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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Alvin Kamara Week 1 interview - 9/7/20

Quotes from Saints running back on Training Camp, facing the Buccaneers in the season opener

**New Orleans Saints Running Back Alvin Kamara

Video Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, September 7, 2020**

Are you confident that a contract extension can get done this week? And are you okay if it doesn't?
"It was a good day. We focused on Tampa. We install the first part of the gameplan, just kind of getting the kinks and flows out, some of those little kinks out. It feels good to be out there with the team. We're focusing on the day off tomorrow and be back Wednesday."

With the way training camp was, the shortening and all of that, do you feel like you got some good work in?
"I felt good about camp. I think this was one of our more competitive camps. It looks good. We have got a lot of talent. I think, overall, like I said, I think it was one of our better camps. I think we're ready for week one."

Will you be planning to play in every game that you're available with or without a new contract?
"Yeah, so we're getting ready for week one. Today was a good day and I think we feel good about what was the light install today and we're just ready for Sunday."

How's your back? Is everything good there? Is that anything to worry about?
"No, it's something light. I kind of dealt with it a little bit last camp too, just a little flare up, a little SI jump flare up. It was just something that needed some rest and a little injection, but nothing serious."

When you said it was a competitive camp, a lot of times people will equate competitiveness with contact and tackling, that kind of stuff. Obviously not a lot of that so what makes you say it was an extremely competitive camp?
"I think it was competitive. When I say that, within position groups, there was a lot of talent we had in. Even the controlled situations we had, it was a competitive, even though like you said, it's not really full contact, tackling, cutting periods, but there's still ways to get competition out of those periods. Those periods that we did have, some of those situations that we put together were some of the most competitive I've seen since I've been here."

On Sunday, there won't be any fans in the Superdome. Y'all practiced with the quote – crowd noise – unquote, what's that going to be like for you just walking into that stadium and having it be really different compared to years past?
"It is definitely different, but at the end of the day, when we get in there, we have got a job to do. That is how I approached the practice the other day when we walked into the dome. You're thinking about it like man, no fans, and then we get in there and you break the huddle and it's time to lock in. So it is what it is, but I will say the crowd noise that the league approved is nothing compared to what the dome sounds like. I feel like they kind of played us on that.

Just to make sure it's asked, is there anything you want to clear up about the reports of you holding out or unapproved absences or anything? Is there anything you want to clear up on any of those reports?
"Not really. I've never held that in my life. That's about it."

So you were not purposely leaving over a contract dispute in your mind?
"I came to the building every day. That's all I've got to say."

When you go against a defense like yours with all kinds of safeties, just for a player with your skill set, what kind of challenges does that present?
"These guys are smart, like I think, the smartest group that I've been around, overall defense, but like you said in our secondary just all together, they're a very smart group. They play well off each other so there's times where it might be just a cover two look and Malcolm (Jenkins) is down in the box playing around and I'm like, 'What is he doing right there?' So he's throwing off my keys and I'm just trying to figure it out, put the pieces together, but it's it was good going against that all camp because I always say, 'There's no harder look than what our defense gives us'."

Just considering Drew (Brees) and Sean (Payton) have been together for this is their 15th season now, what in your opinion makes them work so well together?
"I feel like I answer this question every year. Two of the smartest people I have been around. They are always thinking ten steps ahead so that is why I am always trying to be in Sean's head, trying to be in Drew's head just so I can be a couple steps up there with them just as far as, gameplanning, what they are thinking on gameday, what they are thinking next, what they think about a certain look. It just never stops with them. They are never content with, alright, we put this in, it looks good, let's move on to the next (installation). It's like, we put it in, it looks good, but what can we do to make it better before we get to the next play or next drive or next series or situation. They are always scheming up something, crafting something so that's what I think makes them great and why they've been so successful."

What are your thoughts on Tampa's front seven from what you've seen from your film study so far?
"Man, they're good. They're solid. They've been solid. They're pretty active. Those guys, they're hard to move around so you've got to be sound in your technique when you're going against them. Some of these runs, we've got to be cool with getting a tough three or a tough four. Every one isn't going to be at home run. They're just a good, heavy, aggressive front and we've got to bring our game."

You've gotten a chance to go back home and play in Atlanta. What do you think it'll be like, I know you can't really answer for him, but for a guy like Leonard Fournette getting to play in his hometown for the very first time?
"Oh, man, I actually talked to Leonard the days before he got picked up by Tampa and then after, obviously. He's happy, I was happy for him. I think it'll be cool for him to come back because, no matter what, when you go back and play in your hometown, it is like, the love is there. You feel it automatically, but I think it will be cool for him. Even though there's no fans, just being here I think is comforting, there's something comforting about that."

Is there any level of familiarity that matters to you on the offensive line? Is there chemistry there? Are you good with just whoever's out there?
"I think there's definitely chemistry there. I think it's like this every year where the guys that are in their room, somebody goes down, God forbid, the next guy is ready and up. They do a good job throughout the week preparing. In camp, guys were interchanging. Terron (Armstead) might not have been practicing or Ram (Ryan Ramczyk) might not be practicing, but everything keeps going smoothly. As far as the O-line, we go as they go, so (I'm) not worried about them."

With the NFL's Inspire Change program, have you decided on the decal you'll be wearing for week one?
"I chose Ahmaud Arbery. That's the name I'll be wearing on my helmet."

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