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Wilson 'Excited' to be part of the Saints

Saints select Illinois LB with the 72nd pick

New Orleans Saints LB Martez WilsonConference Call With New Orleans MediaFriday, April 29, 2011

Q: You chatted with the Saints during the Combine, and I'm pretty sure you knew they were looking for a linebacker. How familiar are you with the Saints and just looking forward to getting down here?
A: I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait. This is a blessing to be picked. It's fate. From this day forward, I'm just going to continue to work, work and work. I'm going to work hard and show that I deserve to be picked.

*Q: You sustained a neck injury in 2009 and were able to bounce back in 2010.  How are you health wise and how is that maybe an issue, maybe you feel like with other teams and you being picked in the third round? *

A: It's a possibility, yes, I say that could be the issue but I don't feel any symptoms at all. I'm healthy. The doctors said I could continue to play football. I see some other players in the league to this day that have had the same surgery. If I keep taking care of myself health-wise, make sure my neck is fine, the strength in my neck continues to where it's at, then I'll be all right. I know I will.

Q: In college you played inside linebacker and obviously Jonathan Vilma is here. Are you looking to come to the Saints and compete for maybe one of those outside linebacker spots?

A: Oh yeah. I'm coming to compete. I'm coming to play. I'm a competitor. That's what I do. That's why I love this sport.

Q: What position do you think they will put you at here?

A: Probably strong-side linebacker; maybe over the tight end, starting off there. Learn that position and start off there. The more I learn, the more they'll put on the plate for me.

Q: Have you a lot of experience covering tight ends?

A: It's not, but I'm a fast learner. I'm an athlete. Coach showed me some private technique on how he wants me to do it and the proper way. I feel like I'll be all right. I know I will.

Q: How much did you see interest in the Saints?  You visited with them in the Combine, but how much interest did you feel like the Saints had in you going into this draft?

A: I feel like Coach (Joe) Vitt had a lot of interest in me. I sat in the film room for about two and a half hours. We just talked football. He was just telling me and testing me on how well I know football and I was able to show him that I do know the game of football. I just felt the love from everybody. We just walked around and welcomed me and I liked it.

Q: Did you come here to the Saints facility or was that just in Indianapolis?

A: No, actually, I did come and visit the facility.

Q: I think I saw some projections of you going in the first round, early second rounder.  Is that what you thought or you thought you would go at this stage of the Draft?

A: I would say first or second round, too. I was expecting that but I mean I went in the third round. I'm happy. I'm going to make the best of it and why I deserve to be picked.

Q: The Saints use a lot of different packages and use players different ways.  Were you strictly inside in the 3-4 in college or did you move around at all?

A: I actually moved around a lot this season. I played inside, sometimes I'll be on the slot receiver, and on third down I'd be the rush guy. In times I would even be lined up with the guard in some packages.

Q: Do you know Pierre Thomas?

A: Yes I know Pierre .
Q: Do you plan to get information from him soon about the Saints?

A: Definitely. He's a former Illini player. That's the thing about being teammates with a former Illini player; he'll show me the ropes and things like that. I get to move down to New Orleans. I can't wait.

Q: When you talked to Saints coaches, what did they say that made them interested in you?  I know you mentioned you played rush end and stuff and they are looking to bolter their pass rush.  Did you talk about that at all?

A: Coach was primarily talking about outside linebackers. Just showing me how he wants to help me improve on some of my technique, things like that, how well he's going to coach me. For those things, I got a feel that those coaches like me. I was just going off to the Draft. I was just waiting for Draft day.

Q: Which coach called you tonight?

A: Joe Vitt.

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