NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.
Defensive end, New Orleans Saints
Born: July 10, 1989
Experience: Six NFL seasons
This is my serious training point. I take like a week off, so somewhere around July 1 and 2 is when I really start training super hard -- my way. That's where I'm going [to the gym] two or three times a day. A quick workout in the morning, a little bit longer workout right before or right after lunch, and then right when it gets to the hottest point of the day -- somewhere around 4:30 or five o'clock -- that's where I get that real workout in. I'm looking for the hottest part of the day, something that is going to stretch me mentally, so you get right physically. Then, come season, you know you've done something nobody else has done before, and that's what gets you across.
Minicamp and OTAs, without pads -- I don't really take it for all that I used to. But this is without pads, and we still had a pretty serious blow. We lost a left tackle (Terron Armstead) for a couple months, and hopefully he'll come back by [the start of the] season. I don't know what's going to happen with that -- that's beyond me. You lose a starting left tackle, that really scares you.
Pre-pads, we're looking phenomenal, and I can't be more excited to go on a Super Bowl run. But that's not anything we have to talk about. We have to talk about three years of 7-9, and that's unheard of for us. That's something you never want to look back on. We're looking to not only be in the playoffs, but looking to be deep in the playoffs.
This team's will is better than 7-9. We go at each other every day. When you have an offense that's as strong and as potent as we do, and when you have a defense that shows up and frustrates that offense for a majority of minicamp, that's only promising. Now, again, once we get pads on, that'll start to shape things out. But at this point, I'm overly excited.
Everybody is super excited about Adrian Peterson, but I'm only going to stress this: Mark Ingram ran for over 1,000 yards last year. Don't be slighted in saying, "Oh, everybody is excited about just Adrian Peterson." We have a hell of a one-two punch combo. You talk about Mark Ingram, who can do so much out of the backfield, and you talk about Adrian Peterson, who gets vertical better than anybody else in the league. Then, of course, you bring in this young kid Alvin Kamara, who's shifty -- they compare him to Darren Sproles. That being said, it's going to be a hell of a backfield.
If you think quarterback, you think king of the air. Guys who have phenomenal arms, phenomenal accuracy. You talk about that, Drew has got to be No. 2 or No. 3. Quarterbacks have 5,000-yard seasons once in a career. You put it up as an "Oh, snap" [type of] season. He's one of the greatest. You talk about Drew, and he's had five of those seasons. [Other QBs] have one of them. He's had five. That alone puts him in the top three [of all time].
In 2013], I had 12.5 sacks and [Junior Galette had 12. When you have an opposite end, and you can create havoc like that, you have a blast just because it frees up so much. You can't double-team both of you, especially when you have an interior defensive line like we had. We had Akiem Hicks, as well as John Jenkins. When you have guys you want to double-team but you can't, it frees up so much.
What makes a [good] pass rusher? It depends on the pass rusher. You've got guys who are primarily speed. You've got guys who are primarily power. You've got guys who are a little bit like me, who are good at speed to power, and that seems to be the way to work. If you can get an offensive tackle rattled or unsettled, then you can sort of take over a game. And when you can combine finesse moves with just pure animosity, that's going to work well.
You see Von Miller, he probably has the best speed-to-power in the game. His long-arm [move] is clearly tops, which allows him to be a "super-finesser." I like to say for every defensive end that has finesse, you want to also say he's also a speed-to-power guy.
The sack, as Deacon Jones probably coined it, "You're sacking a city, you're sacking dreams." You're demolishing somebody. And that's what a sack is.
You know, I never got the opportunity to sack Brett Favre. Born a Vikings fan], you always want to hit the heart of Green Bay. That being said, I've sacked [Aaron Rodgers, so I'm OK with it.
You talk about our interior -- Sheldon Rankins came in a pro Day 1. He's only going to get better. I'm super excited about his Year 1-to-Year 2 jump. You got David Onyemata, whose learning curve is so small -- he eats everything up. He never played 11-man football until he got to us. He came from Africa to Canada, Canada to us. I'm so excited. He doesn't even know how much potential he has, which is great. And we just signed Tony McDaniel. That's a huge veteran who's going to teach the young guys.
You can talk about the linebackers we brought in. We brought in A.J. Klein, Manti Te'o -- and Craig Robertson is a monster. He had a monster year last year. We drafted a linebacker (Alex Anzalone). ... We brought in a guy from Canada (Adam Bighill) who's supposed to be a natural, instinctive guy. Shoot, that's four new guys. And, of course, we have former first-round pick in Stephone Anthony, who balled out in his rookie year. [He] sort of had some transitioning problems last year, but I think he's going to find his niche this year. That's only going to help with competition.
You talk about our secondary. You got Kenny Vaccaro, fully healthy. You've got Vonn Bell, fully healthy. You've got P.J. Williams, fully healthy. You got Damian Swann, fully healthy. And last year, we missed three of those guys. When you're missing out on guys you're relying on to start, that's going to already hurt your defense.
When we were growing up, we didn't really understand the importance of my dad's role. You grew up, and my dad (former NFL tight end Steve Jordan) went to work and came back just like everybody else's. But on the second hand, once we were 13, he dropped us off at practice with pads. We stayed away from football until we were probably 13. I think that was the rule at the house -- something along the lines of seeing guys playing from the time they're 5 until they're whatever [age], and their bodies are burned out. It's a physical sport. There is a finite amount of time that your body can just withstand all that pain.
I thought I was going to be a basketball player. I was in love with basketball. I was like, "Hey dad, I understand you played football [but] I'm doing great in basketball. I'm thinking about AAU, I'm thinking about going to that next level with basketball." He was like, "Yeah, that's cool, but your body frame says differently." And he didn't even hit me with the "trust me on this." He just dropped me off at practice and was like, "Hey, you're going to play this season. If you don't like this season, we'll talk about it." I like to say I've done well. I've done well.
I would like to have more Pro Bowls than my dad, but it's sort of tough with three seasons of 7-9 [records], and you're still a main producer of that. I've just got to be more of an impact. I always take it on myself to take it to the next level, and at the same time, push that lineage of my dad -- who played 13 years with the same team, six Pro Bowls. And in my mind, he should be having a yellow jacket. I'm probably pushing for that this year, after I break the sack record.
I want to be remembered like this: I played hard, I loved hard and I loved to play hard. I not only have love for my team, I have love for my city. And everything sort of culminates.
I've got nothing but love for New Orleans. New Orleans loves me back. You go out into the community, and you put your time and effort into it, not only on the field but off the field. I can't help but say New Orleans is super dear to my heart. My kids are "504" kids. They were born in New Orleans.
You just talk about the culture and the food culture, New Orleans is probably tops in the country. Drago's is always great with their charbroiled oysters. You can't beat it. There's a place called Red Fish. They have great, just that -- red fish. You talk about Bourbon House, they've got great crab fingers. Bourbon House has a great atmosphere.
When you talk about the city itself, they embrace us fully. You go anywhere, and it's like, "Hey, Cam. Love what you're doing on the field. We're here to win. We're always behind you." It's not like, "Hey, I'm sick and tired of this 7-9 bullcrap." It's like, "Hey, man. We're 7-9. We want more from you, but I appreciate everything you're doing." It's always that, it's always them showing appreciation of us. ... It's never of any negative connotation. It's piles of reinforcement, and you love that as a player.