Drew Brees’ Exclusive with Fletcher Mackel, Plus Saints’ Glaring Needs 1 and 1A

This week on Black and Gold Rush, WDSU-TV sports anchor/reporter Fletcher Mackel joins me for another great New Orleans Saints conversation. Fletcher and I both were born and raised in New Orleans, so we talk about our early years following the Saints, even before Drew Brees and Sean Payton arrived to resurrect the franchise from years of futility.

Now though, the Saints face an uncertain offseason for many reasons, and Fletcher just had an exclusive interview with QB Drew Brees after his retirement. 

He and I explore the top takeaways from that interview, and discuss whether Jameis Winston will seize his opportunity at redemption and earn the starting role in 2021.  It’s been a while – try 20 years – since the Saints had a legitimate quarterback battle, but we both remember it!

Plus, Fletcher outlines what he believes are the Saints’ glaring needs “1 & 1a” – cornerback and starting linebacker.  Stay tuned for the weekly random round (starts at 26:50!)


  • (5:28) “I don’t know what life was life without a twin or somebody else there. Now as an adult, it’s definitely a unique concept because we work together and we do the same thing. So that’s a bit more of a novelty than just growing up as a twin.”
  • (8:16) “That was something that was a really great part of the interview was [Drew Brees] talking about New Orleans not just as a party city, but as a place that you can start a business and raise a family. As somebody like you who’s from here, those are the things you want to hear because you want to be proud of New Orleans.”
  • (10:39) “Look, Tony Romo prepares, but everybody always jokes – he’s calling out plays and dissecting plays before they even happen because he understands coverages and what’s going on. I think you’re going to see something very similar from Drew Brees, and I think he’s going to be a pretty instant success in the broadcast booth because his football IQ is through the roof, he’s personable and smart, and he’s not showing up to wing it on Saturdays.”
  • (16:05) “Talking about Jameis is two-fold to me. Jameis the human being is one thing – maturing, trying to become a better person, getting past his past transgressions.  Jameis the player is another thing. Is he going to be a turnover machine like we saw at Florida State or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? I think the Saints are going to put him in a role reminiscent of what we saw with Teddy Bridgewater, where Teddy was a game manager for those five games.”

  • (18:46) “Do I think that Sean Payton will take more shots down the field with Jameis Winston as his quarterback? Absolutely. Because he has the ability to do it. … I think the Saints are going to be very game-plan heavy from game to game.”

  • (23:00) “As far as the glaring needs, I look at two as 1 and 1a: starting cornerback and starting linebacker next to Demario Davis.”

  • (26:08) “Going back to the Billy Joe Hobert & Billy Joe Tolliver days, which were some dark days in Saints history, it’s been 20 years since we’ve had an all-out quarterback battle.”


Fletcher Mackel Twitter

Fletcher’s Exclusive Interview with Drew Brees

Watch WDSU-TV online

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Rachel Jones Instagram


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