Johnny Patrick was a 3 round pick out of Lousiville last year but never really got a chance to showcase his stuff last season after he injured his knee in preseason. That didn’t stop the Saints from allowing Tracy Porter to walk this offseason and thrusting Johnny Patrick into the 3rd corner slot behind starters Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson. Patrick is a guy the Saints think extremely high of and he will get every chance to get significant reps in the 2012 season. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Johnny for a good 10 minute interview on the phone which you can check out by CLICKING HERE. Many thanks to Johnny again for taking the time, who you should follow on twitter. I think you’ll find this guy is a humble athlete and a great guy to root for. The Saints are lucky to have him on the roster as he’s both talented and has a good head on his shoulder.
You can LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE or can also make the jump and read the transcript version of the interview below.
(on what he’s up to)
Right now I’m just working out, taking it day by day, letting my body heal up from the mini camp we just had and 9 week session. So right now I’m just doing light work outs and hanging out with friends in California, just taking it one day at a time.
(on this offseason versus last year’s offseason with the lock out)
I feel really comfortable about it because, like you said, not having an offseason last year and not being able to talk to the coaches was a real disadvantage for me because all the older guys already knew what was going on this and that and I had no idea about (it). Coming into this system with Spags and the new coaching staff that they brought in, it’s been working out good for me. All the guys are starting from a level playing field and everyone is getting the playbook at equal time. Right now it’s a good advantage for me and I think I’m doing well at that.
(on if bountygate is a distraction)
Oh yeah, we’ve been focused and not listening to anyone on tv that’s talking about the bounty stuff. No guy that’s I’ve been around in mini camp has shown any emotion about the bounty stuff. We’re worried and focused about going into the season, just like last year, going to the Super Bowl. So, right now we’re more focused than anything. We’re hungry, and everyone is determined to win this year. Right now we’re looking at it as motivation.
(on if Saints players have been painted in a fair light)
Yeah that’s ridiculous. We’re football players, we’re athletes. We get paid and go out there to compete every day, that’s what we are – we’re competitors. We’re not out there to hurt anyone or anyone’s career. So we’re just out here to play football and have fun and every guy on this team feels the same way. We do not go out looking to hear anyone.
You know what, I’ve been in this situation throughout my entire college career. I’ve had a difference defensive coordinator ever since my freshman year! I’ve done been in this situation before and I’ve already played in every scheme. I’ve done played in the scheme is trying to play with the team right now. I’ve been in a lot of different situations. I love Spags, he has a great attitude, he knows exactly what he’s talking about and he’s putting us in a great position to make plays. We’re excited to go into this season and into this preseason and show what we can do.
(on if he feels Spag’s defense will give him a chance to make more plays)
In Spag’s defense we’re going to be in a position to make plays, you’re exactly right, but even with the blitzes and everything as a corner, that’s what we get paid to do. So, I mean, if a coach calls a zero blitz, man up and just play football. Spags is putting us in a position to make plays at the end of the day and I think everything is going to work out for the best this year.
(on the opportunity to be the 3rd cornerback on the team this year)
No this is a great opportunity for me. You’re exactly right, it’s mine to lose. I felt like I was ready last year but I came into a preseason game and I tore my MCL. That set me back a lot and we talked about not having OTAs and not having the coaches around, I was behind the older guys. I had to learn fast and with me tearing my MCL and trying to come back and compete fast for a job, it was kind of out of the question. At the end of the season I started getting some reps and coaching started believing in me and I got on the field a little bit. But most definitely man, this is going to be very important for me and I’m very excited about it. I’m going to be 100% on my game and focused.
(on if he’s just looking to just start the season healthy, or if he feels he has something to prove in preseason)
Oh most definitely, I need to make a statement. I haven’t earned anything right now and every guy is a fast player right now and I’m a hungry guy and I want to compete. I don’t want anything given to me. I want everybody to be even and I want everybody to go into this preseason and compete for the nickel position. I’m a competitive guy, and just like these coaches feel they’re not going to give me anything and I don’t want them to give me anything, I want to go out there and take it. And preseason is going to be very important so I’m looking forward to me just being really focused and trying to make as many plays as I can.
(on if the Saints are better defensively this year with the free agent pickups)
Oh yeah talent wise the coaches did a good job in the free agency market. We had good guys last year and we have even better guys this year so it’s bringing all that together. It’s going to be an exciting year, I’m telling you, the coaches did a great job bringing in new faces in with Brodrick Bunkley, I mean, that was big. With the new linebacking core, with Lofton, so it’s going to be exciting to see.
(on his personal goals for 2012)
You know what, just go out there and play football. Of course I want to be a starter, of course I want to play football, of course I want to show the Saints Nation that I can play, I just want to put my name out there and get an opportunity to play on the field. The plays are going to come. If I play hard, play fast, and stay focused, the plays are going to come to me. So right now I’m just going to focus on this camp that’s coming up, this preseason coming up, and showing these coaches what I can do.
(on what he wants to say to Saints fans)
Saints fans, we’re going through a little adversity right now. Don’t worry, we’re going to get over it, we’re fighting right now and working hard – and everything is going to stay the same. We’re going to compete for a championship and we’re ready to play football!