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New Orleans Saints and All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk have found right maintenance program

'I think the basis was developed last year and then we're kind of just going right over into this year'


Ryan Ramczyk doesn't know if, or how much, he'll play in the New Orleans Saints' preseason opener against Kansas City on Sunday in the Caesars Superdome.

"I'm assuming I'm playing, but I don't know," the Saints' right tackle said Thursday.

Truth is, the seven-year veteran, who's one of the most accomplished offensive linemen in franchise history – a three-time All-Pro, from 2018-20 – probably doesn't need much work, if any, even though the Saints have a new starting quarterback in Derek Carr.

"I think there's a different dynamic there," he said. "Hearing his cadence – sometimes you can take for granted that a cadence is a cadence – but each quarterback has little, different nuances there. So I think getting a ton of reps with him is beneficial, and we have a lot of walk-through reps during camp as well, so it's been good to get a lot of reps with him. Because it is very important."

But it's just as important for the Saints to make sure that Ramczyk is available. And his maintenance program has been critical to him and New Orleans the past two seasons. That program, including rest days during training camp and during the regular season, has been so successful that Ramczyk said essentially nothing has changed from last year.

After playing in 63 of 64 regular-season games from 2017-20, Ramczyk dipped to 10 of 17 games in '21 due to a knee injury, but got back up to starting each of the 16 games he played last season.

"I'm on the same program as I was last year," he said. "I think what I did last year was beneficial and my knee felt good throughout the year. So I think we're going to stay on that course.

"I feel overall pretty good.

"I think (the maintenance program) kind of got developed last year, what works best. What amount of rest I need, what amount of reps do I need to get ready for the season, in condition and have enough reps to feel confident that I can go out there and play. I think the basis was developed last year and then we're kind of just going right over into this year."

Regardless of how much or little Ramczyk sees the field Sunday, he expects to receive a decent amount of work during joint practice with the Chargers next week. The Saints and Chargers have enjoyed highly spirited joint workouts during past preseasons, and this year likely will be no different.

"I think going out to L.A. will be good, I think it's been refreshing when we've gone out there," Ramczyk said. "You get to play against different guys, a different scene, just a good reset, I think. I think it's good for everyone."

PRACTICE REPORT: Running back Kirk Merritt did not finish practice Thursday after tweaking his hamstring.

The New Orleans Saints took the field for workouts during 2023 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Thursday, August 10.

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