New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook
Video Call with Local Media
Monday, October 19, 2020
I'm sure the bye came at a good time, but whenever Mike Thomas is able to get back, and you've had time to get a little healthier, and seems like Emmanuel Sanders has gotten used to the offense, how excited are you guys for how close this offense will finally be to being in rhythm with a complete cast of characters?
"It's always good when you can get guys back that you were missing and you can be able to click on all cylinders. I think it'll be good and kind of a good test for all of us coming back and coming back full speed just to kind of see where we're at, not only in the game on Sunday, but also this week. It gives you an opportunity to get reps with the guys that you're accustomed to working with and just continue to get better with those guys and learn your timing with Drew (Brees)."
Was there any one thing you guys wanted to work on in particular in the bye or even focus on after that kind of break?
"The most important thing was kind of a self-evaluation of where we are now and in comparison to where we should be as a team. And we realized some of the ones we let go and some of the plays we let go, we are a lot better than that. And we are a lot better team than we displayed on a lot of different drives that we have had thus far throughout the season. At this point, it's about getting better from those things we already self-evaluated on, and learning how not to make the same mistake over again. I think it came at the right time. I think it kind of, like we talked about before, it got guys a chance to get their legs back up under them a little bit more, kind of get rested. But at the same time just kind of reevaluate the season and how it's gone thus far."
How close do you feel like you guys are to achieving that level in some of those things you located? And are they easy fixes? Are they deeper seeded problems? What's the process there?
"That's always kind of hard to tell. Coach (Payton) said it perfectly last week, 'We're still in search of that perfect game, right?' You're always in search of that perfect game to where all three phases are clicking, offense, defense, special teams, guys aren't making mistakes, and everybody's just kind of playing lights out. You never know when that's going to happen and you always continuously prepare for that. But things happen in the game quite often you just have no control over or that are out of your control. You are always searching for that perfect game. And once you get the one perfect game, you always want to continue to have one and kind of stack them and back to back so you're always clicking as a team. I think we're still searching for that. And I think even once we have that perfect game, good teams never rely on that perfect one or are satisfied with that perfect one. They continue to search out for an even better game they can have so I think we're still searching for that."
Is it weird to be talking about it like in this tone and through this prism when you guys are averaging over 30 points a game? Is it that bad when you're scoring that many points?
"No, I don't think it's weird. I just think that's the nature of the league. I think a lot of teams are putting up points this year. A lot of teams are playing pretty good offensively. And I think what really matters is the guys in this building, in the locker room offensively to know never be satisfied and where can you always improve and get better. I think it's more about the guys on this team and in this locker room, because that is how you are really going to get better each and every week going into Sundays."
Was the bye spent any differently for you this year than in years past just with some of the rules and whatnot about where you could go or what you could do this year?
"They gave us a pretty thin line on the things we could do. It was quite uneventful. A week off or a few days off is a blessing in itself, but just uneventful just in the way that we still have to be here every day for COVID testing, we still have stick around, there are fines if you miss a COVID test, so guys really aren't able to sway too far, which can also sometimes could be a good thing. But it was a little bit because my family's not down here right now. So it's tough on weeks like this, you get to see them for a few days and then they go back instead of taking a trip with him somewhere and taking them out. COVID has really kind of put a damper on quite a lot of things. But if we want to continue to season, if we want to continue to ball, those are the sacrifices that we have to make. So it wasn't a lot of eventful things going on. Just kind of hung around and spent time with the fam."
At least they got to come in for a few days though.
"Absolutely. My kids are ready to tear up the house over boredom a little bit. But the fact that I got a chance to get my hands on them and hug them and spend time with them, you can't buy that anywhere else."
Was there anything different from Teddy (Bridgewater) than some of the other quarterbacks you've worked with? Is there any aspect of his personality that you just don't see in other guys who play the position?
"Teddy's positivity and energy he brings to practice and work everyday's unmatched. Always positive, always on to the next play, always happy man. I think what Teddy went through in Minnesota, it was unfortunate and terrible. But I think it also made Teddy an even better person, just from his outlook on life and positive activity. Because once he stepped into the huddle, a lot of times he brought that positivity with him. No matter what was going on through those five games last year, when Teddy stepped in the huddle it was all business, and he just had a sense that everything was going be okay. Even though everybody around us was panicking, the whole world was worried about what was going to happen without Drew (Brees), when Teddy stepped in there, it was just such a positive vibe, and it was just all, everything was going up. That's who Teddy is and I think his past experiences have helped him become that type of leader to where, just trust in me, things will be alright. I think he definitely has the arm and physical and mental attributes to continue to do that and keep playing well. He definitely deserves it."
Maybe this is like reading into things a little bit too much and you guys probably feel this way for a lot of guys who get big contracts to go elsewhere, but it seemed like everybody was really, really happy for him to get that opportunity, get the big pay day after everything you went through, even if he's going to be the quarterback for a division rival.
"Yeah, absolutely. I think his life alone is kind of what this league stands for and kind of what a lot of guys go through in terms of the battle of time and the battle of injury, versus being out here on the field. And that's about resilience. I think through his life's story, and through the things he went through with him still being able to come out on top and conquer and be successful to be where he's at now, I think that's kind of the story of most players in this league of being resilient and fighting to where you want to get and never taking no for an answer. We're all happy for him, of course, he definitely deserves it, for sure."
Did you have any opinions about playing in Tiger Stadium if it came to it? I know that it would be a change of scenery to maybe be playing in front of 25,000 fans, just how do you feel about all this and how has this circulated this week?
"This morning was kind of the first time I've heard about it. It was just kind of like on a pass by type situation in the locker room going out of practice just now. I'm not really sure. It'll definitely be a different vibe if that does become the case. Playing at home, there's nothing like it, but the chance to be able to play in front of fans, I think it'd be pretty cool as well. A little change up."