Drew Brees’ past life with the San Diego Chargers had familiarity with the Kansas City Chiefs, as the two teams played twice a year in AFC West showdowns. From 2001-2005, Brees faced the Chiefs seven times, but was only able to beat them once at Arrowhead Stadium in three attempts (2004). Since joining the New Orleans Saints in 2006, Brees has faced the Chiefs twice, splitting the results with a 2008 road win and 2012 home loss.
“Arrowhead is one of my most favorite places to play, from my Charger days when we went there once a year. I always felt like we were going there late in the year, in fact every game I can think of playing in Kansas City was in December. When there was something on the line, obviously divisional opponent and it’s such a great fan base, a sea of red,” Brees said on Wednesday.
Brees recollects distinct moments of the National Anthem finishing up and hearing the roar of the Chiefs faithful. He also acknowledged the great tradition present as you come up to the stadium. Brees admitted that he was always a fan of Hank Stram and Len Dawson, and how could he not be with the Purdue roots?
“Just being fans of those guys and tracking their careers and obviously what they accomplished there back in the 60s and 70s. I think just from that time until now it’s always been one of those places.”
Brees added that Marty Schottenheimer, his former coach at San Diego after being a long-standing figure with Kansas City (101-58-1), won a ton of games at Arrowhead. From 1989-1998, Schottenheimer only had one losing season with the Chiefs. Coincidentally, it was his last when the team went 7-9.
“It’s always a tough place to play, it is a tough place to go get a win.”
This year’s Chiefs team, as it should, commands a lot of respect from Brees. Marcus Peters, who already has five interceptions on the season, is one of those pieces that makes a big difference.
“Obviously they’re a very good football team and you mentioned Marcus Peters he’s playing as well as anybody in the league right now in the secondary. He’s (Peters) a very dangerous player and has exceptional skills, exceptional ball skills, great instincts, especially for a young player. He just seems to have a nose for the football and obviously he has a great group around him, he’s got great safeties and a great front seven that can apply pressure on the quarterback to force them to maybe get a ball out sooner than they want and obviously he’s there to make the plays. That whole unit, I mean there are other guys in that secondary that are ballhawks. Definitely a great challenge for us.”
On Moving the Ball against the Chiefs defense:
“I hope we’ll be able to matriculate the ball down the field. I think every gameplan we put a lot of time and effort and thought into and we’re still in the beginning stages of that right now, but I mean at the end of the day it is about our execution and identifying those matchups when the ball needs to come out accurately. Guys just making plays and our ability to make a play on the football and just do all those things that will help us be successful.”
On Alex Smith:
“I don’t think that Alex gets the respect that he deserves. I think that he has played very well, in his time in San Francisco they made those playoff runs and now in Kansas City for Andy Reid. I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s a tough guy. I think he is very versatile. I think he can do a lot of things and listen he is a veteran guy and I think he came in in 04, 05 so he’s been around a long time and man he’s a guy that will pull the ball and run 25 yards down the field. He’ll execute the short passing game, the long passing game. They do a lot of really interesting stuff with their offense. I really like watching their offense and they have some playmakers as well that (Alex) he spreads the ball around too. I think he is a very good football player.”