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Transcript - James Hurst Conference Call 12/3/20 | Week 13 at Falcons

New Orleans Saints offensive linemen James Hurst talks about the Saints’ offensive line and the game plan for the Saints Week 13 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 6, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Tackle James Hurst 
Video Conference With Local Media
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Just walk us through what last week was like for you? Just kind of getting the notice on short notice that you were going to be playing for Terron Armstead?
"Yeah, it's 2020 I guess, is the short answer. No, I was going to be ready. We've known that all year, every team's going through those kind of, you know, situations. So, it's part of the season this year. It's part of what I do, I try to prepare like you're going to start every week, regardless of COVID. So, yeah, you kind of take it in stride. You do whatever you can. And at least I got one day to really know that I was going to be starting here and prepare and be ready."

It hasn't just been you that's kind of had to, you know, jump in and fill in different roles on the offensive line. Just how has, you know, the other guys or the coaches, how does that help prepare for these types of situations? Not even just for you, but for like the whole line?
"I think our coaches do a great job of preparing us. We have got a lot of versatile guys, we have got a lot of guys that have played, started a lot. So that is always a big bonus. But, our coaches do a great job, making sure everyone understands the game plan, everyone understands contingencies, if you will. You know, if a guy goes down, here's who going in, here's what's going on. So, everyone knows that, before the game, everyone's prepared in that aspect. But, at the end of the day, you just go out and you play football. We've got a lot of great guys, a lot of great players. So, it's a good group. And we've handled some situations well so far."

It wasn't just you filling in as a starter this week, Nick Easton, right next to you filling in for Andrus (Peat), who was out with a concussion? What is your chemistry like with him?
"It's good. Actually, his rookie year out in Baltimore, we spent training camp together. So, I kind of knew him a little bit before here. But, he's a great guy to work with. He prepares hard, (and) he communicates really well. He is a guy you definitely want to play next to. So, I was really lucky to have him next to me, communicating, helping me out on any questions, getting everything straight before the game started. So it was fun, we had a good time, I love playing next to him."

With the amount of jumbo you guys played, has that kind of helped things out when you have to slide in there, just because you have game reps playing that?
"Yeah, I think so. Anytime you can get game experience, even if it's at a little different position, you're still playing football. And it still helps you to, you know, keep your eye on the whole picture, what the defense is doing, how they're moving, how they're responding to, how we line up and what plays we're running. So, anytime you can get in there, any position, it's going to have you be a little more prepared, a little more ready for when you go in there full time."

For you this offseason, just knowing that you had that suspension coming into the year, what was your kind of mindset, like after training camp, knowing that you were going to have to wait a couple months or a month, I guess, to kind of actually make your mark on this team?
"It was really tough. Because, one thing you knew was coming down the pipe. So, training camp you really just had to get after it. Go hard every single day and knowing that you're going to have four weeks, where you're not allowed to help the team. So that was tough, but it made me excited, obviously, to come back and want to prove myself. And show that I can help the team be a better team overall. So, it was tough. But, I was really glad when it was over. But, yeah, I feel like we made the most of it."

Yeah, I know, obviously, the goal is to get the win. But, when you guys see the running game, having the kind of success it's had the last couple of weeks, just how much pride do you take in that as an offensive lineman?
"Yeah, that's definitely a huge part of our game. It's what we want to do, you know, the run game, you're the aggressor. You're going downhill against the defense. And we can do it with success. It's just so exciting. So exciting to be a part of a team that's been able to do it well, pretty consistently. And we take pride in continuing that. So we know we got a big challenge this week. We just played the team a week ago. So, to come back and know, we have a challenge, a division game (is big). But, we're excited about where it's been. And we're excited about keeping it going."

You go against this defense, you know, your defense, every day in practice. So, in practice, what do you see from Trey Hendrickson and how he's kind of progressed from the start of training camp to now?
"Yeah, he's a guy that's always worked hard. This is the only year obviously that I've been with them and practicing against them in particular. But, every single day he comes to work. And you kind of figured that, the way he works, the way he prepares, is going to pay off. So far, he's having a really great year. But, at the end of the day, when you prepare and you work as hard as someone like Trey (Hendrickson) does, it's going to pay off. So, really happy to see that for him. And obviously, hope that continues."

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