New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram*
Training Camp Presented By Verizon Media Availability
Sunday, July 30, 2017*
Can you talk about the importance of the screen game?
"Screens are a pivotal area in the game. The pass rush is upfield and they are blitzing with a lot of pressure. If you can get the back out clean, it is a lot of real estate (available down the field). The screen game is very important and it's something we are trying to improve on."
You had a big gain on a screen today. How important is it reading the blocks, letting the game flow and allowing for the play to catch up to you?
"You want to get out clean, but sometimes if you get out too fast you're in front of your line, especially if they are bringing pressure, because pressure is in the quarterback's face, so you want to get around so he can get the ball (to you). But sometimes you're too far in front of the blocker. You want to give the big boy a chance to get on top of his blocks. You want to be patient and set it up, but you can't wait too long, because the defense is in pursuit. It's kind of a craft and something that you need to have a feel for. You learn over time. I have a lot of screens I've messed up on and haven't gotten out clean and you kind of have to learn from them and learn from guys who have done it well in the past and get your own feel for it."
What do you think of Alvin Kamara?
"He's a good back. He can run the ball and catch it. He's going to be a real good player. He's fast and kind of subtle in how shifty he is. He'll have someone in a short space and he'll just kind of give a little subtle juke and he'll be out. I think he's going to be a real good player."
When Marshall Faulk is out here, do you have the opportunity to pick his brain a little bit?
"Yes, I've met Marshall a number of times. Whenever I've seen him, I'm catching up and seeing how he's doing. But anytime you want some advice or have a question, I know that he's available, so it's good to have someone of that magnitude as a resource."
It's said a lot of the time that it doesn't count until the pads go on. You're in pads today and receiving even more reps with Zach Line sitting out the practice. Does it nullify everything that has happened in camp and in the offseason up until today and yesterday?
"In my eyes, I feel like everybody looks good in t-shirts just running around with no contact. Football's all-contact. Everything changes when you have someone leaning on you trying to make a tackle and you're getting hit or you're getting small and squirting past the hit. It's just so many different variables. That's what you love about football is that you can't hide. When the pads come on you can't hide from it. People will be exposed if they aren't physical. You can hide a little bit. You can cover some things up, but there's no hiding from it when the pads are on."
What's your assessment of where you're at and how you feel?
"I'm feeling good. I still have to continue to work on the pad level, keep the pads down, but the body's feeling good, feeling quick, feeling fast, just need to continue to improve, continue to get better, continue to work on the pad level. That comes with the time. That comes with the pads."
I'm sure at this point in your career you feel like an every-down back, but do you feel like you know the offense as well as Drew Brees?
"I don't know about as good as Drew Brees, but he knows exactly what every single person is doing. I know what I'm doing and I know a lot of the times what my fullback or offensive line is doing based on over front, under front or jam front. I can't tell you the route constant every single time or if he makes an adjustment or gets a signal out there. I don't think anybody knows the playbook as well."
On an obvious passing down is there no defense that is going to fool you as far as protection?
"I'd like to say that. I'd like to say I'm prepared for almost every defense. He (Brees) does such a good job of managing our protections and putting us in the right protection where I can diagnose it quickly. But to say I'm perfect and I never miss a blitz. I like to think that and that's what I shoot for, but that's a stretch."
Brandon Coleman has been playing well and celebrating because of it. How much do you pick up on that?
"Coleman is a guy who since the first year he was here on this practice squad. He's just continued to work every single day since he's been here. You can see it and notice it. I admire the guy and I respect him. "
Alvin Kamara transferred from Alabama and eventually ended up at Tennessee. What do you think of his decision-making?
"We talk about it, but at the end of the day, he did what was best for him. He's here. He got drafted third round and he's a good back. There are a lot of backs who were there (Alabama), T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry, a number of guys. At the end of the day he made the decision best for him and I respect it."
Have you been pretty much at the same weight the last three or four years?
"Yes, I've stayed pretty much the same weight. I try to keep it the same or lose."
New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan*
Training Camp Presented By Verizon Media Availability
Sunday, July 30, 2017*
Why so many gassers?
