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Transcript: Defensive tackle David Onyemata conference call - March 19, 2020

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle speaks to media following a new three-year extension

New Orleans Saints Defensive Tackle David Onyemata
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Have you allowed yourself to reflect on how crazy it is you didn't start playing football until kind of late in life and now you're signing a second NFL contract?
"It's still sinking in. It's still something that's sinking in for me right now. I haven't really had much time to reflect, but I'm happy to still be here with the Saints organization. That's something that's dear to me."

I know it's been a weird week everyone. What's this week been like for you? Where are you currently living right now? Have you been able to get out at all? Can you just talk about everything that's happened the past week or so?
"I'm here in New Orleans. I'm just taking precautionary measures that we've been told (to take). It's been really (crazy) just seeing the effects with what's going on with the coronavirus and trying to do as much as possible even though you're not (going to be able to do certain things). (You try to go) to the weight room. You should try and do certain things if it's maybe going to the park and running around and trying to stay as active as possible."

Do you have a weight room at your house or apartment? I just wonder if you had to get creative at all. We were asking Zach (Wood) earlier if he had started lifting things around the house because I know it's probably causing some people to have to alter their training routines quite a bit lately around here.
"No, I don't. I have just been doing certain work here with the bands. That is all of that right now. Just trying to make certain things work."

How much time do you spend with keeping up with what other teams are doing and the Saints and the players that are here now and we were here last year and now gone and new players? How much do you just keep up with all that?
"You definitely do. Everyone keeps an eye out during free agency and just sees what's going on. You keep an eye out for players you've played with. You definitely keep up with the news and everything out there."

Who are you looking forward to sacking the most, Tom Brady or Teddy Bridgewater (laughter)?
"Both (laughter). Whoever the quarterback is."

What did you think seeing Tom Brady come to the NFC South and Teddy Bridgewater going to a rival in the NFC South?
"It is a great division. It is definitely going to be a great competition going against those guys. Just being around Teddy and knowing what kind of person he is. It'll be great competing against those guys on the field."

How much interest did you get from other teams?
"I received a pretty decent amount of interest. There were a lot of teams out there, but just being here, knowing the culture around here, the foundation here is what pretty much kept me here with the Saints."

What is the area where you think you've grown most in the last couple of years?
"I'd say my perspective is…The way I think about the game is I go into every season with the same mindset. That's to improve on everything. I'm talking about the run game, the pass game and my effectiveness on the field. Every year you keep growing and growing and the older you get, the more understanding you get. That's kind of how I look at it."

Do you feel like you have more football growth to make as a pass rusher or in defending the run? Which one do you feel more comfortable in and then which one would you like to see more improvement in?
"I feel comfortable in both. I feel comfortable in those situations. There's always something new. There's always something you can learn. That's the approach I take to the game of football."

You mentioned on Instagram that after you signed that you felt you had unfinished business here. Can you expand on that?
"Looking at that the last few years and the main goal. The main goes is to win the Super Bowl and we've come up short the last couple of years. Having the guys here and having that mindset to actually achieve this goal of winning a Super Bowl."

Is it crazy to think back to when you were in Canada walking onto the football team that like you could be here making an NFL salary, a few years later from this game that you kind of picked up this just to fill time with?
"Coming from a guy who actually saw this whole thing started from the get-go, it is really huge. In 2011, if you would have asked anyone, if you would have asked me if this was going to happen, I don't know what I would have told you at that point."

Did you have any plans to go back to Nigeria this offseason or did you or were those plans effected by anything or your family's trip here or anything like that?
"No, I didn't even have a chance to go. I've been here the whole time I've been working on my green card. I've been kind of stuck in the U.S."

I'm sorry if I missed this, where have you been spending the offseason?
"I've been here. I haven't had the chance to go back just because I've been working on my green card, my immigration status. So until I got closer with that (I didn't want to leave the states)."

Did your family have any excuse come here?
"My family hasn't been here yet."

I'm curious, not only with the Coronavirus stuff, but also with the new CBA kind of going up against the start of free agency, was this experience any different from what you were kind of anticipating it would be?
"No, it wasn't. I tried not to think about it that much. You try not to think about the (specific) situation and just go with it."

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