New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book
What has happened this week for you from Wednesday until today?
“Yeah, it’s been a crazy week, there’s no doubt about it. You know, I went on the first day of training. Trevor (Semian) wasn’t feeling well, and he came in (to get tested Covid) immediately. He was tested and after training he was positive, so boom, he was a (quarterback). I’m losing track of days, but yesterday Taysom (Hill) called me and Told me he tested positive. It was just boom, boom, two positives (for quarterbacks). I can count, so I knew I was the last (available). “
How much better prepared are you now than at the start of the week to start Monday night?
“The last time we (met the media) spoke was at training camp, getting ready to play the second half of the Baltimore game. I feel a lot better. It’s been so long. Every time. there was a rep, I had to take it mentally. Add up all those reps, I have to do them mentally. I never got to do that with those obviously, but every time they practiced and watched a movie, I had to imagine it was me there. I was repeating these readings over and over again until it really got into my mind. I feel a lot better. The coaches walked with me and gave me all prepared. Time to go and do it. “
Has it ever settled down that unless something unexpected happens, this will be your first start in the NFL?
“Every day I take it from day to day. We’re obviously getting closer to Monday night, but I’m not going to play with my mind and say, maybe (Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian) come back and start. At this point, I’m planning on playing. This is what I had to do all week to get ready. You can’t just flip that switch on Monday morning trying to get ready. It doesn’t work like that, especially at quarterback. That’s what I learned and that’s what I’ve learned chatting with other quarterbacks this year. I told Trevor (Semian) about it when he was playing, you know you have to take the whole week seriously because you never know when you have to play. I was the fourth quarterback on the roster. I never expected things to turn out like this, but with COVID you never know. So I take it day to day. Trying to get into a routine is hard because you can’t enter the building, but every day I study and learn as much as possible with pen and paper. It was really good to come out here today to just walk through it. I needed these reps, and told the coaches that I needed to have these reps. It was awesome. I needed to see it and imagine it and it falls into place. It’s gonna be a good week. I’m excited. It really is an incredible opportunity (to begin with). “
How excited are you for Monday night’s big football scene?
“I’m going to be pretty excited, yeah. I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I’ve played in big games (at Notre Dame), but that’s the biggest. We’re professionals now and that’s the Monday night football. I grew up watching prime-time football since I was little. It was a dream of mine (playing prime-time football), and I keep getting say it’s a great opportunity. There’s a million excuses out there, that’s what I would say, but we won’t use any of them. We’re just going to go out there and play. We’re all professionals, and when your name is called you have to go over there and I played. I’m just excited. I want to go and the main thing for me is to have fun, to move on. the next play and play fast. Don’t go there thinking all the time, it’s just going to slow down my process. I just have to play, have fun. It’s football. “
Did Drew Brees or any other great quarterback ask you how to handle this big prime-time scene?
“No, Drew didn’t. I think I have 200 texts on my phone. I think I’ll have to get to this a bit later, I’m trying to concentrate. I have a good group of support. I’ve had people texting me that I didn’t expect to text me. It’s pretty cool for these people to listen and watch. It’s a big stage My family will be in town. My brother, who’s in training camp in the military, I was going down (in New Orleans) this weekend anyway, now I see myself starting. sort of good timing. “
What branch of service is your brother in?
“He’s in the military. He was doing a training camp at Fort Benning, Ga. He just finished training camp and he’s been over time. So he’s here and he’s excited to see. his first game and watching me run there. “
Did you talk to Brian Kelly about your first start in the NFL?
“Yes, he texted me this morning. He will be there on Monday night in the dressing room watching the game. He wished me good luck, and I said the same to him. he gets the new job (at LSU). He told me he wanted me to come to Baton Rouge whenever I could have some free time to talk a bit with the quarterbacks there and see what happens over there. I’m excited for him. He’ll be there in the club Monday night. “
Would you expect to do some of the things Taysom Hill normally does with designed quarterback runs?
“I would love to be as good a runner as Taysom and go over obstacles. But no, I have a bit of that (running ability) in my game. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve been watching Taysom the whole time. year running. He’s someone I admire with the way he handles his process other than just running and attacking the game. I’m trying to do that this week. Obviously there’s a lot going on about the game. way with COVID, but I’m trying to be like Taysom. I think scrambling a bit when I need it is going to be huge. I don’t know the powers of the quarterback. Guess we’ll have to see Monday night .
Did Taysom say anything to you to give you some advice on how to deal with Monday night?
“Yeah, actually every quarterback did. Jameis (Winston) also reached out and sent me a nice note. Trevor (Semian) and Taysom (Hill) both called me, so that was pretty cool. They all told me to go out there, play soccer and have fun. We always say stay ready. I joked with Trevor all year to stay ready every time that we see each other, and now we’re at this point. They are all excited for me and wish me well. I wished them luck and I hope they will improve soon. But they sent me to good grades and good points on what I need to do to focus and lock myself in. They each gave me some keys to getting ready for this game and what to focus on. “
Did you find out you left Taysom Hill after he called you about his positive Covid test?
“Yes. The coaches called me right after, but once Taysom called me and asked if I had heard the news, I already knew what that meant. He tested positive and like I did. I said, I did the math pretty quickly there. “
Do you have to have a different level of preparation on Monday night without having a veteran quarterback in that system with you to help guide you?
“Yeah, it might sound a bit like that, but just coming here today and having this whole team behind me, I feel how much they support me. Hear how excited all the guys are for me to be. having this opportunity is pretty cool. I feel like I’ve been with the Saints longer than I’ve actually been. I’m getting closer to these guys. I see what you say, but I don’t haven’t thought about it. When I get to the I’m going to have with RC (Ronald Curry), Pete (Carmichael) and Blake (Bortles) now. Shoot, Blake has been playing for a long time. He has a lot of starts under his belt and I want to hear of him too. But at the end of the day I know what I need to do. It’s obviously the NFL and I haven’t started or played yet, but I know what I need to do as a quarterback to win this game. “