What Saints players said in Media Calls (Week 1 & 2)
Kyle T. Mosley
New Orleans Saints players like QB Drew Brees, DE Cam Jordan, WR Michael Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DE Marcus Davenport, LB Demario Davis, LT Terron Armstead, and P Thomas Morstead's highlight notes and quotes from their media videoconference calls with Saints reporters over the past two weeks of training camp. The Saints PR department sent to media and posted several transcripts from the calls. We compiled a few of the best responses from the Saints players themselves.
Emmanuel Sanders (August 7, 2020)
When you signed, you mentioned being eager to work with Michael Thomas, and just because of all the attention he gets, just what have been your impressions of him and I know obviously the work has been limited?
"Mike is the best receiver in the league, hands down. I have been fortunate to play with Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown and this guy comes to work every single day. The way he's able to create separation just from press, release, from everything. I told him this, I said, I've been watching film on you for a couple years and I didn't realize how big you were until I got here. He's a physical specimen as well. We're watching film and I'm learning the playbook through watching him routes. I'm impressed almost every day just by the plays he makes and the way he just shoves guys off of him as well. I definitely think him and Julio (Jones) are up there for the best receivers in the league for sure. Just seeing what these guys can do."
Drew Brees - QB (August 1, 2020)
How do you feel about the deep ball in general? Obviously your passer rating, your efficiency has gone up and so it's not essential to your game, but is that something that you feel like has been missing the last couple years?
“Listen, if the opportunities are there, I let it fly and if it's not, then you check it down and live to play another day. I feel like perhaps in years past we had more opportunities down the field then maybe have presented themselves over the last two years. I don't think it's our lack of being able to do it or lack of calling the plays for it. It's just hit or miss at times and then there's a risk-reward to it as well. So at the end of the day, what's ultimate goal? Well, it's to drive down the field and score touchdowns. So if we can do that in three plays with a couple of big plays, long pass plays down the field, then great. But if we've got to put together 14-play drives, then we'll do that too. I do like those plays down the field though.”
Michael Thomas - WR (August 2, 2020)
The team signed Emmanuel Sanders. How excited are you to continue to be working with good talent in that wide receiver room?
“Anytime you have the chance to play with another veteran guy who has played a lot of football, has played in championship games, won a lot of games, gets you excited. You always, being a receiver want to free up the coverage and force the defense to go man or something. You have to just figure out what they are going to do. Anytime you can have another weapon at the other side, it makes it more exciting for the other things the offense can accomplish. We have a lot of weapons and the more weapons we add the more exciting it gets. That’s just simple math.
Cam Jordan - DE (July 30, 2020)
How do you describe where Marcus Davenport is heading into this season and your expectations for him?
“I’m always going to say something like a freakish talent that you rarely see. To be, 6-7, 275, 280 pounds, and move the way he does. Now it’s all about lasering in on the subtleties of the game, the nuances, if you will, of the hand-eye coordination, which we started to catch on strong last year. And all he needs to do is continue building on each year from (the) last. I mean, you have six and a half sacks and still didn't play a full season, so he (is) supposed to play the full season this year and I think we could be a special duo.”
Demario Davis (August 4, 2020)
This offseason, you landed on the NFL Network’s top 100 list, do you feel like you finally have earned respect from around the league?
“I’m big on always counting my blessings. Last year I wasn't on the list. So this year to be on the list is certainly a blessing. So I'm not going to take you know, that for granted in any regards. The way I view myself is extremely high. I'm my toughest critic, but I'm also my biggest cheerleader, you know, so in my mind it's always more to accomplish or more, you know, it's always a feeling of being seen accurately, you know, so I feel like I should be higher up on the list. But that's just me personally. But at the same time, I use it as motivation. And I'll always be able to find some type of motivation to challenge myself and trigger myself to go to another level. And that's what I do with this. And so, you know, it's great to be able to be on the list where I once wasn't. I'm grateful for that. Anything that happens, I'm always going to give credit to the to the man I feel like he gave me the ability to do it, the Lord above. But other than that, I'm just going to find ways to challenge myself and not get comfortable. And I was like, 67 is too low. And so I'm just going to use that as motivation to prove that you can't find a player like me inside of the game. So it’s the constant ability to prove that and I think me improving that, or chasing and proving that makes me better for my team.”
Marcus Davenport (August 7, 2020)
Did your injury make you watch more film and work more on the mental aspects of your game and how did that change your offseason? What do you think you need to do to be at the level of Cam Jordan?
"I think anytime there's an injury, there is always a time that you have to step back. Time you have to go about the schedule and trust the process and that is a big step. And as far as the other point. Personally, that's always like the hardest thing. I just say better than Cam when I just talk about statistics. I tell Cam I always want one more sack than he has. And so when I think of it as like more of a competition. That's a driving force always present. And in other sense is I got to play my own game, I am still learning and growing and trying to define myself. So in that, trying to grow and figuring out that, if I can just do a little bit better. If I can get that one percent each day then I could be something. But shoot, going against Cam and seeing him on the other side's a driving force."
Terron Armstead (July 30, 2020)
The OL Masterminds convention in Dallas this summer that you are one of the leading forces of, just the sharing of ideas with other players, how beneficial is that then for you just to be able to talk to other guys and learn from one another?
“It is great. It is a great chance to see how other pros do things, how they prepare, what is their gameplan against certain rushers or certain rushes and you can just compare and contrast. It’s great to get different points of views, thought processes, O-linemen are always the best guys so just being around so many great guys never hurts. Just sharing ideas, preparation, routines, guys discussing injuries, injury history, what others did to get back from those or prevent in the best way possible. Masterminds is a great event.”
Thomas Morstead (August 4, 2020)
Your numbers are really good. Going on year 12, I just always wonder.
It is. Look, there's no doubt there are certain aspects that get a little more challenging every year, but man, experience is a major thing and that's another cliché thing that you hear people say or talk about, but it's legitimate, right? It's kind of like money in the bank that's gaining interest in compounding every year. That same analogy for expertise as you gain experience and there's almost no situation you could ever be in that you haven't either been through or plotted or planned for. So just never being caught off guard and always being prepared, really serves someone like me well."
My takeaways from the media calls were the players are positive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and safety are a concern, but the players a trusting the Saints organization. This is especially the case since Gayle Benson, Sean Payton, and Mickey Loomis have provided voluntary accommodations for players to sequester at the Loews New Orleans Hotel in downtown New Orleans. Thomas Morstead is cerebral, as always. Cam Jordan is still his playful, yet a serious leader on the team. Demario Davis and Marcus Davenport are primed for outstanding seasons. Terron Armstead gave some insight into his offseason but may have set off the most significant training quotes by saying it's "Super Bowl or Bust" for the 2020 Saints. WR Emmanuel Sanders echoed his call on Friday.
*Media, transcripts, audio, videoconferences are owned by the New Orleans Saints organization and sent to the Saints News Network by the New Orleans Saints PR department for team coverage purposes.