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Q&A with new Saints center Max Unger

Max Unger held a conference call with local media members on Monday

Associated Press photos of new New Orleans Saints center Max Unger.

New Orleans Saints Center Max Unger
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, March 16, 2015

Are you in New Orleans yet?

"Yes, I am in New Orleans.  I am at the building right now."

Have you taken the physical yet?

"Yes, I took it this morning.  I am assuming I passed it but, yes, that has to happen for the trade to be official."

Can you give me a rundown on the injuries you had last year?

"It was just a tough year with the injuries.  The worst one was I had a bad lower leg injury blocking back from a power play and got rolled up on.  It is just something that you have to deal with.  I feel good.  I feel healthy.  I feel like I have a lot left in me."

What was your initial reaction when you learned about the trade?

"It is just kind of a crazy feel.  I have obviously never been traded before.  It does not happen with a lot of frequency in the NFL so you don't necessarily expect it, but once I kind of got over the shock of it I am stoked. My wife is excited to live in a place that we have never lived.  I think we are coming to an awesome organization where we can win some football games."

What is it like to be a new part of a team that is clearly remaking itself and remaking its identity?  Is that exciting?

"Yeah, I don't know about remaking.  I think there is a pretty awesome core group of players that has had a lot of success and I think they are just trying to build on that and find the pieces for it."

Do you immediately see yourself as a guy that can be one of the leaders?

"Yeah, I don't about that.  I asked a couple guys about their expectations for me just coming here and why I am here.  They said just do the things that you have been doing these last six years in the NFL, just playing football and doing it the right way.  I know I can be a strong contributor here."

Can you talk about your relationship with Steve Gleason?

"We have a mutual friend out there in Spokane, Wash. I have been meaning to get over to his golf tournament the past couple of years.  I got introduced to him and it is just something that I try to support his cause whenever I can and he is an awesome guy."

Have you spoken to any of the other Saints recent additions?

"The new additions, I really haven't talked to too many guys.  I've talked to most of the coaches and a couple of the players but I don't think any of what you call the new additions."

When did you get to New Orleans and have you had a chance to see the city at all yet?

"Yes, I got in last night and I was cruising around.  I was just checking it out. I have never really gotten a chance to hang out in the city before.  It was pretty wild on the St. Patrick's Day weekend.  It was pretty cool though."

What was your conversation like with Drew Brees?

"We met at the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago.  He is a good dude.  This had just come down the pipe, this trade, and he called me shortly thereafter.  He just said welcome, we are excited and just caught up a little bit.  We will see him pretty soon for the offseason program."

Do you see a theme with the Saints adding you, Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller?

"I am not sure.  I would have to get in there and talk with the coaches and see what the plan is.  Obviously two awesome running backs that I have watched in my time in the NFL and I think they are going to move the ball pretty well."

How do you describe your game?  What do you think you do well and what have you tried to work on this offseason?

"To work on, there is a lot of stuff, I don't know.  Playing center in the National Football League is interesting to say the least.  You just have to get five guys, quarterback, running back, tight end on the same page.  I know Drew (Brees) does a lot of stuff, commanding, so it is my job to kind of relay what is going on with him to the guys to my left and right."

What are your initial impressions of this offense?

"They have had a ton of success passing the ball and made some good chunks running.  I expect them to the throw the ball a bunch and I feel like the offensive concepts can be pretty familiar, it is just going to be called something different.  It is just a matter of picking those up and them doing what they have been doing well these last couple of years."

Can you talk about your childhood and growing up in Hawaii?

"Yeah, that is home base for me.  I was born and raised on the big island Kailua-Kona.  My whole family is from there.  We have a big ranch out there.  We farm some cattle and it was a pretty unique childhood to say the least.  It is pretty fun.  It's very cool and I spend most of my offseason out there.  I get to move to New Orleans so it is pretty cool.  I've never lived in the south before so it is going to be a pretty cool experience."

Do you see some similarities with the Saints and Seahawks regarding offensive concepts?

"Yes, just talking about the zone concepts running the ball, man concepts running the ball, for the most part across the league we all do, we all share concepts, we just call them different things.  I can just see a lot of the stuff that they do I am familiar with, it is just going to be called something different.  So that is what I was talking about with the coaches the other day, just kind of figuring that out and getting a jump start on it."

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