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Transcript: New Orleans linebacker Craig Robertson training camp interview - Thursday, Aug. 27

Robertson spoke with media at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Craig Robertson
Training Camp Video Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, August 27, 2020

Jacob Blake stickers can you tell us how that came about and you know what that meant for you guys to be able to wear that sticker?
"It came about, (where we) we had a team meeting. It was something that was just decided above us, that we were going to wear it, honor him. But that's not our main thing that we're doing. (We're) Trying to do some other stuff to honor him and honor everything that's going on. Just put a word to it and let everybody know that we're not going to stand for that."

How important I guess was it for you guys to have unity throughout the team on this, to show you all one voice on it?
"Okay, so let me go on and start, I don't want to be rude, but I kind of know every question is going to be about Jacob Blake right now. And I know as a team, as captains, we're still deciding on stuff to do. So, honestly I have my own thoughts and I really don't want to speak for everybody in the Saints organization. So if you want to talk about football we can talk about football, but I don't want to put my own personal thoughts above all my teammates and all that, I feel like that's something we should do collectively as a group. And I just want to let that be known as we're answering all these questions right now and they're all pretty focused on the same topic."

Is this the most time and in a few years that you've gotten this amount of snaps with the first team? Are they rotating more than normal?
"No. we're a whole linebacker room, right? So we're here to take care of each other. Going with different groups, it's a different skillset that you're going against. We have young guys going with the ones as well. (We're) Just trying to get a look at everybody. We are all competing, and just really just trying to figure out who can play and what we can all do for this team."

Do you think that defense typically has an advantage early in training camp? Because of the offensive formations and what they're trying to do in practice? And does that typically even out or is it different every year?
"I mean, I guess you can say that. As a defensive player, you would say the offense would have some type of advantage, too, because they know the same formations and how we play them. They have keys as well. And I mean, Drew's (Brees) been playing against this defense since '06. So I guess you could say he's been there, done that with a lot of things. So it's just a learning curve. And I guess as a team, we're just playing. Competition has been at its highest since I've been here. And it's really, really showing when we compete offense versus defense, just iron on iron."

You mentioned that competition has sort of been at its highest. Do you think that's sort of a product of the fact that you guys don't have preseason? So, you know, everybody's kind of amped up a little bit more?
"No, not at all. I just think, we just really have a really good team, with a lot of depth. You got a lot of guys that have played a lot of snaps in this league. And then we sprinkled in some rookies that can play as well, you know, so them just, you know, watching after some of these old guys and learning new tricks that's only going to make them better. And it's just like I said, iron sharpens iron, like when you have a receiver room that's deep, like we have they're all learning from Mike T. They're all learning from CJ (Curtis Johnson), some of those young guys they're learning stuff that young guys, in other places aren't learning. And just like Jameis (Winston) and Taysom (Hill), they're both learning from Drew. That's something that a lot of teams aren't gaining, in other places, especially not having preseason. So I think that's a huge advantage for us."

Joe Bachie was telling us that you kind of have been using your experience coming into the league to kind of show him how to do it. Going into that what was your experience like coming into the league and how similar is that to what some of these guys are going through right now just with the lockout and everything?
"Obviously I came out lockout year, so I didn't even receive an invite to training camp. So I guess you can say I came into the league through the backdoor, (the) practice squad and really just earn my take year after year. And just telling those guys, young guys like man, like nobody cares about your situation, right? Because the show goes on, regardless. And the faster you realize that, the faster you don't have any pity for yourself. And the more that you enjoy your day every day, then you realize how special it is to be here where you are. And hey, like you get opportunity, you only get one opportunity to do this. So you better put your best foot forward and that's pretty much what I preach every day. Having fun while you do it. That's been a huge thing for me, like it's a kids game, you know, we're just grown men who get to do it. And if you're not having fun playing football, then you really shouldn't be playing."

You're the guy who kind of supplies a lot of energy for this team. What is your thought process? And what are you going through to kind of generate that each each and every day? Where do you go to mentally to kind of find that everyday?
"Oh, man, I just wake up. I wake up, man, I got it. I mean, I've always been like that, like you can go back to when I was in high school, middle school it's like, it's something that I don't know, can't really teach it. You got to have it, you can't fake it, people can see through that and I have Celsius in the morning. So I want to throw that out there, thank you Wil Lutz, Zack Wood, they give me a Celsius sometimes in the morning. But I'm already gassed up before that, like when you realize, like I say this all the time, John (Deshazier), I love playing football. I love being around my brothers. And training camp is tough, like, you wake up, you're tired. The locker room is quiet, training room is quiet when you get here in the morning. And I love to be that person, laughing it up, putting a smile on everybody's face. And just realize, we're all blessed to be here. And it could be 1000 times worse, so I just kind of live by that every day."

Just a follow up on that, have you thought about like, with no fans in the games like, will you guys have to manufacture that energy a little bit more on gamedays?
"Yeah, haven't really thought about it too much because we are usually gassed up on gamedays anyway, that's kind of who we are, just as an organization. But I feel like our sideline is going (to) be turnt like always and not having fans in the stands is (tough but), I feel like we'll have some music on and just like we have music (on at) practice guys will be dancing, guys will be going (off) and it (will) just be something where we feed off of each other and just keep everything exciting, fun and rolling."

You have had such great success the last three years at a team level, won three consecutive division titles, more games than anybody in the league. It has been pretty well documented. I'm curious to get your thoughts on just how motivated you all are by the way the seasons have ended in the playoffs. Does that stick in your craw? Is it something that will drive you all this season?
"Well, that is every year, right? We had this before. That was your big question. Hey, how do you bounce back? Right? And then we bounce back, and then we don't finish. So our whole thing is just let's get into the playoffs and then let's focus on finishing, but right now, our first step is, try to win the division. So we focus on that and just go step by step and just keep rolling. Right now, we really can't worry about finishing. You got 32 teams, and everybody has the same goal, right? So, you focus on our first goal, and then we go to the next after that."

You are always dancing and you're always having a good time. But it seems to me that you're having even more fun when Terron Armsteads' songs come on during practice? What's that? What's that been like? Just hearing him again and him exploring some of that creative outlet.
"Yeah, you may not know this, but I'm his manager. So I guess I have to do that if you want to promote your guy, right? You have to provide that energy, especially when his song comes on in front of all your teammates, you have to let all your teammates know that hey, that's Terron (Armstead). So that's pretty much me, but no I'm not his manager (laughter) but man, like he's always sent me his music. He's always (saying) hey, what you think about this, like, should I change this? So like, when you hear the final product, and you know how much work that he's put into it, right? Like you enjoy it like it's yours. And that's pretty much how I feel when I listen to his music, right? Like, I'm jamming, you know, 50-Stead, I'm with it. And I'm like, I remember he wanted to maybe use something else or he liked this other song versus this one, you know, and when his teammates listen to it, like if me and him gassed up, like they're going to be gassed up when they listen to it. So it's just dope to see everybody vibing out to his music and he has great music and if you want to stream it, it's on Spotify, Apple Music just in case you want to go check it out."

I'm just wondering if any of your taunting has ever worked on Wil Lutz on some of these practice field goals?
"No, he's the best kicker in the game. We did talk about that, that's the reason why we did it, me and Marcus. Because obviously, it's going to be a little bit different for kickers as well, right? That's something that people haven't thought of. When there's no fans in the stands, it becomes a point of, they have white noise, they don't really hear anything. Now, they don't have that white noise. It's going to be an echo, you know, playing in a (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome where there's no people. So you're going to be able to hear you know more taunting, more this more that. So just trying to find ways to block it out and continue being the best kicker in the game."

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