New Orleans Saints Running Back Pierre Thomas
Thursday, July 29, 2011
What is your reaction to the departure of Reggie Bush?
"It's devastating because he's a great weapon. I think he was one of the top weapons that we had on our team and he brought a lot to the table. He makes defenses really work and change up their schemes because he's a dangerous guy. I wish him the best and I hope everything works out for him. But we have to move on from that. We lost a good player but we have to move forward and get the rest of these guys up to speed."
You were a street free agent and Reggie was a number two overall pick. Is it kind of surreal that you're still here and he's gone from the team?
"Well, it's a business. You never know what's going to happen. It doesn't matter when you were drafted or if you were even drafted at all. You just put everything on the line when you step onto that field. It doesn't matter that he's not here, he's still a great player in the league and any team should be happy to pick him up. Everyone knows he's a baller; he can do anything on the field. I was hoping he would stay, but I knew he would find somewhere to go if it wasn't here. It is what it is when it comes down to the draft. If you were drafted or not, you have to show what you got on this field."
You said you have to move on with Bush gone. How does this change the dynamic for you as far as touches and runs?
"Well you can't really judge that from this point. I still have to prove myself to these guys, that I still have it. Today, I didn't prove myself. I have to make it up tomorrow by watching film and reading my mistakes and knowing what I needed to correct. One thing that I noticed is that I need to hold on to the ball better now because these guys are hungry. We've been out for a while, and these guys want the ball on the defensive side. They're doing a great job of getting at the ball, attacking us, and trying to get that ball out. And I have to tip my cap to them because they did a great job of getting to the ball. I have to stay focused on holding onto the ball because it is so important. I'm probably going to sleep with a football tonight."
A lot of guys didn't get their deals done until after the lockout. You had yours done before. What difference was that for you that you didn't have to wait?
"Well I was still thinking about my whole ankle issue. I had been out all season and this opportunity came to me. I kind of wanted to jump on it because who knows what happens for me in the future? I wanted to be a part of the team and they've given me a chance to play in this league for a couple more years. I'm grateful to be playing once more in New Orleans and contribute to this team. "
What are your thoughts on the addition of Darren Sproles?
"I'm very excited to work with him. He's going to bring a lot to the table for this team. He also can help me show the ropes to these younger guys. I've seen a lot of his work; he's a great running back, a very fast guy, very low to the ground, a fast runner. He's going to be a great addition to our backfield."
The big question about your ankle: how is it?
"Oh it's good. I feel like I'm about 85-90%. I'd say that I have to get more strength in it, but otherwise I'm good. I was out there cutting, and a lot of guys said I was looking good. I feel happy about it; I worked my tail off this off-season just focusing on rehabbing my ankle so I could be ready for the season. I didn't want to sit out any games; I just wanted to be prepared for the season. I want to come out here and make people think that I didn't even have surgery."