<span>New Orleans Saints K John Carney
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Q: Are you shocked to be back here?
A: The last three years I've trained in the offseason looking for opportunities in the regular season, so I'm not shocked. I'm excited and delighted that the opportunity rests here in New Orleans.
Q: How have they told you what the opportunity is?
A: I can't speak for them, but I know the opportunity starts in the regular season. I'm excited about that. We'll take it from there.
Q: Coach Payton has expressed publicly that he regretted releasing you in 2007. Has he told you the same?
A: He has and so has Mickey Loomis and I appreciate that. That's part of the game. You make decisions at the time with information given to you and you hope it's the right decision. I went on and was fortunate to get work with other teams.
Q: When did you first find out that there would be an opportunity to return to New Orleans?
A: Pretty recently as things unfolded. We've been in contact to see if it would work for everybody.
Q: Were you and the Saints in touch for a specific time frame?
Q: Had you talked to any other teams recently?
A: No, it's still really early in training camp, so I think teams are sorting out their personnel. I had my eye on a few teams, but it's early, so I didn't think anything would show until the regular season started.
Q: Can you talk about your last season?
A: I played with the Giants and I was fortunate enough to be there. Again I was filling in for an injured kicker who was coming back in Lawrence Tynes, so I knew that the window had closed for the time being. I'm training and hoping that somewhere in 32 teams there would be a need.
Q: Are you still as good as ever?
A: Time will tell.
Q: Do you feel the same?
A: I feel great. I can't fool myself and think I'm as good as I once was, but you train and you focus your goal on being at your best at least one day a week. You plan on it being on Sunday. During the course of the week, it's rehab and strengthening and fine-tuning things and getting ready for the next Sunday. When you're young you can go out and do the same thing everyday, but as you get older you kind of have to pace yourself.
Q: Had you been simulating training camp at home in San Diego the last two weeks?
A: Yes, I wasn't going out and doing two a days, but I've picked up my workload, just as I was in training camp. When you do get a call, especially if it's in the regular season, it's go time. You don't have time to be ready. You have to be ready. August is usually a heavy workload month.
Q: What can you bring this team while you're here?
A: I raise the average age of the team. I'm looking forward to working with the young punters and Garrett and the coaches have mentioned that my mentorship could help them a lot. I look forward to that. I enjoy working with other specialists and especially the young ones, because when I was coming up I looked to a lot of veterans, stole as much as I could from them. I think all of us will come out of this a lot better.
Q: Have you seen Garrett kick?
A: Not in person. I've watched a lot of him on film and I watched how he finished the season last year. He's a real talented kicker. I know they think a lot of him and I look forward to working with him.
Q: Do you have an age at which you think you will stop kicking?
A: No. The league usually dictates that. As long as I'm healthy and enjoying the game, I'll keep pushing it. New Orleans' own Morten Andersen set the bar high for everybody. There are a number of us in John Kasay, Jason Elam, Jason Hanson that are trying to reach that bar.
Q: Some people like Drew Brees and Charles Grant visibly embraced you on the field. Can you talk about the comfort level with a lot of these guys?
A: It helps. The roster has changed quite a bit, but there are quite a few guys that I played with. We went through that magical season in 2006 and came out and won that playoff game against the Eagles. We went through a lot together, so there's that bond and I look forward to playing with them again.
Q: Have you been back to New Orleans since you were released?
A: I think I was back once just to work on our house a little bit and I came back for Steve Gleason's wedding, which was quite an event.
Q: When you left the Saints, you crafted a statement for the fans. Do you do that for every team when you leave them?
A: No I don't. Playing for New Orleans was special and we went through a lot that team and organization with Katrina, playing in Texas coming back and having the magical season in 2006. I felt tied to New Orleans for a number of reasons and I didn't want to leave the city without expressing what I thought of the city and how I thought the city supported the team and the players.
Q: Has your devotion to your health and your diet changed in the last few years?
A: It's a challenge. When you're young, it's a challenge to take what God's given you to play in the NFL and refine it. It's a challenge when you're older to take that same talent which may be decreasing and challenge yourself to see how far you can push it. Can I get the maximum out of my body and my talent? I've been very blessed and fortunate to stay healthy.
Q: Have you changed your diet?
A: I'm not crazy with my diet, but I used to be the fast food king. If they had a drive up window then that was the restaurant for me. I've improved my diet somewhat, but this is the land of Popeyes. How can you resist that?
Q: You don't have any hard feelings or disappointed at being released in 2007?
A: I was disappointed and felt that I had done a good job for the saints in 2006 and I had one year left on my contract, so sure I was disappointed, but it is the game and you make decisions at the time based on the information. I understand their reasoning. Was I disappointed? Yes. I understand the game. I went through this once with San Diego and so I think I was mature enough to handle it, pack it up, go work hard, be successful elsewhere and then get a chance to come back.