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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Terron Armstead Week 1 interview - 9/7/20

Quotes from New Orleans Saints tackle on missing fan energy for Week 1

**New Orleans Saints Tackle Terron Armstead

Video Conference With New Orleans Media
Monday, September 7, 2020**

How normal does this season feel for you and what are you doing to try to keep it as normal as possible?
"It definitely has had it's differences throughout the camp. Once we got rolling though into practice, (our) normal A schedule and all that good stuff, it actually had a lot more of a normal feel. So we were able to get into some usual routines. Yeah, I think it's important to try to get, to kind of, the most normal feel or the most routine that we possibly can, leading up to this game. Right now, being a bonus Monday, that's how every season starts. So, I think we've got a good start to the season."

Kind of related to that, are you almost surprised at how well things have gone NFL wide where there's not a lot of guys in the COVID list right now and you guys have been able to keep it pretty well contained?
"Yeah, yeah, I think it's been a great job by the NFL with the procedures and protocols that they put in place. Great job by the home team, the way that the Saints have handled everything. We're doing everything by the rulebook, everything by the codes to make sure everybody is as safe as possible. And it's been smooth."

Now that you can wear names and have different slogans on your helmets, have you decided what name or slogan you want to wear for week one?
"We're still deciding exactly how we want to approach you know, everything dealing with awareness with the movement and inspiring change. So we've got a group of leaders on the team and we've just been in this thing for a month or two now, trying to figure out exactly what we want to do and what we want our team to look like. It's important, and it's extremely impactful. So we don't want to try to dilute that at all. We want to take some time and put some thought into it before we roll out our plan for the season."

What stands out to you about the Bucs defense especially with returning essentially the core group last year?
"Extremely active. They fly around, play hard every snap, every game. You go back and watch them on film, they're flying around. Their linebacking core with the two rush guys and the two guys (on interior) are exceptional, for sure some really good players and we'll be looking forward to that challenge. A tall test to start the season, and it'll be fun. It'll be a great day on Sunday."

The team went through this last summer with Mike Thomas' contract. It's Alvin (Kamara) this time and I know this is stretching closer to the season. I am guessing that has to be an incredibly sort of overwhelming kind of thing for him. Is there anything you tell him or talk to him to try to help him get through this time? Because I'm sure it's not super easy.
"Yeah. I do not think it is anything that's he should look at it as overwhelming. I am talking with Alvin all the time. It is a blessing. It is a blessing to be in this business. It is a blessing on both sides, the team to negotiate a long term deal with a player of the caliber of Alvin Kamara, to have someone in the building like that, to have the chance to stand (with him). And then it's a blessing for Alvin to have a team that wants you, so I think it's a great thing. And, you know, hopefully we get the numbers and the years and all that figured out. But that match is set and will be, those two will be intertwined for a long time."

Are you guys all back at your apartments or homes now or is anyone still staying at the hotel?
"I'm pretty sure anyone that has houses, (are) set up, I'm pretty sure they're back at home now."

This unbelievably long offseason, was there ever a time where you just kind of felt like football is never going to get here with everything that's going on or not going to happen?
"I've always felt like we would resume. I didn't exactly know what it would look like, especially early on. And then as it started to get closer and we, the NFL and NFLPA having so many differences. I started to get a little skeptical, maybe we (season) will be pushed back, but it happened quick. Once they locked in on the agreements, everything happened quick and it's, a normal report date, report day didn't change at all. So it was, it's been a pretty good job on everyone involved."

When we started doing this (zoom availabilities) six weeks ago, when you were doing the phone conversation, somebody used the phrasing, Super Bowl or bust. If I could just kind of revisit that a little bit. Do you feel something extra in this locker room? Or is that just kind of maybe a media creation or because of where Drew (Brees) is and where you all have been the last three years? Is there actually something to a certain Super Bowl or bust type feeling?
"I said it. I'm standing on it for sure. What else are we playing for? That's it, that's the only goal. That's the only goal especially for, you know, a team that really feel like we can do it. It's a real goal for us and that's it. It's the ultimate goal. That's why we've been here for the past six weeks plus. It's why I'll be here tomorrow, I'll be here Wednesday (and) Thursday. That's the ultimate goal. That's what we're trying to get accomplished. For everyone involved, every player, family, city, we need this. That is what we are going for."

You know back when nothing had been set in stone and we asked you about the potential for not having fans and you said it was wack. And now that we are here, and there are no fans for week one, I guess what are your thoughts on it, especially now that you had the opportunity to listen to that quote unquote, crowd noise last week?
"Wack. I am standing on that too. Still wack. You know, you love to see the fans interact with the fans. That energy. We got to, this is everybody. It's not just, we're not the only team that can't have fans. Just everybody is faced with this challenge. We have to create our own energy. We know what we are playing for. That is ultimately what it is. It goes back to my last answer. We know what we're planning for and we can't control anything outside of that. We can't control the fans being there or not, you know. So we got to create our own energy, you know, we're playing for each other. We got to make it happen, keep our energy up, keep our momentum up, and start fast."

First of all, like, how much does chemistry between a guard and tackle matter? And how long does that take to develop? And like, where does that show up on the field?
"Oh, I think it's always developing. Even if you're playing next to someone for an extended period of time, I think it's, new experiences come up. New things happen you know, and you just try to continue to grow with each other. I think it's extremely important though, to have that time, get that cohesiveness. You start coming up with your own calls and all that good stuff. I think it's important. And it just takes time to get in that groove. But I don't think it ever gets to a point where it's like done. You know, I think it's always a developing thing."

What's it mean for you to have the team like, embrace your music and you just tell us what you got coming there?
"It's great. It's great, man. All the guys enjoy it, enjoy my music. I'm excited for everyone to hear my full album. The album has done, it has been done, just having some clearance issues. I need to call Jay Z or something you know. It's on the way, but won't be too much longer before it's out. It's been done for about a month now."

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