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'Pro' Chris Olave growing fast as a rookie receiver for New Orleans Saints

'I hold myself to a higher standard, so when I feel like I can do better, I'm going to raise that level'

Jameis Winston has seen enough of Chris Olave to have formed a definitive opinion.

Winston, the New Orleans Saints' quarterback, said he didn't want to do a comparison thing for Olave, the first of the team's two first-round draft picks, at No. 11 overall. But Winston said he knows an NFL receiver when he sees one, and Olave reminded him of the professionalism and preparedness he saw from Chris Godwin when Winston played in Tampa Bay.

Olave attributed that to his college training.

"Just being at Ohio State," Olave said. "I feel like they developed us that way. Being at a program like Ohio State, I feel like it's a professional program run by professional coaches. When you go there, they prepare you for three or four years and you go into the NFL prepared. I feel like that's the biggest part at Ohio State, and I feel like I carry that on into the league."

The velvety route-running, coupled with the offense-adoring speed, and the soft hands to match have made Olave an early training camp standout. When he broke free for a 60-yard touchdown catch from Winston on Saturday – a busted cover on defense led to a wide open Olave – it was a play that highlighted Olave's speed and ability to take advantage of any lapse.

And he feels he's only scratching his surface.

The New Orleans Saints took the field for practice during 2022 Training Camp presented by Rouses Markets on Wednesday, August 3.

"I feel like I'm getting better day by day," he said. "I feel I can be a lot better throughout the day, so I've got to keep going. I hold myself to a higher standard, so when I feel like I can do better, I'm going to raise that level."

Specifically, the 6-foot-1, 189-pounder said he can be better at the line of scrimmage.

"Especially against physical coverage," he said. "When I've got bigger corners on me I feel I can be a lot better in those situations. So going up against guys like (cornerbacks Paulson) Adebo and Bradley Roby and (Marshon) Lattimore is going to help me a lot throughout these practices.

"Just playing a lot quicker, playing on my speed, using my speed to an advantage. I feel like that really threatens the defense, so I feel like playing through that, if I affect every play, I feel like that's going to be good for me."

Again, Olave said it helped to have played at Ohio State.

"I'm used to it," he said. "I went against corners at Ohio State that were really big, but going up against newer guys, just trying to get a feel for them. Monday, I wasn't really good in one-on-ones but I came back today and did a lot better."

He said he'll improve on the aspect of creating separation against cornerbacks.

"I feel like that's my game, I get a lot of separation," he said. "It's going to be tighter coverage, but I can make contested catches, too. I'm comfortable out here, I feel like I'm getting more comfortable so I can't wait to put it on the field and go out there and play on game day."

The best way to do that – in addition to possessing a ton of ability – is to know his assignments.

"I'm good with the playbook and the terminology," he said. "Asking a lot of questions, as it's new to me. I feel like a freshman going into college trying to learn the playbook. But I feel like that's one thing I want to get down – I don't want to not be on the field because of the playbook. I want to definitely learn the playbook like the back of my hand."

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