Sports

Olave eager to team with Thomas in Saints’ rebuilt pass game



METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Chris Olave simply arrived in New Orleans. Michael Thomas can be returning quickly.

The two former Ohio State stars are central figures in a rebuilt Saints receiving corps designed to enhance the NFL’s least productive passing sport in 2021 with 187.4 yards per sport.

Olave, the Saints’ prime draft alternative and No. 11 total, caught 65 passes for 936 yards – 14.4 yards per catch – and 13 touchdowns for the Buckeyes final season. He’s getting his first style of the NFL as he participates in New Orleans’ rookie minicamp this weekend.

But earlier than he confirmed up on the staff’s coaching facility, he spent per week and a half in Los Angeles working with Thomas, a former All-Pro who invited his new teammate to stick with him.

“I’ve been training there until I got here,” Olave mentioned after follow Saturday. “He took me in. I simply adopted his schedule that he does persistently within the offseason. I simply stepped into that and labored with him.

“He said, just keep doing what I’m doing. Coming from Ohio State, that’s a competitive environment. Keep that chip on your shoulder and keep your head down and keep working. I look up to him. He’s one of the best receivers to do it and I want to follow in his footsteps.”

The Saints’ passing sport has struggled the final two seasons, largely due to an ankle damage that has plagued Thomas, a second-round decide in 2016 who caught an NFL-record 149 passes in 2019, the final season he was absolutely wholesome.

Thomas injured the ankle within the 2020 season opener and it restricted him to seven video games that season. He didn’t catch a single landing go.

He tried to rehab the damage, however ultimately had two surgical procedures and missed all of final season.

It stays to be seen if Thomas will take part within the voluntary organized staff actions that start in 9 days, however the two former Buckeyes are anticipated to be collectively once more for the staff’s necessary veteran minicamp scheduled for June 14-16.

“Finally being on the same team with him is going to be huge,” Olave mentioned. “I can’t wait to get on the field with him and compete with him as his teammate.”

Olave, who like Thomas is a local of Southern California, mentioned he and Thomas spoke on the cellphone and exchanged texts even earlier than the draft. Thomas was advising his fellow Buckeye and the communication has solely elevated since they turned teammates two weeks in the past.

“Since I got drafted, I feel like we’ve gotten closer,” Olave mentioned.

The Saints added five-time Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry, who’s from the New Orleans space and performed at close by LSU, as a free agent Friday.

“We just got out of practice (Friday) and they said, ‘We got Jarvis’ and that was huge,” Olave mentioned. “He’s going to be an ideal addition to the roster. I can’t wait to play with him.

“Michael Thomas was always one of my favorite receivers. Jarvis is a legend out here. Having so many guys that are known and have already made their mark in the league is huge for me see how they attack it every day.”

Olave is simply two days into his NFL profession, however coach Dennis Allen mentioned he has seen “the same things we saw on tape” that led the Saints to make two trades to maneuver as much as the No. 11 spot and draft him.

“He’s a guy that is really fast, smooth in transition, good route runner, smart and ultimately he’s the type of character person that we wanted to bring into the building,” Allen mentioned. “I think that’s as important as anything.”

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.





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