Ted Ginn, Nick Fairley talk to media after signing with Saints

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New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, March 13, 2017

How much have you been able to study the Saints offense and do you see yourself filling the Brandin Cooks role?
“It’s kind of hard to study them being at my craft, but I just come right in and I’m going to play the (wide receiver) position the way I know how to play it. Coaches are going to help me line up, players going to give me the intel that I need to do it and I(‘ll) just take over and play the way I know how.”

How much have you evolved over your career?
“I think my growth as a receiver in this league has changed with the time. I started off down in Miami (where) I played my role that I could play best. (I) Then went to San Francisco and did the same. Came to Carolina for that one year and I excelled a little bit better. Then I ended up back in Arizona for whatever reason, then I had two great years (back in Carolina). I just think that it was the opportunities that were given to me in Carolina for me to be able to showcase who I am. Now that I’m coming to a new beginning and I feel that they watched me as long as I watched myself. They have a pretty good insight of how they want to use me and just over the years they have learned how to use different receivers and bring (their game) to the top.”

Have they told you how they’re going to use you and what will you bring to special teams?
“Well you know I have always been a punt returner. That is something that I take pride to do. That is something that is me. I will fight for that position no doubt about it and I’m just going to come in and just showcase myself and showcase who I am and be able to give them a great window of what they can do with me and what they can’t. We(‘re) both are still new to this. We(‘re) both are still young (in this relationship). It has only been a week or so and it is the offseason, so everybody is (spreaded out) everywhere and I think once we buckle down, get to our OTAs, get into our camps and different things like that then we will figure out what will be my role. Until then I’m just going to come in and be Ted Ginn Jr.”

What were your priorities when you went into free agency to find another team?
“My whole priority was (to) go somewhere to find a home. (I wanted to) Play with some great guys who like to compete, but find a home where someone will take me for who I am and let me showcase who I am and I think that the New Orleans Saints are one of those teams where I can still continue to be who I’ve been for the last two years.”

How would you define who you are?
“I am a guy who will come out and compete and I compete day in and day out and I just feel like right here is a great opportunity for me to compete. I watch a guy like (Willie) Snead who’s only been there a year, two years now. He excelled in his game and even Mike Thomas. You go and watch the type of year that he had and from my experience I look at this team as a growth team, as a team that expands their talent to a greater high. I watched them do it with running backs they have had over the years. Different things like that, guys come in and succeed and they have fun while they do it.”

Did you speak to Willie Snead IV or Roman Harper?
“No, I didn’t talk to anybody (besides Michael Thomas). I reached out to my fellow Buckeye Mike (Thomas). We had a couple conversations, just because throughout time I knew him a little bit more, but outside of that I’ve been in this league 11 years. I have played major games against the Saints. I pretty much knew what type of organization they were without even being in their building and I already knew I was going to be able to come down and be a factor for them and that’s all I want to be, is be a factor. I don’t have to be the superstar. I don’t have to be the guy that catches every pass on every down. That’s not me. My job is to come in and be that superstar or that talent that succeeds when it’s not supposed too.”

Have you heard from Vonn Bell?
“No, those guys are defensive guys. We’re brothers for sure, but at that particular time, what can (Vonn) Bell tell me about the offensive side that I didn’t know already.”

What is your relationship like with Mike Thomas?
“First off, we were always going to be big brother little-brother no doubt about it. Actually I have a cousin named Jeff Ginn (Jr.) that’s plays at Fordham that loves him. They are kind of the same size, build and I really got a little bit closer last year because I actually reached out to him because my cousin wanted a jersey and then after that we were able to expand as friends and as brothers from what we do and our relationship’s been great and now I will be able to come in to his kingdom. First off that’s the guy there and I have the utmost respect for that guy. For me to be able to come in his kingdom and he welcomes me with open arms, that is the greatest thing that you can ever ask for.”

What do you think about the way Mike Thomas performed as a rookie?
“He played great, it just shows you how far he could go and how much is left in his tank. He just (needs to) come back and just compete and get back to what he had last year.”

What was your reaction when you found out A.J. Klein signed here and did you find out before or after you signed?
“I kind of found out after I made my decision and he hit me up and said ‘hey brother we’re still teammates’ and once he said that I knew what he was talking about. A.J. and I talked a lot when we were here and he was one of my brothers. He lost his father last year and I tried my hardest to reach out and (lend) my condolences to him and his family. I’m happy for A.J. to come where he’s come from playing behind that guy he was playing behind (Luke Kuechly) and you can still see his talent and that’s great.”

Did you know Brandin Cooks would be gone when you signed?
“I didn’t really care about that, if they would have kept Brandin Cooks, hey then you have two great guys to go out get you the ball. I mean hey we could have been a great tandem. I don’t get caught up in that type of deal. I want to play with great players all the time. He is a great player for what he does and I would have had no problems being a tandem with him at all.”

Was there a point in your career where you didn’t try to compete with expectations?
“It just came to a point where you just roll with the punches. If I can’t get in (the game) I can’t stress about it. When I do get in I just have to do what I do. I have to make plays. That’s what I kind of got myself boiled (it) down too. A guy named Terry Robiskie told me (that) when I first came out. (He said) it isn’t about every ball that you catch, it’s not about every ball, it’s about the ones your supposed to catch when you’re supposed to catch them and that’s what I have started mocking my game after. Do I want (to catch) 20 balls for 100 yards or do you want three balls for 100 yards? That’s what I kind of boiled myself down to (with). That’s what I try to teach the next guy. Make that one ball be the best ball. As my career went on I started seeing that and I started realizing it. I had games where I had zero catches and in the fourth quarter I would catch two balls that are just important as me running down the field catching the fly ball I was supposed to catch earlier in the day. You just start competing with the game. That’s the game, just take what is given to you.”

