Brees: Chargers Facing "Must Wins"

San Diego quarterback Drew Brees talked about the tough situation the Chargers are in as they scramble for a playoff spot, a young and very talented Colts defense, and quarterback Peyton Manning in this week's media conference call.

(on how much TE-Antonio Gates means to him)
"It's great to have a stud tight end. Obviously, you want to be balanced, you want to give the defense as much to worry about as you can, so you're talking about the run game and throwing the ball outside. Anytime defenses feel like they have the run game in check and they're going to double guys outside, you always have to worry about No. 85 inside and the matchup problems that he would give the defense or the good matchups that we get, whether he's on a linebacker or on a safety. So, yes, he's a big part of what we do."

(on if it feels like the Chargers have been playing must-win games all season)
"Yes, it does. It really does. We started off so slow. At one point we were sitting at 3-4, and we won five in a row to put us at 8-4, and the one last week kind of got away from us. But we still feel like we're in control of our own destiny, and we're just going to have to just take it one at a time these last three. They're definitely must wins in our mind, if we want to control our own destiny they are."

(on if it wears on a QB having that monkey on your back)
"As a quarterback, you have so much responsibility as it is, you don't try to put any more pressure on yourself. You just understand it. I think to simplify it for myself, I just go out and tell myself to do my job. Do my job, and that's a lot of things, but the more prepared I am, I have a routine that I go through throughout the week to prepare myself, and by the time Sunday comes around, I feel as confident as ever. I just feel like I can go out and we can go out as an offense and do anything we want."

(on how he feels about his season)
"I always want to get better. I was not satisfied with myself or what we did as a team last year. I felt like it was a big step in the right direction. But I think that attitude of never being satisfied and always feeling like you have something to prove, there's always a new challenge out there. Obviously, my goal is to be one of the best quarterbacks in this league, and everyday I approach it as getting a little bit better. In the end, as a quarterback in this league, you're measured by wins and losses. So I think if you just focus on winning games and doing whatever you can to prepare yourself to do that and prepare your team to do that, then everything kind of takes care of itself."

(on if this season as seemed like another trial in terms of his contract)
"Even if you're locked in to a long-term contract, every year you have to prove yourself. There's always someone creeping up behind you. There's always that ultimate goal of winning a championship, and until you're able to do that and do it consistently and have that as your expectation every year and that's one thing that you can never be satisfied…it's such a great opportunity to be able to play quarterback in the NFL. It goes by so fast, I can't believe I'm already in my fifth year, and I'm sure Peyton can't believe he's already in his eighth year. It's one of those things that goes by so fast, you just understand that time is so precious. That's why you approach every day as if you're trying to take advantage of the opportunity that you're given."

(on the difference in the Colts defense in the last year)
"They've had one more year. They were a really young defense last year. They're still young, but very talented and just continue to get more and more experience every time they're out there together. They've been able to stay healthy for the most part, so you just have guys that go out there and play hard, they understand the team concept and they're just able to get the job done. I think it's pretty amazing going from last year to this year, being a top five defense. They play very, very well."

(on if it's possible QB-Peyton Manning could be playing better this year than last year)
"I think it is. Statistics don't tell the story all of the time. In fact, they rarely do. There's so much more, especially playing the quarterback position. I think he's done a great job managing the game. Just from what I've seen, it seems like he's managing the game, playing well and in great command of that offense."


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