"At the end of the day, that last team period, I don't think we got it right. So, I have to get myself right to better everything else. Coaches tried to do me a solid or something, I don't know. They sat me down in terms of letting some younger players go. We have a lot of depth at the D-Line. We are trying to figure some things out. I am not here to take plays off. I want more."
How do you react when they put you on the sideline?
"I understand it. We have a lot of guys we are training out. At the end of the day, I still need to get my mental reps and I still have remained physically at the top of my shape. A couple gassers didn't hurt anybody."
Are you concerned at all about all the tackling that went on today?
"It is day two and we have a lot of room to grow. I have to break down the film and I have to see. The D-Line has to step our game up. There are some runs that shot up through the middle. I hate seeing that. There is a play even in half-line that he could bounce out on me. I don't care if it is just half-line, whatever speed bumps in the way that is his job. I have got to overcome that. The D-Line play is slow to come together. It's just day two and we have a lot of room to improve."
What can you learn from your teammates in a three-hour session like this?
"You learn who has that dog in them. We have a good group of guys and at the end of the day, we are not here to be nice guys. We are on the field to want more and to want to succeed. The great thing about that is that failure opens your eyes up to that quicker. I think we had a good day today. I don't think it was anything to brag about. I don't think we could say we are a Super Bowl winning team today, but we don't need to be today. 14 days from now when we take (the field for) preseason, I do know we need to show improvement and show that we are a team."
What type of progression have you seen from David Onyemata?
"David is headed into his second year. He has a high ceiling. He is progressing and he no longer is just a meathead moving forward. He is starting to get his hands right and at the end of the day that is all you can hope for, is his progress. He is also pushed by (Sheldon) Rankins over there and that guy is a hell of a pro already and he is just heading into year two. I'm excited about those two young guys and of course you bring in Trey (Hendrickson), Alex (Okafor), Hau'oli Kikaha. There are a lot of the guys on the edge that I am excited to see and they are progressing rapidly at this point. In the next 10-12 days, I am so excited to see how we progress. There should never be a day that we are stagnant and there should never be a day that we are going to step back. We are always going to push forward every day."
What can you say about Zach (Strief) and Larry (Warford)?
"I think Zach had a vet day. Our team's trying to look out for the older guys and with that being said, rightfully so. Everyone knows how smart Zach is and how he's a technician. So, it is going to be there forever. Whatever arrangement they have for him, I like it. When we talk about Zach and Larry, there are comparisons and communications they have to get done. I am going to test those out early on. You can't just form a bond over three days with someone. They will be solid."
What kind of leadership have you seen from A.J. Klein?
"A.J. Klein's getting vocal. It's not even slowly showing that he's a leader. It's automatic. Manti Te'o is clearly smart as hell when it comes to being a linebacker. The confidence A.J. brings is huge for us. Then of course you have Craig (Robertson) who fills in from his role of leading the team in tackles last year. You know he's a monster himself. There's nothing but competition going on and I'm looking forward to the next week or two."
What stands out to you about Trey Hendrickson?
"He has that quick twitch to him. Something that you can't teach. He has that motor. Something that you can't teach I guess is the word I'm looking for. He has that extra and the 1-2. He has that added motor and I love it."
What does he need to improve on?
"He has to quickly train his eyes, but he is a rookie. It is my job, coaches' job and management's job to get his eyes where they need to be."
How are you viewing Kikaha's comeback?
"Don't call it a comeback. He has been here for years. Kikaha has been putting some work in. I have seen him work out personally and just the amount of focus he gives at what he does. He wants to be on the field so bad and you can feel it. I feel so bad for him (when he missed last season). He hit preseason and he is one hundred percent. He looks great."
How physical and chippy was this practice compared to the one yesterday?
"It is day two. Everyone was so happy to be in pads and you get back to the whole opening sequence. Offensive lineman do what they do best, hold."
How much does the secondary help the pass rush?
"Clearly that's going to be huge. You should talk to Kenny (Vaccaro) about the secondary. We put it in ourselves as the defensive lineman to put in work and be the best we can possibly be this upcoming year. We have talked about disruption and what we did last year. That is just a stepping stone and we have to move past that."
You've bragged about Sheldon (Rankins) quite a few times during this offseason. Why do you think he is going to be at that next level in only his second season?
