Metairie, La. - The departure of Robert Meachem via free agency means that a roster spot has opened up for one of the young receivers on the Saints' squad, but it also means an added burden for the veterans remaining on the squad.
That's where Devery Henderson enters the picture. He is the longest tenured Saint, along with Will Smith, and has always been a steady deep threat. At age 30, however, he is still looking to improve his skill set "I know my role as a player and just try to take it from there and get better from there. I know my game is about speed and I've been pretty good at the deep ball throughout my career. Everything can use improvement and that's the approach I've always taken, just try to get better every day, every year and keep it going from there."
For interim head coach Joe Vitt, it's just what he has come to expect from Henderson "He's a great deep ball threat who can cross the safety's faces deep, catch the ball outside the framework of his body. When the ball is up he wins most one-on-one's. He's probably the most legitimate deep ball threat we've had since we've been here and we're going to call his name a little more without Robert [Meachem]."
Here is a full transcript of Henderson's media session as provided by the New Orleans Saints:
Did you have a pretty solid day?
"Yes, it's just another workday going out trying to getbetter. (There's a) lot of excitement out there today. The young guys are doingwell. I'm just out there trying to get better every day."
Did the offense make some nice plays in this one?
"Yes, we made some plays in that one. We will go back andstudy the film, get an idea of things, get them corrected and go on from there.For the most part, we've been competitive out there."
You want to accomplish more, in taking a look at thehistory of the NFL and the great receivers, do you realize and understand whereyou rank all-time in yards per catch and also how much will fall under you inthat department with Robert Meachem gone?
"That's the main thing. I know my role. I'm just trying totake it from there and get better every day. I know my game is about speed andthe deep ball and I've been pretty good at it throughout my career. It'ssomething I have to keep working on. Everything can use improvement. That's theapproach I always take throughout my career, to get better every day, everyyear and keep going from there."
How much different do you think it will be not havingSean Payton calling plays and having coach Carmichael? It seemed like coachPayton always had a wrinkle for you, whether it was a reverse in the red zoneor something to get the ball in your hands?
"I think the guys will do a good job. They've been aroundhim (Payton) long enough. He's unpredictable, but they've been around him longenough to see what he sees and think the way he thinks. We're going to misshim, but we have to move on. We have the right guys, right system and rightleadership to move forward and still be successful."
What do you tell Joe Morgan what it takes to playreceiver in this league and does he pick your brain?
"Yes he does. Good guy, works hard and he has a brightfuture. He needs to keep working at being consistent. He needs to keep workinghard every day at making big plays. He can fly. That will help him out a wholelot in the league. He does a lot on returns too. I think if he stays focused,he'll do pretty well in the league."
Drew Brees said he thinks it would be tough to match lastyear's statistics. Do you think you can get close to it though?
"Yes, I think so. The type of offense we have has a lot ofweapons. We have Drew back there directing traffic. The sky's the limit. Wehave to go out there, work hard and be on top of everything."
Is it different in the meeting rooms with Coach Ellardafter CJ (Curtis Johnson)?
"He really stresses that, hustling away from the ball. I'mguilty of it sometimes, where a play may be away from me and I get back to thehuddle. He gets on me about it. He has a different approach than coach Johnson,but we know what he demands and know what he's talking about. He's a great guyand a great coach and he probably has a little slight different approach thancoach Johnson. We understand him. We're comfortable with him. We like him. Welike what he's doing so far."
As the elder statesman of the receiver corps how do youdescribe your leadership style?
"I think now I become a little more vocal, but for so long,I've always tried to lead by example. The young guys come to me with a lot ofquestions, a lot of different things. I just try to give them the right adviceat all times. I want to see them do well no matter what. It's competitive,competition, but at the same time, I like to see guys get better. I like to seethose guys succeed. I'm not a selfish guy. I'll help them out. That's theapproach I've taken with them. They've made a lot of plays. I can't take thecredit for it, but I try to help them as much as I can."
Do you laugh at it when people say you have to earn yourspot on the roster?
"I've been through a lot. At this point, I know what ittakes to make the roster, what I have to get better at, things I have to do andI try to go out there and try to do it."
Is this the most modest receiving corps in the NFL?
"I would believe so. I haven't' been part of another corps,but I would think so. We don't like taking credit for much, we just go outthere work hard, get the job done and take it from there. We're real humble.That's been our M.O. since we've been together. We work to keep it going andhopefully we have more success."
How do you feel to have played your entire life in thesame state?
"It's really a blessing. It's gone well and hopefully I canget more and more years. It's always a dream come true, just growing upwatching the New Orleans Saints and being a part of it, never having to leavemy home state to play football, a nine-year career, going into my ninth yearhere, it's a blessing."
What do you work on to try to keep improving at thispoint in your career?
"Trying to stay healthy, route-running, route discipline.Early on in my career, I struggled with drops. Trying to stay consistent andwork on my run blocking. I just try to work on it every day and be available tothe team, trying to stay on the field."
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