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Transcript: Jared Cook Conference Call 9/11/20 | Week 1 vs. Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook talks about playing alongside Drew Brees and the excitement for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints Tight End Jared Cook
Video Conference with New Orleans Media
Friday, September 11, 2020

What are your thoughts on the social justice campaign on, say her name and just how important that is and why it's important to the team?
"I think is important for the world to recognize that equality is a big issue, and not everybody having that equality. So I think it's important to raise awareness just so you can get out and encourage change, encourage people to vote, and encourage change in laws and in legislation that's going to affect all men and all people and all creeds that live in this country."

How excited are you just about getting a chance to play a football game again on Sunday and also did you watch the game last night and what kind of emotions did you get just watching it considering where we were three or four months ago?
"Yeah, I'm really excited about the season especially, you know, just a few months ago we didn't even know if we're going to have one or not. And just a lot of guys making that decision on whether they're going to participate or not, but for the guys in this building, and for me, I know I'm excited. I think it's been a long offseason, just getting to the point to where it is now that I watched the game last night I watched a little bit of it. It's exciting to see football back. And I feel like football among other sports is a game that brings people together. And that's the importance of it all right, is to come together for a common goal no matter what's happening outside in the world outside of all this, just to show that people can still come together and enjoy something and actually root for a common goal. It shows that we have more in common than not."

Could you tell that there weren't really a lot fans there last night?
"A little bit just because I've been in the sport, but apparently there was no problem for the players because I think it was a few false snaps or the center forgot to snap the ball one time last night. So I still think it had an effect to the game. I think it's going to be a little different for us on Sunday."

Obviously a team for the most part is intact from last year, but there are a couple of new faces on offense. And with those new faces obviously going to be some new wrinkles. Are you excited to kind of get out there and see how all those new parts and new plays and new everything kind of fits together?
"Yeah, absolutely. It's cool going against our defense, but that gets old real quick just because and we get used to them and vice versa. But actually seeing our talent go against another team, I think that's where the excitement comes in. And just seeing guys like, Emmanuel Sanders, join us, and (Adam) Trautman just get involved on Sunday and see how they interact, especially Trautman, seeing a young guy interacting in his first game and just see how it goes for him. I think is going to be exciting to just, (see how) we bring in guys to make our offense better and to make this team better. That's what we're looking forward to pick up where we left off last season and just go in stride and keep getting better as a team."

As far as you guys going to practice every day being at the facility in the locker room do things seem as close to normal as you would hope for during a global pandemic like this?
"It's still some oddball things like the COVID testing every morning and just seeing some staff members walk around with mask constantly. But inside the building things are as normal as possible. Now, there are some aspects of it that are completely different and just in terms of protocol, of outside sources, like if you have a massage person, if you have a stretch person, or if you have a third party that you deal with outside of the building that you get bodywork done, you have to be cautious in every step that you do, because you don't want to be one of those guys that are that bring something back into the building that's not supposed to be here now, I also think that things will get a lot different once we start traveling and we will see that with our first away game next week, but I think that's going to be a true challenge in the traveling schedule to see how things go."

Is there any protocol that you guys have your personal wellness people go through in order to make sure that they're not, you know, seeing other clients and then bringing it back to you guys things like that. Is there any sort of protocol they have?
"They have (protocols). The saints are allowing them an opportunity to go and get tested outside of the building. I believe, maybe at a hospital, they're setting it up for them, but uh, you know, they just kind of touched on it to just be extra careful and then they provide them with the access to be tested if need be."

Do you ever wish you had more time preparing with Drew Brees prior to last season when you got hurt in training camp?
"Going into a season, it's kind of difficult always to gauge that right. And to get out there when the lbullets are flying, and there's a true competition going on. And there's a team that's really trying to knock your head off. So going into the season this is kind of difficult to tell. Now looking back at it, I think we ended up in a good position and actually had a good rapport towards the end of the season. Now you always wish that you could have those moments where you can get extra work going back and looking at it. But you just try to do the best you can and prepare for the weeks coming up and get your time in and those weeks. But going into it I feel like we did a pretty good job of of maximizing our time together and building a rapport last year."

But my follow up question was going to be so how do you feel now one year into the system going into week one and knock on wood. As weird as this training camp has been?
"Everything seems to have gone really smoothly with injuries and time on the field and all of that so far. I feel good. As I said before, things were a little different this year, especially without us not having OTAs. And I think I think OTAs is a big opportunity for you to kind of slow down the game and just learn your new your new targets as a quarterback, and as a target learning your new quarterback and learning time and once you roll in the camp, things kind of click all cylinders, (work out) issues we had to maximize and squeeze all of that into one. So, I think we're as prepared as we were going to be going into this game and I'm still confident that we're going to be able to get the job (done).

I know a lot has been made about, at least for right now for most of these stadiums, not to have fans. But I wonder going into week one, I assume pretty much everybody's jacked up to play their first game and I wonder if maybe Not having fans won't impact the game as much as some of those that could be like down the line throughout the you know, the monotony of a season like once you get to like wheat fan or whatever, but you think that not having fans will be a huge impact. You think week wonder, do you think everybody's going to be having so much adrenaline because they're ready to play a new team this week?
"I think it'll definitely have an impact. Fans motivate you. And fans also help, especially in a place like this when the dome is just a very loud place. It's hard to hear when somebody is right next to you. So I think this is going to be definitely different, but as far as their offense coming in here, I think I think we're going miss the fans quite a bit. I think you're going to be able to hear everything they say. Crowd noise is 70 decibels but if you look at 70 decibels What is that? It really in comparison to 120 or whatever our stadium gets up to so I think it's I think we're definitely taking a hit in that department but I think it's definitely going to be some to get used to at the same time I feel like it's going to be quiet. I feel like it's going to be like a practice. But we get to play ball again and it's definitely going to be different for the defense. But we're out here playing ball and I think that's the best thing about it is we get to suit up and go out on Sundays and make this thing feel as normal as possible as a real game.

Just as somebody who's played with a few different quarterbacks I'm curious with that chemistry building process with Drew Brees is like and if there's anything unique about it, is he more patient than some guys?
"Drew is patient. Drew is probably as patient as any quarterback that I've ever played with in terms of just the preparation and, and talking things out. He explains things well, he really doesn't get up in arms if you mess it up. Now on Sundays is different, right? I think it's a little bit more intense, you see a little bit more intense Drew, just because on Sundays, we're all expected to be as perfect as we can be and we're held to a higher standard on Sunday. I feel like drew makes your job as easy as possible and that's what makes him the best one of the best quarterbacks in this league. He makes your job easy. He goes out and he handles it. He communicates with you and he actually talks it out on how things are supposed to be. A lot of times when he gets mad at himself, he's not really getting mad at you. His communication style is probably superb and in comparison to most quarterbacks, are there some quarterbacks that can make you feel tense? Like through some of that process just because of their the way they approach that perfectionism? Yeah, absolutely not. Not everybody knows how to talk and communicate, right. So a lot of people, their feelings overtake, their emotions overtake them in a negative way. But Drew does a great job of staying level headed, and just if there's a mistake, he's always like on to the next play. Even in practice, he's always like on to the next play, on to the next play. And I think that's important, especially in this league, because it's so difficult for us as players to do that. That's the hardest thing is to forget about the last play and go on to the next. And I think Drew does a good job of just pushing in people's brains is hey, we still got a game to play. We still got more plays ahead of us. Let's just go make a play now."

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