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Transcript: New Orleans Saints defensive end Carl Granderson training camp interview - Monday, Aug. 24

Granderson spoke with media about added strength this offseason at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints defensive end Carl Granderson
Training Camp Video Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, August 24, 2020

How much more comfortable do you feel this year, compared to last year just coming in at the start of the regular season?
"I'm feeling a lot better. I'm a year smarter. And I'm just out there trying to make plays and do whatever I can to help the team out."

What did you focus on most this offseason both as far as your body shape, size, weight, that kind of stuff and also as far as what techniques you wanted to work on the most?
"I focused on, mainly my strength. You know, trying to get stronger, bigger and faster. So, I put on a couple of pounds this offseason, maybe like 10 pounds, because we're in the trenches now. So my strength and then I've been in the playbook more. That was a key thing for me this offseason, getting smarter with the plays, learning the defense a little better and getting stronger."

Jared Cook mentioned the other day that the defense just has a new look to it a little bit from last year. Do you feel like there's just a different edge to the defense as a whole this year, compared to last year?
"Yeah, the defense, we're a lot better than last year. We got some vets (veterans) on the line and we're all working as a team. We're hunting to the ball with effort. We're just bringing the energy every day. We're a step further than we were last year. We've just got to keep continuing to push and get better every day and try to hunt."

Do you have any personal goals for this season?
"Yeah, my personal goal mainly for this season is just to contribute on special teams, set the tempo on special teams because it's 1/11th, everybody has got to do their job. I'm going to keep fighting that, so (to) be a special teams kind of guy. And then on defense, do whatever I can do to help the defense out, whatever coach (Payton) wants me to do, just go out there and play hard. So, my main thing is, just bring the energy and set the tempo."

You mentioned special teams at first when you were asked about your goals, just kind of why's that your focus in the area you really want to impress on?
"Because last year, I played a key role last year on special teams. That's how I got on the field, most of my plays last year. And I love special teams. I didn't play it in college, but when I got here, I was on every special team and I like competing, so. I'm just trying to compete and get better. Special teams, that sets the tone."

What is your weight right now?
"Right now, I'm between 280 to 277."

Did you ever play that big in college or this is the biggest you've been?
"This is the biggest I've been. I'm feeling way better now, bigger, stronger. Last year I played at 258. And I'm feeling good now. I'm running around like a gazelle and just having fun out there."

Where's your run defense along? How do you feel about your run defense compared to your pass rush?
"I feel good about both. We got some good run stoppers up front. The whole D-Line, we big, physical and we play hard. So that's the main thing, just to stop the run, so we get an opportunity to pass (rush)."

Last year when you got your first career sack, your teammates gave you some grief for your celebration. Have you given any thought to a new one? Other than the worm? Are you going to continue doing that one?
"Yeah, I've been working on it this offseason trying to think of how I can be creative, but at the same time, save energy for the next play. So, I have been working on it a little bit. I might bring the worm back out, we'll see."

You said you hadn't played special teams before the National Football League, but now you embrace it. What was that learning curve like, to go from not having played it to now embracing it? You know, what did you have to go through?
"My college coach, he always told me, at the next level, everybody plays special teams. So you will eventually play (on special teams) one day. So when I got here, it just, at first it was kind of slow for me, because I never played a snap of any special team. So it was slow, and I picked it up really quick by watching film, staying extra, just (keeping) in the playbook. That transition was no different from defense really, so. But the thing about special teams, (is that) one wrong move, that can hurt the team. So it is big, an important thing."

Have you noticed a difference in Marcus Davenport, this training camp? Just from last year to this year and him coming off that big injury this offseason?
"Yeah, I've noticed a big difference, (from) when we first came in. He's a lot bigger and stronger. He's faster. He's moving around pretty well. Way better this year than last. He's improved, he's getting to the pass rusher and he's stopping the run. So he's got the overall package. We're just trying to work and getting better overall. Do whatever we can to help the team, but Marcus is looking good out there."

And has he become any more of a vocal leader just in this offseason?
"Oh, yeah. He gives us pep talks and try to get us going, sets the tone and brings the tempo as well. But he's more of a show by action type of guy."

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