New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas
Conference Call with Local Media
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Earlier in training camp, you mentioned that you think you're going to break that record from last year. Do you kind of see that as a byproduct of winning or is that something that you actually kind of set as a goal for yourself?
"I just know I'm going to get open a lot this year. When my number is called and the ball is thrown my way I'm going to do my best to my best my ability to catch it and make a play for the offense. It wasn't something I expected to still be getting questioned about now, but I guess I do set goals, but the overall goal is to win a championship and help my team win as many games possible."
What does Alvin Kamara do just for the offense just in terms of even when he is not getting the ball, like coverages and maybe get you guys some different looks?
"He's a threat. They have to have to game plan for him. They have to know where he's at every snap, he has to be accounted for every play. So, he's a threat on our offense that has big play ability. So, the smart defensive coordinators are going to game plan real hard for him and try to come up with ways to stop him or slow him down, but it's hard to stop a guy like that."
You've been working with Drew Brees now for a few years. Are you marveled or just impressed by when you work with him, you don't realize that he is someone over the age of 40. He's 41 and he's still at a high level. And to follow up on that, when you're seeing two quarterbacks playing in a game like this on Sunday that are kind of defying age, does that kind of inspire you and in a sense going I can probably, one day I hope to prolong my career to play that long like those guys?
"Most definitely. I have a ton of respect for (Drew Brees) and Tom Brady. They're guys that have set a very high standard for the game of football as a whole. They're competitors, they're champions, they're leaders. There's so many great things about them that me being a young player can look up to and learn from, from how they handle their business. But the most important thing is just staying in the moment and maximizing the opportunity that's presented itself to play with a guy like Drew Brees and maximize it to the best of my ability, but mostly just stay in the moment and when my number is called make a play for them and always be there for him."
Are you kind of excited just see how this is all going all unfold just without the preseason, without going up against other teams in training camp with just like the addition of Emmanuel (Sanders) and Jared Cook being healthy, Alvin Kamara being healthy?
"Most definitely I'm excited to get out there with my teammates and compete and play for a championship, win a lot of games, maximize our game plan that our coaches have put together for us that they work real hard on all week and showcase our talents. It is going to be fun. Most definitely, it's going to be fun playing with those guys."
We saw Drew (Brees) throw it down the field to you a couple times during training camp, do you feel like that's an aspect of your game and I guess an aspect of his game now too that is just maybe a little bit underrated and slept on by people a little bit?
"For sure, I think we have the ability to throw any route, catch any route and run any play in this offense. It's just if we get the right looks or not, but I feel like when we're on the same page and we're handling our business and we execute our game plan and we prepare like we're supposed to throughout the week, there's not too many people that could stop us on anything."
The wide receiver room is one of the few areas on this team where there are some new faces. You talked about Emmanuel Sanders. Are you excited just to go out there and really get a chance to play and see what you guys can do in a real game?
"Yeah, you guys just asked me that. Yes, we're excited. Yes, we're excited to go out there and play with the new additions on our offense. Yes, we're excited to pick up where we left off. Yes, we are excited to be playing in the dome again. Of course, we are excited. We're ready to play."
This weekend, you will get to wear different names of victims of either police brutality or systemic racism. I'm not going to ask you about specifics because I know you're still working on that, but what does it mean to you that you are going to be able to draw further attention to this problem that's plaguing society?
"Just keep raising awareness. Supporting the people that don't have a voice or may not be getting heard on a bigger stage. I guess it's kind of just having a heart, you feel for those people. Anytime you see people being killed on camera by cops or seeing any type of brutality or anything of that nature all offseason, all summer, that kind of does something to your heart where you know it's not right. We just want to keep letting people know that that's not right and treat people how you want to be treated. I feel like that's how I've always thought."
I think a lot of people understand your abilities as a route runner. I just was wondering when that kind of started to click for you, when the technical aspects kind of really started feeling like that was an advantage for you?
"Every year, you have to find ways to elevate your game, to stay productive. Every time you take that next step, you have to find ways to answer weaknesses and have those hard conversations about enhancing your weaknesses and keep developing your strengths and enhancing those. So, just every year not being satisfied, not getting complacent and taking coaching. Looking in the mirror, but ultimately just taking coaching from Ronald Curry and C.J. (Curtis Johnson). They coach me real hard every day and are real honest in our room. They have a lot of talent, a lot of experience and I feel like they give me a great opportunity to go out day on Sunday and make plays."
With the added muscle and the strength you put on this offseason, were you able to feel a difference during training camp and how'd that kind of show up for you?
"Training camp we are just going out there to compete and grinding with your teammates, building that camaraderie, going through those dog days and stuff like that. Once the season starts, we're going against another opponent, but I guess time will tell."