Can you talk about the vote today for ratification of the collective bargaining agreement? Unanimous. 90 for and 0 against to approve and ratify the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). We did that right before practice.
Was it unusual not being completely sure if it would be ratified in time for the unrestricted free agents to be able to practice? We knew somewhat of a deadline. We knew that the goal was four o'clock today so we structured our practice to go after that so we wouldn't be waiting around for anything at nine o'clock in the morning and all of a sudden have to make schedule changes. We did that strategically. Obviously, things got pushed back a little bit this morning because there were a lot of issues and a few more to work out the details. In the end, I feel like there were a lot of advancements as far as benefits and health and safety. That's what is most important to the players.
What are your feelings on Jonathan Goodwin's departure? Goody has meant a ton to this team and this offensive line for the last five years. (He was) in a backup role his first two years behind Jeff Faine, he came and started a few games during that time. He is a three year starter. He started on our Super Bowl run. I can't say enough about how much he has meant to this team. Like every year, you unfortunately have to see some of your teammates go elsewhere. It sounds like he got a great opportunity there. I am happy for him and his family and that opportunity. Now, this is a great opportunity for Matt Tennant. I think he has done a great job so far during camp. He is just trying to maximize his opportunity. He understands the fact that he is competing for the starting job. In only his second year, I feel like he has come a long way from when he first stepped into this building to where he is now.
What is your input on guys being brought back with new contracts? Look at how many of our guys we signed back. I think that says a lot about them and what they mean to this team and this organization. I think that says a lot about our organization, Mickey Loomis, and Sean Payton to bring these guys back to reward them for what they have done, but also there is a level of expectation that comes with a new deal. I think that all of our guys understand that. They understand that you are being compensated for not what you have done in the past, but for what you are going to do for this team in the future. With that comes a big responsibility. Certainly, guys work for the opportunity to become a free agent and then sign a nice contract and be rewarded for their hard work and for what they meant to this team.
Can you talk about getting back into competition and working against the defense? That's what we do. That's why we play the game. You play the game to compete. This is our outlet, to come on the field ready to compete. Obviously, we are working toward a common goal and a common objective. Right now, during camp, it's all about, every time we step out here, how can we find a way to beat our defense? They are thinking, how can we beat our offense? You try to pick up on the little things that the other side of the ball is doing. Because it is all about winning, we want to walk off the field knowing that we got the best of the other side of the ball. It was great to have a full squad out here today. There were quite a lot of free agents that weren't able to practice until today. For most of us, we've been going for a week now. Those guys were just stepping on the field for the first time throwing on the full pads. I feel like we got great work done. It's great to see guys like Lance (Moore) and Roman (Harper) back and all of the guys that we re-signed and then some new faces like Sproles and a few others. We have some exciting players. I have the best seat in the house.