New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram II
Thursday, September 28, 2017
How do you feel about the protests that have happened around professional sports recently, most predominantly last weekend
"The main thing is we're not trying to cause any division. We're trying to bring everyone together and bring awareness to the fact that there's lot of racial injustice, lots of racism and bigotry going on in our world. We were just hoping that we could bring awareness and hopefully that will spark some movement to making things better in our world. So that's what we're hoping for."
What is the feel on the grass for the practice fields out here and most likely at Wembley and the adjustment to getting your footing?
"I am from Michigan so this is more like grass in the Midwest. It is a little longer. It could get soft if it's wet, it could move a little bit. I like this turf. I kind of grew up on it. It is football, you have to keep your feet under you. (You need to) Make sure you are cutting it and doing everything right. You need to make sure you have the right cleats on. The footing will be a factor."
Drew Brees said yesterday that the team is talking about as a team what will happen on Sunday in terms of process with the national anthem, have you been a part of those conversations? What's been decided?
"We're going to have a talk as a team pretty soon here, whether it be today or tomorrow. We plan on having a talk as a team to have everybody together and everybody on the same page. We haven't talked yet but we will be talking soon."
Are you going to sit again?
"I'm going to talk to my teammates and we're going to come up with something that kind of unifies everybody and we'll see."
You're hoping it'll be something that all 53 of you can agree on?
"Right. I feel like that's what makes the greatest impact. What we're trying to bring is unity and bring this world together. When the entire team does something the same I think it's just more powerful that way."
The Republican Party Executive Committee in St. Tammany Parish in the New Orleans Suburbs adopted a resolution asking your owner to require the players to stand, what's your reaction to that?
"They're entitled to their opinion. One of the great things about our country is people have free speech and people are able to think what they want to think. A big staple of the United States has been peaceful protest. We wouldn't be where we're at as a country today if we didn't have peaceful protests. I feel like that's unfortunate that he (member of republican executive committee) wants that but at the end of the day we're just trying to make our country a better place, make this world a better place through a peaceful protest. We're hoping that that will ignite a conversation and ignite a movement and be positive and bring everybody together. (We want to bring) All races together, this entire world together."
How much did that win do for mood and motivation?
"It was huge. We had two losses and coming on a road trip on a 10-day road trip, go straight to Carolina then come out here to London. That's a big morale booster for our team to know that if we go out there and play complementary football, offense, defense, special teams we can play in this league and be a great team in this league. I think just that proven ability to be able to execute for us to go on the road against a tough team and win a game. I think that's a big confidence booster coming out here to London being able to continue to improve and continue to grow and go back home with another win going into the bye week."
Do you feel like you were able to get the run game on the ground?
"Yes, I was very encouraged by that. Our running game got moving. We were efficient in our running game (and in) early downs we were efficient. We had some explosive runs and that opened up everything else for our offense. Like I (have) said a number of times, when we run the ball effectively the sky's the limit for our offense and team. I was very encouraged to see that we had success in the run (game) and we have to keep building on that."
If one player decides to sit on the bench during the national anthem, will he be sitting alone?
"I don't know. We're going to try to have everybody together. I don't think one person will be alone either way."
New Orleans Saints C Max Unger*
Thursday, September 28, 2017*
Is it a different mood?
"Yes, it's a different mood. This is a tough road trip just in general, long flight, (and a) tough time adjustment. Just kind of getting back into football has been good for us. Obviously that was a big win. We needed it. It was a pretty good transition into this week to try to normalize the trip."
How much are you looking forward to getting Zach Strief and Terron Armstead back at some point? And how close might that be?
"Very close. We had, I think, everybody practicing. It is encouraging. We have had quite a few moving pieces here and there. But I think it is setting down a little bit. We had some really good depth that's been able to come in and play well for us."
You got a chance to see a lot of Ndamukong Suh on film, what are some of the challenges he presents?
"This is an elite player in the NFL and he has been for a long time. He presents his own set of issues. Watch the film relying on the experience that guys have had against him and come up with a plan and execute."
What sets him apart from other defensive tackles?
"(He's a ) Strong, quick, mobile defensive lineman. His play stands out, it is pretty obvious. A couple series on (him) against any team you can't see anything really, a couple of flashes. He has some good stuff."
How impressed have you been with Ryan Ramczyk?
"He had to do a right-side, left-side swift and those are the hardest. You can stand on one side and do OK, bounce in and out. I give him a lot of credit for stepping up and making the change to right tackle. He did a good job."
Success in the running game against Carolina on Sunday, did that give you guys confidence?
"We go into every game with a good plan and that one was unique in itself. Once you kind of get through that and move on. You kind of throw the playbook out and get back at it. It's a new week with a new set of challenges that we have to present. We'll gain a little confidence and we'd like to repeat that."
With Suh, how do you deal with a guy that gets such a good jump off the snap?
"It's a bunch of different things. It's scheme, it's timing, it's formation. It's just not throwing fast balls for the whole game, switching it up, changing it up and just trying not to be repetitive in any one thing."
So it's more than just the snap count? You talked about the formation.
"This is the thing, Sean's (Payton) an awesome game-planner. Our whole offensive staff are awesome game- lanners. They have in mind any time we have a player of that caliber to just be aware of it and plan accordingly."
Green Bay and Chicago are teams that you both will be playing in the next several weeks, are you going to be allowed to stay up or is that past curfew to watch that game given the time difference here?
"I don't know. I would have to ask, that's a good question. I didn't even think about that with the time change. We'll have to see what happens."