Yesterday, the New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with first round draft choice Cameron Jordan. Today, the defensive end from the University of California came on the practice field for the first time. Following practice, he met with the local media for the first time as Saint. Below is a transcript of the question and answer session.
How was your first day of practice at training camp?
"My first day out has been a little hot out here. It's one thing to jog around the park by Zephyr Stadium a couple times with shorts and a shirt on, but putting on pads makes it a little bit hotter."
You play a little inside and a little outside on the line, right?
"I play a little (defensive) tackle and a little (defensive) end. I'm moving around. Wherever they tell me to go, that's where I'm going to be."
What kind of advice were you given coming in with the strange circumstances you were under with the lockout?
"It's like when you have to learn how to swim. First you take a step in and take a step back out. Then you go waist in, and then come out. Then you go shoulder deep and you learn how to paddle. Well, I just got thrown in."
Did you prepare mentally and physically?
"Mentally, I'm there. The physical part as far as dealing with the heat and humidity, I'm diving in. The mental part as in learning four installations in one day, I'm diving in. I'm here, though, and I have a great set of coaches."
How have the veteran players been treating you as a first-round pick and a rookie?
"They've been showing me a lot of love. Maybe it's not the kind of love you see, but I see it as a lot of love."
What kind of expectations have you set for yourself during this camp?
"I'm trying to jump the learning curve. I need to get up to speed and do the best I can. As far as my expectations for myself, I'm trying to learn everything I can over the next couple of days."
It's only day one for you, but if you're called upon to start are you ready?
"Yes, I am. Mentally and physically, I'm ready. As far as the playbook goes, we'll see."
This summer you talked about diving into this city. Do you think you got lost?
"I've been lost a couple of times. I can get down to St. Charles St. and come back. I'm pretty good at that. I know downtown and the Warehouse District a little bit. I've found some restaurants I like around there."
Any shot of being able to spell "Tchoupitoulas?"
"I know there's a 't' in there, but I'm going to have to get back to you on that."
Can you talk about the process of waiting around to sign the deal?
"I'd like to call it a quiet anticipation. I was in my apartment jogging around my living room because there's no couch. My couch comes here in three weeks. At least I have that settled."
How often did you speak with your agent?
"Probably about once a day, maybe once every other day. I told him I was trying to be at camp as quick as I can so if he had heard anything to let me know immediately."
Coach Sean Payton and the rest of the coaches like to talk about their visions for players. What is their vision for you?
"I'm going to be a defensive end and a defensive tackle. They're going to throw me in where I can succeed, and I know I can do it all so it doesn't matter to me."
Does a 3-4 or 4-3 defense make any difference to your style of defense?
"It doesn't make a difference to me. I've been adjusting to this style of defense, and I've only been learning from coach since yesterday. We sat down for a good part of the day so he could teach me. He's willing to give one-on-one attention right now and that's what I need."
What are your first impressions of Gregg Williams?
"He's a good guy and he's really funny, but he's a straight-shooter. I respond well to that."
How anxious are you to get this season going?
"Right now, I'm good with the first game being over a week away because that gives me time to get right. In a week, I'll be ready."
Can you talk about some of the strengths this system brings out the most in you?
"I came from a read-react defense. This is more of a straight attack defense. This is taking a vertical step forward first and then making them react, which is a little different from what I'm used to."