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Quotes from Saints players' training camp media availability - Monday, August 7

Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk, Max Unger, Taysom Hill, and Tom Savage spoke to the media following practice on Monday, August 7

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Tom Savage | 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon | August 6, 2018

You've been going against the same defense for the past 10 or 11 days, are you ready to see something different in a game type situation?
For sure. You see it out there it's getting competitive. We're always competing, but it's going to be exciting to go against other guys take our frustration out on them."

It's going to be obviously a pivotal, important preseason game for yourself and Taysom (Hill). How are you approaching things and how are you looking at it?
"I'm just treating (it) like a normal game. It's all I can control. I'm going to go out there and execute my job and do what I can do and all the other stuff is out of my control."

Is there a difference in playing a preseason game where you don't get to gameplan as much and find weaknesses?
"I think obviously if there's not that much gameplan, they want to see the reaction, to how does this player react and go out there. A lot of times the teams will change up what they do on and you've got to be able to react and move like that. I'm just going to treat (it) like a normal game, I'm going to prepare and get ready and go have some fun."

Any excitement level for you going into this game? You said you're going to treat it like a regular season game, but getting the extended reps and getting a chance to go out there and really play?
"I am definitely excited. I know all the other guys out (there are) too. Like I said, it is fun going against our own defense, but it is going to be fun going against someone else for a change."

What's been the biggest stride forward you've made here in the first couple weeks of practice?
"I think obviously for me right now it's learning the offense. As I'm here longer I'm going to learn more and more and get more comfortable out there. Eventually it's not going to be me thinking about a play after I call it and what is this play. It's going to be what's this defense, how do I attack it, and go from there."

In your short amount of time here with Mike Thomas, is here comparable in the way he works to say a guy like Deandre Hopkins?
"Obviously, I have been blessed to be around two of the greatest receivers in the league right now. You really cannot compare two players like that. I think both of them are tremendous people and hard workers and obviously we're lucky to have Mike here."

Is there a common element to the mindsets?
I think there is a coming out element between all great receivers and (the fact that) they want the ball. As a quarterback it's your job to get it to them.

You've spent time with a strong defense in Houston. Do you see any similarities in this defense you play against here and Houston?
"Like you said, it was a good defense over there and they have great guys, but these guys fly around here and it's tough to go against everyday but it's just going to make it better and I'm definitely excited to be a part of team."

New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara | 2018 Training camp presented by Verizon | Monday, August 6, 2018

A non-football question to start you off, how did the Drake video come about?
"We were just in LA, around ESPY time, and we linked up and he said he was shooting a video in New Orleans and he thought I should be in it."

What did you think about it when you saw it?
"It was cool, it came out pretty dope I liked it."

How are you handling all the other stuff, all the hype?
"It is what it is, it is football time now so I am locked back in on the football, offseason is offseason. There's time for everything, and right now it's football time and I'm locked back in on my team."

I saw you giving Boston Scott some pointers, is it weird, all of a sudden being the veteran guy showing up?
"Yeah it is, I'm still young but at the same time I have some experience so whatever I can do to help, I remember where I was at last year and I had Mark (Ingram), Adrian (Pederson) and John Kuhn. So, if I can make it a little bit easier or give him a little sense of ease, (okay I'm doing good on this I just need to do this a little better) that's all I am trying to do."

We know Mark's going to be gone for the first four games, what have you seen out of the guys who are competing to fill up (the roster)?
"They're hungry, we all know what the situation is, we have a next man up mentality. Everybody is working hard, and guys know they have to make plays, so we are going to do that."

Talking about Boston (Scott), do you use the year that you had last year to try and motivate him?
"Yes, He knows it. I talk to him all throughout practice, like I'm just telling him you are not the only one going through rookie year. We all went through it, I went through it, Mark (Ingram) went through it. Mark was telling him the other day too. It is just a learning process. You have to learn and make mistakes and you have to grow from them. That is the main thing, you have to try not to make the same mistake twice."

We know it is all football business now, but how much fun is it to be you and be in music videos?
"It is cool, It is a lot of blessings. Doing what I did on the field to see it translate to off the field. A lot of fun things and great opportunities I'm being handed, but like I said it's football time now. Let's have another great year."

What process do you go through to sift through those opportunities, I'm assuming you turn some down?
"Yeah, I turn a lot down. It's really just if I don't feel something then I just don't. I don't care what it is, it's not about the money for me, if I'm into something or I truly have a passion for something then I do it if not then I kindly say thank you but no thank you."

Did you see all this coming last year at this time of year?
"No, I was just working, I think my message was consistent throughout the year, I'm just working, whatever comes, comes."

