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Drew Brees Rooting For Hated Falcons To Get To New Orleans?

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Is Drew Brees rooting for hated Falcons to get to New Orleans?

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com January 15, 2013 3:58 pm ET

The Falcons are the Saints' most bitter rivals. Any New Orleans resident will tell you that.

With the Super Bowl in New Orleans this year, Saints fans don't want the Falcons partying in their city.

Saints defensive end Will Smith spoke for many when he tweeted, “Anybody but Atlanta … #WHODAT” after the Falcons' playoff win Sunday.

But quarterback Drew Brees, who said he understands that sentiment, sounds like he's rooting for Atlanta over San Francisco in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

“I think you want your division to do well when they face other teams, in this phase more so than in the regular season,” Brees said Monday at the Verizon Race to Super Bowl XLVII, a scavenger hunt through the French Quarter, according to the Times-Picayune.

“There's a level of respect that goes with certain divisions," Brees said. "Everybody talks about the NFC East and the AFC East, right? We want to be able to talk about the NFC South like that."

Brees, who will replace the injured Robert Griffin III in the Pro Bowl, threw for 5,177 yards and 43 touchdowns with 19 interceptions this season. The Saints finished in a three-way tie for second at 7-9, six games behind Atlanta in the NFC South.

With the Saints having a shorter season after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Brees planned to return to the practice facility earlier than normal. He's excited about the imminent return of coach Sean Payton from a bounty-related suspension.

"That's even more of a reason why I don't need a few extra weeks," Brees told the paper.

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