New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Opening Remarks from Mike Triplett (ESPN):
"Alvin, we vote every year on our media appreciation award winner. Whoever helps us do our job the best, gives us good answers, good insight and you were the winner this year. So congratulations, and thank you for playing ball with us."
"I appreciate that! Where's my trophy at?"
"I think Nick Underhill is working on that. He's putting something together in his
Shed right now."
"Alright Nick, if I don't get my trophy I know who to talk to."
I also wanted to ask you a couple of things. First of all, did you get that letter from the Grinch yet?
"No, Shy Tuttle and I were right next to each other and he just asked me too and I was like, I didn't get a fine yet. So I guess they were being nice this year. I didn't get anything for Christmas, I guess I count that as my Christmas gift."
I noticed you retweeted what Son of a Saint put out so you are kind of aware. Did you think that was cool how people were donating to the charity that you helped win some fantasy championships for?
"Yeah, I mean, people, they're strong about this fantasy football throughout the whole year, like I'm talking about, they want you to play, I don't even want to echo some of the stuff that they message and say and tweet and stuff like that. But it's just good to see people keep their word and they're willing to donate. I guess, I don't know how much people play fantasy football for. I've never played it. But I guess it's a good thing that they're willing to donate and keep their word. I mean, it's going to a good organization. So just blessed to be able to help Son of a Saint at the same time."
One of the first pictures we see of you after the game is you on a bike with some kids downtown. Maybe how many days after the game was that? And what led you to do that?
"Oh, so that was it, we played Friday, that was on Saturday. So I'm building a juice bar right on St. Charles (Ave.) and I always see these kids like riding around, riding bikes and they kind of stopped and asked me what I was doing. So I was kind of telling them, give him some info. And then I was asking them about the bikes. So they were like these are SE Big Flyers, they were telling me about the bikes, how much they cost and this and that, and I am like, dang. So one of the kids he had like this a regular mountain bike and the other two had the nice bike, like the SE Big Flyer. So I am like, I have some cash on me. I am about to pay one of my workers that was finishing some stuff up for me in the juice bar. And I'm like, 'Hey, how much does that bike cost?' He started telling me and I just gave him the money. I'm like, 'Man, next time I see you, you better have one of these bikes. Go buy one of these.' The other kid let me ride it because I was like man, let me see what's so special because they did not have those bikes when I was younger. We just had the bike we just throw on the curb and go in the house. Like they don't want to lose these bikes. They've got a whole kit in their book bag to tighten screws. I am like, 'Man, this is serious.' And they were trying to get me to pop wheelies. I could not pop any wheelies. I told him I'm going to get a bike and ride with him. So now I've got to find it, find a way to go get some bikes. I talked to Toddy Lyons. I guess he's the owner of like the SE bike company and I talked to him and he said he'll get me hooked up. So I guess I'll be in a bike club this offseason."
You've had a couple of days to sort of let Christmas day soak in, what does it kind of mean to you now that you've had a chance to kind of reflect on those six touchdowns in the historical aspects of it?
"It's definitely history. I am blessed to be able to do it in a city that I love with a team that I love. It's cool, but I'm like, and I'm being like completely honest, like I always say this and I think you have been dealing with me long enough. Like, I am always looking like, to the next. What's next? What more can I do? That is kind of like what I am looking for. I mean, it was cool, Christmas Day and all that. But as a team, we've got so much more to accomplish. That was fun for me. It was personal. It was whatever, I woke up the next day and I went to my other job. So it's cool, I do not want to downplay it and make it seem like it was not a great accomplishment because it was. I was more happy, like I was more happy about just sharing it with everybody. Guys were so excited for me like Drew (Brees). Sean (Payton) was excited, all those guys were excited. So it was cool."
Kind of knowing what you are going to say to this, but I think you are like 68 yards from a 1,000 yard rushing season. Would that mean anything to you to hit that mark?
"Yeah, I'm 68 away. My sister was telling me after the game, she's like, 'Yeah, you've got 68 more to 1,000.' I don't really look at the stats during the season I'm just like playing so much. Playing, playing, playing and then she told me that and I'm like, 'Alright, well, shoot if I get 68 yards I'll probably finally be like an elite running back. They say I never had a 1,000 yard season so if I get it, I get it. If not, it's whatever, we've got more stuff to do."
Terron Armstead has gotten a lot of love since that last game, a bunch of videos of him. How glad are you to see that? And just talk a little bit about Terron and what he means in the locker room and what he means on the field?
