Saints Jaguars Football

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, left, talks with quarterback Taysom Hill, right, during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Drew Brees spends more time in a baseball cap on the sideline during the preseason than he does on the field. 

New Orleans held Brees out of the preseason opener against Jacksonville, and the Saints will likely keep him out of the fourth preseason game as well, if history is any indicator. 

Brees, who typically leaves his playing time in the preseason up to the coaching staff, understands why he's held out of some games, a practice that is common for most established quarterbacks around the NFL. 

"It's risk-reward, right?" Brees said. "It's important for me to get some reps in the preseason, and it's really just a matter of how many. I feel like getting some work in the second preseason game and the third preseason game prepares me plenty for the regular season."

Brees did not play in the second preseason game last August, but that was an extenuating circumstance; the Saints held joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers, and the coaching staff felt he'd gotten enough work in practices. 

New Orleans knows what Brees can do; figuring out what the rest of the quarterbacks are capable of doing is a bigger priority in an exhibition game. 

"We've got a lot of other guys that we're trying to get work," Brees said. "It's good that Taysom Hill gets a lot of reps, right? It's good that Tom Savage gets familiarity and a comfort level with this offense and these guys; it's important that J.T. Barrett gets time."

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.