||05-18-2005 04:20 PM
Thanks progress. Here's the wrap:
Chat wrap: Alfred Fincher
By Chris Pika, May 18, 2005; 2:49 pm, NewOrleansSaints.com
May 18, 2005 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ 2:49 pm
Saints rookie linebacker Alfred Fincher held a live chat with Saints fans this afternoon. Here is a transcript of the chat on NewOrleansSaints.com.
Yael W., New Orleans, La.: Are you excited about being part of the greatest franchise in history?
Alfred Fincher: I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity for me and I hope that I can come down here and contribute.
Donna L., Navarre, Fla.: I would like to know honestly what went through your mind when you were picked by the Saints?
Alfred Fincher: Joy...happiness...and readiness went through my mind.
Nikkie A., Lake Charles, La.: Now that you have had a chance to spend some time with some of the veteran players and coaching staff, do you think you will like being a Saint? Let me warn you, once we (the faithful fans) accept you there's no turning back! What do you like best so far? Best of luck to you!
Alfred Fincher: I like the passion of the fans here in New Orleans. All of people who I met have given me a lot of support and the dedication of the fans is wonderful. I just like the atmosphere and it is a football-minded community.
Zack R., Atlanta, Ga.: Do you and the coaches think you will be able to make the starting defense?
Alfred Fincher: I am trying to put myself in the best position to start. After that, it's up to the coaches to decide what happens.
Shane L., Destrehan, La: What will you offer this Saints defense?
Alfred Fincher: If I'm blessed enough to play, I will offer the defense passion, dedication, emotion and one animalistic human being on Sundays!
Charles B., Lafayette, La..: Al...What are your expectations in regards to the "speed" of the game in professional football? Do you anticipate any problems in the transition? Will it allow you to maintain a high level of aggressive play?
Alfred Fincher: Being a rookie, it's going to take a season to get adjusted to the different aspects of the game, but I expect to provide a key contribution to the team.
Jonathan M., Metairie, La.: Are you going to do anything special to get acclimated to the weather here in Louisiana, or are you just going to gut it out?
Alfred Fincher: I have been running extra after practice to be in better shape and I look forward to gutting it out with the rest of the squad in training camp this July.
Eric P., Kenner, La: Welcome to town. Who was your favorite NFL team growing up? Would you like to remain with the Saints for your entire career?
Alfred Fincher: I was a huge 49ers fan growing up...I would love to make New Orleans my home for my career.
Lee F., Baton Rouge, La.: Alfred, first I would like to welcome you to the New Orleans Saints. Do you have any idea what Coach Haslett has in store for you as far as starting, playing time, etc. as a rookie? Good luck this year and we are ready for a great linebacker to emerge.
Alfred Fincher: Every coach has a role for each player, whether it's starting, playing on special teams, etc., and I look forward to seeing what my role is going to be.
Scott J., New Orleans, La.: had you ever been to New Orleans before? What has interested you in this city?
Alfred Fincher: I have never been to New Orleans before I was drafted. Honestly, I have not had a chance to see the city except for Deuce's event last night. But, I've heard it's a great city to live in.
Michael D., Lafayette, La.: Before the draft, had you ever watched Saints games?
Alfred Fincher: Absolutely...I am a huge football and NFL fan and watched plenty of games on Sundays, including the Saints.
Eric T., N.J.: Is it difficult to go from a town like Storrs, Conn., in the middle of nowhere, to a more popular town in New Orleans?
Alfred Fincher: It's extremely difficult because there are so many exciting things to do here. You can make anyplace be a great experience no matter where you live or play.
Scotty P., New Orleans, La.: Being only a rookie, do you think that you can supply this defense with hard-nosed leadership?
Alfred Fincher: As a player, I feel that I have natural characteristics for leadership, if given the opportunity...but, it would have to happen naturally and be earned.
Scott J., New Orleans, La.: Alfred, are you aware of the rich history this franchise has at LB with the Dome Patrol and is it a wish of yours to bring that domination back to the team?
Alfred Fincher: Yes, I am aware of the Dome Patrol and that defense. I'm hoping that I, along with the other players on the team, can be a great defense.
Mike C., Natchitoches, La.: Alfred, welcome to Black and Gold Nation. We can't wait to see you with the pads on. You seem to be the perfect size for what we need to plug the middle and stop the run early. Do you feel like you can make the adjustments immediately coming out of a small football school straight to the NFL to make a difference right away or is there going to be a learning curve which will require some time?
Alfred Fincher: I definitely think I can make a difference coming from a small school since football is just football, no matter where it's played, but being a rookie, I am going to have to go through the normal learning curve for a first-year player.
Scott J., New Orleans: Do you see yourself as a middle linebacker or do you think the outside would fit your style better?
Alfred Fincher: I'll feel comfortable wherever the team needs me to play.
Chris B., New Orleans, La.: It sounds like you are a Ray Lewis-type of player. Did you look up to him growing up?
Alfred Fincher: I like Ray as a player. I never played linebacker until I got to college...I was a safety in high school. Once I got to Connecticut and watched the NFL, Ray was a player who I watched a lot of. Also, Derrick Brooks, Joey Porter, Zach Thomas, etc.
Scott J., New Orleans: Alfred, of all the players the Saints drafted, you seem the most confident. That is a virtue you should never give up. You will be a player.
Alfred Fincher: Thank you for the compliment and the great questions. I look forward to meeting many of the fans and being the player everyone thinks I can be.
Someone should have asked him, do you think you can surpass these scrubs who are here now and start? He could've been like "Hell yeah. I ain't seen jack out of these losers so I know I will be out there opening defensive play." That would have been funny. :wink: