New Orleans Saints linebacker Zack Baun
Training camp video call with New Orleans media
Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020
I don't know how much experience you have had with hurricanes, but what's kind of your thought process with these two potentially coming in 48 hours to New Orleans potentially?
"Yeah, I've been here since late May, early June and there was that tropical storm that came in. When we were hearing about that, me and my fiancé were going out to the grocery store, grabbing all the canned goods we could and then we got home and it was really just, like, it rained. So definitely preparing and just play everything by ear."
How do you feel this first training camp for you is working out and obviously with the COVID restrictions and the testing, it might be a little different, but how's it been for you?
Yeah, as far as the COVID situation, to be honest, I don't know how a normal training camp would have gone because (its) my first year obviously, and I'm just trying to take advantage of the moment whether there's a pandemic going on or not, I'm going to do my best and work around all those obstacles that may get in the way, but they have a pretty flawless operation here (where you) just come in in the morning, get tested and go about your day."
You've been getting some reps with the ones. What has that experience been like playing next to Demario Davis in practice?
"Yeah, the first walkthrough was really the only time that in my life that I felt like in my heart, oh my god, I've got these guys all around me, all these great players and I was really just thrown right into the fire and forced to get used to the transition. There's been a lot of them, but definitely taking advantage of all the opportunities, running with the ones and any rep I get."
What's been the biggest difference just playing off the ball more and seeing the field from that angle and just the processing and reacting to things? How do you feel like that's going? Do you feel like you're still thinking about things or is it clicking pretty quick?
"Yeah, when I was in college, I was all on the ball, really seeing through my man on one side. If you play on the ball, you've got a 50-50 shot if the runs coming to you or away from you, and just a few number of like, drop angles, whether it's a curl flat, or whatever. It was very not as much compared to stalking off the ball. You kind of really got to open up your vision and see the full picture. I'm still getting used to that, but each day I'm getting better and getting more comfortable."
Can you kind of give us a little bit of insight into exactly where you're being used right now?*Are you strictly staying off the ball linebacker or are you also working in at the edge as well?*
"Yeah, I'm working a lot of SAM in the regular downs. When we go to more of our nickel stuff, I hop in and take my reps off the ball. So doing a mix of both right now."
*In playing in different spots, what has been one of the bigger adjustments that you've had to make personally in coming from college to the pros? *"I think, like I said before, just expanding your vision. You really have to have big eyes because at the line of scrimmage, it is easy to see a guy coming right at you. But when you stack off the ball, and things are crisscrossing and doing all sorts of things, you have to be able to diagnose what's going on and where the ball is at all times."
Has there been any player either in the linebacker corps or just on the defense in general that's kind of taken you under their wing or given you more advice than maybe other players?
"Yeah, we're lucky enough in the linebacker room that we have a lot of veteran guys and a lot of guys that not only have that experience, but are very willing to help the young guys along. There's a big gap between the older guys and the younger guys in our room and we're trying to bridge that gap as best we can. Craig Robertson is doing a great job, Demario Davis, of course, and then Kiko (Alonso) and Alex (Anzalone) as well are all doing a fantastic job getting us all up to speed, and getting us used to the pace of the game."
*How is (your dog) Chance getting adjusted to New Orleans? *"My dog is really hot right now. He's spending a lot of time inside. Of course, he's not used to this, shedding a lot. There's been a lot of fur around the house and drinking lots of water."