New Orleans Saints Linebacker Martez Wilson
Post-Practice Press Conference
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Just talk about being here. Do you finally feel like you are getting acclimated? Were you at the Tulane workouts?
"I was at the practices that were held at Tulane over the summer. With today being my first day and having almost full pads in practice, I feel good. You just have to get familiar with actually going through the motion, get used to this heat, most importantly, and then after that it's just mental reps and repetition."
Talk about the expectations ever since the Saints drafted you. Gregg Williams has spoken very highly of you and it seems like expectations are sky high for you to come in here immediately and potentially push for a starting job?
"I didn't come here to sit on the bench. I came here to compete. I'm going to work my butt off and work as hard as I can. The more I'm out here the better I'm going to get in shape. I've already been training hard but for my first day I didn't do too bad. As training camp progresses, a lot of competitiveness is going to come out of me and everyone will get to see that."
Talk about coming from Illinois. There are five of you here from Illinois. Have Danny Clark and Pierre Thomas been a big help with advice?
"Oh yeah. They just told me to relax. Assignment, technique and focus. Besides that they just told me to go out there and play, relax and be yourself. Danny Clark is super proud to have so many Illinois guys out here with him and that makes him feel really happy. Just having a couple of my teammates I played with last year, they just make me feel comfortable."
Talk about how Illinois isn't a powerhouse like USC or Ohio State. How is the program progressing through the years?
"The program is progressing a lot. Coach Ron Zook definitely knows how to recruit talent. We had talent; it just wasn't a team effort. It takes a team to win games. It can't take individual players. As you see, we have talent over there and as the guys get older they became better."
You're not alone here; you have Jarred Fayson as a free agent guy. Talk about his potential at the wide receiver position.
"I think Fayson has a lot of potential to make it here because he has good hands and his determination will drive him. He wants to be great. Playing with a guy like that offensively as a wide receiver, that's a good thing. He's not scared to take a hit if he has to."
What's it like to have Gregg Williams coaching you?
"He's a saint. He's a coach that you want to be around. He's not a coach that's just going to let you run around here. He's going to speak up to a defensive lineman or a defensive back messing up. He is going to let it be known so he can get it corrected. That's what you need from a coach, especially a defensive coordinator. He's just a great guy to be around."
Where were you for Super Bowl XLIV?
"I was in California in a week of training."
How did your first practice with this team feel?
"I'm really excited. It was my first NFL practice. I completed my first NFL practice and it feels good. I'm out here just to get better and go along with the process."
What are your expectations for this camp?
"Definitely earning a starting position is my whole mentality and purpose coming in. Right now, just learning, getting the repetition, seeing things, getting used to seeing things, playing fast, and having full aggression every day. Another focus is you never want to get tired. I train extra hard and put in extra work and emphasize that. Get out here and put on the pads and play football."
Has there been a veteran on this team who's helped you or given you pointers or guided you along this offseason?
"Oh yeah. Jon Vilma, almost any veteran that are around me, Vilma, Malcolm Jenkins, Danny Clark, Jonathan Casillas. All of those guys have helped me because they understand that it takes a team to win. Right now I'm a rookie, but I'm a part of the team. I'm going to play somewhere, even if it's special teams so we all have to learn anyway. They have been a great help teaching us. I wasn't behind today. I was able to come out here and go through the plays without thinking so that was a great thing."
Were the Tulane workouts were a big help?
"A huge help."