On Monday, the New Orleans Saints will finally put-on the pads for training camp. It's been 225 days since the Saints had full-football contact in pads. Since their playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings, an active practice will help players like Ryan Ramczyk gauge himself. Ramczyk told Saints reporters, "every year, you go into camp, and when those pads come on, it's a different tempo. It's full go." According to Ramczyk, this will give him a chance to "test yourself again, see where you are, or what you need to improve on. When you have the full pads is really the only time that you can truly evaluate yourself and see where you are and what you need to improve on."
The All-Pro right tackle has done an outstanding job protecting his quarterbacks in New Orleans. Last season, Ramczyk never allowed Brees, Bridgewater, or Hill to be sack by a player he guarded. Considering that he played on 1,058 (99%) offensive snaps, this statistic is outstanding for any professional offensive lineman in his third-year. He wasn't alone. In 2019, LT Terron Armstead matched Ramczyk and did not allow a sack in his 15 games.
One reporter asked Ramczyk if he heard of Terron Armstead's "Super Bowl or Bust" earlier proclamation for the team this season. He replied, "absolutely, I'm on the same page with him." It appears to be the theme of the 2020 New Orleans Saints. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders echoed Armstead's comments in his training camp media call.
Questions about C/G Cesar Ruiz continued. So far, Ramczyk believes coach Dan Campbell has done a "good job" preparing Ruiz. The team is preparing Ruiz and second-year center Erik McCoy to both play either center or right guard. Ryan had veteran right guard Larry Warford to bond with over the past three years. Fresh off of a Pro-Bowl appearance, New Orleans decided to move-on from the Warford this offseason. By releasing the seven-year veteran, the team saved over $7M in salary-cap space. Warford had not signed with a new team; instead, he chose to opt-out of the season because of COVID-19.
Improving his game techniques and fundamentals are important for Ramczyk. He spoke about the nuance of "hand placement, and the only way you fix it is by repetition. You have to consciously think about, [how] I need to carry this hand a little bit higher. It's a repetition thing that you have to ingrain in your brain to just automatically do that every time," said Ramcyzk.
New Orleans bolsters one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The addition of first-round pick Ruiz will be an adjustment for the players. I recall former Saints offensive lineman Jon Stincomb said in a media this summer, how an experienced offensive line helped Erik McCoy in 2019. I can only speculate a "veteran bunch" will help Ruiz. If he is to play next to Ramczyk, having an All-Pro surely doesn't hurt his ability to advance as a player.