"Obviously, my departure, coming here, we do stay in touch. I see him at least a couple times during the offseason," Brees said. "I've been with him at the Pro Bowl the last two times, so I've got a great relationship with Phil. We'll even talk during the season at times, just similar opponents. We've done that before, just kind of comparing notes. So despite what people may have tried to make it, it was never that way."
Rivers said Brees has always been steady, "and that's how you bounce back from a situation like they're in. In a Drew Brees team with what they've been through, you can't ever count them out of anything. We'll get their best and we've got to prepare to make sure that we give them our best."
Rivers remembered that Brees' demeanor never changed.
"He could have thrown three interceptions and it was like he had thrown three touchdowns or vice versa. And I think that's something that filters down through the locker room. I'm a little more emotional and it's harder for me to keep as steady but that's one thing that I did learn from him. I appreciated being able to watch him those first two years."
Another former Chargers player with New Orleans is running back Darren Sproles. He was teammates for one season in New Orleans with wide receiver Robert Meachem, who signed with San Diego as a free agent in March.
Meachem has Sproles' old locker. Meachem said Sproles told him it would be fitting if he, rather than another Chargers newcomer, got his old locker.
"Emotions are going to be there, but there are going to be emotions for Sproles," Meachem said. "He was here forever, and I was there forever. You've just got to go have fun."
Asked what it's like to catch passes from Brees, Meachem said: "I still have him in a way, in Philip, because Philip learned from him. It's a great honor to have a great quarterback, because you know he'll get mad at himself if he throws you a bad ball. Same as Philip. He gets mad at himself if he throws you a bad ball. Philip is just like Drew as far as competitive. They both want to win."
The only big difference between the two QBs is height, Meachem said.
"When you throw a seam-six, sometimes you can't see Drew, but you can see Philip."
Notes: The Saints waived CB Elbert Mack and re-signed WR Greg Camarillo. ... Five Saints players sat out Wednesday's practice: S Roman Harper (right hip), WR Lance Moore (right hamstring), DE Turk McBride (left ankle), LB David Hawthorne (right hamstring) and RB Travaris Cadet (right shoulder). LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) was limited. ... San Diego's Norv Turner said K Nate Kaeding (groin) felt better but the coach doesn't know when he'll be back. Turner said Kaeding's injury doesn't seem as severe as when he missed three games with a similar injury in 2010.
AP Sports Writer Brett Martell in New Orleans contributed to this report.
- Red and Blue Recruits: 'Sometimes when it...
- Some surprises, lots of defense, on first day...
- Heisman Trophy tracker, week 5: Taysom Hill...
- Honoring a legend: BYU star quarterback Jim...
- Doug Robinson: Making sense of retired...
- Danny Ainge speaks about career, Mormon faith
- Former walk-on Kyle Johnson has become BYU's...
- Peavler: Is Utah State BYU's biggest rivalry...
- Opportunity lost: Utes squander lead,... 295
- BYU takes advantage of the bye week,... 93
- Things won't get any easier for... 83
- For BYU, Utah State is 'featured... 60
- Brad Rock: Guaranteed wins don't exist... 54
- Peavler: Is Utah State BYU's biggest... 48
- Quarterback Travis Wilson, Utes... 45
- Dick Harmon: Undefeated BYU is on... 39