New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook
Video Call with Local Media
Monday, November 2, 2020
How much did the weather just have an effect on the game yesterday as far as pretty much everything I guess. How much did that play a factor?
"I think it was definitely noticeable. The wind would kind of pick up at a higher rate, especially early in the game, the wind was kind of heavy. And then towards about the third quarter it kind of settled down a little bit, and then picked up a little bit into overtime. I thought it was going be a lot colder. But it's just one of those things, you've got to keep pushing through and fighting through, but definitely noticeable. Like I said, I thought it was going to be worse and I thought it was going to play a bigger impact than what it did."
We've seen the performances that Alvin Kamara has had this season, another big one for him yesterday. What does that do for your offense just to know that you have such a reliable weapon?
"Man, AK is dynamic. Definitely one of the best backs that I've ever played with. He can just do so many things and he's so versatile. Not only can he run the ball, he can hit between small gaps, but he can get out of the backfield, he can run (and) catch the ball. And he's a really good route runner. So he definitely brings an element to the game that we need in this offense in terms of switching it up and moving him around, getting him on linebackers when needed and getting him in an open space when we need it. That makes it hard for defenses to be able to guess what you're doing or to be able to guess what he's doing when you can be able to move that chess piece around like that. He is huge for us and he he's only going to help this offense continue to grow and keep going."
And because he's been such a good weapon in the passing game, does that help you personally in any way?
"It helps me out tremendously, because a lot of defenses were kind of able to play like a almost like a two to three man game, especially if I take two, he's able to come and be one on one underneath. And then vice versa as well. Sometimes we line him up on the outside or, or in the slot. And sometimes we get two on one balls because they're so worried about him. And like I said before, it's just hard for defenses to be right because if either one of us is left on a single-man matchup, then the defenses are going to be in trouble."
Yesterday Malcolm Jenkins told us that on a coin toss, some of the players convinced him to change from heads to tails. And so he went with tails. Were you one of the ones that convinced him to switch?
"No, I wasn't. But we were talking about that on the bus last night. Ever since I was was little, it's always tails never fail. So you always go with tails. It fell last night. We needed that."
Tomorrow, the NFL has the initiative where the facilities are closed. So people can sort of focus on voting. And I don't know how important is that you feel like if the league made that decision to do that, but can you talk about it?
"I think is incredibly important for people to get out and vote and people, especially people of color, to get out and vote. And I think it's important that the NFL has passed this on so many individuals (encouraging them to vote). I'm originally from Birmingham, Alabama (birthplace), so it's so many individuals, and I've grown up in my whole life (looking at historical figures), seeing these individuals that have fought and given their lives to be able to have the right to vote. (Learning about people) that have lost their lives just for simply just exercising a right that they should have as a citizen, to have an opinion on who the elected officials should be. And I think it's important for people to get out and exercise that right, because so many individuals gave their lives for that, right. And also, still to this day, we're experiencing a very important time where I feel like those times are kind of bubbling and brewing and being enticed. And I think it's important for people to go out and kind of change that narrative and change. This country is supposed to be on the up and up and it's supposed to be getting better and improving. And I just don't see that happening. So if you want change and if you want this country to keep improving and getting better, then you have to vote and vote right. And I think it's awesome that the NFL passed that initiative. And I think it's imperative that people get out there and actually vote."
On the second quarter touchdown, Drew Brees came back to you after missing you on the previous play. Can you speak on the trust you had and that Drew has in you?
"Yeah. Man, that look was a look that we did not expect them to give us all week. We knew the corner was going to be a factor once I came out of my break. And we knew that that throw was going to be a tight throw with a corner on my back. But we didn't necessarily anticipate in the middle of the field being wide open like that. So when I came out of my route, the safety I think he drove down on Alvin (Kamara). And I saw the field wide open. So instead I'm thinking a tight throw, this doesn't have to be a tight throw, we got all this room to work now. It was just a miscommunication of just studying film. Because originally, that's how the play was supposed to be drawn up. It was supposed to be a quick tight throw. But then we came back and we knew they were going to give us a similar coverage on the second one. If not, then we knew that Tre' Quan (smith) was going to be open. So once I came on my break, they just kind of did the same thing, left the middle of the field wide open. And once I stuck the corner, like I said, before, after film study all last week, we thought that the corner was going to be super tight on my back and it was going to be a like a contested throw. He kind of bit on the corner a little bit, kind of back pedaled And once I came out of it drew, put it right in the middle of the field, and there was nobody there."
