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Saints Running Back Tim Hightower Reflects on the 2015 Season

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Tim Hightower sits down for another interview with Canal Street Chronicles and explains he's ready to turn his momentum from 2015 into more wins next season.

Thankful!
Thankful!
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What's up Who Dats! Today I'm happy to present another Q & A with New Orleans Saints RB Tim Hightower. As you might recall, back in August of 2015, I had a nice conversation with Tim about his expectations for the upcoming season. Here's the link: Interview From August 2015

While Hightower did make the final roster to open the season, he was later released. An injury to fellow Saints RB Khiry Robinson led to Hightower being re-signed and when Mark Ingram sustained an injury, Tim was thrust into the starting role. In 8 games, he gained 375 yards on the ground and 4 TDs and quietly averaged nearly 11 yards per reception out of the backfield. He was also honored as FedEx Ground Player of the Week in the same week that teammate Drew Brees earned the FedEx Air Player of the Week!

Taking some time from his busy schedule, Tim recapped his 2015 season and talked about his personal and team goals! Without further delay, here's the conversation!

You can listen to the interview audio right here.

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Tee Word: Your story is so inspirational and even triumphant, to what do you credit your successful comeback?

Tim Hightower: You know, Tee, when I talked to you last time - about the journey, the comeback - at that point everything that we talked about last time remains true. Over the past three, fighting through the adversity, setting goals, and the positive people around me, just staying positive man. And just putting my head down and believing the best and staying true to the vision that I set and staying true to the purpose that I felt was in front of me. It proved true over the past three years and it proved true when I was let go and brought back. And throughout the last eight weeks of the season. So a combination of people, a combination of work ethic, goals and most importantly, faith in something bigger than myself.

TW: The last several games in the season, the team really needed you to carry the load and grind out yards. Describe the feeling leading up to that first start?

TH: I couldn't have asked for a better scenario or better situation. As far as the selfish part of me, as an athlete, when you're training and preparing in the offseason, you're preparing as if every single play relies on you. Now I understand that it's a team game and I have a role amongst many other roles that are equally as important. But I'm preparing as if the team is going to need me every single down, every single rep, every single play of the game to make a play or do something that is going to change the outcome of the game. So to come back and have that type of responsibility, there's no greater respect. There is no greater respect in this game than to have your team counting on you, the coaches counting on you, and the community counting on you. And to know that everything you've worked for is for a purpose and for a reason and it's meaningful and every single rep is meaningful. It meant the world to me and I wanted to seize the opportunity. I didn't want to let it slip, I wanted to take advantage of it.

TW: In the last few games, you put up nice numbers. The four touchdowns stand out to me because I know that for a running back, they can be hard to come by. Did you have any personal benchmarks that you were shooting for when you started to see more opportunities to carry the ball?

TH: I actually did want to score a touchdown every game, I did. I wanted us to win, we'd had enough losing. I wanted us to end on a winning streak, to get some wins and to get some confidence, some momentum heading into the offseason. I won't go into all the personal goals; some goals were hit, some goals weren't hit, some goals might never be hit because they're so high. But, I would say I wanted to score every game. I wanted to be consistent and not put the ball on the ground, I understood ball security and most importantly, I wanted to win. I wanted to win and like I said I wanted to build momentum heading into next year.

TW: We have to acknowledge your awesome recognition as the FedEx Ground Player of the Week! How awesome was it to achieve the honor in the same week as your teammate Drew Brees?

TH: I've never experienced that award so it was a first for me. And to have that be after everything had taken place at that point, it was special, very special and it felt good. It felt good because now you're being recognized by not just your teammates, not just your local fan base, but you're being recognized by the NFL community and fan base. To have that kind of respect from your community and fan base, that's why we play the game. To have the respect our peers and the fans. And also, I can't go without saying this: to be mentioned in the same category as Drew Brees, who is clearly a Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest athletes and people I've been around – it's an honor, it felt great and it makes you want to keep working and fighting for what you believe in and keep trying to do the best that you can.

TW: Tim, I really enjoy seeing you in Black and Gold! Has the city of New Orleans grown on you in any way?

TH: Absolutely! First of all, I appreciate that Tee, I appreciate the support and it's definitely felt and appreciated. It has, it's a special city and you hear a lot about the history of the city from the outside in. But when you're in the city and you feel the support and the love the city has and the energy from the city. One of the best feelings was the Jacksonville (Jaguars) game, the last home game of the season and we're not in the playoffs or playoff contention. That game could've easily been half full, but those fans were out there cheering as hard as they were Week 1. When you go around town anywhere you go, people are just as excited as they were at the beginning of the season and preseason. As a player, as a competitor, you couldn't ask for anything better and couldn't ask for any better situation. It makes you want to go out there and lay everything on the line and work as hard this offseason to make the result even better next year.

TW: We appreciate every Saints player and every game. Having been in the Super Dome and experience the energy firsthand, I know that atmosphere is great for a player to feel that support and love from the city. We appreciate you speaking with us again! Anything you'd like to leave with the fans today?

TH: I'm looking forward to being a part of this fan base and this community and getting this thing turned around and getting some wins going.

TW: Sounds good and we look forward to it!

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Hope you all enjoy the follow-up interview with Tim! As always, Thanks for Reading and Be Cool Who Dats!

Interview Audio