"Man, I don't even want to talk about the field, all of you see what he does on the field. Terron in the locker room, like he's one of those dudes, people gravitate towards him. He's like the upper in the locker room. I mean, he's a leader on the field, but off the field, he is just, probably just as much or more of a leader. Guys talk to him, come to him for anything, advice, to talk. Pre-COVID, he had guys over his house and we (would) go over there and kick it with him. To me he is kind of like another big brother. I have got a brother but, he's another like older brother in this football world for me. And man, he's just like, just an overall great human. Like, and I feel like I say that when you guys ask me about some of these dudes on his team. Like when you ask about Demario (Davis) and ask about Cam (Jordan) and Drew (Brees) like, man, we just got some great humans on this team that you like being around. I don't know how it is other places, but I like being here, being around the people that are here. He's just a great dude. But, to get back to the on the field, he is crushing people every week. I'm just happy they finally saw that, like, it was so prominent and he is just dragging dudes. He talks about it on the sideline, he's like I crushed him, he's like AK wait until you see the replay, I crushed him like, I'm killing them out there. I'm like, alright, he knows. And just as much as I'm running to the right, when I'm running to the left I know like I could close my eyes and probably run to the left and get 10 yards because I know Terron (Armstead) is going to do what he has to do. He always handles his business. So, happy he got his recognition. It's probably, I know they do like fines in the O-line room because, you know, that's not a glamorous job. So, when anybody gets any type of like recognition in the media or anything they fine each other. So, I'm probably, I'm going to fine for him being a star (laughter)."
Terron (Armstead) won the media award last year, by the way, so?
"Oh yeah, okay, well, I'm going to check the ledger and see if he got fined for that."
I wanted to ask you, going back to your 1,000 yards, last time you did that was back in Hutchinson. What do what do you remember about that 1,000 yard season you had?
"Man, I remember it. It was nothing like the NFL. I remember that. You know, but yeah, last time I did that I was at Hutchinson. And then before that, I guess high school, but definitely would be cool to get that. So I mean, I know Sean (Payton) is probably going to sit here and watch this after we do this. So, Sean (Payton), I need like 68 more yards. So, whatever he wants to do with that information, it's on you."
Six touchdowns, at some point do you start running out of celebrations? I mean, where do you go for your inspiration on those?
"Yeah, I don't know. I didn't even come up with the snow angels. I forgot who told me, I think like, I think either it was, I don't know who told me, there were like we're going to do snow angels. I'm like dead, I don't care whatever. I'm just like, alright, hopefully I get to six. But, I just started counting them like, you know, (Jared) Cook after the fourth one, he started counting four. The fifth one I got in there, the camera was right in front of me. It was (the) perfect, opportunistic situation, I am like alright, I'm going to count five. Snow angels came up. The first one, I do not even know what I did. But, that is a lot of touchdowns. That's the first time I've ever scored six touchdowns in a game. I don't even think I did that in high school and I was cold in high school."
I know we've asked you a few times about how Sean Payton has singled out your football intelligence and how rare it is at the position. I know he's compared to Marshall Faulk in that aspect, but when did that start for you? Is that how you approached football from a young age? You wanted to know all the X's and O's or is that something that came later?
"Yeah, so I'm going to be honest. So I'm going to answer this and this might give you some insight into how I think and like the real football IQ. So me, I don't like people saying s* to me, right. So, when we install something, I try to take the time to know what's going on before it's even installed. So, when it's installed, I already know, then it's just reinforced and then when I get on the field, and you know, Sean (Payton) might try to say something to me before, like the play like, hey, this is that one. I'm like, yeah, I got it already, I know it. So, it might be a little bit of, It is like pride for me. I'm like, man, I know what I'm doing, I don't need nobody saying nothing to me, unless I mess up and that's kind of rare, you know. You might have to ask Sean (Payton) about that because he thinks I mess up all the time. But, I take pride in like, knowing what I got to do. So, I think that's where, like, the, you know, the football IQ comes from, just trying to be ahead of the game. And then to shoot I play with Drew (Brees), he's like, I always watch him and how he dissects the game and dissect plays. And I always try to like, even during the game, and during practice and stuff, I always try to like, learn the plays, and I'll call them like, I'll call them out, like recite the plays when Drew is in the huddle and just try to know, alignments, assignments, everybody, everything. So, it makes the game easier. It makes it fun."
It's always been that way? Or there was a time when you did get corrected and you wanted to make that stop?
"It's kind of always been like that. But I think more so like in the NFL you're expected to know, like, nobody's sitting around babysitting you, like, alright, well, you got this, that. But in college and in high school and stuff, they kind of like try to run after you, babysit you and try to teach you after you already learned. So in college, that was not for me. They were like, man, you have to do this and that and I'm like, I have not done anything wrong yet. So, until I do something wrong, leave me alone."