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Transcript - Latavius Murray Conference Call 1/7/21 | NFC Wild Card 2020

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray talks return to practice, Alvin Kamara on Thursday, January 7, 2021.

New Orleans Saints Running Back Latavius Murray
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, January 7, 2021

You had an interesting Friday and Saturday. Just take us through what it was like last weekend going from, okay, you're probably going to be the guy, to oh, all of you are out?
"Yeah, it was, it was frustrating. Because I wanted to play. And just like you mentioned, I'm thinking that probably I may have had opportunity to now get a lot of opportunities. And then that just changed kind of fast. So, it was very frustrating not to be out there and not to be playing with my teammates, and to be able to sit at home, but (I) tried to make the most out of it, get some rest. And (I'm) ready to go now."

What did you do Sunday, did you just watch games? And I guess how anxious were you to get back on the field this week?
"Yeah. Yeah, I just watched our game, watched some other games earlier since we had the second slot and that was it. I just couldn't really do much, wasn't supposed to leave, obviously, because of protocols. And so, yeah, I just was at the house, did a little bit of working out at home. And that was pretty much it."

You have not missed a game in several seasons in terms of injury. I guess, how stir crazy did you get? Did you just unconsciously, was your body kind of tense? Because you're used to that on a game day?
"Yeah, I guess the feeling that I had was just, it was the fact that, obviously I'm sitting out, and it is not due to an injury, not due to actually testing positive for COVID even. So, that was probably the most frustrating thing, that I wasn't physically unable to play. So, I'll say that was probably the most frustrating part about that day and this past weekend. So, but again, just now, if you try to look at the positive side it's, I got a few days off from banging and got some rest. And so, feeling good about going into this week against Chicago, obviously, now being the playoffs. Everybody's excited."

When we talked to Ty (Montgomery), he said his reaction when they told him that he was going to be the one, he's like, you're kidding, what, that's not real? What was your reaction when you found out the inverse of that?
"Yeah, I told both of those guys, Ty and Tony (Jones Jr.) that this was an opportunity for him. I remember, getting my opportunities and injuries happen. These are the kind of things that you don't wish for, you don't hope for, but when you are on the other side of it, and it results in another opportunity for you, you embrace that. So, I knew that that's what it was for them. And so I just was happy for them that they were going to get an opportunity to go out there and play. But for me, again, it was just more frustrating that I wouldn't be able to go out there and play, knowing that I felt great, felt good, but just had to sit out just due to these protocols. So, I'm just hoping obviously, we don't have that situation happen again. And that everybody is able to dress up, play and stay healthy."

Where do you feel like this team is at right now, just sort of heading into the playoffs? And what's sort of the sense of urgency after, you know, this team being close the past couple years?
"Yeah. It's obviously something that we all know. Even prior to me coming here, we're this team that has been, how close they've been over the years and part of the reason why I decided to come here. But I would say we're not thinking about that. Obviously, during the week, all we're thinking about is the process and putting the work in, knowing that, if we do that, the outcome we want is going to happen on Sunday and so, that's really what it's about. Obviously, it's a playoff game. And we know what's at stake, win or go home. But, I really think we embrace the fact that it's about us and it's about what we do or don't do, whether or not we get the outcome we want on Sunday. So, I think we've embraced that part. And we're trying to make sure we go out there and put the work in. So that we will have that outcome that we want on Sunday."

There is a stat floating around, that you have only had Drew (Brees), Mike Thomas and Alvin (Kamara) on the field together for 10 quarters this year. Essentially having everybody back on the field that wants, kind of being back about as close to full strength as you guys have been all season. What's the kind of feel associated with that?
"I think the fact that we have everyone healthy and our best players are healthy and on the field together. That is something that we all want. And that's something that we all look forward to. So, it's no other feeling than that, just having everyone healthy and having everybody available. Because like we said, at the beginning, it's going to take everybody, right? Things happen, guys go down, we're dealing with COVID obviously too now. And so, having everyone healthy, having everyone up, just benefits the whole locker room and allows us to go out there and do the things that we want to do."

I just wanted to ask you how you were kind of mentally approaching this game? I know, there's some uncertainty, if Alvin (Kamara) will be able to play or if he won't. How are you kind of preparing, you know, with that uncertainty?
"Just preparing no different than any other week, ready to go when my number is called. And that will never change. So, I'm just preparing the same. And how Sunday turns out is just kind of, deal with it when we get there. But I know, I will be ready to go. Regardless of what the outcome is."

I am not going to ask you to speak for Alvin (Kamara), because you are not Alvin (Kamara). But how hard would it be for you to go into a game and not having practiced for over a week?
"Well, I just had to sit out for five days. And my first day back in the building was yesterday. And so we practiced, and I felt good, I felt fresh. So I think, for him, obviously, feeling good and being healthy is the most important thing, with due to his condition, whatever you want to say. But so, yeah, I'm not sure. I think that's probably the most important thing for him, is making sure he's feeling healthy regarding COVID. And, but I think the physical part, I doubt he'll have a problem with that."

Just considering what happened last week, and what time of the year it is now. Is there any, like additional discussion from the leadership of the team about just being extra careful? Is this just kind of an isolated incident in your mind?
"Yeah. No, there hasn't been any additional discussion that, I guess, that we talked about as a team, as a group. But I think this definitely probably is a learning experience for everybody. And seeing that, you know, I think we were on the other side of it some weeks back, when we played Denver. And now it's affected us directly. So, just learning from this. And being aware that, obviously we're at a point in time in the season that this, we won't have another opportunity, right? If things go the wrong way. So, keeping that in mind, I think everybody does have that in mind. And just knowing, what you do or don't do could affect the team."

There are reports out that Alvin (Kamara) is participating in practice virtually through video. And since we can't actually see that and be there, do you mind just detailing what that looks like to you guys as you're also getting reps in practice while that's going on?
"So while we're in meetings, he's able to WebEx in and go through the install, all the film that we watch in meetings and then, in practice he's able to watch practice live and hear some of the coaching feedback on their technology. So, I think that's pretty much it. He's just able to hear coaching points, able to watch the virtual feed off of what they have for practice live. And sitting in on the meetings. So, I think, I'm sure that's been very beneficial for him. And it'll definitely make the transition easy on Sunday, had that not been the case."

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