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Transcript: New Orleans Saints J.T. Gray Week 1 interview - 9/7/20

Quotes from New Orleans safety on the preparations of the Saints special teams unit

**New Orleans Saints Safety J.T. Gray

Video Conference With New Orleans Media
Monday, September 7, 2020**

How tough is it, when you're on special teams with no preseason, just having an idea where you all are right now?
"Right now is very difficult because during the preseason you get those penalties that you get the first game. But, now we just, we're in the full flesh now. So that's going to be the most difficult part right there. We're practicing our technique, (to) get prepared for the first game. We know there's going to be penalties but we're practicing right now and just cleaning it all up right now."

Just being on a team that puts so much emphasis on special teams and being a special teams guy. How much do you think that just is different than maybe some of the other situations when you look around the league?
"It's different because you only get limited plays. And when you get those limited plays, you have to make those the best. You got to make those plays count when you're out there, because those are very important plays. Those types of plays are game changers and you got to be out there, you've got to do your thing."

Yeah, as a guy who who found his way onto this roster through having some good performances on special teams during the preseason, but no preseason games, did you offer any advice to some of the rookies or some of the guys that were trying to find a way on that similar path you took?
"Right, right, right. I'm always open to giving out advice to the new guys, because me, coming in, I found out that that was my open way to making the roster, initially."

What's it going to be like for you on the kickoff team. You go out there and depend on the crowd energy and you're not being able to feed off of that, how different is that going to be for you all?
"It's going to be different, but once you're in the game and once you focus, you focus on your job and doing what's best for the team. So I feel like, not having the crowd is going to be a major factor but at the same time we all have to do our job out there and get everything done."

What did you see from Marcus Callaway just on special teams going up against him throughout camp playing alongside them?
"He is a natural special teams player. He is out there dominating at an early stage. He is showing us what he got right now. So he's basically just showing what he can do on special teams. And I love it."

Did you see that out of him kind of right away, like did he show up like day one pretty much?
"Yeah, it showed up day one. I saw him out there running at gunner on kickoff and he was out there making plays. He's making plays all around the field on special teams."

Coming off of a second-team All-Pro season, I guess it's probably obvious, but what are your goals for this season?
"Just stack up off of that year right there. We're all trying to get better. And I appreciate my team for doing their job to help me get to that position."

With how tumultuous this offseason was in the world with Covid, are you any somewhat relieved? Football's back, does it even feel like you know it's time for football now, just knowing how long it's been and how weird these past several months have been.
"At first, I wasn't sure if we were going to have football so everybody started making secondary plans and whatnot. So, just having football is a relief like you said, so I'm ready to go."

What's it sort of like with you and Justin Hardee? And just, you know both of you are sort of leaders on that special teams group and just what's that relationship sort of like in the same fraternity and all that stuff, but what's it like?
"Once I got here, the chemistry was already there. We started making plays together. We always communicate when we're on the field, just to make sure each one of us are on point with the plays. And make sure we're on point. The chemistry's there."

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