Over the last year with people beginning to know you they learned your history in Tennessee, misuse you could put it that way. You obviously talk to guys like Todd Gurley, who signed a new contract, and other running backs out there. How many guys do you feel like that might not have been used as much in college that ends up potentially benefiting them in the NFL, because they have more tread left on the tires and maybe that can hurt someone financially if they were given the rock 500 times in their career in college?
"That was a long question. But, just from my experience like you said, kind of the misuse and the underuse I guess. I think it played out for me well being able to come in with less tread on the tire. Being able to come in and have the type of year I had. I guess every place is different as far as utilizing their talent."

You talk to other guys that came into the NFL that feel like they were beat up, just kind of broken a little bit?
"Yeah, you see that you see that sometimes. We all watch on Saturdays. Like in college you're out there you're just going, and some guys come in with an injury history and things like that. But, it's our job description, it's 100% injury rate so you cannot really get away from it."

Do you think you can handle more touches when Mark Ingram's not out there?

Have you talked to coach Payton at all about it, like hey I'm an every down back…you have not, or you have….no comment?
"I can take more touches."

Because I know you were about 12-13 last year?
"That's what it was."

Somewhere around there. Including your catches?
"So, touches or carries?"

"I feel like I can take some more touches."

I think people are saying you're move of a satellite back and everything, but you feel like you can do it every down?
"Yeah I feel like I can do everything."

Do you feel an extra sense of responsibility without (Mark Ingram) out there?
"He's just not out there for four games, we just had lunch today and we were talking about him being gone for the first four, and we just have to hold it down. We're not going to panic, its next man up, we have playmakers, so we will make it happen and when he gets back we're going to make it happen some more."

Did you see your bobblehead, what was your impression, did you see those the Saints and the Tennessee bobblehead?
"Yeah, that's legendary material right there. You know when you were a kid and you see all those guys with bobbleheads and you're like dang I want a bobblehead. That's one thing, when I was younger growing up, playing sports I wanted a bobblehead. So, to see that is cool."

Did it look like you?
"I don't know if it looked like me. But, yeah it had the hair."

How would you describe Mike Thomas in practice vs. Mike Thomas in the game, it's like he's out here treating everything like 100 %?
"Oh yeah, Mike goes full go. He treats practice reps like it's a game rep. He is competing like he is playing against another team. So, it's good. Sometimes the competition gets heated, but we need that. You see him and Marshon (Lattimore) battle every day along with everyone on the defense, doesn't matter who it is and that's good, it trickles down to the rest of the receiving core. Him and Ted (Ginn Jr.) are working hard and treating every rep like a game rep. We can't not treat it like a game rep, with Drew (Brees) at quarterback."

Did he tackle someone today, on one of those picks?
"I don't know"

That play that Demario (Davis) made guarding you out of the backfield, just from your experience last year, looks like he can run, do many linebackers get out and cover like that?
"Demario is very good. Even last year playing against him, he is one of those guys that is all over the field and can make plays all over the field. Like that play today, it just shows his capability. He can run with whoever he wants to run with and he's smart. He made a good play and I'm happy he's on our team."

What's up with the scooter?
"So, I was in LA, for the ESPY's, and I just saw a whole bunch of people riding these around, they were all over the road. So, I just hit them up on Instagram and was like I want one, we need them in New Orleans. They gave me a custom one with my name on it"

New Orleans Saints Tackle Ryan Ramczyk | 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon | Monday, August 6, 2018

With the success that the 2017 rookie class had, you've got a couple rookies on the offensive line. Do you have to use the year you had as motivation with them?
"A lot of what I learned last year from the veterans Max (Unger), Zach (Strief), (and) Terron (Armstead) I can share with the younger guys. Rick's (Leonard) behind me right now and I've been able to help him a lot and talk to them and just tell him what I went through last season, how I got here and just to continue working on little things. You always have to keep working."

When you came in, you obviously wanted to make an impact early in camp. When they are trying to do as much as they can, do you tell them 'you guys don't have to win the Super Bowl today' or anything like that?
"It's tough because you don't want to tell them you aren't going to win tomorrow, but at the same time you want these guys to work hard and come in here and you want them to strive for a starting position. That's really the goal, that's why they're here, that's why they got drafted. I think it just comes on hard work every day and doing your job."

What is your biggest takeaway from watching Drew Brees? What is your biggest takeaway from him that you apply to what you do as a pro?
"I love his consistency. He's always the same guy day in and day out. If he has a bad play here or there or a good play here or there, he's the same coming into the huddle every single time. I can learn a lot from. If I get beat on a pass rush you, go back to the huddle and do your thing. I think that's been really helpful watching him."

