New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Just compared to some of your other stops in your career, I'm just curious if there's anything that you can kind of put your finger on about this place that makes it able to sustain success like you all have the last four years?
"I think it starts with the organization. The organization has all their ducks in a row, understands what they are trying to attack in the draft and free agency as well and understanding your needs as a team and then, I think it's locker room. Having a veteran presence driven locker room with a lot of guys that understand that when it comes down to, do your job, that you're ready, and it's time to go to work and then the players (are empowered) to do that job. Bringing the right players in and having them in, definitely help makes a difference."
It sounds like, it's like, a lot of moving pieces that have to come together?
"Yeah, absolutely. And it starts at the top. When your organization has everything together at the top, the less miscommunication, the better. And then it kind of trickles it's way down. But, it starts at the top and how they run the organization, the type of players that they have in the building, understanding what type of players would be good for their locker room. And then from there, it just kind of operates like a machine."
Kind of following up on that, when you were a free agent a couple years ago, had you heard about the culture of the organization or anything like that when you were making your decision to come here?
"Yeah, I called Chris Banjo. Me and Banjo played together in Green Bay and had always kept in touch and remained friends. And I just call him to kind of talk to him about the culture in the locker room, organization, the offense, Coach Payton, different other coaches on the staff, how they are and he was able to give me quite a bit of insight on the Saints, just a little bit of, kind of a window into the organization. So that I could have a better understanding on where I'm making my decision."
And I asked that, because kind of asking if there is a correlation between the depth you guys have built in that culture, in the locker room, the organization? Just the team in general, like a lot of guys, is this a place they want to come play?
"Oh, yeah, absolutely. I definitely think it's a place that's on a lot of guys list. Not only for the locker room presence, but for the winning culture. That's huge. And that's a huge decision maker in where guys want to go. Or at least I think it should be. But yeah, (Chris) Banjo was able to give me a lot of insight. And when you have a good locker room like that it's easy for a free agent to kind of reach out to other guys on that team, that's involved on a team, to find out the information that you need. So, it definitely has a direct correlation. In terms of free agency and when guys are asked to come here and where they're looking into."
Speaking of that locker room, Demario Davis was named the team's Man of the Year today. Just how special has it been to be in that locker room with him, just knowing all the things that he's done on and off the field?
"Demario (Davis) is a tremendous person. He's a good player, well, he's a great player, but an even better person. Just a great man who has such a big heart, a love of God and an understanding of people's attitudes and people's environments, where they come from and what they need. I think he's been a huge, a huge vessel for what God is trying to do in many of our lives. And I think he lives it, and he's a prime example. It was COVID this offseason, and Demario hit me up like, hey, you trying to get some work in? And I was like, absolutely. But my daughter's high risk. So, I really could not. But that is just the type of dude Demario (Davis) is. He's always trying to get better, to improve his game. And the fact he hit me up to get some extra work, I really saw respect from him and respect to be understanding of what type of player I am. So, Demario is a tremendous human being, that deserves every bit of it."
What impresses you most about Sean Payton's adaptability, you go 5-0 with Teddy (Bridgewater) last year, you've gone 3-0 with Taysom (Hill), the offense might change a little bit, but he adapts around the quarterback and you guys like, there's no drop off? What impresses you about that with him?
"One thing about Coach P (Payton), man, is he knows the game in and out. And he's going to study it, man. That's one thing I love about being here, you know going into the game on Sunday, you're going to be as prepared as possible. And you're going to understand everything you are about to see going into the game. And he is going to make sure. Another thing I love about Coach P is that he makes sure, it is kind of, it gets, sometimes it gets us into a bit of trouble. But, he makes sure that when he calls a play in a certain situation that he is going to get to the right play. And it may take him a little while on the sideline to get that play in there. But for sure when that play's coming in, it's going to try to gash the defense as best as possible. He studies film like no other. And he'll be up here all night, just trying to figure out defenses and figure out play to ensure that we have the right plays on offense on Sunday. And I think he does a great job of portraying his quarterbacks for that. Understanding the situations they're going to get, and when they're in those situations, if it is a bad one, how to get out of it. But if it is a good one, how to understand what we are trying to do to run the play and how we are trying to move the ball. So, preparation (and) Gameplanning's tremendous. They really set the bar and go above and beyond with that."
I know this is your first year playing with Malcolm Jenkins, I know he's a guy everybody in the league knew stuff about. But why's he so respected around the league? And he's getting a chance to go home this weekend, and they're looking forward to seeing him. But why is he so respected around the league?
"He's another guy like Demario (Davis). A little bit more quieter and a little bit more subtle in his approach. But, still a great man and a great leader, and I just think he's a real world person. He looks at the world for what it is and understands what the world has given to him. And he makes those adjustments out of it, to, help himself, people like him and others. Going on this journey in the NFL, I've learned that one of the hardest parts of an activist is fighting for people that look like you. Without those things, certain people that look like you, giving you the respect for not necessarily understanding your place or where you're trying to get them in life, you're trying to make them better and make them grow and be better in life. And I think that's one thing that's very respectable about Malcolm (Jenkins), is he's trying to get players like himself, and players like me and players that look like him, to a better place in life, a better place of understanding, a better place of growth. And in terms, that's uplifting the culture as a whole. And also the culture of colored people in general. And that's one thing that's so respectable about him, is that he is always going to pursue that and he has never backed down from that at all. He's always been a strong voice for us, in this league, with things on the field and off the field and also in the world, in terms of injustice. And I think that's something that's incredibly hard to do and something we respect."