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Saints transcripts: Demario Davis and Nick Vannett Media Availability | Wednesday, Nov. 24

Players on Thanksgiving game against Buffalo

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis
Post Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?
"Mine? Dressing, cranberry sauce. Dressing, not stuffing."

How are you guys approaching all the injuries that you've been dealing with and not using it as an excuse?
"I think the unique thing about this team that mimics the city is the resiliency in the face of adversity, right? Nobody could have foresaw the type of adversity that we have faced this season. but that is not in our DNA to look for pity or look for sympathy. First of all, nobody cares. Most people do not care and the rest of them are glad you have got them, those problems. But that is not our MO. Our MO is to see it as a challenge and see it as an opportunity and to put our best foot forward and go in light of that. That is how this team has always responded to adversity. And I think it mimics the city. It is one thing I appreciate probably the most about the culture of this place is that response to adversity because nobody really wants adversity, everybody wants success. But in this game, I think I appreciate it personally more because it helps you relate to more people, because a lot more people are going through adversity than people are going through success. And I think when you go through that it's all about how you handle it. That's what shows what kind of person you are, it's not if you succeed or if you fail or get knocked down, it's how you respond to when you succeed and how you respond to when you go through hardships. And I think that's an opportunity to be a light to so many people in the way that you respond to it. And that's the season where you are, that's what's going on. And understand that the storm doesn't last always. And so you just keep going forward and it's an opportunity for great things to happen. I think that's how I look at it and how I process it. The energy in our locker room is good. And we see this challenge coming in tomorrow and (are) looking forward to that and making the most of it."

Did you get a chance to catch up with Drew Brees today?
"Yeah, it's interesting to see Drew in a different space now. And we don't just talk here at the facility, we talk off the field a lot. We've grown quite close off the field. And so it's amazing kind of seeing him come back and (I) understand he's going to be celebrated tomorrow at the game and the way he's transitioned. That's what we were catching up on a lot about, what is it like being on TV now full time, what's the dynamics of that with the preparation, what that looks like and me just kind of hearing that world from him. It's amazing to see how he's transitioned and it's amazing that he's coming back and being celebrated for all he's done for this team and this city, which is just amazing. Incredible journey so super happy. Always happy when I get a chance to see him but we were just catching up."

Just knowing the effort he always put into games, he's probably ready as a broadcaster I imagine?
"Oh, yeah, for sure. That's what he compared it to. A lot of broadcast is the same, like preparing for a game. He could explain it a lot better than I can but knowing what he put into the game I am sure he is putting that same amount or more into that space. And so He'll be successful in whatever he does."

He said he'll have no trouble being objective calling the game, do you think he can do that?
"Yeah, for sure, for sure. I wouldn't know what that's like, you know, being in that space and what, but I'm sure he knows how to do his job and get his job done. And he probably doesn't take it personal, when he has to say certain things and hopes other people don't take it personal, you know, he just has a job to do."

Do you have to change anything when takeaways aren't coming as much as they were or do you keep plugging away?
"You keep plugging away, and certainly in his game, you can always get better. And so I think that's the thing that that creates those takeaways is playing fast and playing physical and being efficient and in the right spot at the right time. So it's be more efficient, you know, be faster, be more physical, and they'll come. And so we've certainly been a defense that has been able to create a lot of takeaways in the past and so I don't plan on that changing anytime soon."

How hard is it on the body to turn it around on a short week?
"It's a grind. But it is a part of the job and I think the better you can handle that process, and how fast you can turn around from a Sunday to Thursday, a lot of that is in your process, you know, certainly you got to be more efficient in how you study film, because you don't have as much time to prepare for the opponent. So you have to try to be efficient there. You don't have as much time to recover the body, so you have to be efficient there. (Your) sleep and hydration is extremely important and the better you can recover your body, you know, the faster that you can play, the better your body will be ready to hold up for the game. And the more efficient you can be on the field. It just gives you a little bit of edge."

