FOOTBALL NIGHT IN CAROLINA Features Interview with New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees

FOOTBALL NIGHT IN CAROLINA Features Interview with New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees

Thursday Night Football on NBC debuts tonight with an NFC South showdown, when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Pre-game coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC with Football Night in Carolina, and will include a conversation between Brees and NFL Insider Peter King, which took place in Brees' car en route to Saints practice early Tuesday morning.

Bob Costas, a 27-time Sports Emmy winner, will host Football Night in Carolina from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. He will be joined at the game site by Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and two-time SUPER BOWL champion Rodney Harrison. In addition, NFL Network host Rich Eisen and NFL Network analysts Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, and Steve Mariucci will provide coverage from a set outside the stadium.

INTERVIEW: Peter King rode with Drew Brees early on Tuesday morning en route to Saints practice, discussing Brees' career and his love for the city of New Orleans. Below are excerpts from King's interview with Brees. If used, please note the mandatory credit: "In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in Carolina."

DREW BREES WITH PETER KING

Peter King: "What motivates you still to answer your alarm at 4:40 in the morning?"

Drew Brees: "I still love the game. I still get a great sense of purpose and pride in playing it and being able to play it. And you're still chasing that championship."

King: "You know how long between titles it was for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning."

Brees: "Peyton won a championship in his ninth season and his 18th season. Tom was two, four, five, and 15..."

King: "You had to have studied that a little bit."

Brees: "Yeah, I was curious. We won ours in my ninth season, and now I'm in my 16th season."

Brees on the city of New Orleans: "There are a lot of pretty amazing things about this city. To think about how far it's come over the last 11 years, and to be a part of that is really special."

Brees on if he reflects on how his career would have been different had he signed with Miami in 2006:"No, because it wasn't meant to be. New Orleans was meant to be."

Brees on bouncing back from last Sunday's 25-23 loss to Denver: "We always give it a 24-hour rule, but it's probably even less than that when it comes to a short week. I woke up early on Monday morning and just watched the film so I could put that to bed. I always do that. Put that one to bed, and now it's all about Carolina."