Skip to main content

Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

Coby Fleener: "It was a no-brainer to go to the Saints"

Transcript of Coby Fleener's Friday conference call with local media



What did you know about the Saints and the way they have used a tight end in their offense in the past and is that something you are excited about or did that play a role in your decision in signing with the club at all?

"Absolutely, I think knowing that they have been so successful on offense with Drew (Brees) leading the way and using the tight end was something that was easily exciting for me."

Did this all come together relatively quickly? Did you know going in the Saints might be a possibility or how did this all come together?

"Yes, You learn in the two-day period who the serious players are and it just weeds itself down until there are a few teams that are interested and ultimately in my mind (it) was a no-brainer to go to the Saints."

What it's going to be like for you playing with another quarterback that isn't Andrew Luck?

"I think it will be a new experience and I think the last time I played with a different quarterback was at Stanford before Andrew (Luck) got there, but I would say that  Drew (Brees) has been so successful and such a good player for so long that I don't think it will be a huge challenge."

Did the Saints come on your radar as a team when Benjamin Watson agreed to sign with the Ravens? Would they have looked at you if Benjamin Watson was still here? Did that factor in at all?

"No, I honestly don't know the answer to that question. I wasn't really privy to Benjamin's (Watson's) negotiations with either team. I did not know his plans or the teams' plans, but in my mind it helped (his departure opening a void). It's exciting to be a new part to an offense where you are coming in with an opening to fill."

Do you know any of the current players on the Saints? I think Andrus Peat is the only guy from Stanford and he may be too young to have crossed paths with you as a player. Do you know any of the guys on the team?

"Yes, I've met Andrus (Peat) in my time going back (to Palo Alto) in the offseason working out at Stanford. (He's) Obviously a really talented guy. (I) don't know him extremely deeply, but look forward to getting to know more and I actually played against quite a few guys on the Saints roster. There are quite a few Pac-12 guys on the team and it will be (fun) reminiscing about old times with a lot of guys."

When you went into this did you expect to receive this type of contract? Did you think the market would develop the way it did?

"I don't know. I went into it with an open mind. Obviously you have your fingers crossed and hope for the best, but I am happy with the contract that we have with the Saints and (feel) fortunate to have it."

Is there a learning process with a new quarterback, obviously you dealt with some of that with Matt (Hasselbeck) with the Colts last year?

"Yeah, I think there will be a little bit of a learning curve. It's a new offense for me although similar concepts to what I have learned in the past and I think I have to just get used to Drew's (Brees) throwing motion a little bit. Seeing the ball come out of his hand is probably different than seeing the ball come out of Andrew's (Luck) hand or Matt's hand, but I don't think it will be a huge hurdle to overcome."

When you mentioned the concepts how much have you looked at the Saints offense and what do you think you can add?

"Only from what I have seen on tape in the past and the statistics looking on the internet and stuff like that. All of that is obviously very promising. I'm excited to get downfield and stretch the field as best I can."

How would you describe your own career as far as accomplishments you have and what you still want to accomplish and reach with your potential?

"Well I've been fortunate enough to reach the AFC Championship game and that was an exciting process, but losing that was tough. For me the Super Bowl is where we want to be and I think every team starts off the year saying that, but some of the talent that the Saints already have and I'm sure adding a few pieces in the offseason whether it be by the draft or free agency. (It's) Exciting to think we are only a few pieces away from going back to the Super Bowl."

Have you talked with Drew Brees yet?

"I have not."

How much blocking responsibility did you have in Indianapolis and would you consider that a strength to your game?

"I think I (did) a fair amount of blocking (in Indianapolis). I don't know that I would consider it a strength to my game but I think that I am an adequate blocker. It seems like the Saints have done an outstanding job of kind of moving their tight ends around and making sure that they have the advantage when it comes to both blocking and receiving."

What did you learn last year with the way that your team kind of struggled and with not having Andrew (Luck) there for a lot of the season?

"I think it is one of those situations where it really reveals character. The guys that kept fighting through it, knowing that we may not have our star quarterback on the field, but we still have a chance to win this game – those are the guys that you want in your corner. The other guys, it becomes pretty apparent that they are along for the ride."

Do you have any familiarity with the city of New Orleans or the region, either through tourism, a bowl game or anything like that?

"No, honestly I don't think so. Maybe in passing through but very limited, I would say."

What are some of the things that you have been working on this offseason, as far as your game?

"For me, the biggest thing is hitting the ground running. We start up in mid-April with OTA's and stuff like that. I want to make sure that I put my best foot forward with the guys on the team and with the coaching staff. (I want) to make sure that I am in shape, that I have been catching the ball and staying in the weight room."

How many other teams did you have a chance to consider joining? Was staying (with the Colts) a strong option or did the Saints become option number one right away?

"There were a few other teams but once the Saints popped into it, and obviously I couldn't tell them this, but obviously that was really exciting for me. The way they use the tight end, having an outstanding quarterback in Drew Brees, to me, it's a no-brainer."

After sharing time with Dwayne Allen at tight end in Indianapolis, is this a chance to kind of be the guy at tight end?

"I would not say that. I think we have a lot of good guys on the roster. I have not received a chance to meet Michael (Hoomanawanui) but having him come back, I think is huge for the Saints and the organization. All I've heard are awesome things about him. Then (there are also) some young guys. I am happy to (help them) if I can teach team anything along the way. I think I still have a lot to learn but occasionally you pick things up that can help other guys as well."

Do you pay attention to some of the pundits that have criticized you and have said that you are soft? When you hear that, what do you think?

"I think it is easy to say that sitting at a desk typing into a computer. Honestly, I didn't know that until you said that. If you listen to what other people say about you, it is going to be an emotional roller coaster. One day you're amazing and then the next day, you're the worst. Personally, I try to keep it on an even keel. The best way to do that is to ignore the people that are telling you that you're the best and ignore the people that are telling you that you're the worst."

Associated Press photos of Coby Fleener with the Colts.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content