New Orleans Saints Running Back Pierre Thomas
Post-Practice Media Availability
Friday, July 26, 2013
How easy is it, like in the case of Mark Ingram, to block out criticism?
“You don’t have to listen to it. People are going to criticize and talk about you no matter what. It’s just the way of life. That is the way people are. You are going to hear good things, and you are going to hear bad things. I block it all out. It is the type of person that I am. I look at how I deal with it. Even if it is good, I still block it out. If people say, ‘Oh you did this.” I say, “Ok, that’s good.’ Or if people say, ‘You messed up on this.’ Ok that’s fine. Let people talk. I know what I need to do to be successful in this league. As long as you just believe in yourself and do what you know is right, you will be fine.”
Do you think Mark Ingram has maybe put too much pressure on himself these past two years to match what he did at Alabama?
“I don’t see that. I see that he was a young guy trying to get used to this level. He is a guy who is trying to understand the game at this level, at a pro level. He is doing the best job he can. The older you get, you start to realize the type of person that you are going to be in this league. He is starting to figure that out. He is trying to see what type of person he wants to be. As long as he just stays on the right track and (does) not get caught up in what everybody is saying, bad things or good things, he is going to be fine where he is at.”
From your standpoint, with the Chris Ivory trade, how has your role changed?
“It is still going to be the same. It is definitely not easier. Even if Chris Ivory was still here, it would be the same. Chris was another guy who didn’t play as much, but he can play and could’ve been in the rotation with us. The coaches put in three running backs. They have a three-back rotation as we go into the game, That is all they have been going through these last couple of years. We won the Super Bowl with a three-back rotation, Mike Bell, Reggie Bush, and myself. We never had four guys really rotate in that much, but now, we are still on the same path. When Chris was there, we were in the situation where if one of us got hurt, we could still do the same thing. Yes, we did lose a good running back, but it’s the business of this sport. You lose guys. But, we have Travaris Cadet. We still have our fourth guy, who can stay in that rotation and do everything. We won’t miss a beat, just in case, you don’t want to wish anything bad, but if something happens to one of us, we have another guy (Cadet) who can step up and jump right into that rotation, and everything will keep cycling perfectly.”
Do you think that is what worked in the 2011 season?
“Definitely. It kept us fresh. It was a good rotation with us three. We all (Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram) carried different parts. We all had different talents and skills. Having that good rotation, I think it saved us and put more stress on the defense. You never know because we all have different talents and different unique styles, but we are always fresh. They are tired, but we are fresh. It is hard for them to stay with us when we have fresh legs.”
You never felt that the four-man rotation was confusing?
“Everything was smooth. We talked about it as a group. We felt like that was a good thing. Out there on the field, you have to get used to the rhythm. It is hard to get fresh and jump into it. You have to find that feeling. That is one thing we are figuring out. As soon as you get out there on the field, you have to have that feeling that you are ready to go out and do the best job you can. We have to keep hitting them, back to back. We want to be like a combination, keep hitting them, non-stop, a three-hit combination. That’s what we want to do.”
As a running back, what was it like to see what Adrian Peterson did last year?
“I mean all praise to him. That was a serious injury, and to come back and have the season that he had was unbelievable. He is a freak of nature. Everybody knows that he is a good running back. Everybody sees it, and everybody knows it. He is a guy who shows that hard work pays off. (In the) offseason, he worked his butt off to get his leg back. You have seen, the last year, that he worked very hard. He did a great job of rehabbing, very well.”
How scary is it that he would be 100% healthy this year?
“It’s not scary. I know our defensive players aren’t scared. The last time he faced us, I know he didn’t get too many yards. He is still a dangerous player. Hands down. You can’t take him lightly at all. He is still a hard runner. Everybody knows it, but I know our defense is not scared of him.”
As a running back, is he the guy that you would cut film of a young running back to show you how to do it? Would he be that guy?
“Yes. You could definitely look at him as a guy to try and compare your talents to his. To see how he did. You have got to give it to the man. He is a very good runner and a very hard player. He is very good at his job. He is very fast and very explosive, and a lot of guys see it. You could try to compare yourself to him, but at the same time, as a running back in this position in this league, you want to be the best, so you try to strive to be the best. You try to see what he can do and say, ‘Ok, how can I get better than that.’ You have to be better than him.”
Who was your sports hero growing up?
“My first love was baseball, so Frank Thomas, who everybody says looks like my father and my uncle, my twin. I grew up as a White Sox fan. Frank was one of my favorites. Football wise, you have Barry Sanders and Walter Payton. I was a little too young for Walter Payton, but I have still seen some of his games. I am from Chicago. Everybody here knows that I was a Bears fan. I still am a Bears fan, but I play every day, all day for the Saints, number one. I was more of a (fan of) Barry Sanders’ style. I love that juke style. That is what I wanted to become.”
Who is your fantasy date?
“I don’t really have a fantasy date. If you want to say music-wise, Alicia Keys. She is married, though. I don’t mess with married women. But, before she was married (joking).”
Talking about being from Chicago, do you think that President Barack Obama has done a good job?
“I think he does a good job. Right now, with my foundation, (dedicated to) fighting childhood obesity, Michelle Obama was out here just this past weekend. I was really trying to get in contact with her and let her know about my foundation. She is a fellow Chicagoan. I really want to reach out to her and let her know that we are out here fighting childhood obesity too. If we could interact with her program and my program, especially out here and in Mississippi.”