Saints punter Thomas Morstead is entering his 10th season with the team. He talked about his job and other issues after Friday’s practice:
After 10 days here are the guys starting to get a little stir crazy and anxious to get to Baltimore next week?
No, we’re not working in 110-degree heat, so I don’t think anybody is too stir-crazy here. I do think guys will be excited to go against some new meat next week. The guys are ready to go out and test themselves to see where we’re at.
You know that talking about how nice the weather is here just makes folks back home jealous, don’t you?
I’ve heard some people are giving us a little bit of a hard time for coming up here, and there’s talk that that’s making us soft, but I think it’s great. Guys are not having to focus on hydration, and we’re not having as many soft-tissue injuries. As long as practices continue to be focused and the intensity is high, we’ll be fine. I’ve been surprised a couple of times when Coach Payton pulled back practice because we were getting the work in. It’s not about the quantity so much as it is the quality.
Do you have a kick count on you so you don’t wear out your leg?
I don’t have a specific number on me. For example, I didn’t kick off today. I like to think that they know what they have in me, and they’re letting the young guys show what they can do. To be honest, kickoffs are what kind of take it out of me.
You were a placekicker in college. If this team ever needed a 66-yarder, would you want to make the attempt?
I mean, I could, but our other kickers would have a better chance at it. I had a good track record in college, though. I was about 75 percent from outside 50. The problem was I was about 70 percent inside 30. I can get it there. It just depends on whether it’s straight or not.
There’s a lot of talk about new leadership needed for ths team. Punters aren’t always thought of in that sense, but you’ve been here 10 years now. Do you ever speak up?
My philosophy is to lead by example, work your tail off and during conditioning be at the front of the line with the fast guys. That’s how you earn respect.
OUT: RB C.J. Spiller, S Jairus Byrd, LG Tim Lelito, DE Akiem Hicks, WR Jalen Saunders, WR Brandon Coleman, CB P.J. Williams, CB Damian Swann, OLB Davis Tull, TE Jack Tabb, LS Justin Drescher
LIMITED: LB Dannell Ellerbe, OLB Anthony Spencer, LT Terron Armstead, CB Keenan Lewis, TE Josh Hill, TE Kevin Brock
Next three up
SATURDAY: Off day.
SUNDAY: 3 p.m.-4:50 p.m. CT; Picnic with the Saints, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CT
MONDAY: 7:50 a.m.-10:40 a.m. CT; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. CT