Saints' Assistant Head Coach/TEs Coach Dan Campbell Quotes 8.31.20
COURTESY OF NEW ORLEANS SAINTS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Now that you've had a couple weeks of fully padded practices, what's your overview on Adam Trautman? "I would say that same as before, as far as his development. He is doing a nice job, continuing to improve. He is no different than any other rookie. There are ups and downs, one day he does a nice job and is blocking and being aggressive, and then the next minute he may whiff on somebody. So, but that happens with rookies. But I'd say everything's still trending up with this kid. He's doing a nice job, it continues to improve."
Talking about the other rookie in the room Tommy Stevens, where is he at in development? We know he's never played the position before, but have you seen strides from him? "Well, I think that there again, he's got a longer journey than Trautman's got, and he obviously made the complete switch to something he's never done before. I think that he's made strides in the passing game, just being able to release off the line of scrimmage a little bit, people trying to get their hands on him and man coverage, but you get pressed and you do see some improvement there. But look, he's got a long journey ahead of him. And nobody said this was going to be easy, and he knows that is kind of the area for a rookie tight end that it takes more to grasp is the blocking side of it? Well, yeah, of course it does, especially when you're somebody that that's like him, you're not a huge guy. You have never been asked to do something like that and then the times that we asked him to put his hand in the ground, it is just foreign to him. It is totally different. And just from a technique standpoint, to the fact that you're blocking guys that are double your size, in some cases, maybe not double but a third (more) of what you are. Now, that being said, we are not asking them to do things that he would not ordinarily do. Like, I do not see him blocking Cam Jordan on power, face to face, one on one. That's not his deal, but to be able to block corners and safeties, and linebackers and those things. That's what he's got to be able to do. And that's kind of what we're trying to teach him. So look, there's improvement there. It's just it's like with all these guys you just want it to happen in a day and it's just not going to happen."
Michael Thomas isn't exactly under your purview, but how does he make the rest of the offense better? "That's a loaded question. I know just how competitive he is, how much energy about Mike. There's been a few guys that I played with or been a coach as part of that team that some of these guys show up. And there's not a lot of them but to have Mike's skillset, but then to have his intensity. When it comes to competition, man, when it's competition in practice, when it's competition in games, like the intensity goes up, that's what I say about (Drew) Brees, the reason Brees is such a great leader, just aside from the fact he's a great quarterback but his intensity in the huddle and the way he commands everybody around him with his intensity to (get his teammates to) snap into place and (as a teammate) I better be on my stuff, and to see somebody like Mike who's out there given everything he scratches and claws, even in practice to make a play, man, it makes you want to be better at what you do. And that's what he brings, aside from the fact that he's strong, I'll tell you this, he's probably got the strongest hands on the team out of anybody, just the way he can grab that ball and grip it, hold on to it, get it out of people's hands if it is a jump ball, but, but to me to answer your question, truly it's intensity."