New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt & Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Vitt: “We just selected Nick Toon from the University of Wisconsin. We’re excited about the pick. Number one, I think he has a great pedigree. His father, Al Toon played in the league for a long time. He was a guy that Henry Ellard our wide receivers coach really liked and graded him high. Our Area Scout Dwaune Jones really liked him. Our Director of College Scouting Rick Reiprish really liked him. This was another pick that was the best available player on the board. He’s a polished route-runner, can catch the ball outside the framework of his body and can make the big play. We have no durability issues on this player. We’re excited about him. Pete’s (Carmichael) looked at him more than me obviously as an offensive player”
Does the drafting of Toon connect with any concerns about Adrian Arrington’s development?
Vitt: “No, we like Adrian a lot. This was the next best player up there when we saw the grades. Henry Elllard really likes this guy. I knew Henry in L.A. as a player and I knew Henry in St. Louis as a coach. Henry Ellard has coached people like Torry Holt and Issac Bruce and Henry was really fired up about his route-running ability. (He’s) a really polished route-runner right now. He’s big, like we have in our system. He’s a Marques Colston type player at 6-3. This was a guy that Sean (Payton) met with at the combine extensively because Sean likes big receivers, so it’s just worked out perfect.”
He’s had some injuries in his college career. What makes you so sure about his durability?
Vitt: “Our doctors passed him on his physical. I believe he missed only one game his senior year, the Indiana game, where he probably could have played in the game. I think he’s going to have to work through some issues in the National Football League, but they all do. Robert Meachem missed his whole first year. We have good medical grades on him. We like his production with over 60 catches, so I think it was just one game he missed.”
How much does losing Meachem make this pick possible?
Carmichael: “We just looked at the board and he was the best available to us, so the thing about him too that he never mentioned is that he’s a real smart guy playing more than one position for us. We can put him inside or outside. As a player he has those abilities, as well as being able to run at those positions.”
Does Nick Toon remind you of any other receiver that you’ve coached?
Carmichael: “His range and his hands remind me more of (Marques) Colston. He runs better than I think people give him credit for. He was timed real well at the Combine. I think that speed shows up on film.”
Did you want to come out of this year’s draft with a receiver?
Vitt: “I can’t say that. Again, this was the next guy up on the board. There were some close grades up there, but when you look at the grades of Rick Reiprish, Dwaune Jones, Henry Ellard and Pete (Carmichael) had looked at the player, we just felt great about it.”
How quickly do you expect him to be able to make an impact here?
Vitt: “I think we all want them to come in and play as soon as they can. As I said before, Robert (Meachem) missed his whole first year and then came back and really made an impact for us in his second year. We like the way this guy can run routes right now. He’s competitive. He’ll fight you for the ball. He’s a good blocker. He’s in good shape right now. He’s excited to be here. We’re expecting the best.”
Last year your first two picks were sons of former NFL players and now you have another one. Do you see anything different in those players in regards to their approach coming into the building?
Vitt: “I’ve had a lot of them over the years. I just don’t think an NFL locker room is foreign to them. They’ve gone to work with their dads and have come to Saturday practices, and it just seems like it’s not too big for them. I can’t say that as a general rule, but it’s kind of the way I’ve been around it. It’s in the family. It’s in their blood. Every Thanksgiving, they’re watching football and watching bowl games. It’s just the way they were raised. I think it’s exciting.”
Are you guys still looking at trading to get more picks?
Vitt: “Mickey (Loomis) has been on the phone all day long. Mickey understands the value of the picks that we have and the value of the picks on the board. He’s constantly trying to get us good players and value the picks.”
Is Mickey Loomis more involved today?
Vitt: “I don’t think so. I think it’s been a normal day.”
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times