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Transcript - Alvin Kamara Conference Call 9/17/20 | Week 2 vs. Raiders

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara talks about how important special teams can be and the preparations for Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara
Video Call
Thursday, September 17, 2020

After looking back through the tape from the Buccaneers game, what was kind of your assessment of where you guys were at offensively? And was there maybe some stuff that you guys could have hit on that that just didn't hit for whatever reason that game?
"I think, overall, we've just got to start faster. I think we played with good energy as the game got going, but just starting, first game, working out some kinks, but just start faster. Try to be more detailed in the things that we're trying to get going. We got a win, but it was a lot we had to clean up. So, got that done."

We don't know if Michael (Thomas) is going to play or not, but just playing without him, the impact he has on the offense, you all did it last year without Drew (Brees), you did it last year without you, just maybe the potential that Michael may not be there and the roles that other guys will have to accept?
"Every week, we're only on week one, but every week guys are ready to play. (It's) unfortunate with Mike (Thomas). We don't know the status, but it's a next man up mentality. Guys in practice they're working hard. Everybody takes pride in knowing what to do in case somebody goes down, Drew went down last year, I went down, it is what it is. You've got to keep moving."

Just being around Deonte Harris and seeing what he can do, his unique skill set, they have him out there in the wild cat with you. What are some of the things that that you've seen from him that he can bring to this offense with the creativity and the play calling and all that?
"He's just one of those dudes (where) you want to get the ball in his hands. He's special, fast player, getting smarter as he's in this league longer. He's explosive so, just finding ways to get him the ball, finding ways to get him more involved I think would be good for him, good for our offense."

You got Dwayne (Washington) back at practice today. How big is that for your room and for special teams to finally get him back at practice?
"Man, it is good. That is my dog. So, (we) definitely missed him. He had to deal with the (COVID) protocol and stuff like that, but he's back, he looked good, knocking some rust off a little bit. Big for special teams, he contributes there just as much as anybody and in in our room. When one of you guys is gone it's kind of like, you look back and you're looking at his seat like dang, man, I want Dwayne here. So, it's good to have him back. Hopefully get everything cleaned up this week and be able to go out there on Monday and do what he's got to do."

It's the first game in Las Vegas on Monday, primetime setting, kind of a historic event, just wondering if that has any meaning for you or you guys as the visiting team there?
"It's a Monday night game, I guess. It's a new stadium, but I play in New Orleans. So, I don't really care about that. I've got an opponent to prepare for. I'm not really worried about the scenery or the venue."

We've talked a lot about the COVID protocols throughout the year. But as a guy as a player, you guys have routines, going on the road with the new protocols, has that crossed your mind at all? Is that something you're even worried about?
"Everybody has their routines, we go on the road, some guys like to go get dinner, some guys meet with their families, people come to the hotel, things like that. With the world we're living in, with the climate we're in, it's just something that we can't do right now. It's an adjustment for everybody, coaches and everybody. So, we've just got to be disciplined in what the protocol asks and I think we're doing a good job as a team of doing that. It's a lot of veteran guys and we've got one goal in mind. To protect that goal, we have got to do what we have got to do. That means following the protocol."

We always hear about how much of a three phase game it is, and you have been around this team long enough to have seen special teams play really well in a lot of games. How much of a pick me up is it when you see those guys do what they do? And I guess especially when they're able to do it in a game like Sunday when it became so critical?
"Man, special teams I think is probably like, the most important part of the game. Those guys bring a lot of energy. It's easy to fall asleep on that I think what other teams (treat it), but our guys take pride in it. They treat it, like, as an offensive play or a defensive play, it's another play to help this team reach its goal. I think we feed off that, I'm locked into special teams like I am out there. It's good to see them playing well and having fun out there."

Just without the fans in there, does that enable you to kind of take advantage of some stuff that maybe you wouldn't otherwise do like with the hard counts and stuff? I saw you hyped up after Drew Brees got that fourth down call.
"It was just in the midst of the game, just hype because we walk in the huddle in a situation like that and I was hyped because I knew we were going to get them to jump and it happened so I'm like, yeah. But I think it's just weird because you can hear everything so it might affect the defense a little bit more because they're so ready and they're locked in because they feel like they can hear everything and once Drew gives that hard count, they're ready to go."

Does that make it tougher for you not to jump on the hard count and force you to be more disciplined?
"I don't think so because we know what's coming. We break the huddle and we're like don't move. I think it's more so for the defense because they're anticipating. Right when they feel like they can hear it so well that they like oh, let's go. They flopped out."

I might be reaching here, but with some of the stuff you did this offseason to remake your build now, it looked like you were really fast out there. Do you feel like you got any faster coming into the season?
"Yeah, I feel like I did. I think like I said, Sunday, I felt like it was a little slow, offensively, for me. But you've just got to stay locked in in the game and keep moving to do whatever we have got to do to win. I feel faster. I feel good. Same thing this offseason working with my trainers. Working with Sharif (Tabbah), with (Andreu) Swayey and just trying to keep (at my) craft and keep finding ways to get better. It's paid off this year, every year and especially this year coming off an injury. I feel back to normal. I forgot what it felt like to play healthy (last season). So, (I'm) definitely excited about that moving forward."

Any thoughts or surprise on seeing Drew Brees' passing yardage relatively low in that game? If in addition to that, there's a couple guys out that normally aren't in the receiver core, what do you view as the team's ability to adapt to that considering people like you and Jared (Cook) are also out there catching balls?
"I'm not worried about Drew's passing. Like we've been saying, I think a couple people said it after the game, including Sean (Payton), including myself, I think we just had a slow offensive day just kind of working some of the kinks out, getting re-locked in on the details. It's game one so those are when some of those mistakes happen, but thankfully we were able to win. We got it cleaned up and these guys stepping up, obviously, we've got new guys, we've got young guys, we got guys that are, yeah, like I said, new guys. They're locked in, they know what's going on, they know what they have to do, they're focused, we're focused on details, a lot of details this week, and they'll will be ready to do what they've got to do. Step up and assist Drew. I'm not worried about his passing yards. He's going to do what he has to do."

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