New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Coach Payton was telling us yesterday about the conversation you guys were having coming off the field at half time and you kind of suggested a specific run that you might be in favor of in the second half. What did you see on the previous play that bounced you off of that? And is that something that occurs between you and he fairly often or somewhat often or how often does that occur?
"Yeah, so I called the play (laughter). But no man, I'm always in tune. That's something I've been doing since I got here, just try to stay in tune. Like even with Drew (Brees), I ask him what he's seeing during the game. I ask everybody what they're seeing. I will even ask Jameis (Winston), like, what are you seeing? Because I don't have an ego in this, there's people that know more than me, but as long as I can kind of stay in their pocket like I feel like I know a lot. That look on that keeper play, it was a designed keep. Obviously, Taysom faked the ball to me, and I saw the whole part with that motion. Nobody was really worried about that backside. And I'm like, man, so when Sean asked me what plays I like, I'm like man, let's run in the same motion. Let's go 15 Weak F instead of the keeper. So he dialed it up at the right time we got back down in that same kind of area and scored. I was coming off and he was like, 'You called that play?' And I was like yeah, you damn right. It's cool because Sean doesn't really have an ego, if there's an idea that somebody has that he thinks could work he listens."
Just how validating was that he not only put that play in for you, but you scored on it too?
"I knew I was going to score. That's what I told him. But I mean, it's cool for me because it kind of backs up what I see. And I'm like, 'Okay, I know I'm not tripping, I see this look.' And then when I tell him and then he calls it and then we score it's like, 'Okay, I've got some money in the bank now, I might be able to call a couple plays in the game.'"
The offensive line, pretty much the whole team has dealt with injuries and the depth has really come through for you guys. I was wondering if you think there's a correlation between the depth you guys have built and the culture of the locker room and just the organization in general?
"I think it's the culture of our organization. And I was talking to somebody about this the other day, like, everybody in our locker room has a role and I think that it shows every Sunday, even like, we talk about injuries and just things happen, and I think we're more equipped than any other organization that I see to be able to withstand some of these bumps and bruises and this adversity. I haven't been anywhere else. But I mean, from talking to other people that have been multiple places, they're like, man, you are a well-oiled machine and it's the best run organization that I've seen and this and that. I mean, I think we all know we have a great coach, great locker room, great front office, great everything here great. We just want to play for each other. Everybody has a job to do. Everybody has a role. So if somebody goes down, it's next up."
Coach Payton told us the story the other day about your private workout when you were at Tennessee and what an impression that made on the organization. What are your memories of that day?
"That day, I was not planning on working out and I was very adamant about not working out. So that morning, we met up at the facility, went in the film room, knocked that out, and I'm going downstairs and I think a couple of my teammates were working out and I was going into the weight room actually to lift because I still had been training and doing stuff just trying to stay ready. Jeff Ireland comes up to me, he's like, Sean (Payton) wants to see you workout and whatever. I'm like, well, at this point, I don't know who Sean is. I mean, I know who Sean Payton is, but I don't know him personally. So I'm like, I don't care, like I'm not trying to work out. I'm good. But then Sean says I want to see you work out and I'm like (expletive) man. Alright, so I go running to the equipment room real quick, ask my equipment manager Hawk, I'm like man, let me get some cleats and gloves real quick man. At this point, I don't care, I'm like the Saints want to see me work out, I don't know why. Hawk you know man, I'm trying to just get to the draft as quick as I can. So he gives me some cleats and gloves, I go out there, I don't even stretch. He's like I want you to run this, this and he's explaining this stuff. I'm like come on, man, I got this, like, come on. I want you to run an arrow, I want you to run a shallow cross, but I want to see you catch it with your hands. Yeah, okay, I got you, whatever. We get through it and he's like, alright, good thanks. And I'm like, man, I just worked out for these dudes. I told myself I wasn't working out and I worked out and then obviously I ended up getting drafted here so I guess that's the difference. If I didn't work out I might not be here."
Well, I was going to say Coach (Payton) left that meeting wanting to target you in the draft. Did you get a good feeling about it at all?
"I was mad that I worked out. I don't know. I don't even think anything of it. So when I got drafted when it was like okay, New Orleans Saints select me, I'm like dang. So then I'm putting it together, I'm like, okay, that was probably the best decision to go ahead and work out."
Tre'Quan Smith I feel like every time I'm watching one of your big runs, he's making a big block downfield. He had a really big one on your touchdown run. How important is that to what you do? And just how much do you appreciate that as a teammate?
"Appreciate it to the upmost. Tre does not really say too much. That job is unglorified like a receiver that is able to block well. He is in there and not only does he have to play receiver, catch the ball, run down the field, come back and do it again. You might not get the ball, but we are running inside zone and he has got to go crack the end or he has got to go block the linebacker, and he's not only doing it, but doing it well and consistently. That is somebody we lean on in our offense to be able to get the job done and he does it. He doesn't complain you don't complain. It eases my mind to look and know Tre'Quan is right there and he's going to be able to get a block and he's going to get the job done. I'm not even worried about him, when I look out there and see him I know it's good. He might not get enough credit for it, but he knows he's appreciated."
Demario (Davis) was named your team's nominee for Man of the Year. Just how special has he been not only just in the locker room as a leader on the field, and then doing all of the things that he's done off the field, too?
"When I talk about guys, just talking about Demario, exclude the football field. We know all the things he does on football field, I'm talking about off the field. Dude is a family man, great father. Man, like you said, he is a nominee for Man of the Year. I mean, he practices what he preaches day in and day out. Somebody you can talk to, count on to give you some guidance and just give you some pointers in life. I'm leaving out the football like I said. He's just great person to talk to, outstanding individual and he deserves that for sure. And I mean, I know there's times I've talked to him about a plethora of things and just his insight and his standpoint on certain issues and topics is very interesting. Somebody that is the definition of a role model for sure."
It almost feels unfair to ask you about these two guys back to back, but can you tell me your best Malcolm Jenkins story or what stands out about him?
"Malcolm is an interesting dude. It's funny because right before I came over here doing media, me and somebody were just talking about Malcolm, but, he's kind of like the same type of guy like Demario, but he's a little bit different in that his stances are so strong and he has such a strong personality, strong ideals and strong viewpoints. It may be awkward to some people, but he's so comfortable in navigating the space that he's in and he's comfortable with himself. He doesn't bite his tongue and that's something I admire, because that's kind of like how I view myself. It is what it is, either you like it or you don't. So, there's something to admire about that because you have to definitely be at one with yourself. But again, Malcolm's very respected. I think, man, just he's making a difference off the field. Like I said, I'm not even talking about the football player Malcolm, I'm talking about the person, the man. He's definitely a stand up man."