Undrafted free agent Ashaad Mabry has worked his way into contention for a roster spot as a backup nose tackle out of UT-San Antonio. Mabry, a youngster, still finds himself in awe of a few of the guys he now calls teammates.
John Jenkins said he met you in college. Was that during your recruitment?
“He was on his official visit to Oklahoma State. I was already committed, and I was going to the game. I think he committed that same day. We were committed at the same time, but then he ended up going to Georgia. So yeah, I met John four, five years ago, something like that.”
How much of a resource is Kevin Williams to the younger players?
“Tremendous. That’s who I used to watch when I started playing D-tackle in seventh grade. That’s why I committed to Oklahoma State and went there, so having my childhood idol here, it’s been a crazy experience. He gives a lot of good tips and helpful hints.”
How did you become fan of him?
“That’s the first people I watched when I started playing D-tackle was the Vikings, with Kevin and Pat Williams. I just became a big fan. He always chewed gum. I tried chewing gum.”
How did chewing gum while playing work out?
“I bit my gum very hard. I have a scar inside my mouth. I never wore a mouthpiece; had to start wearing mouthpieces since. But yeah, that’s just who I started watching first.”
When you tell him that he was your idol when you were in seventh grade? What did he say? Does that make him feel old?
“I don’t tell him. One of my coaches back in college is a friend of Kevin. He knows. That’s the only one who knows. I never told Kevin. I didn’t want it to come off as weird. I just let it kind of settle.”
How’d you choose New Orleans?
“This is the only place I visited, and me and my agent felt good about my opportunity here. That’s what it came down to, I felt good about the opportunity and took it.”
Joel A. Erickson
OUT: RB C.J. Spiller, S Jairus Byrd, LB Dannell Ellerbe, CB Brandon Browner, CB Delvin Breaux, LB Anthony Spencer, TE Ben Watson, LB Ronald Powell, S Jamarca Sanford, LB Ramon Humber, OG Cyril Lemon, DT Lawrence Virgil
LIMITED: CB P.J. Williams, WR Jalen Saunders, OG Sean Hickey, OT Nick Becton
Next three up
MONDAY: Saints take unscheduled off day.
TUESDAY: Practice, 7:50 a.m.-10:40 a.m. CT; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. CT
WEDNESDAY: First joint practice with New England Patriots, 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m. CT