New Orleans Saints rookie Chris Olave is learning new teammate Michael Thomas on the fly

METAIRIE, La. – Chris Olave’s first day of the New Orleans Saints rookie camp was technically Friday. The 11th overall pick in the NFL draft, however, has already spent most of the past two weeks getting familiar with his new running mate, Michael Thomas, of their shared home base in Southern California.

Thomas welcomed the former Ohio State receiver over FaceTime shortly after he was drafted – and then invited Olave to come and stay with him and work out.

“I couldn’t turn that down,” said Olave, who spent a week and a half before flying to Thomas in New Orleans this weekend’s rookie minicamp.

It’s not the first time they’ve worked out together, though. Thomas shared a picture on draft night when they had the same thing done a year ago.

“I feel like that was exactly a year ago,” Olave said. “That was cool being out there with him. And finally being on the same team is going to be huge, I can’t wait.

“He kind of showed love to me in college, so we’d text back and forth every now and then. I feel like we have the same mindset. We both want to dominate. We’re both competitors. We get on the field, we turn into a different person. Just knowing him and knowing the other side of the field, that’s going to make us better and make us go harder. “

Olave said he liked Thomas’ “dog” mentality and laughed when he said he’d seen it over the past two weeks.

“I see it, man. I see the way he works,” Olave said. “If he drops a pass, he gets punting the ball, he gets mad. But I think that’s what you’re going for. It’s better to go. He’s going to call you out on your BS.”

“So I’m a teammate like Mike. Even as a person, I understand him, where he comes from. I see why he goes so hard.”

Olave already counts Washington Commanders star Terry McLaurin as a mentor and “big brother” since he emulated the teammates at Ohio State.

And now he can add Jarvis Landry to his impressive list of mentors after a five-time Pro Bowler deal with the Saints on Friday.

Olave said he heard the “huge” news coming out of the practice field.

“I can’t wait to learn from them, those two legends,” Olave said of Thomas and Landry. “I just started playing receiver my junior year of high school. Coming here and having Mike Thomas, Jarvis Landry help me, I have a lot of room for development, I can’t wait to max that out.”

“I’ve seen a lot of film on Jarvis, just his short movement quickness. I think a lot of film on him in college, trying to take some stuff out of his game. And Mike is one of the best receivers in the game.” , so of course I watch him. But to see them in person, how they look at the person in work.

The New Orleans’ receiver room has had one of the most radical transformations of any position in the NFL this offseason. The Saints finished an uncharacteristic 32nd in the league with a passing offense last year – a big part of the offensive line for Thomas, quarterback Jameis Winston and the offensive line.

Now Thomas is expected to return after missing the entire season with an ankle injury, along with newcomers Olave and Landry.

“[Landry] has been a really good player in our league. He’s a guy that can move the chains. And we feel like a guy from a character standpoint, a leadership standpoint, we can use, ”said new Saints coach Dennis Allen, who asked if any LSU fans in the area were excited about the addition of Landry. and Tyrann Mathieu.

“Well, yeah, my whole neighborhood I think has sent me some text or fashion,” Allen said.

As for Olave, Allen said the two-day rookie camp is a “small sample size.” But so far the 6-foot-1, 189-pounder is “what we thought he would be.”

“A guy is really fast, smooth in transition, good route runner,” Allen said. “And look, ultimately, he’s the type of character that we want to bring to the building. And I think that’s as important as anything.”


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