New Orleans Saints Running Back Dwayne Washington
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, April 17, 2020
Why don't you just start by talking about your decision to re-sign and what you're looking forward to heading into this year?
"First off, it was a family kind of thing. So I just had this talk with my closest peers just to make that right decision and make sure everything was right for me, but obviously being with the Saints for two years now, feeling that connection, I don't know, there's just something about this squad that just made me want to come back for another year and just hopefully take it all the way. It's a special program. It's just something that I would like to be a part of so hopefully we can secure (inaudible) to where I can be a part of that success. I just think that like the biggest (thing was) just to come back with everything that's going on in like this situation, but just being back with the coaches and then obviously with this team and the coaching staff and the players. So it was just basically coming back and trying to be a part of a Super Bowl team which I felt like (this team was)."
How much do you feel like you've developed in the last couple of years with the Saints organization? I know that you haven't had a lot of opportunities to run the ball, but it seems like you're pretty active in other parts of the team too.
"Yeah, obviously a big special teams player and do a lot (blocking) for Pro Bowler Deonte Harris, but yeah, man, I take pride in special teams. I think it's something that not too many guys can play special teams. So just being one of those guys that are very good at it, I kind of take full force and connection to it. Obviously, when you have somebody is great as Deonte Harris it's like, why not give that full effort for that person? Just to make things (easy). Special teams is also a big part of the game. Just having that heart and then that motive for special teams, I just think that kind of shows like the true love of the game. It's not just offense and defense. I kind of, as a running back, I think it's pretty dope that I'm pretty talented at special teams and kind of taking all of the fundamentals that I do during the offseason that can kind of make me great when the season arrives."
When did you find out that special teams is something that you were good at?
"Probably going back to high school. In high school, as a freshman I played both sides of the ball and special teams. But then just working my way up varsity, I felt like I was always the bigger kid on the team, so (with) special teams I was kind of like that bully player to everybody. I just think that it all started off in high school. Just the love for it, it just kept growing. In college I was obviously pretty good at it and then I was chasing guys down on kickoff. Then it kind of just transferred to the NFL. Special teams is just one of those things that you've got to have a passion for and I feel like I have the passion to do it. I feel like special teams has taken me a long way."
What have you learned just being around guys like Alvin (Kamara), Mark (Ingram) and Latavius (Murray)? What does that do for a young player like yourself?
"Just being around those guys, you learn a lot. Everybody has something different they bring to the table. So I felt like when it comes to Mark Ingram, when I came into the system, Mark was one of those guys that it's just like everybody knows who Mark Ingram is and I'm just this kid two years later (leading the offense) instead of coming to meet this guy. We obviously had that great relationship and he was a great ballplayer on offense. Alvin just has these special things us running backs look for in terms of balance (and) staying on your feet, that kind of stuff. Latavius, he is like the big bully on offense. He is a guy like me, (that) kind of has the same running style as me. So I feel like my whole career really, I've been around great running backs. I just think that we feed off of each other and we just try to learn off each other. We all want to be successful at the end of the day. I feel like we all come together as one, but we just support each other through everything, ups and downs. Just like the game of football as the season goes on."
How much did the makeup of this roster really get you excited about being able to come back to the Saints?
"I felt like we did some pretty good things this offseason. Obviously picking up Emmanuel Sanders and Malcolm Jenkins coming back. We obviously got Drew (Brees) coming back so that's the biggest thing right there. But I just think that, I feel like the Saints are onto something and I want to be a part of it. Like I said, I've been with this program for two years, hopefully this third year can be something that we can push this thing all the way. I know, like history books, I can say that I was with this club for three years and this happened, but that's always the main goal, just to take it all the way."
What was the most important thing for you heading into free agency?
"Well, I feel, why not push to be a number one or two running back, which is something that I'll always do, whether I'm with the Saints or with any other team. But, yes, I'd just say I think that me staying with the Saints, I just felt like, whether it was just for special teams or to even have that opportunity of being the number two, it's always been there and it is just me being an athlete. I am always fighting to be that starting running back or just to have those impressions or to be where these coaches trust me a lot. But special teams is also a part of my game. So I just do anything that'll help winning these 16 games so we can keep on going. That's always my motive."
With the pandemic going on did you find time to work on anything or have you been able to work on anything? Was there anything you were looking to improve on heading into this year?
"Yeah, you're right, there's a lot of stuff going on, but I just stay on my same schedule as in I just keep my diet very tight and that being an athlete. I've always kind of felt the need to have my own (workout) stuff around my house. I felt like I have a great setup inside of my garage and also my bedroom has a great set up. I have a little yoga, like a structure that like work with you based on nowadays and I just try to maintain all of that kind of stuff. But then on the weekends I might go to the beach and do a beach workout with a couple of players and just keep our (social) distance. We still find ways to get that work in. I don't really feel like much has changed from any other offseason except for the fact that we just got to be more careful nowadays and just think about the family and just take care of each other."
Where are you this offseason?
"I'm in Southern California."