New Orleans Saints QB
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
How did it look out there for the offense?
“Today was a hot one. This is probably fourth or fifth padded practice in a row so guys starting to feel the effects of that. It takes the toll on you. Not only being outside, just in this humidity, kind of sucking it out of you. You strap the pads on again, start to hit a little bit and had our first live drill today for one period. I think that is kind of the natural progression as you get into camp. I guess we’re approaching the dog days so to speak. I think that there is a period of time where you are maybe not at your physical peak but you have to find a way mentally to push through. You’re still installing a lot of offense and defense so, especially the young guys, their minds are racing a little bit. Their bodies are maybe not as good as they want it to be so the combination of all of those things provides for a little bit of survival mode out here for at least a few days.”
In 2007, when y’all played in the Hall of Fame game, there wasn’t much Saints memorabilia, now you do. Can you talk about what it means to the organization?
“That’s a big deal and I know that that is something that we all told ourselves back in ’07 when we walked through the halls of Canton. You look around and first of all, you are just in awe at the history of this great game, the great players that have played it and the moments throughout history. You hope to be a part of those moments when it is all said and done. I like to think that looking back now, in the last six years we have provided a few of those moments. There have been some records. There are going to be two Hall of Famers, Ricky Jackson and Willie Roaf after this weekend is over. Hopefully there are many more in the future.”
Are you anxious to play Sunday?
“Yes, I am. I think preseason there is a purpose. When you go out there and you understand that you are not going to play a lot. Especially, the first preseason game but when you are out there you want to look sharp. There are just certain things that you want to happen. You want to be playing with great tempo. You want no to minimal mistakes, just playing fast. Is it all going to be perfect? No. But especially with the first group you want to get back in the flow and the rhythm.
What do you feel that Chase (Daniel) has done to compete for a starting job somewhere along the line?
“I think that everything that he has put on film has been pretty impressive. When you look at the preseason action, he’s had a few mop up jobs. I thought it was good for him this offseason to be in a position where he is the guy, he is running with the ones and having to exert himself and be the leader. I think that for his natural progression as a quarterback in this league, as a guy who visualizes himself as a starter and has the talent both physically and mentally to be a starter. I think that is all part of the process for him. I think he’s got a good mindset. I was told this today and very early on in my career, no matter where you are in the depth chart, if you don’t visualize yourself as a starter, forget about it. If you are not competing against the guys in front of you to take their job and to get the best out of yourself then you don’t belong here. That prevents any kind of complacency. There is always something to prove. Chase and I talk about it, joke about it but we are competing against each other. I tell him that if you are not thinking about taking my job then you are thinking the wrong thing. There are certain things that he does that I look back and say man I wish I could do it like that. I wish I was that athletic, that quick or that fast. He can do some things. Certainly, I try to push myself against him as many opportunities as we get.”
Jimmy (Graham) says that you are threatening to wire the tight end room to the quarterback room. Are you really that hard on him?
“No. It’s funny because as we are watching film. There are times when we are all watching film together and there are times where we are separate with our coaches. There are times where I’ll see something and it is one of those coaching points and I immediately want to run in the tight end room and say, Hey Jimmy on this play I am looking for this or that. It’s not just him. It is everybody. I am just as hard on myself. It’s all constructive criticism. I wouldn’t even call it criticism. It’s progress. We are trying to take this thing to the next level. I feel like we’ve been really good at doing certain things and yet I still feel like we can make some hay in a lot of various and continue to get a little bit better. It might just be one thing here and there.
You say you want to take it to the next level. Without Coach Payton here do you feel that there is more pressure on you?
“Not necessarily that. When I say take it to the next level, I think that is something we need to do in the absence of Coach Payton because we can’t rely on him for certain things. His message, as you guys know, was don’t try to do too much, just do your job. But we all have role in this thing. We want to continue to progress. Just because Coach Payton is not here doesn’t mean that we remain stagnate. Everybody else is making improvements and trying to get ahead. I’m sure that we are in the cross hairs of a lot of people but we have to remain the hunter.”
What has the transition been like without Coach Payton?
“Here is the thing, it’s not like we brought in Coach Vitt from somewhere else to lead this team when he doesn’t know the personality or the way we do things and he is trying to get caught up. He has been our assistant head coach ever since he’s been here. He has been a very vocal coach on the defensive side. Especially now it is just more in front of the team including the offense. He’s got more of that overseeing role of the entire group, as well as his own responsibilities with the linebacker position. He is somebody that I am very familiar with. His style, his delivery, knowing what his expectation level is, know that he will tell you he is unhappy about something, he will not hold it back which is a good thing. It is exactly what we need at this camp.”
Can you elaborate about what you said about not trusting the commissioner?
“I’m really not going to comment further on it. If there is any dialogue that needs to take place I would talk to the commissioner directly. By no means was that meant to be disrespectful. I was asked direct questions about how the players felt and I gave a very honest and direct answer. I think it was blown out of proportion a little bit when people said I was bashing the commissioner. That was not the case. That was all I said and I really have nothing else to say about it.”
Do you feel like you guys have been played behind the eight ball with the suspension on your head coach?
“That may be the way that people like to frame it but that is not the way that we look at it. You can say that it just adds a little extra motivation. It just puts another chip on our shoulder but we already had a chip on our shoulder. It seems to be the hot topic for us but it is just business as usual. You deal with it. Whatever comes your way, you deal with it.”