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Transcript: New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael training camp interview - Thursday, Aug. 20

Carmichael spoke with media about installing the offense under unusual circumstances due to COVID-19

New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Training Camp Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Thursday, August 20, 2020

I was just over listening to Sean Payton's press conference briefly and he was talking about installs. I'm just curious what that process has been like this year, getting the offense installed while dealing with all this kind of craziness that y'all have had to deal with.
"Yeah, so every year, if it was a regular offseason, we try to as we get through training camp let these guys hear each install two or three times. During the quarantine we were all staying at home, we had a chance to obviously, when we were virtually meeting with our players to go through all the installs one time and there may have been a few days where we were able to get back through some of the earlier ones as well for a second time. And then as we came here, we had kind of that ramp up period, we were able to start at the beginning. And then as we broke into full speed practices, and now with the pads on, we're able to go back and start over. When you take maybe the first couple installs, they heard that a couple days ago for the third time. And then you talk about today was a third down day, and they're hearing that for the third time as it comes through, but the first time now that things are with the full pads on."

Just having to get your eyes on Cesar Ruiz, what do you think of him in person on the field and of course the hot question, center or guard? Where do you envision him going forward?
"Well, obviously about the person, we love the person, we love the makeup. That was a big part of when we bring somebody in we vet those things first and so we love the person. And then as far as the position, I know Sean Payton has said that we're just going to continue (to work guys in different spots), it's early, really with the pads on in the process. And so continue to rotate those guys around and get them as much work as we can and then just keep evaluating from there."

As far as having pads on, having to see him in practice, because normally you've seen him plenty enough, just is what you're seeing on the practice field kind of what you were able to see on college tape and the expectations?
"Yeah, I think absolutely, and I think that, again, with the pads on it's still early, but we've been pleased."

I know you guys often talk about when you bring a guy in, a free agent or a rookie, the vision for him. But how long do you think it takes for you to kind of see if that vision is actually going to work out for him you're into a training camp for particularly a guy like Ty Montgomery?
"Well, I think this, I think that Terry Fontenot and his group do such a great job of bringing us guys to look at, and maybe giving us an early idea of how they picture him and then as coaches have an opportunity to look at him, and then based on what the film that you've seen from him coming from somewhere else, at least developing those characteristics or those values, those roles that you see him being able to fit in. So far he's done a nice job for us."

This is a 15 years together now for Drew Brees and Sean Payton. I am just curious as to what your kind of take is on their relationship, how it's evolved over the years? And if you could, I was talking to a couple guys about it and they said, like one of their favorite things about watching those two work together is those Saturday night meetings before games, just seeing how they kind of bounce ideas off each other.
"Yeah, I think that their personalities have never changed. They've always been two competitive, love the game, great people. So that's never changed and they know each other better than anybody at this point 15 years later. And so being a being a part of that is special, to see how their minds think alike and that the discussion that you're talking about that happens on Saturday night, it's just amazing to see how much they are on the same page and to share ideas and just really to be a part of it and to listen."

I don't believe we've gotten to talk to you since you've now had a chance to get some hands on work with Jameis Winston. What have your impressions been of him and what have you thought of the way he's performed these first few training camp practices?
"Yeah, I think that he came in, he's in great physical conditioning. Going back to the offseason, where we were doing some things virtually, you could tell that he's a quick study and that's carried through, you can see him get in and out of the huddle for not having much experience with maybe this terminology that we're using, maybe some of the plays, but he's done a great job getting the information, relaying it to the huddle, and then you see the live arm. We're real excited with our ability to work with him. Obviously, still early, but maybe with the pads on and the practice really going, but so far we've been pleased with him."

You mentioned getting in and out of the huddle. I believe that was something Jared Cook might have said last week that he is very intense about that. Is that something you've noticed?
"Yeah. I think that he, you can tell when he's in the huddle, his eyes are on the players. He clearly communicates. And, you know, it's been nice how he's grasped that knowledge and able to reiterate it to the players and get everybody on the same page."

As far as having someone with so much starting experience, like Jameis back there, does it make your job as far as preparing him a little easier? Or is it kind of difficult because he's so used to running a certain offense? And now he's coming in and it's, it's a little different for him?
"Well, I think it's, I think experience obviously goes a long way. But he's been quick, like I said, he's been quick to speed, to catch up to our terminology. And, you know, there's obviously things that are different about our offense. And so, you know, he's really focused in the classroom and, you know, he hangs on every word that Sean Payton or Joe Lombardi is telling him. And, you know, one thing that we talked about is, you know as a coach to him, he goes out in the field and his ability to try to do it the way that it's being coached. And that's been a pleasant so far."

Alvin Kamara, obviously we know health wise last year, he wasn't totally himself. Do you go into this season almost with a game plan to kind of, I don't want to say limit him but not overuse him? Or do you feel like he's kind of prepared himself to carry a typical Kamara type load and be kind of the same guy, the kind of guy we saw the first two years?
"Well, I think that, you know, obviously it's still early. And as we progress along here through the training camp, you know, as we get closer, we'll start putting together some game plans. But obviously, like every year, we expect him to be a big part of those game plans."

Following up on the Alvin Kamara thing you know, last year I think he only had like two catches of 20 or more yards. And that's kind of been an area where he's like excelled, those big chunk plays in the passing game. Was there anything behind that in your eyes besides the injury or you think it could just be chalked up to that?
"I don't know if there's any correlation between those things. I just think that, some of those might just be opportunities that we've given him. Or you know, maybe just how the play played out, the defense, maybe the ball went somewhere else. So it wasn't that we weren't trying to, or anything like that. It was just maybe, just opportunities."

Offensively, the last couple years as you guys had all the success as a team, you have barely turned the ball over. How much emphasis do you guys place on that? How much of it is, is Drew just like deciding I'm not going to throw picks? You know? How do you guys kind of explain that?
"Well, I think this, I think it's a point of emphasis, a major point of emphasis from Sean Payton from the start. And his ability to get in front of the team and communicate that, show them the stats, and show them where we have been the years that we have and where we have had the least turnovers or we haven't turned it over as much. There is such a strong emphasis from the head coach, it starts there. And then communicating that message to the player and making sure we realize how important it is. And when you see the stats, and then you can just point to games that you can go back to where it has not been good for us or, and just the win loss percentage. So I think we've just got to keep making an emphasis on it."

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