Well, of course Jon Bostic was ready when the New Orleans Saints reached out to him a week ago, a day before the team traveled to Green Bay for two joint practices (Tuesday and Wednesday) and a preseason game (Friday) against the Packers.
The linebacker is entering his 10th NFL season. In his mind you stay ready so you don't have to get ready, so when a team calls after it's a couple of weeks into training camp and you're an unrestricted free agent, you literally still are prepared to hit the ground (and anyone wearing an opposing jersey) running.
Which is exactly what Bostic, utilizing the wealth of knowledge gained in six NFL stops, did against Green Bay.
He was on the field early and often, and totaled a team-high six tackles and defended a pass in the 20-10 loss.
"Football is football," Bostic said. "Realistically, it hasn't been a hard transition. It's actually kind of easy for me. It's just with everything they've kind thrown at me I've picked up, playing all the positions they've asked me to play. I've been around, I've had good teachers from little league to high school to college. And since I've been in the NFL I've had a lot of good teachers that don't just teach you the names of the plays, they teach you the concepts.
"So if you can understand the concepts in between the plays, it makes it that easier to pick up. What we call 'Red' here, we might have called it 'Blue' in Washington or other places. The transition has been easy and there's a lot of good coaches on this staff. Like, really, really good and I definitely mean that because to be able to kind of break stuff down, how they do, you've got a lot of guys that come from a lot of different places to put a scheme together and lets the guys play fast.
"There's only a certain number of ways you can play Cover 3, there's only a certain number of ways you can play Cover 2. It's just who's got it in this defense, who's got it in that defense."
Bostic said he has been in just about every defensive scheme imaginable since he became a second-round pick by the Bears in 2013, then made stops in New England ('15), Detroit ('16), Indianapolis ('17), Pittsburgh ('18) and Washington ('19-'21).
And for Coach Dennis Allen, the experience is a plus as the Saints look for the right 53 for their regular-season roster.
"He's a veteran player, and so I think he's picked up what we're doing pretty well," Allen said. "We brought him in here on Monday, we didn't even practice, and then next thing you know he's out there practicing against Green Bay. So, I thought overall and I think overall, he's done a pretty nice job of picking things up. There's just something about that veteran presence that I kind of like."
It's the kind of veteran knowledge that kept Bostic ready for when the time presented itself.
"I've been training," he said. "We knew it was going to come, but the timing has been perfect. I've been working on stuff outside of football as well, which allowed me to take care of that stuff right before I got to camp, which was the good thing. So the timing couldn't be any better."
Still, missing a few weeks of camp wasn't high on Bostic's to-do list.
"I love football," he said. "I love being around the guys. I know it's a different day and age. You've got some people, they like football and you've got some people, they love football. And for me, I love football. I love being around the game, it's like chess. Being able to compete, you don't get that everywhere."