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Transcript: Wide Receiver Michael Thomas Training Camp media availability 8-1-19

New Orleans Saints wide receiver speaks to the media after Day 7 of training camp. 

New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas
2019 Training Camp Presented by Verizon
Wednesday, August 1, 2019
Post-Practice Media Availability

What did you miss most about camp?
"Missing the reps and competing against my teammates knowing that if I win, a guy across from you got better, or if he wins, then you know, I got better and there's ways to coach off of that. The development and becoming a better player and a great player, you can't do that sitting at home.

Where you able to replicate some of that competitiveness when you were not here at training camp?
"Yes, for the most part, as much as I could. It is a lot different than it is out here and you are competing against another hungry opponent."

When you look at your career and being part of NFL history, setting the receptions record for a player's first three years and think it was about a month ago, you said that was kind of the gameplan. Did you stick to it? I do not want a penny more or a penny less. This is the market value and what I want? Is this is what you intended?
"Yes sir and I have to earn it too. I feel like I have been earning that and that is what I am going continue to do. That is how I approach the game. I set high goals and I want to live up to them. So I feel like, you cannot really find that out about a person from (a) Q and A or maybe watching at practice and we have to really know the person. I know deep down in my heart and my gut that I love playing this game. I love competing and competing with the best."

What was your routine like during the practices that you could not be at?
"I was looking at Twitter and seeing who is making plays. Checking you guys' highlights and watching the film on iPads and stuff like that. The first couple of days it was kind of easier then, as it kept going on and prolonging, then it kind of felt like days turned into weeks so you just want to be out here and we have ultimate goals to be the last team standing and play for a championship."

What are your thoughts on being rewarded for your play?
"I have always been motivated by slights and yes, for sure. I come from a competitive family. My uncle is the first receiver drafted in 1996 overall at number one. When I was drafted, it was what it was. It was the second (round) and stuff like that, but I had to control it and now we both have a little something to talk about. Just being a competitor and when you set high goals, there is rewards on the end of it."

How rewarding is it that you earned this contract?
"It's definitely a blessing now it's time to motivate and inspire the guys to go do the same thing and just play for the ultimate goal and to play for a championship. That's the number one goal here and now that's my main focus."

How is the addition of Jared Cook going to help your game?
"You guys have seen it. He is a football player, a functional football player; he is a Pro Bowl tight end. He is for real. So anytime you add another guy into our offense that is for real. It only can make it better."

What does this second contract do for you, your foundation setting and family?
"I signed that deal and I told Mickey (Loomis) that I'll be back to do a third deal. It was just the process. Now it is onto the next goal. I am now the highest paid, but now I have to go earn it. It is kind of something you set on. You are now the highest paid; now you have to go earn it. That is my biggest thing, I'm trying to earn every penny of it."

What went into the decision to sit out?
"That's the business part of it and that's why I hired an agent and my agent becomes a coach and negotiator and I have to listen to the guy that I hired. That was what they told me and those are the protocols that I follow."

Was there a day you targeted and said to yourself, I have to get to this date?
"I was in San Diego training the whole time, I was doing everything I was supposed to do. I just didn't report on the day that everyone else reported."

We all speculate about who might want to go first and sign a contract amongst all the receivers. You did not mind going first?
"At the end day, it is football. We knew that someone else is going to go, that is how the game goes. Even watching Drew Brees, he could be the best quarterback right now and another guy's going to jump him. That is just how it goes. Having guys like that, veterans and people that have been in the game and know the game, just trusting them and listening to them. I had great advice."

Do you think you might be the most doubled covered receiver in the league, especially as you operate in traffic so much?
"I don't know. As long as I'm getting open and catching the ball, I think that just whatever comes with it. It is what it is."

How much pride do you take though in catching those tight window passes when you are not wide open a lot of time when you are catching the ball?
"I just have a lot of pride in my quarterback, the offense, I know we're not, you're just not here to just call plays. I know Drew Brees does not make bad decisions. He has a high football IQ, so if (he) makes a decision, I have to make it also."

Are you on the Emmanuel Butler hype train now?
"For sure, we have to keep getting better. We have the ability to get better every day just by the coaches that we have every day. They coach us very hard. C.J. (Curtis Johnson) is on us every second of the day. That is why I value staying here. That is why I value new life. I wanted to be back here because I knew with the coaches that I had, I could be the best player and I wanted to play. They are always going to correct me and coach me hard."

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