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Transcript - Terron Armstead Conference Call 12/30/20 | Week 17 vs. Panthers

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead talks Week 16 performance against Minnesota prior to the Saints regular season finale against the Carolina Panthers on January 3, 2021.

New Orleans Saints T Terron Armstead
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The rushing numbers this year are significantly better. I mean, significantly better than they've been the last few years and it's a lot of the same personnel. What do you attribute as the biggest difference? It's got to be more than just a commitment to doing it, right? I mean, what are you guys doing better this year, just running the ball than you have maybe over the last two or three years?
"Definitely that commitment to doing it, that's a big part of it. Execution, being more sound with our assignment, alignment, executing better. A number of reasons. And it's something we have to continue to do. That is a part of our game, part of our makeup. So we're looking to be successful going into this weekend and into the postseason. That's extremely important for us."

Is it one of those things where it sort of feeds on itself? I counted in this last game you had 15 runs of seven yards or more, which is absurd. Like, is it one of the things where once it gets going, it feeds on itself?
"Yeah, the run game, it's a lot of different variables that goes into being able to sustain a run game. If you get behind early, it's kind of hard to do that. Third down, you're not converting on third down, it's kind of hard to have those rushing attempts. So a lot of variables that go into that. So our job is to when we get those opportunities to try to make the best of them, the most of them, to try to encourage Coach (Payton) to keep calling them."

Almost a week removed from the Christmas Day game, but obviously a dominant performance by you. Coach Payton said it was probably one of your better games in the last several years, how would you rate your game Christmas Day?
"I think I did some things well. I had some impact blocks. But still some areas of improvement for sure. Some things that I want to clean up and get better at. And that's the goal going into this week and into the playoffs. I think everybody, we've just got to be fully committed, our mindset has got to be focusing on dominating and taking over game so that's what we're looking to do on a weekly basis. So myself, I got a ton of things to improve on and get better at. I'm going to do everything I can to do that."

How much of an adrenaline rush was it for you to have your teammates hyped up the way they were with the way you were playing?
"It's great, the energy, that's what we feed off that energy. And so however we can create that and keep that going, that momentum is huge for us. That's something that I always try to bring. Try to bring that energy, that excitement, having fun out there, really. It's a game, so we're out there just trying to have the most fun and it's always fun when you're winning."

What have you seen from that Carolina defense? How they may be grown or changed since the first matchup you guys played them this year?
"They play fast, they play really fast, and they take the ball away. And that's always a key attribute of a defense. You're getting your hands on a ball, you're getting the ball back to your offense. That's the sign of a good defense. So those guys play extremely hard, extremely fast and we've got to do a great job of protecting the ball."

Obviously, a lot of young guys, have you seen them kind of mature as you look at them on film?
"Yeah. The first round pick, (Derrick) Brown. He's an exceptional player. You can see how he's progressed. (Brian) Burns. I think Burns is a really good player too, phenomenal player. A lot of speed, athleticism. As a collective defense, like I said, they hard, they play fast and they create turnovers."

(Nick) Easton and Andrus (Peat) were full participants in practice today so that's obviously good news. But when you can play six different starting lineups and still play as dominantly as you as you have been this season, just how beneficial is that for you just knowing there isn't much of a drop off between the first starting lineup?
"Yeah, man, I think our depth is incredible, honestly. Just looking at the guys that we have sitting, they can all start and unfortunately at times with injuries or COVID or whatever those guys had to come in and they've been great haven't missed a beat and it's not by accident. These guys put the work in, put the time in. Yeah, so I think our depth is incredible and front office does a really great job of bringing (those guys in)."

James Hurst specifically, I mean, he played a couple games for you and then played a couple games at guard last week. How beneficial has his versatility been specifically?
"James is great. Not even just as a player like James in the locker room, the experience he brings, the knowledge he brings. James is exceptional in meetings, film study. He's great at picking up keys and small little details, which is extremely beneficial. For him on the field, he was an exceptional player in Baltimore and he's been nothing but great for us since he stepped in the door."

First did AK get you guys anything special after y'all hooked him up with a huge game?
"No, we're just doing our job."

Second thing, do you take any satisfaction in playing that dominant of a physical game, week 16? For you, especially just knowing that you've dealt with injuries in the past, it looks like you're healthy out there right now playing a big game at the right time.
"Just trying to win. That's the goal. That's the ultimate goal, just trying to win. So anything that I can do to create and it's just always a great feeling when you're running back comes off your block. I'm not going to sugarcoat that at all. Like, being the one that the running back he hits. Right where you just misplaced the guy, that's a great feeling for sure. You see somebody like AK (Alvin Kamara) take it 60 at any moment. So you want to be that guy to create that lane and all five of us, or six when we're in jumbo, all six of us are trying to be that one to create that lane. And just that excitement, having fun and that will to win has been a big for us where we have to maybe even turn it up some more these last several weeks."

What have been your impressions of Emmanuel Sanders influence on the team and its success this season? I know it hasn't always been statistical, but maybe in other ways.
"I am a huge Emmanuel Sanders fan. Huge. Like the guy is, he is great. Like I just sit back and watch his routes, the way he goes about his business. He's extremely professional. He hasn't always had the big numbers week in and week out, but that's never a problem. He's a guy who's had a ton of success in his career, and has been a number one in several, several seasons. So I'm just a huge fan of Emmanuel. I love what he brings to the team as a person, as a player. We're blessed to have him."

I apologize if I asked you about this in the last couple weeks, but a big a role do you think Coach Dan (Roushar) and (Brendan) Nugent play in the continuity you guys have had and how would you kind of compare contrast their styles as coaches?
"Yeah, just speaking on that depth, a lot of that is development and that is coaching. The way they are extremely detailed and know what they want to see from us. And just try to make sure we go put our best foot forward every week. Not never taking the game for granted or rep for granted. And that is hard to do over a course of the season. Having two coaches that stay on you about that's extremely beneficial for us. Their styles are different. Dan is a, he likes to take things a lot slower. Long meetings, repetitive, but he's ingraining. Nugent more so on the field, walkthrough. Things like that. Dan would sit in meetings for hours. Like if he can, like if he can keep us in there all day than Dan will do that. For me, I've been in the same offense for a while now bro, I've got to go to the bathroom or something. I've got to get out of here."

Can you speak to how big getting the bye would be in and do you think that knowing how beat up you guys were last year around this time that that contributed to what happened in the playoffs?
"Yeah, I mean the bye is definitely huge. You're taking away a game and it's the NFL. Any given Sunday could be your last one. It's not like the NBA series has got seven games and most likely the best team would advance. One day, you get a couple turnovers, you never know. So just having that one less game, that's huge. Resting up, getting everybody back healthy. We're missing the offensive player of the year so having another week for him that'd be great and other guys as well. So the bye is a big deal, but we can't control that unfortunately. So what we've got to do is get ready to go."

I'm sure you saw all of the praise that you were getting on social media. You were quote blocking guys into the concession stand as a Ryan Ramczyk called it. How cool was that for you just like knowing that offensive linemen don't always get the accolades and the praise for the work that they do?
"For sure, we play a thankless position, most of the time. A lot of the love we get is from inside of the building, the players, the running backs, quarterbacks. Most of the time we get our name called for holding or giving up a sack and all that good stuff or bad stuff. But no, it was great. It was great to get some love on some blocks. But it's all about winning. It's all about winning and creating, try to create AK (Alvin Kamara), (and) Latavius (Murray). Those guys don't need much. The more we can do the better."

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