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Transcript: New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz training camp interview - Wednesday, Aug. 26

Ruiz spoke with media about switching between center and guard positions at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints C/G Cesar Ruiz
Training Camp Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Have the vets made you do your dance from Michigan?
"Yeah, I did my song."

You are receiving a lot of extended work now at center. How is that working out for you? We've seen yet right guard, now we see you at center. Is there a preference and how is the transition working for you?
"No, I don't have a preference really. Just really try and learn all positions really throughout the interior. Really just going back and forth between everything and learn as much as I can right now. I don't really have a preference though."

Does it feel like it's been a smooth process for you?
"Yeah, going through these first couple of weeks of training camp, of course, there's learning curves in there, but everything's been going pretty smooth."

Has it helped that you kind of established a little bit of a rapport with Erik (McCoy) before you even got here and that you guys are able to kind of bounce ideas off of each other?
"I think most people know that I contacted Erik when I was combine training. It was good to build that relationship early. It's a coincidence now we're teammates. So the chemistry was previously there. It was good to have somebody that gave me advice going into this part of my life with me right now. So definitely good."

Then in terms of working at the center position and right guard, you guys are both making that switch. Are you bouncing some ideas off each other, kind of trying to help each other figure it out?
"Yeah, if we see something we're like, 'Hey, if we see something that somebody else didn't see, we'll help each other out, bounce ideas off each other.' But really, both of us are just out there trying to get better."

What type of challenges have you had calling protections at the center position on at this level at this time?
"I haven't really had challenges. I haven't really had any challenges with protection or anything like that."

So you feel real comfortable settling into the position?
"Yeah, because I study notes and things (that) were taught. It is not really that difficult to align projections."

On that note, what has been some of the feedback that you've been getting from either your coaches or some of the more veteran guys on the line?
"Really most of the feedback is to use this time to learn and to really get your feet going. I don't really have a lot of time like other people did in the past so they tell me, 'Look, you have got to pick it up quick, but do not get ahead of yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself. Just learn it, but you got to learn it quick.'"

What's been the biggest adjustment for you just in becoming a pro, especially just with the stuff that you've had to deal with this offseason with the coronavirus pandemic, moving to a new place and all that stuff?
"I probably would say the biggest adjustment probably would be not like actually playing football for about eight months. That's probably the biggest adjustment. (That is) probably the longest I have gone without playing football since I was like 16 probably. Just that that big break from football was probably the biggest challenge I had going into this situation because of the pandemic. Yeah that's probably about it."

Did you play any center in high school and then if so, or if not, is there a certain side whether it's center or guard that you feel more comfortable in or that you have a preference for?
"Yeah, I played center in high school, but like I said before, it doesn't really matter to me where I play. I just want to be out there on the field. I'm learning both positions so it doesn't really matter to me where I play. I don't really have a preference."

How comfortable are you just hearing the cadence and with the time timing of everything and did getting that first week at guard, just hearing it live on the field, help at all now that you're playing center?
"Yeah, it took me about halfway through practice, first day, maybe second day. It took me a little bit get the timing and cadence right. Not too long, probably about a day or two and I figured that up pretty quick."

What did you learn from having reps against guys like whether it be Sheldon Rankins or whoever, NFL interior lineman? What have you learned?
"I learned, especially with guys that (are so) talented on our team, I learned so much. Guys like guys like Sheldon (Rankins), David (Onyemata) are two different players that have two different skill sets, but they've definitely taught me a lot of things. What to expect from D-linemen and (they) show me a whole lot of different moves in practice. Apply different variations. Of course, they're going 100 percent. It's helping me pick up the speed of the game and helping me get everything going."

Were there things that you hadn't seen before or just things that you've seen before, just speeded up?
"A combination of both. Guys, of course, are more dynamic, have a lot more in their back pocket when it comes to skill set and the speed of the game's picked up a little bit. So those are a couple things."

Did you ever have any experience preparing for a hurricane when you were at IMG Academy or is this the first time you've had to go through this?
"Yeah, I have my familiarity with hurricanes. First. I want to give my prayers to everybody west of us right now that could possibly be hit this hurricane. I want to send my prayers over to them. But yeah, I have a great history with hurricanes from New Jersey, tropical storms in Florida. So I've experienced them before. I've never experienced anything (that) detrimental, but we've experienced a good deal of hurricanes from New Jersey and in Florida."

What has it been like to get work in with Drew Brees? Is there anything that stands out about him or just things you've already picked up from him just in the first week?
"It's great to work with, of course, a quarterback like, especially Drew himself. It's great to work with Drew. He's been in the league since before I could talk so he knows a lot. He's given me a lot of advice and just having somebody in there that just knows what is going on at all times is great."

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