I know that it's just another game and a lot of people will say that, but the fact that it's prime time, please, Brady (vs. Brees), it's for first place in the NFC South, the division, is there more to this game? Do you think they'll be a different feel for the preparation this week for the game next week? Just because it's potentially the biggest game your team will have played this season?
"It's definitely heightened. But, I think you hit on it before It's the next game right? All the games are important, especially right now. We're trying to get our record improved and getting better and continue to stack wins. So we know that we got a tough team that we're going to face and we know that we got an away game, so last night was a huge milestone for us in in terms of getting the next win especially at an away game and in difficult elements. And this week's also going to be a tough challenge in being away game and division opponent. So it's all about locking in and focusing. This is huge, of course. But we just got to focus on those. We can't focus on how big the stage is, or how important it is to our future. But we got to go out there and focus on us and do our job. I think that's the most important and the hardest thing is to continue to just push into everybody's head is it's all about you and how you do your job and how you attack your job as long as that happens. And as long as you try to play as perfect as you can everything else will fall into place. So you got to go out there and play flawless or try to be as flawless as you can and that's what we're chasing."
I can't remember when this play happened. Can you go back to that play where it looks like Drew Brees is trying to fit the ball in a tight window to you and it almost got picked off and you actually batted it away like were you realizing at the time that the guy might was about to intercept it possibly Are you just trying to grab the ball? I just thought that was a really heads up play to kind of save that?
"I appreciate it. Yeah, it was a quick little stick route and he played my back here and it was just a contested throw in a ball just kind of popped up and it was almost floating in slow motion and I saw his eyes like his body demeanor about to regroup and try to go forward and catch it and I just as quick as I could. I just tried to knock it down and get it out the way. But yeah, it was a good play by him. A good play by him. But I just try to be as quick as I can because it could have been a pick six."
This offense historically has been very tight end friendly during the two-minute drill (and) the four minute offense. What is it about the design that just kind of allows things open up a little bit for the tight ends in those periods?
"Defensive play different (in those situations). Defenses have different coverages in two minute, and they kind of have a base of what they do throughout two minutes. So a lot of times, it's difficult for defenses to get lined up. And it's difficult for them to attack the different parts of the field and cover down on the different parts of the field that they usually do, because we're moving at such a fast pace, and that defense gets stuck out there, they're stuck. And that always plays an advantage to the offense. So sometimes you get guys out of position and guys in different positions that they're not used to playing. So we just try to go for that. So a lot of times normally, where I wouldn't be open in regular down and distances throughout the regular series, that fast pace and an emphasis on quick tempo, up tempo, getting lined up, getting to the ball, getting the play in in back to back snaps, that plays to our advantage. So the defense breaks down a lot faster on that. So I just try to be that security blanket for Drew whenever he needs me. And it's important to keep the chains moving to try to get points. So I'm just always trying to be there for him, just always try to get open and just find spots in the zone or get open and be my one on one matchups."
One of the things people say when they see that because you guys move so efficiently is like why don't they do that more during the regular part of the game, but would you not get those same looks from the defense with like 12 minutes left in a quarter or something like that?
"I think it kind of varies. I've been places where two minutes, like, that's the only way we could score, we would have to go two minutes the majority of the game. So, you just never know, I think it depends on the defense. I think it depends on who you're playing. But the game has a tempo to it. And a game has, it's chess, not checkers. So you just want to kind of put those odds in your favor, to be able to get the right plays in at the right time and make sure that you're not overdoing, especially when you get behind the chains a little bit and you're in a two-minute offense, let's say like you said, we're 12 minutes left. If you get behind a change, you come up on that third down real quick and you just don't want to miss your opportunity, but moving too fast. A lot of times, sometimes it's better just to control the tempo and take your time."