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Transcript: Terron Armstead training camp conference call - Wednesday, August 19

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle spoke with media about rookies on the line

New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead
Training Camp video conference call with New Orleans media
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020

In your experience, I know you guys have been together for a while, some of you guys on the offensive line, but how long does it take for an O-line to really get that chemistry, cohesion in practice?
"I don't think it's an estimated timeframe that we can say that they really give gives us that. It's just reps, just this as many reps as we can possibly get. The more time we can have, the more dialogue we can have talking through days and then going on the field working through things. I don't think it's just like a timeframe that I can say, it's how much time we need to get that accomplished."

What's your early takeaway for seeing Cesar Ruiz in these past few practices?
"He's been impressive for sure. Even beyond the practices, off the field and in the acclimation period we've had just handling himself as a professional, being such a young player at this stage, hasn't taken an NFL snap yet. But you can see the first round pick justified, you could just see it from the way you carry yourself and how he handles his business on the field. It's a ton of stuff to learn and work through for sure, but you can you can definitely see why the organization was so high on him."

Nick Easton stepped up for you guys in a big way last year. Do you see that kind of translating this year in training camp? Maybe his confidence is up or just how he handles himself?
"Absolutely. We are going to need every person on this team, on this roster and it is always got to be next man up mentality without a drop off. We have got to make sure everyone is up and ready to go whenever the number is called. It can be any day at any moment. Nick is the guy that takes pride in his work and getting himself prepared to go and prepare to start too, not just sit as a backup. He's trying to work his way and just be ready as a starter."

In this particular offense, how much is asked of the center in terms of making the checks and protection calls? Is that largely on him or would it be more on the quarterback?
"Well, seeing that our quarterback is a Hall of Famer, we are fortunate to have Drew Brees under center and he sees things that most people don't. He's making a lot of those checks, calls. The center does have responsibilities and up front we have our responsibilities as well to identify what we need to identify. Having someone like Drew that has been doing it for so long at such a high level, he simplifies things for everyone, not even just the o-line."

Again, through these first few practices, how have you seen a Cesar (Ruiz) and Erik (McCoy) kind of working together next to each other, regardless of who's at center and who's at guard?
"They've been great. Two young, great talents really. Erik, he's come in (and) he's looked like he's in his third, fourth year already. He just seems poised and experienced and it's crazy to think this is his second year. He's still a rookie to us. He's still got three (inaudible) to go. It's been a smooth transition, those guys work well together. Like I said, Cesar has handled himself with a great level of professionalism that makes it easy to work with someone like that and exciting to work with someone like that. He's willing to take the coaching and the criticism. Not as much rookie hazing anymore, but anything we asked him to do, he's on top of."

You might have already answered this to a degree, but if Cesar (Ruiz) starts, or I guess when he starts, it could be the third rookie offensive lineman you guys have had starting the last four years. Can you pinpoint why you guys have been so successful at being able to work in rookie offensive linemen going back to Ryan (Ramczyk) and then last year with Erik (McCoy) and now with Cesar?
"You just think about those three talents you just named, those three players, those are exceptionally exceptional names to say the least. You're talking (about) Ryan has already got some All-Pros under his belt, Erik will have them and Cesar's working his way. So I think it's a hats off to the front office and the scouting department, doing our homework, bringing in the right guys and the system as well and by system I'm talking (about) the offensive line coaches, that tireless work they put in. Dan Roushar, he's a workaholic and it can get to be a bit much at times, but he just wants to see us excel and play our best football. A combination of those things and those three great talents, success and it's going be a continued success going forward."

You mentioned professionalism a couple of times. That is something that's extremely important to you personally, right? And that is something that sort of your offensive line room's built on, right? Like his fit is good, would you say that?
"For sure. I think the word, there's so much that goes into the word of professionalism. It's an umbrella for being responsible, being accountable, doing your job at the highest level you can, trying to better yourself, all those things that go under that umbrella of professionalism. We have so many guys that just come in with that or learn that early. We've just got a real professional environment here. We can come in and handle business, we have fun, for sure, but we come and handle business."

I don't know how much you've kept up with it, but what's going on in college football with to play or not to play, the power five conferences, of course the conference you played in, the Southwestern Athletic Conference say they're not going to go until maybe in the spring. Just your thoughts on that, do you think that the Golden Lions will get to play this year or what?
"I hope so. I saw that about a month or so ago and it is unfortunate, it sucks, for sure. Those young men have been putting in their work and dedicating themselves to play the game they love. Just unfortunate that in this time that we are a right now it's no one to blame or no correct protocol or right way to just do these things, we are learning on the fly. I hope that at a point they get a chance to have that season, whether it's shortened or a full season, but wishing those guys the best and I'm always rooting for that SWAC, SWAC football."

When you think back to your first start late in 2013, what did you come away from that game thinking, oh, this is what I really need to improve on the most or this is the most difficult thing I had to struggle with, if that makes sense? I'm just curious what is hardest for a young lineman to kind of get past and on their way to improvement or whatnot?
"For me, it was more-so embracing the experience. It was a big game (at Carolina) with a lot on the line and the magnitude of the game, but just embracing that experience, everything that took place throughout the game. Communication, crowd noise, snap count, all those things that just I hadn't dealt with up to that point so just embracing that experience to the fullest and being prepared for the next weekend, having more experience and knowing what to look for, what needs to be improved on, what I did well, what I didn't do well. And it's a tedious process, paying attention to the small details and just trying to work on one thing at a time."

Have you noticed a difference with Andrus Peat not there and how much is he just missed in these first two days?
"Yeah, it's definitely a difference when we've got a guy out. Just their presence, we try to play and keep the same play calls and the same rules and blocking schemes regardless of if we're missing someone, but just Andrus' presence now he's going into his sixth year and he has been around for a while now and he is a little bit more vocal. You guys know Andrus, he doesn't speak much, but, you'll get the occasional speak up in meetings and just talking to my friend in the locker room. So that part not being there (is different). As far as on the football field, I know he's going to be rehabbing and busting his butt to get back as soon as he can. He's a guy that you can see the most physical change from last year to now. So you know he's devoted his time and energy into coming back and being ready to play."

Following up on that, and you touched on it, he noticeably worked this offseason. He looks like a completely different person in some of the pictures we've seen. How I guess frustrating is that knowing he put in so much work this offseason, just to get derailed again?
"Yeah, it is tough and it's tough and I'm somebody that can speak on that personally. Just going through, building up and then you have an injury and it's a setback. It's a mental thing. Physically, he's going to be fine. It's not the end of his career at all. Physically, he'll be fine. He'll be back, rehabbed and ready to go. It's just mentally staying engaged and not getting to that thought process of here we go again or I did all this to get set. None of that. He's somebody that's mentally tough and has faced adversity. He's got the guys around him as well, to make sure that that's not a problem. So whenever we get big AP back, we'll be ready to roll."

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