by Alejandro de los Rios
All seemed to go as planned for the Saints recently acquired tight-end. He practiced with the first-team offense though his reps were limited to protect that left tibia that he broke last season with the Giants and he even talked to the media.
Just in case you're wondering, no, there were no bombshells. Pretty much the most controversial thing Shockey said was saying that the New York media is just a bunch of tabloids, but he had nothing but praise for his former team.
Mostly, though, he just seemed genuinely happy to be out of the glaring New York media spotlight. He also caught pretty much every ball thrown his way in drills, much to the pleasure of the Saints fans in attendance. A couple of choice quotes fromhis almost 13-minute long press conference:
Q: Were you surprised when the trade finally happened?
A: I was relieved. I wasnt surprised. There were a bunch of rumors. If I had gone back to the Giants no matter what it would have been a circus. Id have went up there if they kept me, there would have been all of the rumors if they were better off without me, this, that. The last thing I wanted to do was be a distraction. Thats one of the reasons I didnt want to go to the Super Bowl. I wasnt healthy. They did a great job. I didnt want to be a distraction to that team. If I went, Im a distraction. If I didnt go, I was a distraction. Its the same thing if I had gone up to play for the Giants. Im just very happy to have the opportunity I have in this city and with this team.
Q: Can you discuss what you feel is misunderstood about you?
A: The people that know me as a person like Jon (Vilma) and several other guys on this team that I know, theyll tell you that Im not as wild and rebellious as some people say, but thats the media. They build you up to knock you down and if you know me, you know me. If not, the rumors fly. Youve probably heard it all. Ive heard it all. What you see is what you get. I wear my emotion on my sleeves and Im a true person. I m not fake or fabricated to anybody.
Q: Are you happy to be in a little more media friendly and less media intense environment than New York City?
A: I knew that question was coming out sooner or later. Actually I think my family is. Theyre the ones, my mother especially that read the newspaper. I always hear about it from my brother and it doesnt really bother me. Obviously Id like to just concentrate on football besides looking to be a distraction, being in the paper, being out here, going over here, this city, whatever. It gets out of control a little bit. Obviously Im happy. Im happy in the situation more than anything else.
Q: Do you look forward to this initial media generated attention cooling off a little after today?
A: Ill appreciate the six or seven that are there then. I thought the obligation to talk to the media was only during the football season. Up in Albany, it was like this everyday and you get used to it. Obviously this is a smaller media corps. Im looking forward to getting to know the beat writers here. I dont know them, but Im sure Ill know you guys. Youre probably different than the people that write for the Enquirer or some of the other papers up in New York.
And my personal favorite:
Q: Can you respond to a quote that said you were seeking revenge on the Giants?
A: Where was that quote? I said that?