On what is different about head coach Sean Payton this offseason:
"He's about 20 pounds lighter, he's been doing a bunch of CrossFit so he's in great shape [laughing]. He's rejuvenated, he's ready to go. We had a great offseason; we had 100 percent attendance in offseason through every workout – weight workouts and then once we got into OTAs and minicamp. So the commitment level by our team, by everyone, was unprecedented and everybody is ready to go. Obviously last year leaves a bad taste in our mouth and we can't wait to get back on the field and get to work; watch our team come together, kind of recreate our identity and watch this thing unfold."
On this offseason compared to the past few offseasons for the team:
"It's all about football and that's the way we like it. This is really the first normal offseason we've had in about four years, going from that offseason after Super Bowl which was a crazy offseason and then right into the lockout the next offseason, and then last year with the bounty and the contract and everything else. Really this is the first normal offseason we've had since '09 and that ended up being a pretty good year for us. Hopefully there is some foreshadowing there."
On the loss of Carl Nicks and Jermon Bushrod, and the retooling of the Saints offensive line:
"Credit to those guys. Those were great players but I feel like our unit as an offensive line is a tremendous unit. They've been together for a long time and occasionally you're going to lose a guy to free agency or contract or what have you, and you have to have guys in the pipeline that are able to step up and be ready to play. We've been fortunate; we've done a great job in the draft of getting great young talent, great coaching where these guys have developed and really been able to step in and be a great part of that offensive line. We have about three or four guys that are fighting for that left tackle position, it's going to bring out the best in everyone and at the end of the day whoever secures that position will have deserved it and earned it."
On the Saints being recommitted to the running game:
"The ball is still in my hands, I just get to hand it off a little bit more [laughing]. Whatever helps us win, whatever makes us better. There are so many elements to being a great offense and really so much of it is being balanced. You want to feel like no matter what you call – whether it's run, pass, trick play, screen play, whatever, down the field, short passing game – that it's going to be effective, it's going to work and you're going to be efficient at it, more than anything. We feel like we have all of those pieces in place at every skill position. We have a lot of playmakers and we want to be able to get the ball in their hands and allow them to do what they do best."