, we;ll be fine. But we know they have one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and we need to be able to have a gameplan that affects him. So, we’re going to focus every day, every play, on what we can.”

I guess you guys have gotten used to it by now this whole season, but usually right now we’d be talking about playoffs, sold out Superdome, rocking crowd, defense feeding off of that, how have you as a defensive player this year, what’s that been like for you, not having that behind you in playing football?

“I don’t know how many people were in the game last game, but it got loud. We may not be at full capacity. But, compared to the the last eight home games, this ninth one was rocking. So, if we’re able to have that many people or a little bit more. Whatever the situation is, we can feed off of that. If not, we bring our own juice. Our cup runneth over when the fans are here.”

Going back to Drew (Brees) and him turning 42 later this week. Have you thought about where you’ll be at 42, think you’ll still be playing, cutting up the field at the level that Drew (Brees) is?

“Playing what?”

I don’t know, football? Croquet?

“Ping pong, yeah. 42, most definitely, can’t wait. 42, my dog (son) Tank will be 16, maybe he might be 17, graduate high school early. I’ll be doing, you know, I’ll have the privilege of watching him hopefully play sports at the next level. Or not, and just be supporting him being what he is.”

{Transcript provided courtesy of the New Orleans Saints}

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