Brees embraces 'championship feelings'

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints are 4-0 for the first time since 2009, when they started 13-0 and wound up winning the Super Bowl. So naturally, the comparisons have already started coming up a few times in interviews.

Quarterback Drew Brees said Wednesday that he doesn’t plan on making those comparisons on a weekly basis throughout the year -- though he did say, “I hope we get those questions, because that means we’re winning.”

Brees, however, hasn’t completely dismissed the '09 questions. After Monday night’s 38-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Brees even embraced the comparison in a sense, saying, “I’d say there’s some similarities in regards to the type of offseason we’ve had, as competitive as it was. Just that feeling: ‘Man, we can’t wait to get on the field and then show ourselves, show people what we’re about.’”

I asked Brees Wednesday if it’s OK to embrace those comparisons a little bit and even helpful to recall the past successes this team has had.

“Well, yeah,” Brees said, “because to be honest with you those are the feelings that you love so much because those are championship feelings. And you want those feelings again.”

“But every team is different,” Brees quickly added. “Every championship journey, I think, is different. You know you’re going to face adversity at times. You know you’re going to have to battle through and win tough games and deal with injuries and do certain things at certain times. But, man, that’s what makes the season special is the journey and going through those things.”

This season has played out slightly different than 2009 so far. That year, the Saints won each of their first four games rather easily (blowouts over Detroit, 45-27, and Philadelphia, 48-22, followed by more dominant defensive performances against Buffalo, 27-7, and the New York Jets, 24-10).

This year, the Saints leaned more heavily on their defense early to pull out two close low-scoring wins over Atlanta, 23-17, and Tampa Bay, 16-14, before the offense started to heat up with wins over Arizona, 31-7, and Miami, 38-17.

“The last two games we’ve won by large margins. But prior to that they were right down to the wire, last possession. Last play for that matter,” Brees said. “So at some point you’re going to encounter those games. And the earlier they happen, and when you have success early, then you gain confidence, you gain momentum. And those are things that serve you well.”