Are there some similar things Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen do in terms of extending plays and being a threat running as well?
"Yeah, he is (Allen) playing (at an) extremely high level, a very talented individual, (has) a strong arm, can make all the throws. These past couple of years he's really been dominating the league and his athleticism is remarkable as well. He is not (immobile), though he can stay in the pocket and beat you with his arm, he also can keep plays alive. He can run out in space. He's not a quarterback that's looking to go down the slide. (He's) a very dynamic quarterback."

New Orleans Saints Tight End Nick Vannett
Media Availability
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

What has your experience been like being on a new team and being injured until Week 10 of the season?
"Yeah, I mean, it didn't go as planned, right? But those things happen. In my career, that was probably the longest I've been out of football. It's been almost three months. That was challenging in and of itself just going through recovery. I had some good days and then I had some days where it felt like I took a step back. But, just keeping the same mentality to keep fighting, keep pushing through, trusting the process. I got in last week with the plays I had. Unfortunately, Adam Trautman went down (knee) and now I have a bigger role. So, I feel really prepared and ready to step up and not skip a beat."

What happened to your knee?
"I had a grade 2 MCL sprain. I think originally it was supposed to be a 2-to-4-week injury, but it kept on lingering a little bit. I kept in contact with the team, and we were on the same page, and they wanted me to be back confident with my knee before I got back on the field. I've been in situations where trainers try to get you back on the field as soon as possible and check your name off the list, but I feel like they looked out for my best interests, and we stayed on the same page. I'm back now, so I'm not looking back, only looking forward."

Was your knee injury more of a pain tolerance thing or would you not have been able to play unless you were 100%?
"Yeah, I think it's a little bit of both. Once you get to a month, two months in, it was just a pain tolerance thing, trusting it when I made hard cuts. There were some things that were good and there were some others where I definitely felt (discomfort). It's all about trusting it. If you don't trust it, you're not going to be able to go out on the field and do what you need to do. So, they gave me the extra time to heal. I'm sure you guys saw me out on the back field doing a lot of stuff on my own and what I needed to do to stay ready. Now that I'm back, I feel great and I'm ready to hit the ground running."

How confident are you filling in for Adam Trautman?
"Yeah, I look back on my career in the NFL, and I feel like I'm built for these situations. There's times where guys have gotten hurt, and I've had to fill in. Last year in Denver, Noah Fant got hurt or had COVID, and I had to fill-in. I ended up having five catches and a touchdown. Most of my touchdowns have come filling in for guys who have gotten hurt. I'm kind of used to handling that and I'm used to preparing like I am the guy that's going to get all of the reps, because you never know. Injuries happen and things happen in the game, and you have to be ready to step in and take over. But yeah, I have a lot of confidence in my ability. Obviously, Adam Trautman is a very good tight end, but I think that me and him do a lot of similar things, so I'm just ready to go out there and show it."

How ready are you for your Caesars Superdome debut?
"Yeah, I'm super excited. It's kind of sucked being on the sideline and not being able to suit up and experience that. I get goosebumps just thinking about the Who Dat chant and all of the intros. I'm excited to be a part of that and be suited up and actually play. That'll get the juices flowing."

How did it feel to suit up as a Saint for the first-time last week?
"You know, I almost had to remind myself that it's kind of been a while, but I've done this before. I just had to build that confidence again and re-learn the game plan and just trust my abilities. You know, obviously I went in and felt very prepared about the game plan and very prepared with my preparations. It just felt good, you know, to suit up and feel the atmosphere, being with the guys, being on the field. I can't believe how much I've missed that. Like I said, it's been almost three months, so you kind of take that stuff for granted when you're recovering from your injury. So, I'm getting the chills just thinking about it, but it felt good. It definitely puts things in perspective when you're out that long and you don't realize how much you missed it until you get back. So, I'm very excited to be back."

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