How much did you watch of him before you were eligible for the draft?
A fair amount. I watched the NFL quite a bit. When I know I was coming here I was like 'wow, I'm going to be playing with a legend.' That was pretty cool."

He mentioned to the NFL network last week and he mentioned again just past weekend that last year was the first time he ever thought about actually retiring at some point. When you hear that from a guy like them you ever get a chance like sit back and think about his legacy to the NFL?
"I haven't thought about it a ton, but at the same time it's so incredible what he has done and all his records and just to be able to play with a guy and be on the same team as a guy like that, It is really an incredible thing. We are lucky and grateful to have him on our team still playing."

Larry Warford said the other day he was jealous of Terron Armstead's skillset just being the athlete that he is. Do you ever feel yourself feeling the same way?
"Terron obviously has a different set of skills. He's (an) extremely good athlete and that comes on the practice and repetition and keep on keeping on with their stuff. Terron works really hard on the little things. You can learn a lot from him."

Does the offensive line group sit down when you're watching film and just look at line stuff that nobody else finds impressive?
"To an extent, there's some players that run puts on film and it's like that was incredible. You don't you don't see that in the league a lot. You really don't. Every once in a while, there will be a big wow."

How so?
I would say he is just so smooth in his pass set and it doesn't look like it takes him a lot of effort when he's moving around. When the defensive end is countering on him, he's so quick to transition. It's pretty awesome."

What have you seen from Rick Leonard?
"I think from OTA's, he's come a long way. During OTA's, his upper body was moving a lot and he's quieted down now. I think in his run game he's been able to stay on his feet, stay centered a little bit better than what he was doing in OTA's. I think he's come a pretty good way since OTA's."

What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from college to the NFL that maybe you can import to him?
"Obviously just the speed and the strength of the game, but I would say initially it was just the power of the game. In college I'd be setting and you could get away with your legs more vertical and not sat down as much and in this league, if you get caught you'll know it. I've told him that a couple times."

He picks up fast when you point something out to him?
"I think he's good at translating what he learned after practice to the next day and working on it."

How do you think Natrell Jamerson is doing out there?
"I haven't talked to him a ton. I haven't really been able to talk to him a ton either, but I talked a little bit and asked him how he's doing and how everything's going. He says everything's been good and he says he's comfortable here. It's good to hear."

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill | 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon | Monday, August 6, 2018

How much do you want to be a holder?
"Certainly, any opportunity to get on the field, I am excited about. Wil (Lutz) is a good friend. I'm excited about the opportunity to be out on the field with him at the time and experiencing the opportunity (for him) to kick a big-time field goal at a big-time game. I am excited about that. It is a new thing for me. I have never done it before, but excited for the challenge."

How is the transition going with that?
"It has been good. I think, historically, a lot of backup quarterbacks have held for kickers. It's been a natural transition for me, because I'm used to handling the ball every play, so getting the snap is familiar to me. Obviously, it's a different motion and the transition is a little bit different, but I would say it's gone smoothly.

How much more excited are you looking to get on the field as a quarterback?
"Oh yeah, I'm fired up about it. We've talked about this several times, that this has really been my first opportunity to play quarterback in this offense. Next week on Thursday, will be my first opportunity to play quarterback in this system, in a game. I'm fired up about that, and I'm excited for the opportunity and challenge."

Do you get a lot of following and love still from your Brigham Young faithful?
"Certainly. BYU has the best fans in world. The nice thing about BYU is that it takes in a wide area. There would be times where we'd travel and be on the road, and we'd have more fans than the home team that we're playing, a lot of really loyal fans. I felt a lot of love through playing at BYU. I had a lot of ups and downs through my career at BYU, through different injuries and stuff. The fan bases have always been right there to pick me up and support me through all those injuries."

What did you learn about playing in the preseason from your time with Green Bay?
"I think getting used to and acclimated to the speed of the game, and the timing and all that, is big. I would say that was really important for me in Green Bay. I didn't get a ton of reps in Green Bay, so I look at this preseason, again, as another unique and great opportunity for me to get some game-time experience in the NFL at quarterback. I am excited about that. I'll prepare as if we're going into a big-time game and do my best to move the ball up and down the field."

Is there anything different or challenging about going in for a brief time as opposed to being able to play the whole game?
"Yeah, I think so. I think it's natural for you, as a quarterback, knowing that your time is going to be limited and knowing you're trying to put a good display out there. I think it's normal to feel like you need to press, try to make all the big plays, and all the big throws. The challenge is to try to get rid of that mentality. Go to your receivers and make the right throws when they're there and shake it down if you need to."

