Saints' QB Coach Joe Lombardi Quotes 8.31.20
COURTESY OF NEW ORLEANS SAINTS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Can you tell us about Jameis Winston's development, just what you've seen from the last time we talked to you and getting all this field work the last two weeks? "Yeah, he just keeps getting better and more comfortable and playing faster, playing fast and playing smart. And it's good to see he's doing well."
I feel like I could be wrong about this, but it seems like he throws deep more than we're used to seeing guys throw deep, do you typically install the same things you install for him, Drew Brees and Taysom Hill? "We have got an install we kind of repeat with some changes every year. And so, yeah, it's just kind of the luck of the draw sometimes what plays you get, obviously, there's some plays that are specific for Taysom (Hill) at quarterback and some new stuff maybe that Drew (Brees) likes to work in. So he is getting our base install stuff. And, yeah, sometimes the coverage dictates to go deep. And like you said, He is good at doing that."
What is the most positive thing that you've seen out of him and added wrinkles you can maybe put in? "I don't know about wrinkles per se, but he's got a great arm, brings a great enthusiasm to the huddle and to the team. I don't necessarily see any added wrinkles that we wouldn't do with Drew or Taysom, but he's a good NFL quarterback that can execute our offense."
Drew said that his ambition this offseason was to integrate the deep ball at 60 yards and we've seen some throws at 40-plus and 50's. What have you seen from those passes breaking them down on film? "His arm looks good. He's working on narrowing his base at times a little bit, so he can stride into the throws a little bit more that go deep. It's a very specific mechanical stuff that he always brings to the table and is always trying to work on. He arm looks strong and he is throwing the ball well, so I think some of that which gets talked about is overrated. It's not like we gameplan and we can't throw the ball downfield. I think some of that's the way the games fall out sometimes. Getting big plays is always a positive for an offense. It helps you score more and as you look at it and see that maybe some of those have dropped out in years past, it can be an emphasis to get those chunk plays. His arm looks good."
With the limited time with how this camp is set up, has it been challenging to get guys ready for the season, but also finding enough reps to see where you can work with them? "Yes, I think that was my biggest concern with all of this, just missing the OTAs and then starting practice a little later than years past. The reps are more limited than in years past. We don't have some of those long breaks that in a preseason game, the day leading up to a game, the game itself and the day after, you have the game reps, but the practice reps fell out for a chunk of time in between all those four games. So not having that you're able to catch up a little bit. There's still overall a ton less reps and that's a challenge, but these guys, Taysom (Hill) knew the offense and Jameis has kind of figured it out pretty quickly, so the reps we're getting are good. You're able to evaluate them."
Following up on Jameis, it looks like he's very energetic at practice, he kind of brings a lot of energy with him. Is that something he carries around the whole facility with him? "Yes, he's pretty consistent that way. He's fun to be around. He loves football, loves being around the locker room. He's an energy giver and those guys are always fun to be around. So yes, he's very consistent the whole day."
You're about the fifth person when talking about Jameis, not even bringing up but talking about his upbeat nature and getting a smile on your face. How unusual is that maybe even in a quarterback to kind of have that personality? Have you been around a similar quarterback? How can that help him? "I don't know if I've been around another quarterback quite like that. He's super likable, I think when someone has a passion for what they're doing, it's infectious and you guys have all been in situations I'm sure where you're feeling a little flat and someone comes in with a big smile and a lot of energy and it kind of loosens you up, I think that ability to always be pumping guys up and get people going is infectious and it's a good quality to have and he has it in spades."
Michael Thomas isn't in your position room, but how does his competitiveness make everyone better in terms of the intensity he brings? "In a different way, the same way we were just talking about Jameis, that competitiveness is infectious and when you're around someone and see the effort, focus and intensity that they are bringing it challenges you to match it and a lot like Drew (Brees) does every day, Mike does every day. Every rep they're trying to make it like gameday. It's hard to be around guys like that as a player and not want to bring that same intensity. Without directly doing it, that demeanor challenges everyone around him to match it and when you have some of your best players that are bringing that everyday, it's easy without saying a word, everybody else thinks there's the same demand on them to bring that same kind of focus, intensity and competitive nature. It challenges the defense and the other offensive guys around him. It's invaluable."
We take the quarterback-center exchange for granted, but how are things going with Cesar Ruiz and with limited time how has he come along in that area? "He's doing well. Obviously he's been out a little bit here, but we spend a lot of time on it, in the beginning of practice special teams is doing their walk thru, we're doing quarterback-center exchange, so it's something you never want to take for granted and focus and work on every day and he's been good."