New Orleans Saints Linebacker A.J. Klein - 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon - Friday, July 27, 2018
How do you feel coming off that injury?
"Feeling good and if I'm not a hundred percent, I'm real close. (I'm) Really happy with the progress I made the last few weeks leading up to training camp. It was hard not to be on the field during OTA's and minicamp obviously to get those extra reps especially with the new squad. Every year is a new set of guys. So, I'm just happy to be back out and healthy."
Was it kind of a different injury to deal with because it's so much a part of how your body moves?
"It wasn't easy. The rehab was long, tedious, and it was painful. But at the end of the day we've worked through it. Beau (Lowery) and all the guys here were available for me all offseason. So, by the time OTA's and minicamp came around I was able to run and able to go. We just want to take it a little easy. Obviously, the goal was to be ready for training camp fully."
I've seen you work at strongside and then Demario (Davis) at Will a lot, are you guys getting comfortable with that?
"Obviously, the coaches have us moving around a little bit. Like I said we have a versatile group so I'm pretty sure we'll fall into the same kind of roles as last year. Me being at Sam and Mike but obviously all of us are called to know every single position just in case. Obviously like last year (when) I went down and Alex went down, there was a big shuffling in the linebacker corps, so everybody's ready to play at a moment's notice.
Speaking of Alex (Anzalone) what have you seen from him back out here?
"It's good to see him back out obviously being healthy. He was disappointed last year with his shoulder injury and obviously that's the way the game goes sometimes. But he's made a lot of strides since his rookie year and I know he's excited to be back on the field."
Does heat ever make you think you need to go a little tighter with the haircut?
"No, it is hot, and I contemplated a few times this summer, but no I'm just going to let my hair grow for a little bit."
New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas - 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon - Friday, July 27, 2018
Is there a little more competition/depth at the wide receiver corps this year than the last couple years?
"Yes. We have a lot of hungry guys in there, young guys that compete every day and take coaching, so I feel like the sky's the limit."
Was strength a big part of your offseason work? We saw some stuff on Instagram and Twitter.
"Just consistently taking care of my body. Doing things right like training, eating right, just doing all those things right. That's what I did for my offseason."
What are those battles like with Marshon (Lattimore) out here?
"They're great. I appreciate them a lot. He comes out every day, we compete, and we are getting each other better. We talk to each other and then we know once we get in the locker room, we know how to be brothers and be out here and help each other be better.
He talks a lot?
"Yeah, he has fun He has a good spirit."
How much do you think the balance last year could help the offense maybe in the passing game be better this year?
"(We have to) Just keep building. We have a lot of talent. As long as the guys do their job and play to their potential, we can win a lot of football games here. Keeping each other honest and knowing when our opportunity presents itself and making the play, that is going to change us. That is the ultimate goal in winning the game."
How do you evaluate the group of weapons that you have?
"Across the board, everyone, even the offensive line is solid. As long as we just play to our potential and block out all the noise and take coaching…we have great coaches here, so (as long as we) use them and just take advantage of the tools that we have in the toolbox, we'll be good."
Mark (Ingram) was saying yesterday that he's excited about the idea that an opponent could stack the box. Do you think that's even a possibility?
"Yeah we kind of just treat it like a tag team. If they stack the box then we know as receivers we need to get open and make the play, get them to back off, then hand the ball off to the guys in the backfield. That's team football and that's what we're doing."
What do you see as the next step when you've set the bar as high as you have the first two years?
"Just take the coaching. I have a tremendous (position) coach (in Curtis Johnson), who has a lot of pride and confidence. He wants to get us better, so just take his coaching. He is going to keep me honest. Also, along with Ronald Curry (Curtis' assistant). Those guys, they keep me honest and they keep me disciplined. Always coaching me even if it's on the littlest things. That's how I create big plays for this team on Sundays."