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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach Dan Campbell training camp interview - Thursday, Aug. 20

Campbell spoke with media about a deep and talented tight end room

New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach Dan Campbell
Video Conference with New Orleans Media
Thursday, August 20, 2020

We got a chance to talk to you this summer and you were saying some pretty good things about Adam Trautman and just kind of projecting where you could be based on his reps at the Senior Bowl, but now you're getting to see him actually go up against real players. What's kind of been the first reaction there?
"The last time he played he was against college (competition). So yes, I'd say this. I'd say up to this point, he has not disappointed. He is a guy that seems pretty mature. He has picked up the game plan well. I would say he thinks of the game a little bit more like a vet than he does a rookie which is a good thing, he learns at a very high rate so in regard to that, he doesn't make the same mistake twice, which is extremely encouraging. I would say up to this point, he's having a good camp. Now we just started pads. This is, I guess, really day two of pads for us. There'll be some growing pains, but up to this point, I've been pleased."

As with regards to Jared Cook, obviously, after having a year here, have you noticed any more confidence in him this training camp with going out there and attack and practice?
"Yeah, listen, absolutely. We were actually discussing this a few days ago, and, and he knows this too, but he looks so much more comfortable right now than he did this time last year, you can tell he understands the offense. He knows what Drew (Brees) wants. He knows what we're looking for as his coaches. His confidence level is up. And as a matter of fact, this time last year, I kind of kept him in one spot, just until he got his feet under him. And now we've moved him everywhere up to this point. He's played the Y's, the F, he's the Z, he's the X and so he's doing a heck of a job. So he's miles ahead of where he was this time last year."

Tommy Stevens. Obviously he's a raw prospect at tight end. How do you approach coaching him? And then what are some of the traits you see that maybe he could fit that position?
"Well, it is all new to him. You have to start from ground level with those guys and he is no different than that he is, honestly you got to go back like you are teaching somebody that is straight out of high school and has never blocked before, just like he's coming into college. We have just tried to take baby steps for this stuff and into where he gets more comfortable with it. And it is no different than when we had Dan Arnold here. He's starting to be doing things that that he is not familiar with (and) he's never done. So it's all just everything starting from the beginning. Hes been an intriguing athlete. That's why we wanted to draft the kid and there's things about him. He's got a skill set and he seems like he can catch the ball a little bit and, and athletically be able to do some things. And so we're just going to see what we can get out of (him) and see what kind of athlete he is. It's just early right now."

With Adam Trautman specifically, we saw big numbers in college receiving but where's he at right now in your, in your opinion blocking wise, much room to grow there?
"You love his college tape. He played at a smaller school. He dominated at that level. And so you're hoping to see it (skillset) translate to see the guy at the Senior Bowl and by the end of the week, he'd really grown and I feel like that's kind of where we're at with him right now. He's just growing like he's got so much room to grow, not only run blocking, but in the pass game too. And so we're seeing that development like you're seeing the development (that) you want to take place right now in front of us, which is good. I think before this is all said and done, I think this kid's going to be able to block the point of attack. I think he's going to be able to pass protect, and I think he's going to be able to create separation in the packet and get open."

The other day coach Payton mentioned Juwan Johnson is a guy that could potentially find himself at tight end, is that something you guys have discussed?
"I'm in on the receiver guys all the time, so I walked by there and said, Hey, guys, I'll take 83 and they don't want any part of that (laughter). So I don't think they are going to let him out of that (receiver) room. But we're not afraid to try somebody in a different spot. We'll do whatever we think's best for the athlete that can help us as a team. So he is doing well where he is at right now, but that is always a possibility."

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