Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Saints head coach Sean Payton, center, gives QB Drew Brees (9) a play as QB Luke McCown (7) waits his turn during Training Camp practice Thursday at The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

"Ah man, I don’t miss not having answers when I see a blitz. When you're a rookie and it's the first time in that system, then most of the time you don’t have the tools or at least the awareness of the tools at your disposal at the line of scrimmage. Whether it be a new Mike (linebacker) ID, an audible, a line slide or whatever to help you get protected, (or) hand signal a quick route to a receiver.

"As a young player, as a quarterback, you walk up to the line, you know something is coming, but you don’t know what to do about it; that’s not a very good thing. I don’t miss that at all."

What's your relationship like with Ryan Griffin, who you're competing against for the Saints backup quarterback job?

“Coming into last year, Ryan was the typical rookie: he kept his mouth shut when he should and he just absorbed. He was a sponge. This year, after just standing around watching, now he’s kind of has a lot more questions and the great thing about it is he's at the point now where he even has a few answers for himself so he doesn’t have to rely on Drew (Brees) or I for all the answers. That's what a (quarterbacks meeting) room is supposed to be. Drew is supposed to lean on me to see things that maybe he didn’t see. I'm supposed to lean on Ryan and vise versa... There shouldn’t be anxiety about whose position and this or that because we all wear black and gold at the end of the day and we're all shooting for the same thing and that's a championship."

When you were Griffin's age, who helped you?

“When I was a rookie, coming in I had Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb in Cleveland. After that I was traded to Tampa (Bay) and I had Brian Griese and Chris Simms and about two years later, Jeff joined us in Tampa and I had Griese.

"I was fortunate to have guys that were (veterans). Kelly was in his 10th or 11th year. Jeff was in his 11th year when I first came into the league. I had guys that had been around awhile and been in these types of systems - West Coast-type of systems that had a lot of verbiage, put a lot of responsibility on the quarterback and so I got to watch them operate that and ask them questions much like Ryan’s doing. Those guys I leaned on and they helped me tremendously. It's my way of giving back to the game what was given to me."