"He is just efficient in everything he does. He is explosive and knows what he can do. He knows he is strong and he knows what he can bend and can't split. At the end of the day, the more you know yourself the better you can use your abilities."
New Orleans Saints Running Back Adrian Peterson
Training Camp Presented By Verizon Media Availability
Sunday, July 30, 2017
I assume it was a veteran day off for you right?
"Yes, that is all."
I assume you and Zach (Strief) were in the same boat?
"We're actually all veterans and I just happened to be in that first group of guys that were able to get the day off. I'm sure in the next couple days you'll see Mark (Ingram) and some of the other guys get a little day off as well."
Was there ever a time in your career when you said I'd never take a day off?
"No, not at all."
How has the acclimation process been here getting into your routine?
"It feels good. I can definitely say it is a different tempo, which I like and I was able to assume that during OTAs and minicamp I got full practice in, but Thursday was pretty good. I could kind of sense guys were feeling each other out as well, of course putting work in, but it was not as physical as I imagined taking (into account) how OTAs and minicamp were, but I see today watching guys definitely pick it up and as we continue to go each day I have seen that pick up as well."
Did it really hit you how many options this offense has?
"Yeah, that was one of the most intriguing things about the New Orleans Saints and their offense, was to be involved and be able to be in a lot of different positions that we really didn't take advantage of in Minnesota. Just sitting back and watching it (practice) was good to be in a different mindset to see how guys perform offensively and I'm just excited to get to the regular season and get this thing rolling and actually get involved and be out there and contribute whether I'm in the slot, cup routes, cup plays, backfield, shotgun so I'm excited to see how things play out."
Are the run concepts pretty similar to what you were doing in Minnesota or is it different?
"It's different, some of the things are similar, at the end of the day (when) you're talking about inside zone plays it's all pretty much the same. Maybe some different schemes as far as blocking, but outside zones those things are pretty basic."
Is that something you have to adjust to or is it pretty natural?
"Yes, I'd say it's natural, but you have to adjust to it because it is a different group of guys that I'm running behind. (John) Kuhn he's a heck of a fullback, watching him in Green Bay and also just being out here and seeing how some of these holes are opening (and) how they opened yesterday was just refreshing to me. You get into a groove with those guys and kind of feel it out and it's different with pads (being) day one for me. I'm sure after another day or two I'll get comfortable and it will just continue from that point on."
Was there ever maybe a vision during training camp in your career that you can recall thinking this will be a special year?
"Yeah, I would say 2009. I'm sure you would say sure, but just getting ready for that season and having (Brett) Favre in the picture for me was like bam, this is the first time you have ever had a quarterback that's proven. Once he came in just seeing how he was the general of the offense and how he picked things up and was able to throw the ball. Just his overview of the offense and defensive schemes he made it so easy (for me). I'm excited about this as well because (Drew) Brees is that same type of player. It's time to get rolling."
What are your thoughts on the rookie Alvin Kamara?
"He has a lot of talent, so much talent, really quick feet, great vison, great patience, all four of those things he has shown and that has really impressed me. As well as his route-running ability, it's crisp. He looks like he is seasoned. He is picking up things quickly and he's very efficient. He is going to be a heck of a ballplayer I can tell you that."
Did you talk to Marshall Faulk today?
"We talked briefly on the sideline. I had to run off and start the offensive period. I'll get a chance to talk to him a little later."
Are you friendly with other running backs around the league?
"Yes, Matt Asiata is one of my closest friends. CJ (Chris Johnson) we speak every now and then and I check on him and see how he is. Ty Montgomery, Melvin Gordon they were down in Houston this offseason training with me. (I've) Been keeping in contact with those guys on the eight ball pool game on the app. Joe Mixon is a young guy that I've tried to mentor and talk to, but yes I have a couple guys."
Do you laugh at all the talk of the aging running backs in the NFL with some of those older guys?
"Yes, CJ and I have done that a couple times. We're just blessed to still be doing it and blessed to still be doing it at a high level as well. It is normally simple talk."
Did you like to see those screen plays click today?
"Yes, it was good to see those. The defense was able to pounce on a couple, but for the most part I thought we came out with the upper hand."