New Orleans Saints Running Back Latavius Murray
Post-Practice Video Conference Media Availability
I saw this offseason you went and got your graduate degree from Syracuse I believe, just can you kind of tell us why that was important to you, what your degree was in, all that sort of stuff?
"Yeah, I received my master's in Business Administration. It was important to me because I think just some years ago, going through an injury back in Oakland, I kind of got to thinking about, kind of life after football and what that looked like for me, and I kind of realized at that time, I did not know, I'm kind of still trying to figure that part out. But obviously, I'm still playing so, but (it) allowed me to think about my career after football and being able to educate myself through the NFL reimbursement program. So I decided to go back to school. I chose Syracuse since it's where I grew up back home. It's just been a few years of kind of taking some classes in the offseason, started that in '17 and now here in 2020, I was able to finish so, definitely I'm glad I got that out of the way and I'm definitely glad that I was able to experience all that and meet the people that I've met."
Second year with the Saints, how much more comfortable do you feel in this offense after spending an entire season with the team?
"I feel real comfortable. I think I feel, I even feel it this offseason. Just another year of hearing, the same plays, the same calls and just being in the locker room and on the field with the same group of guys, the core guys. So it feels good, allows me to go out there and play faster and again I think I just need to continue to stack the days and continue to go out there with the mentality to improve every day. And as long as I do that, I think I'll be pleased with what I go out there and put on film."
What have you noticed from the offensive line, obviously a pretty big new piece in the rookie, Cesar Ruiz, but what have you noticed from you know, kind of how they're building chemistry and how that's affecting you from your position?
"Yeah, I think they have been doing a great job. I think even all the young guys that have come in, have come in and competed at a real high level. And I think with time and with reps they are going to continue to gel and mesh but I think we have gotten off to a really good start and done some really good things. So I am just excited to kind of continue to work. And obviously we'll get a few guys back out there. But right now where we're at, I'm thinking I'm loving it. And on that, I gotta show my boy T Stat (Terron Armstead). Make sure y'all go listen, at BOA in my zone, iTunes, Apple Music. Let's go."
When you were in Minnesota your second year and your second year in Oakland did you notice a really big difference from that first year to the second year? Compared to Minnesota and Oakland?
"Yeah, so in Oakland, Oakland was a bit different because I sat, I did not play my first year (due to injury) but then second year, we had the same group there. But, if you want to say my second year of playing in Oakland, we brought in a new coordinator, a new coach in (Jack) Del Rio. And then even in Minnesota, we brought in a new offensive coordinator my second year after Pat (Shurmur) left for New York, so. I would not even say it is just more of a comfort level here because there's no changes to the offensive coordinator position. And so I think that's been a big help for me. And I think that's what's been the difference from those other two places."
Do you get the impression that they're going to place more of an emphasis on finding a consistent role or a consistent workload for you since that was so kind of sporadic in your first year?
"We haven't discussed that, but I think that we have a lot of weapons on offense. And I just think it's a good problem to have. And so I'm just going to make sure I just do my part to show that I deserve to be on the field, you know, as much as I can. And I'll leave it in their hands to figure out when and how much."
With no preseason games, just for a running back, how do you like get your body ready to like be tackled if you just don't do a lot of it in training camp practices, you guys have no live action before the season starts?
"Yeah, I just think in practice, just a constant reminder and running with an attitude and just running with a good pad level. I think that's most important. And then hopefully that'll carry over and translate to when you start playing games at least, you know, you're in the right positions when you get that contact to either take it or you know obviously deliver you know, a hit on the defender. So I think it's just practicing with the right pad level, practicing hard. But you can't never get though you know, those live game reps until you actually do it so. I'm sure we'll have some scrimmages and some periods where we have the opportunity to replicate a real game and we'll have to be fine with that. But I think if you take the past eight years and all that from before, from playing, I know what it feels like to be hit."
Going back to your MBA, do you have a certain focus like (Justin) Hardee, he's opening up some franchises, are you trying to do the same? Or do you have a different plan?
"No, one of my focuses was entrepreneurial. But for me right now, it was just about learning. It was about learning and getting a chance to network with classmates and professors. And I think I was able to do that. I was able to learn, I was able to network. And I think that has even positioned me to, to build some relationships outside of football and again, some relationships, maybe that will carry on once I'm done playing. But right now, it was just, it was about learning and, and hopefully giving me an idea of, of what it takes to start, run a business, be a part of a business, and we'll see what happens when I'm done playing."
We talked to Alvin Kamara and he talked about how he was banged up last year. Have you noticed a difference in him this year and just his health?
"Yeah, he looks really good. When he's healthy, he's one of the best at that position. And if you want to say multiple positions, but what he's you able to do at that position, running the ball and (catching passes) out of the backfield. He's a playmaker. He's healthy and looks good. And if he remains healthy then, as we all know, he's a hard guy to deal with."