Willie Snead was doing everything he could to burn time on Saturday.
He woke up, went to the team facility, and sat in a cold tub. Then he went and got his hair cut. After that he sat on his couch, watched TV, and made a bunch of phone calls. Anything to keep his mind off the fact that several of his teammates were being released as the New Orleans Saints cut their roster to 53 names.
The wide receiver said he felt confident he would make the team, but he wasn’t sure. Every time his phone buzzed he quickly glanced at the screen to make sure it was programmed into his phone. Every buzz was a known ally, someone calling to check up on him.
Then 3 o’clock hit. Snead knew it was the deadline to file cuts with the league. A minute later his phone buzzed again. It was a Texas area code. His heart dropped. “Who is this?” Snead thought. He picked up the phone.
“Is this Willie Snead,” the voice said.
“Yeah,” Snead replied.
“I just want to let you know you made the roster,” the man on the other line, now identified as Sean Payton, said. “I’m really happy for you. You bust your tail.”
Snead immediately dropped to his knees from his couch. He said he was in awe. Once he got his bearings about him, he called back home and let his family know what had happened. He celebrated again.
Snead is done celebrating now.
He’s ready to get to work and make sure he sticks on the team. He knows nothing is guaranteed, but he likes the position that he’s in. The Saints are only currently carrying four wide receivers. He takes that as a sign of confidence in the group and believes he’ll have the opportunity to make plays, as he did throughout training camp and during the preseason.
If he does that, Snead believes he’ll have no issue sticking on the roster. He plans to continue to approach things with the mentality that he has to prove his worth every single day.
“Coming in every day, something to prove,” Snead said. “Bring my hard hat and make a play every day. Just showing the coaching staff I’m mature and can handle everything they throw at me.”
If Snead gets the opportunity to play against the Cardinals on Sunday, he’s confident that he’ll figure out a way to get open and make plays. He says he’s already begun studying their cornerbacks and believes he’ll have an even better grasp on how to attack them by the end of the week.
“Those guys are getting after it every down. If we don’t come to play Sunday then they’re going to get after us,” Snead said. “I feel like we’re going to be ready. We’ve watched film of these guys, we know what to expect.”
Training camp and the preseason created some expectations for Snead, but he still has to prove he can do it on Sundays. If he keeps playing like he has something to prove, then he should begin proving it on Sunday.