New Orleans Saints Quarterback Garrett Grayson
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, May 1, 2015
How do you feel about coming to New Orleans and learning under Drew Brees?
"I said all along through this whole process that New Orleans was one of my dream teams to go to for that exact reason. I want to go to a situation, as a competitor you want to come in and compete right away but I wanted to go to a place where I was going to have a spot behind, or have a good spot behind, a NFL Hall of Famer potentially. So this is honestly just a dream come true for me. I am beyond excited to be a part of the Saints organization."
What do you feel like you need to work on?
"I'd like to quicken up my release. That is something through this whole process I had to talk to people about. It all happened, it kind of got longer as the season went on because I hurt my AC and SC joint early on in the year. It just didn't hurt as bad to throw with the longer release and so it got me in some bad habits and that is something that I am trying to tighten up because I know those defenses in the NFL are coming off the edge quick, so obviously you don't want to have that release or the ball hanging out there too long. It is just something to try and tighten up. Like I said, I am just trying to learn anything I possibly can from Drew (Brees)."
Can you talk about your head coach Jim McElwain and how he prepared you for the next level?
"Coming out of high school I was a full spread guy and that was quite a big decision or a big part of my decision coming out from high school to CSU (Colorado State University), Coach (Steve) Fairchild was there at the time and had a pro style system. I was extremely happy that Coach Mac (Jim McElwain), when he got hired because I knew obviously from watching him at Alabama what kind of system he was bringing. I wanted to be in a pro style system and I feel like that translates guys that play in those systems that they are the ones that translate and have the most success early on in their careers and have extended careers. Again, I am just extremely excited and just want to get down there."
What were your meetings like with the Saints?
"I actually had a workout with them this last Monday, four days ago. Honestly I walked away from the workout and I thought, I personally didn't think it was my best workout through the process, and I was extremely disappointed. I actually texted Coach Neu, the quarterbacks coach, because I was extremely disappointed like I said. New Orleans has been a dream team for me. I was definitely extremely upset that night but obviously whatever it was, they thought I did something good. I am just extremely happy, (and was) when I saw that number flash on my phone because my dream had come true."
Can you talk more about that workout? Why didn't you feel like it went well?
"It started out, we went into our indoor facility and threw some routes. That was really the part that I was upset at myself about. As far as going into the classroom and on the board work, they tested me on formations, they gave me some plays they wanted to talk through and explain. I thought I did really well with those. I was extremely happy with that part of it. Just the work out part, I had some throws that I missed or was low on. That's something I've always had pride in in myself, is being one of the more accurate QBs. I walked away from that workout and I feel like I left some something out there."
Were there some similarities between the offense you ran and some of thing the Saints discussed with you about theirs?
"Actually the couple plays they had me run or draw up on the board and the formations they had, those three plays, progressions and everything, were exactly what we would do and how we taught it at CSU. The formations were exactly the same as what we had, just the verbiage was different. Something I've learned throughout this whole process talking with all the teams that I've talked to in preparation for playing in the pros, Coach Mack has taught me a ton. Like I said, really the only thing that's been different is the verbiage and different terminology for the plays. But as far as formations, protections, everything like that, it's all very similar. Again, I just have to thank Coach Mack for putting me up here."
People have been calling you the heir apparent to Drew Brees? What do you think of that?
"I don't know. He's an NFL Hall of Famer in my book. I'm just extremely excited to get behind him and learn as much as I can. I'm going to come down there and compete like I'm a starter, I think as any position should. I'm just extremely excited to learn from him. I hope to learn as much as I can to prepare me for the next couple of years."
Are you fine sitting for a few years?
"I'm coming to compete like a starter, like anybody should. But I have no problem sitting behind a Hall of Famer like Drew Brees and learning, just like Aaron [Rodgers] did with Brett Favre. I have no issue with that. I'm not just saying this, this is really is a dream come true for me."
Was that workout on Monday your only workout with the Saints?
"That was the only workout with them."
You mentioned some changes you want to make mechanically with your throwing motion. In the workout did you show your old motion or what you are working on recently?
"Through the whole process, I've tightened that thing up. Like I said, I developed some bad habits and it's not going to get better overnight. It's going to take some time. Hopefully working with Drew Brees, he can give me some pointers and things like that. He's definitely top three, if not the most, accurate quarterback in the NFL. Any pointer I can get from him I'm going to take."
Are you going to wait for him to give it to you on his own or are you going to ask?
"I will ask him. I'm sure he'll get annoyed with me because I will be asking him questions like crazy."
Can you run through your injury history? I think they mentioned three collarbone injuries or ACs.
"I hurt my collarbone and broke it three times. The second time I hurt it, the bone never broke but I shifted the plate that they put in it. They took the plate out, and I re-broke it, so now there's a plate back in it. I hurt my AC and SC joints this season in week four. I pulled my right hamstring while training for the combine, but other than that I've been pretty healthy and I haven't missed a game since 2012. The AC and SC were on the throwing shoulder."
Have you spoken to Drew Brees or been to New Orleans before?
"I have not spoken to Drew Brees, but I have been to New Orleans before. I went to the Manning Passing Academy last year. I was one of the guys that was helping out. I got to coach up some kids, learn from them, and hang around the Manning family. I stayed in New Orleans for a couple of days after the game, and I loved the people down there. The southern hospitality is a true thing, and that's something that I'm definitely excited to be a part of. I love being around people and I'm very social; I just love being in that type of environment. It's definitely something I'm excited to be a part of."
Sean Payton has a great reputation for working with QBs. What do you envision your relationship being like with him?
"I'm just extremely excited. Like I said, the Saints have been one of my dream teams throughout this entire process, and seeing what he has done with Drew Brees and the kind of relationship that they have had while watching them on TV has been great. Seeing how they go about their process and how routine-oriented those guys are, as well as talking to them about what their week is like, I think they mesh together extremely well. I'm excited to see that and be a part of that, to sit in that quarterback room and learn from those guys, because like you just said, he (Sean Payton) has a reputation of developing quarterbacks and getting them into situations to be successful, so again, I'm just extremely excited about it."
Associated Press photos of new Saints QB Garrett Grayson.