Metairie, La. -- On Saturday, the Saints added some more depth at wide receiver, with the signing of Xavier Rush—a Tulane product who’s eager to get to work—especially under former Green Wave Head Coach Curtis Johnson, who’s now the wide receivers coach for the Saints.
“It’s familiar," Rush said. "It feels like even though it’s my first day, it feels like I’ve been here the whole training camp. Looking at the scripts, knowing the offense, knowing the formations, knowing these things without even going to meetings yet is a sigh of relief. I’m not out here like a chicken with my head cut off. I’m actually functioning.”
Before he was signed though, he did make one appearance earlier at Saints camp—but as a spectator.
“I came out here one day because I was doing something at St. Martin's helping our old coach who’s the head coach," Rush said. "I said let me just stop over here and watch. It’s hard watching from the stands because you feel like you deserve to be out there playing. You just learn. You try to learn. Even for me when I watch football and I’m not playing, I try to learn something from somebody.”
There’s already some stiff competition at receiver, behind the likes of Michael Thomas, Willie Snead and Ted Ginn Jr. to name a few. But in regards to that, Rush is following some advice he got back in college.
“My receiver coach in college told me this is like a golf game," Rush said. "It doesn’t matter what everybody else do. As long as you handle your business, do what you got to do, keep improving your game then you’ll stand out where you need to stand out.”
As of now, Thomas is leading the way on the depth chart, but for him, the focus is more on helping the team as a whole—regardless of which group he’s taking reps with.
“Whatever I can do to add value to this team and put points on the board," Thomas said, "that’s what I’m going to do and I’m going to do it at a high level. If I’m the number one, the number two, whatever I am. Whatever CJ, Sean, Mickey, any of those guys ask me to do, I’m going to do it and do it to the best of my ability.”
Thomas isn’t quick to give himself credit for his talent on the field, but his former Ohio State teammate, Vonn Bell, had plenty of praise for his fellow Buckeye.
“He’s going to challenge you," Bell said. "He’s going to push you to the point. He’s aggressive so you’ve got to fight the fight, man. With him, he can bring it every day.”