New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Marquez Callaway
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 4, 2020
When did you find out that you were going to get the start in the return game, and then be used a lot more on the offense?
"Really just going through practice with a couple of injuries happening with the guys. We had to make a change. Just filling in spacing, Deonte (Harris) obviously wasn't up this week so we switched around roles and I was the next person up for returner. And as far as the offense, Deonte had a huge role in the offense as well as Mike Thomas (does). With those two being out this game, everybody, like I said, had to change roles. So basically, next guy up mentality"
We talked to Alvin (Kamara) the other night, and was kind of ragging on you since you're fellow volunteers. What's that relationship sort of been like with him?
"Being with Alvin is always good. Outside of what he does, what everybody sees with him on the field, he's just like that off the field. Just a great guy, great, humble guy who's fun to be around. Back in our time at Tennessee it was just like that, honestly. Everybody loves what he did on the field. But really, I got to know him better off the field It just kind of adjusted coming here. The first time in the locker room, the first day he saw I was here, (it was) nothing but smiles, and a big hug. It's great to have that and Shy (Tuttle) as well. He's here on the team. We played (together) when I was at Tennessee, too. There's three of us here, and we keep it rolling. Trying to get more."
What was the plan? It seemed like you guys had a pretty aggressive plan in terms of returns? I know you brought a kickoff back from pretty deep, but was that pretty much your call that if you felt good, you bring it?
"Yeah, Coach (inaudible). We had a little game plan, but that was my adrenaline going, that was my first kickoff return. Honestly, I should let it go, but it was my first one, I had to get it out of the way. So I told coach, and honestly, he had no problem with me bringing it out. But he just told me if I was going to bring it out be hundred percent sure Sure and don't hesitate like I did. That was a good learning moment for me and (hopefully will be) better off in the future."
What did Deonte (Harris) tell you, if anything, going into this one?
"I'm with Deonte pretty much all the time, whether it's on offense or special teams. Really, I just follow his role. He goes back there and he goes out early on, I go early. He goes, stays to catch punts after practice, I stay and catch punts after practice. He and Alvin (Kamara) give me a lot of tips back there. Just be cool and relaxed. And that's pretty much all he's told me since I've been here, because I've been catching with him since I've got here and kick offs with him since I've gotten here. He's been a great influence on me too, as far as not just on offense, but on special teams as well."
I think this is the first time we've talked to you since you made the team out of training camp. Just what was that experience like knowing you'd made this club? How fast do you have to go from kind of the excitement of that to be like, okay, now I've got to do my job?
"Obviously, it was a great experience. It was a great feeling knowing that I had made the team and my family was happy for me and my friends that for me, the people back at home, the school was happy for me, and I was happy for myself. The team, they welcomed me with open arms, they were proud of me happy for me. But they told me, now that I made it, it's time to get the work (in). That feeling kind of lingered around for about a day, and the next day, (I) got back in and tried to get everything done."
We've had a lot of young receivers and even Emmanuel Sanders acknowledged that it takes a while to get used to all the various positions and personnel groupings in this offense. I'm curious how that's going for you and to start with, are you mostly just focusing on one or two receiver positions as you install this offense mentally?
"Yeah, they are right. They're not telling any stories there. This is a good offense (to play in), but there are a lot of moving parts. I'm trying not to focus on just one part. Because that is how you limit your time. I'm trying to expand my role and learn all the different parts. That's taking a lot of film work, a lot of studying, and the coaches doing a great job staying after, going over plays, going over practice with things that we normally wouldn't get to in meeting. Not just coaches, coaches, players, and the rest of the team. I feel like the receivers are really coming together, and helping each other out whenever they need it. They've been a big influence on me, not just me, but the other rookie Juwan (Johnson). They've taken us under their arms, they take us out to eat just to get away from football and to ease our minds. They just tell us how it is."
Throughout the four weeks of camp, did you just stay at one spot while the installation of the offense took place?
"We've kind of moved around, Coach (Payton) wanted us to be efficient at every spot. They kind of moved us around to what they thought suited us better. Once we were at that spot, then that's when we started trying to increase our role with learning every other position."
You were inactive for week one, then you got to play a little in week two. And then you had your first catch last week. What I guess did that mean for you as you've continued to expand your role and become an even bigger part of this team?
"Really just trying to stay the course. Not trying to get caught up with not playing the first week, because I know everything happens for a reason. Just trying to mentally get better in practice, show them what we can do. And then that obviously increased me being able to play a little bit, having my first catch, and then have this game last week. Just really trying to stay the course and not get too high, not get too low, and try to just improve every day."