Photos from the fourth practice of 2014 New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon at The Greenbrier on Monday, July 28, 2014. Photos taken by Richard Crank (New Orleans Saints photos)
Ronald Powell, a 6-foot-3, 237-pound linebacker from Florida, was the New Orleans Saints' fifth-round pick in the NFL draft. The 23-year-old was the nation's top recruit coming out of Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif) High School.
Powell is the subject of today's Rookie Spotlight:
Talk about the role you expect to play on this team.
"I'm can't really expect anything. Like I've been saying, my job now is to make sure that I'm in the playbook. I'm making sure that I'm paying attention to the little things and learning as much as I can from my coaches and the guys that have been here doing it. Earning my spot on special teams and trying to do that in all phases so I can't really say that I expect to be this or I expect to be that. I expect to learn the playbook and the details of the game. That's really where I'm at right now."
How do you feel with special teams work? I believe you said you did some at Florida.
"Yeah, I actually did some things at Florida. A lot of things different, some things are similar to me but different because I was playing on kickoff return, I was the ambush guy and now I'm a front-line guy. That's a different technique that I have to get used to but I'm willing to do it."
Is the situation where the more you do, the more valuable?
"There's a lot of thing that I don't know but one thing I do know is that special teams is very important and if you want to make the team, that's where you're going to start."
How would you describe the difference between the first few practices to when you put the pads on?
"First couple of practices you're not in pads, so the pad level is high and different details. You're not banging as much. It's just a different experience because now the pads come on and it's real football. You've got to work your leverage. You've got to have low pad level and you've got to strike."
It seemed like it in one drill, Rob Ryan was really putting an emphasis on pad level.
"It was actually 7-on-7. That's where I need to pay attention more to the details and learn more of coverages and stuff like that. He was talking to me more about what I have."
Has this been a big adjustment from a typical Florida practice?
"Not really. The practice is just learning more."
The weather has to be a little different from Florida.
"Yeah, it's really nice."
Is there anybody in your position group that you have been leaning on for advice?
"I kind of lean on everybody I can. I'm going to ask one guy, I'm going to ask the next guy and see where there mind is on it and how they learned it and their perspective. I kind of try to wrap around everybody I can."