New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, October 9, 2020
Just wanted to start off by saying, like you and Latavius (Murray) got to kind of share the field for a bunch of snaps in the last game. I'm just curious, like, when you're doing that, what kind of stress does that put on a defense in your mind?
"When we're on the field individually, they're stressing. And I think just putting us on the field at the same time, there's a lot that you got to account for. You got to account for more than you are able to account for within the frame of defense. So, I think it's something I think helps us, gives us a lot of variety. It gives us a lot of different options. So more of that, hopefully."
And a lot of times when you're doing that you're like, operating out of the slot or something like that. Are you comfortable doing that? And did it take some time for you to be comfortable doing that?
"No, I'm comfortable doing it. I have been doing it for a while. So it is cool. I do not have a problem."
Question here about Drew (Brees) and his career in New Orleans. I know you were fairly young, but how much do you remember of his career before he got to New Orleans, were you familiar with him as a Purdue guy or a Chargers guy?
"I wouldn't say Purdue. Shoot, I don't know how old I was when he was at Purdue. Chargers, a little bit, but Saints, that's I mean, everybody knows Drew Brees for the Saints. Watching him was amazing but playing with him like, you see why. You see why he's as decorated and talked about as he is. He's the real deal."
When you see all that he has been able to accomplish in New Orleans, is it kind of hard to believe that he was let go by another team? Or is that just or is that understandable under a certain professional level?
"I mean, it's business but s*, that's not a business choice I would have made. I don't see how you do that. I don't want to speak for Drew (Brees). But I feel like, you know, if you asked him, he would be fine with what happened. I think, I don't think he would change anything. That's just me speaking. I don't know you might have to ask Drew."
And you can I'm sure see that it may have been good for him in that he has a certain special synergy you might have recognized with the coach.
"Oh, yeah, of course. Him and Sean (Payton) that's talked about all the time. I don't really get to go too deep into that. But, that was like a match made in heaven. I'm happy with how it happened, because, shoot, who knows who I would have been playing with. I'm happy I'm playing with Drew Brees. Not to knock anybody else, but I'm happy it happened like this."
You kind of talked about how you're comfortable coming out of the slot. I guess how much do you really emphasize, you know, working on, you know, catching the ball and just being available to get the ball in your hands any way they can give it to you?
"That's been my message since I got here, just do whatever I can to help the team win. So being in the slot, lining up out wide, whatever I have to do. It's a lot of information, but it is what it is. As many ways as I can get the ball, be a decoy or whatever. If it makes the concept work, then it is what it is."
Obviously, you guys would have rather had Mike (Thomas) out there for all these games. But is there possibly a silver lining that not having him there, maybe forced other guys to step up and for everyone to become a little bit more comfortable and confident in what they're doing?
"Yeah, I think that's with any injury, I'm not just talking about Mike (Thomas). If anybody goes down, it's a heightened sense of awareness. It's like, man, I have to step up. And I think we got the type of team to where if somebody goes down, it's not really like a scramble or a mad dash to find who's next. Guys are preparing every day to be ready. Mike went down, unfortunately, and guys stepped up and had to fill his spot. It is what it is. It's like, our league is 100% injury rate. So it's not about if an injury is going to happen, it's when, so we are prepared for that. It is something we prepare for. It is what it is."
Have you seen Tre'Quan (Smith) come into his own a little bit more maybe this year than he was before?
"Yeah, definitely. It just comes with experience, I think. He's gotten more experience. He's feeling good. He's more tuned into these concepts, alignments, assignments. It is like, each year you get into this, each year you have in this league, it's like you kind of like, knock off some of the little things. When you're a young player you're worried about where you got to line up, you're worried about if you really know what you're doing on a play, but it's kind of like now he's coming into his own. He knows what to do. You know, it's just to go through it. All he has left is to do it."
Can you describe what you saw in that fourth down play last week. And do you like getting those opportunities to take those, like kind of shot plays downfield?
"Yeah. We ran it all week. Sean (Payton) was like, I'm going to call it, we are going to call it. So when he called it, I knew, well, it is probably going to work. We received the look we wanted. And Drew (Brees) threw a perfect ball. I just had to be in the right spot for Drew to be able to get that ball (to me). Anytime we get to convert on fourth down, I think it is big because that is probably the most annoying thing I think for defense to deal with. Like you got a team 4th and whatever, 4th and 1, 4th and 3, 4th and 15. It don't matter. If you can't stop them on 4th down, It's like it's disheartening. So I like taking the wheel."
Offensively you've been like really, really good on 4th in the last couple years, especially. It's something like two-thirds, your fourth down conversions you're making so, is that just like aggressiveness on Sean's (Payton) part? What do you think that is?
"I think Sean sometimes he gets in those modes like, man I am going for it, I don't care. And you know, we like that, you know. I think I'll take us to go for it on fourth down. I'll take us to get it, you know, if it's out of five times. I'll take us four out of five to get a 4th down conversion. But I'll leave that up to Sean (Payton). It is on his part."
You talked about injuries a little bit earlier. And one guy that's been playing a lot the past couple years is Nick Easton, filling in for guys with injuries. How important has he been to your success?
"Man, Nick (Easton). I mean, Nick, is funny beccause his energy like, he has like this thing about him like, his energy is noticeable, very noticeable. You can tell when he's in the huddle, you can tell. He's annoying guys on the defense. The ref is always telling him, hey 62, you cannot do that. You cannot finish him like that. So he's like, hey, he tried to do it to me. I'm like, Nick relax. He just brings that element to that line of resiliency and toughness. He goes and gets it, does what he is asked to do, plus some. So just having him there, he's a great asset for our offense."