After Johnny Patrick a couple of days ago, I’m now excited to present you an interview with Saints’ linebacker Nate Bussey. I have to say, I was particularly excited about this one because I interviewed Nate a year ago (which you can check out by clicking here) and I was interested in seeing the difference a year makes. Well, if you listen to both interviews you can tell he’s matured and developed into a more comfortable and confident player. Nate is a great guy with a very good head on his shoulders and he’s got the type of character that fits this team’s mold perfectly. When the Saints drafted him in 2011 in the 7th round, it was with the idea in mind that he would immediately contribute significantly on special teams. The Saints believe he has the skills to make a big impact this year with that unit. As a weakside linebacker he’s also eager to show what he can do in this upcoming training camp and he looks to solidify a place on the 53 man roster. Everybody has a random guy they root for, and for me it’s definitely Nate Bussey.
You can listen to my 2012 interview with Nate Bussey by CLICKING HERE, or you can make the jump and read the transcribed version of the interview below. Thanks to Nate for him time and I hope you enjoy!
(on this offseason compared to last year’s)
Nate Bussey: It’s been an amazing trip so far, just coming from my rookie season and then a whole year around the system during the lockout and around the program. It’s been a step forward and a confidence builder for me. I just take that as motivation to keep working hard doing what I need to do so I can be on the field this year.
(on what he’s up to now)
Yeah, I’m in New Orleans right now. I train Monday through Friday. I train at a place that some of the other guys, athletes, go to that are on my team. Just to stay in shape and make sure that I come in in tip top shape and ready to go when the season starts.
(on if there’s really any offseason these days in the NFL)
Yeah football is a year round sport, it’s not just a seasonal thing. You need to make sure your body is together because your body is your tool. If your body’s not right and then the time comes where your body needs to be right and it’s not, that’s what causes injuries and people to get cut from the team – things like that. So you’re 100% healthy and your body is well maintenanced as far as not doing too much running or lifting putting too much stress on the body, then you’ll be prepared for each season.
(on last year being on the practice squad)
It was a tough experience because I’ve never done (anything) like that, which is going into a competition like football and not suiting up for it. That was the only challenging thing about it. But the experience was amazing because it gave me one year in the NFL to see what it was going to be like when I get to be on the field and it motivated me to work extra hard to make sure I am in the moment next year. So it’s all been motivation and things like that so that I’m telling myself I can’t go back to the practice squad or anything like that. So afrer telling myself that it’s a motivator and I’ve been motivated ever since. I’m ready for training camp to get started and get prepared for the season!
(on if he feels like that experience makes him ready this year)
I think it was a confidence booster for me because last year, you know, trying to learn a new system and coming to the NFL, being a rookie, doing all the rookie dues, trying to maintain football as well as a social life… it’s a lot to handle especially when you are not in the right circumstances not being on the 53 man roster. You talk to people all the time about the situation and people outside the organization can’t help you, all they can do is listen. But you know it’s been a preparation year for me last year. I’m prepared and my confidence is higher this year than what it was last year. So coming into training camp I’ve got a chip on my shoulder and my confidence is very high like I said. I’m ready to get things going!
(on learning the new defensive system with Spags)
I’m a fast learner so I picked up Gregg Williams’ system fast. I was just on the practice squad so I couldn’t really perform it. But I picked up Steve Spagnuolo’s defense really quick. I’m pretty fluent in the defense, I know where to be, I know what to do, and I can do it on a consistent basis. I think that’s three things that are going to help me along with making the team on special teams. So by being a quick learner and an adjuster, I’m a versatile player. I went from quarterback to safety, safety to linebacker, and that’s where I’m permanently at now, and I might play another position – you never know. Just learning things in a new system having three different coordinators in the last three years of my football career, the last three years of college and my first year in the NFL, and now with another one. It’s just something I have to adapt to by being versatile, you know? You have to be versatile in order to perform.
(on Gregg Williams and Spagnuolo)
Gregg Williams is an amazing person as well as a defensive coordinator. He just wanted his defense to be relentless. By being relentless, you know me, football is a contact sport so we go out to hit. You don’t want no players running around and running around blocks, that’s why we have on pads. That’s kind of how Steve Spagnuolo is too. We play defense so we are paid to hit people. We’re not paid to put our hands on them and try to block them. Football is a tackle sport. They both just want their defense to be run to perfection and the way that they want it to be run. We’re just the players in it. So they’re both perfectionists and kind of almost the same, just different schemes to me. But with the same mentality, meaning getting after the quarterback.
(on if Gregg and Spags are very similar)
I’m not going to say that, I’m not going to say they teach in similar ways. They are both two different, or unique individuals on defense. They both run different styles of defense. But they are both perfectionists in their scheme alone.
(on the Saints signing Chamberlain, Lofton and Hawthorne at linebacker)
The guys that they bring in is the guys that they say they need in the new program. I was already here, so I’m just working hard like I said. Those guys play different positions than I do, so just by being around those veterans that have played the game for the last couple of years it’s going to be a learning experience as well as a competition for getting on the field.
(on what position he plays)
I play weakside backer.
(on if the Brees situation is more distracting on the offense, or if bountygate is more distracting on the defense)
I don’t feel as though either unit has been distracted from the way we are performing or the way we practiced during OTAs. It’s just a missing link, not having Drew Brees throwing to the receivers and going against the new defense. And it’s been a distraction not having Jonathan Vilma and (those) kind of guys (related) to the bounty issue. It’s been a distraction because just like anything, in life, you’re going to go through adversity. Adversity is going to make us stronger, we just have to pull together and make this a special season. The Drew Brees contract situation and bounty system has not been a distraction to me because I’ve used it as motivation because I had just gotten to the team and I didn’t know anything about these accusations. But I’m a football player so I’m going to play ball. But knowing that Drew hasn’t been there… that’s just, you know, missing link.
(on if they’re taking an “us against the world” mentality)
I think that can be a good catch phrase to our situation. I think by the Super Bowl being here in New Orleans, and now with the bounty thing, Brees’ contract thing, (people) are like “the Saints are going to fall apart”. So we’re going to put our foot on the pedal and keep moving. We have a philosophy around the Saints of “next man up”, so you know if this was to happen to anybody, the next man has to step up. Everybody buys into that and everyone understands it. We’re just trying to move forward and get to our destiny which is the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
(his personal goals for 2012)
My personal goal for this season is to be one of the most elite special teams guys as well as a big name linebacker. Coming throughout the season, I just plan on being one of the top guys. Everything that I do as far as playing football in the National Football League.
(his twitter and parting words)
Anybody that wants to follow me on twitter just go to my name, it’s @NateBussey59 and just mention me or push the follow button, I follow back most of my followers anyway. You know, I love the support from the local community and around the world. All my fans and everybody, you know, all the support it’s been a blessing. I can’t wait for the season to get started so the Who Dat Nation can see what the Saints fans are really about.