New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday, saying he didn't hear personally from the NFL commissioner after the Rams-Saints officiating-involved debacle but feels like the he and the commissioner have common responsibilities as leaders: to transparently address issues in public.
Below is a short excerpt from the full interview, which you can view here.
Patrick: Did you hear from the commissioner personally?
Brees: No, I did not. And I'm not aware of anyone else on our team who did.
Patrick: But wasn't there a message that (Goodell) did contact the Saints?
Brees: Supposedly. I think he spoke to our owner, Ms. Gayle Benson. I think Sean (Payton) had a conversation with him. A brief one.
Patrick: What would you say to the commissioner right now?
Brees: I think that we all recognize that being in that position you are the face of the league. You have the responsibility to come out and address issues when they come about. I would say on Monday or Tuesday after that game, we all deserved a response of some kind. At the end of the day that could've been, "Listen, we play an imperfect game, there are mistakes made. In looking at the film that appeared to be an obvious pass interference and a helmet-to-helmet foul. Unfortunately it was not called. It's really unfortunate, and yet that's something we're going to strive to make sure that it doesn't happen. We're going to strive to make sure the officials are making the best calls that they possibly can." Plain and simple, right?
Brees, continued: Do I really want to be in a position talking about this over and over again? No, but I have to stand up and do it because I have to represent my team, represent the Who Dat Nation and that's my responsibility. It's the commissioner's responsibility to do the same the thing. And yet we don't hear a peep for 10 days, and it's because he has to do it now because he's at the Super Bowl, and he does his annual press conference."
The Saints quarterback also spoke to reporters in Atlanta on Friday about the same topic, emphasizing his expectation that the league would've spoken up Monday or Tuesday after the game.
"It's really the responsibility of that position after something like that happens," Brees said of Goodell. "Obviously it's significant. If it wasn't significant then everybody wouldn't be talking about it. It caused a buildup, it caused a swell where everybody was waiting, waiting for a response, and I think it put more pressure on the situation for him and put him a position where he wasn't going to be able to succeed with anything he said."
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At Goodell's news conference earlier this week, Goodell stood at the podium in Atlanta ahead of Super Bowl 53 and said he had spoken to "coach [Sean] Payton." He continued to talk about "the team" and "the players," adding that there was no consideration given to any change for the outcome of the game.
The official transcript from the NFL reads: "I’ve talked to Coach Payton. The team, the players, we understand the frustration they feel right now."
Roger Goodell didn't have much to say about the Saints' controversial loss to the Rams, but there was an issue with what some heard him utter …
The NFL clarified Thursday -- according to a report from ESPN's Mike Triplett -- that the comment was misinterpreted, and he was simply listing frustrated groups. They acknowledged Goodell had not spoken to players.
Staff writer Rod Walker contributed to this report from Atlanta.