New Orleans Saints Running Back Pierre Thomas
Thursday, September 20, 2012
What's an ideal game for you from a touch standpoint?
"It doesn't matter. If my name is getting called, I'm touching the ball. Anytime I touch it I'm going to take advantage of it. Any chance I get. You have a nice rotation going with a lot of backs we use. I know those touches are limited. Anytime I get to touch it, I'm going to make sure that I make it count and last week I did that. One of my goals for this year is making every run count."
You've been described as a slithery, tough guy to bring down. Have you always been viewed that way?
"I can see that. Throughout my career, even in high school it was like that. A lot of people say I'm a freakish runner. They say I run wild. I already know my running style is ugly. I say that myself and look at myself and say I run ugly. I don't have a nice form like a lot of these guys. But it works for me. Whatever works for me I'm going to stick with it. I'm just blessed with this talent and going out and taking advantage of it on the field."
Can you finger what is wrong with this team?
"There's really nothing wrong. We just have to stay focused. That's the main thing. The first week, we look back and see what our mistakes were. I have to say that most of our mistakes were penalties. That put us in a hole and I say we progressed, because this past week when we played Carolina, we didn't have as many penalties. I say we move forward, but I say probably out biggest mistake against Carolina was not finishing, which we have to do."
Do you sense that you guys are pressing as an offense?
"It's a fast-paced game. It's a tough game. You want to go out there and do a better job. I don't want to say everybody's doing too much. Everybody's going out there and trying to do their job the best. This last past game, we did a great job with the starting offense. We just have to find a way to finish it. That's the biggest key. You want to go out and play hard. You don't want to go out there and lag and not give a lot of effort, because that shows. We don't want that. You want to go out there and give it all, give it 110 percent, because our whole mindset it about winning. We're not going out there to just go through the motions. We're going out there to win a game. That's our whole focus, to win the game."
Going from week one to week two, you guys used the screen pass and checkdown more. How important is that to your offense?
"It's very important. It allows the defense, especially the checkdown game, it shows that the defense is covering our wideouts too much and it gives open looks to our tight ends or a quick dump to us and we get about ten yards. If we stay focused on that and keep switching it up (we'll have success). That's one area where running the ball comes into play, because if we run the ball very well, they will focus on the ground game, because we're running it too much and they won't focus on the pass game too much. If we don't play from behind, we can run the ball a lot more. That's one thing we realized. If we don't play from behind or play catch-up, we can be a more balanced offense and that's the biggest key being balanced. The screen game comes into play when they start pressuring us a lot. If they want to start pressuring us a lot, we might end up doing a screen. You never know what we're going to throw at you. That's one thing I love about this offense. We're so versatile. We're so unpredictable most of the time of what we're going to throw at you."
What's a good recipe for a screen play?
"Good offensive linemen who have patience, a good running back who has patience and a quarterback who has patience. That's the biggest key, patience. You have to let it develop. You have to go out there and sell a good play. You really can't do more than that, because if you rush it, it might get out of hand. The running back might leave before the linemen get out there and they get tackled by the linebacker or safety that might be guarding him. Or the lineman might get out before the running back. The D ends might come jump on the running back and the quarterback can't get the ball to him, or if the quarterback doesn't have enough time or is too quick looking than the defense is going to pick up on it. Patience is the biggest key."
Even though it looks simple is it really not?
"It's not (complicated), because all it is as a running back aspect, you have to really sell it well. You have to really look at so many things out there. I really don't want to give it away now, but you need to look at a lot of things and try to throw the defense off the best you can, because you want to think he might stand there for protection or he's just looking for a pass. You want to switch it up as much as you can."
Usually running backs that it's hard to get a clean hit on, don't also look for contact. You seem to be pretty good at both in avoiding the big hit, but not shying away from contact?
"No, I enjoy contact. The name of this game is contact. It's a physical game. I like to take on their biggest guy. I'm not scared of anything. You call it David against Goliath. I don't care how big he is, I'm going to take him on and my whole mentality is I'm going to beat him. My mindset is that one guy isn't going to take me down, unless he gets lucky. If he got lucky and caught me with my leg. He got me down. My whole mentality is that you're not going to take me down by yourself. You're going to have to call your boys to come get me and get me down, because it's not going to happen. I overhead one of the Carolina coaches, when I caught a pass near the sideline and got two more yards, they flew over top of me and I heard the coaches yell at them, 'You got to get him down. You got to get his legs.' I just turned around and smiled. I like to hear other guys getting yelled at because they can't get me down. It kind of gives you a good boost, saying you're doing something right."
Is there any doubt you could be an every down back if you weren't involved in such an effective rotation system?
"I believe I've shown it. I don't know. That's up to everybody else to decide. I believe I've shown it. I believe I've shown I can pass block, catch the ball and run the ball out of the backfield. I've shown I have every tool you need. With this offense, we have so many weapons. I say why wouldn't you use every last weapon you have? It confuses the defense. We're all a different, style, technique and skill that we can use. Why not put it out there on the field. We have so many weapons out there, the defense can't just focus on one guy. They have to focus on everybody out there on that field."