New Orleans Saints Kicker Wil Lutz
Training Camp Video Call with New Orleans Media
Saturday, August 29, 2020
First things first, kicking an empty dome, did you get a chance to kind of just get a sense for what that's going to be like for you this year just at tonight's practice?
"Yeah, every day is quiet during football period, there's not much going on. So it's normal in that sense, but when you're in this big, empty, 70,000 whatnot seat stadium the ball sounds a little different coming off your foot. You hear the echo, you can hear people talking. So it's definitely different. It's a lot better having 75,000 Who Dats yelling at you (if you are the opposition), but we're getting used to it."
I'm not trying to like talk smack on Georgia State here, but I mean, you played in the Georgia Dome. It's a really big venue for…
"I know what you're about to say (laughter)."
Look, I've covered a game there and there wasn't anybody there. You can hear everything going on.
"I could hear my mom yelling for me. At least I have that going for me, but at the end of the day, I am not the only one going through it. Every kicker in this league is dealing with it. It's a constant and everyone's got to find a way to deal with it."
Craig Robertson was, I saw him taunting you at practice the other day and he was like, trying to like get in your ear before the kicks. Are you kind of anticipating a little bit more of that just because it's going to be quiet in there?
"Yeah, I asked those guys (to) do that. I think we have to find a way to prepare for something that we don't really know what's going to happen right now. We don't know if there's going to be crowd noise, we don't know if it's going to be quiet, we don't know how much crowd noise if any. And so we have to find a way to get better on a daily basis with what we think is going to happen. When we're in here with just us and another team, I would assume that every team's going to have tactics to mess with every position on the field and so, without knowing what's going to happen, I'm doing the best thing I can to prepare personally and those guys want me to be on my a-game so they're going to do whatever they can to help me prepared. There's no better person to (do) it than Craig Robertson."
What is your normal process when you are going through a kick? I imagine you are kind of trying to drown out the noise anyways. So does anything really change for you?
"No, not much changes. Obviously, like what I talked about with Craig and some of the guys that I've asked that they kind of try to do their best to distract me. I can have 200,000 people screaming at me and it's white noise versus eight guys screaming at it. Everyone knows it's impossible to drown that out, no matter what you say. The best I can do is keep going through the motions, going through my setup, not changing what I do. In practice every day, I lock in and I kick and it's like, next thing you know, I hit my kicks and practice is over. So I'm pretty good at getting through my work, zoning everything out, but in a game you're not hitting seven kicks in a row. Obviously, come the first game, we'll figure out how it's going to go."
Specifically on preparing for this season, you've had a pretty successful first couple years in the NFL. What do you try to refine to actually get better, improve from last year to this year?
"One thing that (Thomas) Morstead and I both kind of harp on is as soon as you think you've made it, you haven't. Obviously, we had a great year last year, we had a really good year the year before and we're just working to build every year. I think we have personal goals, we have team goals, and my attitude is I've never made it and I'm just going to keep working until I've made it, which I never will. So I guess that's as well as I can answer that question is I know I've got to keep my head down, regardless of success or failures. Just kind of keep working."
Is there anything specific that you're able to say that you're working on? are you trying to get on a percentage or distance?
"There is not a specific, right? I think the biggest thing right now is we are trying to make up for lost time. We did not have those two months as a unit to work on our timing. Right now, I do feel like we are getting close to hitting stride, but we are trying to figure out our timing right now and kind of make up for the time that we did not have in the spring. All we can do is keep working together, keep trying to mesh. And so as far as specifics, I am trying to put the ball a little more down the middle than last year. Obviously, I always want to beat my percentage (from) the year before, but there as some things that are out of your control. I am working on what I control right now and, hopefully, that leads to success."