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Transcript: Long snapper Zach Wood conference call - March 19, 2020

New Orleans Saints long snapper speaks to media following a new four-year contract

New Orleans Saints Long Snapper Zach Wood
Conference Call with New Orleans Media 
Thursday, March 19, 2020

What does it mean to you to be back here?
"It means the world! Every football player has the dream of playing in the NFL, right. Then once you get there everyone's goal is to stick around longer than expected. I think this is really an important deal for me to get this second contract. I'm just really grateful and I can't give enough thanks to Mrs. Benson, Mickey (Loomis), Coach (Sean) Payton and the entire organization for bringing me back and giving me that trust."

What does it mean to keep the special teams unit of you, Wil Lutz and Thomas Morstead together for the foreseeable future?
"I think it really speaks volumes to the success that we've had as a group. We're good players, but I think we're better friends. We're great teammates, but I think off the field we really get along with each other. We can joke around and I think we've built some really strong relationships off the field, which in turn helps us on the field. All the practice and all the reps that we put in together, the guidance that Thomas and Wil have given me throughout has been just phenomenal. I'm so thankful for those two."

How did you approach free agency and the offseason with the coronavirus situation playing out?
"I think the coronavirus has brought everything into perspective. I do not have it hard. I have a bunch of friends and people all over the world right now (that) are really dealing with money issues, job security and things like that. That puts everything in perspective. I don't have it that bad right now and I'm just thankful for where I am and my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are struggling right now and that's the most important thing right now."

What is free agency like just sitting around and watching teammates re-sign with the Saints or go elsewhere?
"It's out of my control, but I think what it does for the teammates that you're with at the moment, you learn to really appreciate having those guys around. Because you may not be there and they may not be there next year. I think it means a little bit more when building relationships because you really want to get to know these guys and have friends off the field knowing that they may not be a teammate all the time, but you just want to make sure that you have them when the game is over with and after you're done playing you can go back and say what's up to those guys and just have friends beyond football."

What are your thoughts on Tom Brady coming to the NFC South and just all the moving pieces throughout the league?
"Yeah. I think that is the really cool thing about the sport. Every year there are always surprises, trades, people sign with different teams and Tom Brady coming in (to the division) and Teddy Bridgewater with the Panthers. I think it is going to be a crazy and exciting year next year. You never know what's going to happen and I think that's what's really fun about this sport, just something's always changing and it makes it exciting."

What have you been doing to pass the time personally with the coronavirus situation going on?
"It really has been a weird. Here in Dallas everybody's still outside just nobody is going anywhere it feels like. I've definitely been in the middle of training and so I've had to do some adjustments. I've been kind of training at home, doing a bit more running, because I don't have the equipment at my house or anything. Other than that I've been trying to fill my time with reading and just trying to grow in other places rather than just the gym all the time. I think if anything, that's what this whole lockdown has done"

Do you live in an apartment, I can imagine it's had to train in a apartment complex with no gym?
"Yes, I do. For the meantime, I'm staying at an apartment and we kind of do a couple of home workouts, which are tough. For one, I get really, really, sweaty working out in the apartment and I am just like a sprinkler. Just throwing sweat everywhere. It is disgusting, so I started going outside and finding ways to do something in the park or on the trail or something. The apartment is just not happening for me."

Have you kept up with Thomas Morstead and Wil Lutz to kind of see what they're doing and are you keeping in touch with the other players during this time?
"Yes. Thomas, Wil and I always stay in touch and (I) see how they're doing and of course Thomas is always on social media, so I get updates on him every single day. Wil and I have hung out quite a few times. I'm just trying to keep a close relationship with those guys and a couple other guys on the team, just reach out and say what's up and see how their offseason is going. We just try to stay in touch as much as possible."

I'm just curious, knowing that you've got one of 32 jobs that exist in the NFL, what does having some longer term security mean for you?
"It means the world, but I try not to let that get to my head and pretend. Everybody knows the contract can end anytime, so I try to approach it that way and just go in every single day like I did my rookie year and have a beginners mentality and just think about it that way because I don't want to get comfortable and I do not want to put any stress on anybody. I want the coach to build able to trust me every snap I go out on field."

What is on your quarantine reading list right now?
"I'm actually reading this book called the World's Fittest. I just started, so I cannot tell you too much about it. It's about just building resilience and I'm really big into fitness, nutrition and getting my body the right way. I like to read everything I can about all those aspects. It is just been to feed myself knowledge through books and just trying different things."

Could you list items at your apartment that you thought about using for resistance training? Are you thinking outside the box about how to create resistance and build strength?
"I think I'm pretty much sticking to body weight movements, pushups, pull-ups, squats and plyometrics that I've been doing. Just to keep some explosion until I can get back into the gym. I mean it is tough, but I've been trying to run a lot more and I'm just kind of pushing my body to limits in different ways. So for now it's more of a endurance training since I don't have the strength (equipment) or the weights for the resistance training. I've been trying to push myself in other ways."

Are you playing golf to pass the time in Dallas?
"Well I would, but it has been raining a lot in Dallas, so the courses are not in good shape right now. But my buddies, of course have been texting me about going out there anyway, so I'm sure we'll find a way out there pretty soon. We'll see where it goes once the weather gets right."

Do you have any thoughts on whether the NFL made the right choice to start free agency at the designated time even with everything going on with coronavirus?
"No, I don't really have any input on that. I think they did a pretty good job (league's response to pandemic). I can't go into much depth about it because I just don't have all the information. But from what I see, I think everybody's handled it the right way."

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