Do you think you have had the best two seasons of your career the last two years and was that mentality part of the reason why?
“Good timing and having the knowledge of the game and being in the spotlight that I was (in). Yes, I had the best two years and I wanted to keep them going like that that’s why it was very important to find a home like I found because Drew Brees is the type of guy that can extend your career and that’s what it’s all about is being able to put a bunch of more years together to fight for different type of goals and the main goal is the Super Bowl and I think that this talent that they have together and we keep building it up I think we’ll be good.”

What do you remember about the some of the games you played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome both as a Saint and in the Super Bowl?
“One was (when) Beyoncé turned all the lights off in the Super Bowl (XLVII). I had some great games against you guys (Saints) in the Superdome, (and) away from the Superdome. The one thing I can say about the whole organization is you have to fight to the bitter end and that’s the type of person I am. Somebody who’s never going to quit and that’s something that is established down here in New Orleans.”

How well do you think the wide receiver corps will work together?
“The sky is the limit. We just have to go in and put the pieces together and continue to work and figure out each other and once we figure out each other I think we can take it to the next height. It’s all about growth and going in able to understand each other and moving on to the next stage and once you do that and learn each other as brothers and as friends. It’s everything, the whole nine yards, you have to do all of that because that’s what makes good games be that much easier and that much fun and that much greater.”

New Orleans Saints Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, March 13, 2017

How did it feel to get a long-term deal done after the way your free agent deals went the last few years?
“It’s great being able to know that I’lll be here for the next four years and be a Saint. It feels good.”

Did you ever feel like this wouldn’t get done with the Saints?
“No, basically when I left here last year I was telling everybody that this was the place I wanted to be. (I thought we could) just sit down and talk it over and get it done. This is the locker room that I want to be a part of and a team and organization I want to be a part of. Whatever we have to do to get it done let’s do (it) and we got it done.”

Why is it that you wanted to stay with the Saints?
“When I came in last year and took my visit last year and I sat down with the coaches and was able to just be in the locker room. The vibe that I got and the chill bumps that came about when I was just sitting there in the just talking to them about everything and the organization and how they wanted to move forward on a lot of things as far as playing on the field and try to get back to the Super Bowl. I feel great there and felt great being a part of that. It is something that I’m willing to do and I’m glad we got it done.”

What happened during the season that affirmed your belief in this team?
“Really just going into the stadium and feeling that turf. The crowd, the energy hanging with those guys on defense (and) how we got after it last year. I can’t wait to get out there in April and just start working out, running with the guys, get the chemistry back and just get back out there and get ready to wreak havoc this year.”

What does it mean that your teammates wanted you back here too?
“That means a lot. I sat down and talked to Cam (Jordan) and we talked for a few hours beforehand. We just talked about in general the things he liked when I came to the team and the things I did well on the football field and vice versa. I was just telling him being able to play next to a guy that gets after it each and every play like he does, it actually makes the inside guys’ job easier because he’s going to be right there holding off the edge. All you have to do is get out in the middle and he’ll meet you back there.”

When do you last talk to Cam Jordan?
“We talked about a week ago.”

How many teams showed interest in you heading into free agency?
“To be honest I really do not know. I told my agent to always talk to the Saints and get something done. That’s where I wanted to be and move forward from there. I haven’t even had that conversation with my agent and actually I haven’t even asked him about that. Every time I called I asked did the Saints call.”

So it was the Saints all the way, you weren’t interested in other teams.
“Yes.”

Does having a long-term deal change your approach at all?
“No, it’s going to be the same, go out here start in April work out hard, bust my butt with my teammates, run get in great shape. At training camp, just work our butts off and figure out scheme and get the chemistry down as far as playing with each other each and every down and then go out each and every Sunday and just work my butt off. Do whatever I have to do to help the team win.”

Have you been able to meet the new defensive line coach yet?
“Yes, we actually just sat down and had a good talk. I think we are going to do great things with him in the room and I can’t wait to get coached by this guy because he has a lot of energy. I can tell the way he’s talking about certain things, how we’re going to play certain stuff that’ll benefit us with the type of guys that we had in the room last year. I just can’t wait until we get started.”

What did you see out of Sheldon (Rankins) and (David) Onyemata?
“Great growth. Those guys came in and just worked their butts off. They started in training camp and did everything coaches asked them to do and more and when the game(s) came around, you could tell as the season went on the game started to slow down for them more and they started making a lot more plays and things became a lot easier. They would come to the sidelines and be like hey I got this block on that so when you go out there watch out for this. You can kind of tell (they learned) because at the beginning of the season they wouldn’t say that, but as the season went on you could tell those guys picked up a lot of things.”

Can you tell us anything about Larry Warford?
“Larry is a great guy, going to be a great guard for us. Good in space, he moves his feet well. He’s good at run blocking I know that. I say we got a pickup in him and can’t wait to see him.”

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Justin Macione

Justin Macione

Communications Manager. New Orleans Saints

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