Drew Brees was asked about his apparent frustration after safety Kenny Vaccaro knocked the ball out of his hand in full-team drills (players aren't allowed to hit the QB):
"That happened a few times in that period. You know, listen, it was competitive. It was a third-down period, so you're keeping score, it's competitive. (But) obviously you have rules for safety purposes, you don't want guys hitting your arm when you're throwing. That's not smart. That's not safe. So when it happens, you know, I mean, I understand it's going to happen from time to time, which it did. So, whatever. You move on."
(h/t Mike Triplett)
I can't believe I am going to say this, but - as long as he still has a clean bill of health - I would prefer if every practice from now until September culminated with Drew Brees getting pissy with his own defense. At the risk of encouraging a contentious locker room, this clip right here is the only type of dissension that could mean better days are ahead for this team.
Now, that doesn't mean that I want defensive linemen teeing off on a franchise quarterback whose arm serves as the Saints' only hope of getting over that haunting 7-9 hump. It does, however, mean that a franchise quarterback that overreacts purely out of frustration must be facing a defense that's doing something right. I wasn't on the practice field so I don't know if that stare down was the result of multiple acts of unnecessary roughness, but I do know that the play that inevitably caused it was one of the cleanest strips I recall seeing from a unit that has seemingly sabotaged this franchise since it's Super Bowl. You can usually catch Kenny Vaccaro walking the thin line of what's allowable, but - for the first time maybe ever - a Saints' defensive player had Drew Brees looking like he was the one in the wrong.
If the pressure from a team whose biggest concern is it's pass rush is what has it's usually mild mannered offensive leader jawing with it's most boisterous defensive player following a relatively harmless forced fumble then that argument should be viewed as a product of this team improving. Not too many defenses have gotten under the skin of a quarterback who is historically unflappable, so it's a good sign if the one he's spent the last few seasons cursing under his breathe finally gets in his head for the right reasons. Especially since there's not a Saints' fan on the planet that has offense anywhere near the top of their list of worries.