Do you think trying not to press and just doing your job during a preseason game makes it a little harder since your adrenaline is flowing?
"For sure. Again, I think there's this fine line where you want to give other guys opportunities to make plays and you want to put balls up there in one on one situations, so guys can go up and make plays and get good film out there, as well. I think we'll find a good balance there. As I look at it, the biggest thing for me is to operate inside the offense and do that as efficiently as possible. This offense is built to take shots, so take the shots when they're there. We always talk that if we do call something for down the field and it's not there and you check it down and get five or six yards, it's a positive play. We'll continue to call those if that is what we are doing when we call them. Other than that, just having that mentality, taking your shots when you have a chance and playing smart football."

Are you looking forward to facing a different defense, not one that's seen you guys every single day?
"For sure. This is a time of camp where everyone knows everyone's calls. There's a lot of talking going back and forth. I think everyone's excited to get on the field. Everyone is worked hard. It's exciting for a lot of the vets to be able to support the young players in the system, knowing that they'll get an opportunity to go out and play. It's a great team building exercise to go out and play in these preseason games. I'm excited to get the opportunity to play with them, but I'm also excited to watch my teammates go out and play."

Are you going to run any special teams during the preseason game?
"We're still working all that out. I haven't had any conversations with any coaches, offensive or special teams coaches, to kind of see what the plan is, but I anticipate doing a little bit."

Are you excited to go full speed in one of those drills?
"Yeah. I'll be ready with whatever it is. We'll have those conversations, but certainly excited to get out and run around and make some plays."

New Orleans Saints Center Max Unger | 2018 Training Camp Presented by Verizon | Monday, August 6 2018

I have a question on [David] Onyemata. Do you ever hear him muttering to himself in Nigerian or anything like that?
"Yeah. The accent's still there. Not too much muttering in Nigerian. He's becoming the player that I think a lot of people thought he was going to be. It's impressive to see his development, especially coming down from Canada and not having a lot of football under his belt. The player that he has gotten himself into being is impressive and he is tough to go against."

What makes him [David Onyemata] so tough to go against?
"Look at him. He's a big, fast, physical guy that just needs to play as much football as he can. It's a big jump coming into this league and I think that he has progressed very rapidly and he's becoming a starter."

What would you say about him makes you feel like okay this guy is an established NFL lineman?
"It's an awareness thing. It's really small stuff. You can be fast, you can be physical, but not knowing where the ball is as a D lineman is half the battle obviously. Just awareness, splits, pressure here, quicker reaction time, stuff like that. At the same time hiding what they do better. All of those things he is showing pretty rapid improvement."

As an established veteran player you probably won't play a lot Thursday. What are you hoping to see out of this offense and this team on Thursday?
"The first preseason game, it's always funny. You can look at it as an extended practice but really it's just an execution of putting it all together because we practice first-and-ten, third down, we'll throw some red zone in there, we'll do some two-minute. It is all situational stuff. Eventually you have to put all of that together and this is kind of that. Throw everything we have been doing into one big pile and kind of go out there and be able to execute it successfully and run some real base stuff."

In your time with [Drew] Brees, where do you feel like your rapport is right now, and how much it has grown over your time together?
"This is going into year four. Anytime you spend a lot of time with the same quarterback stuff feels natural. The same thing goes with a starting group on offense. We can do things (on feel). Everyone is on the same page, it might not be said. Instead of making calls, you can just say someone's name, or do this or that. Drew has that rapport with a lot of players, and when you're able to do that, you are going to have some success on offense."

What's it like going into year Four? The first year was the trade, and last year was the injury. What's it like being established?
"They are flying by. I had a vet in my second year say to me, the older you get the quicker the years go by, and that is the truth. We're rolling back in here and this feels like home. It is very natural coming out here and doing training camp and that is where you want to be."

How do you see your influence on this line now? There as a veteran, but your fourth year here. The line is pretty young, and Zach's [Strief] retirement makes it a younger offensive line. Did his retirement cause you to reevaluate what you should be like in this line?
"Yes and no. Zach's [Strief] not a guy that you replace. He is a pretty unique guy. The goal is not to obviously emulate his personality as much as try to become a player that can fill a void that was left by him. Leadership, especially at the center position, is something that just happens because you are the communication point between the line. Just playing the position for a while has kind of not readied me for this, but it is something you kind of develop into."

You guys have so many offensive lineman that can play so many different positions but behind you, just not much experience depth I guess. How much do you spend time with Cameron Tom or maybe [Josh] LeRibeus or someone like that?
"Josh has played quite a few games at center, he is pretty good. Cam [Cameron Tom] is dealing with a little injury right now but he will be coming back, and also Will [Clapp] who we drafted this year. All guys with a ton of upside. It's just a matter of getting some reps for those guys and being able to play multiple positions."

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