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Interview: New Orleans Saints Safety Eric Burrell talks Saints, opportunity, and giving 110%

Former Wisconsin Badger joins the Saints as a part of their 2021 undrafted free agent class.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New Orleans Saints safety Eric Burrell joined the Locked On Saints podcast to discuss his transition to the NFL, choosing to sign with the Saints, as well as his academic achievements while at the University of Wisconsin. Below are a could moments of our conversation which can be heard in its entirety on the podcast with part two of the conversation releasing on Friday.

Ross Jackson: What was it about the Saints that brought you to New Orleans?

Eric Burrell: Honestly, just talking with my agents and a couple of guys that I’ve known there. Obviously Zack Baun, Ryan Ramczyk, those guys and Malcolm Roach [are] in similar shoes that I’ve been in coming to this situation. Just going back to the drawing board and figuring out what’s the best fit for me. I’m excited for this opportunity and I’m just to work.

RJ: Did you have any communication with the Saints before the draft?

EB: Yeah, that’s the crazy thing. A lot of guys that I’ve talked to throughout this process. [told me that] the teams that you go to aren’t the teams that you talk to during the process. Which is crazy and it held true with me. I never, not once, talked to the New Orleans Saints. It’s literally crazy how the thing works, but I’m excited to be a part of the organization. I’m excited to get there.

RJ: I know you came up a Steelers fan with Troy Polamalu being one of your favorites. Obviously you’re your own player, but are there any elements of his game that you’ve molded your own after?

EB: Just his IQ, man. He might not be the most athletic guy, fastest guy, strongest guy but the dude... He’s just always in the right places at the right time. He makes the majority of his plays just like that and he goes 110 [percent] every play. So, I definitely look up to him with everything that I do and I try my best. Another guy that reminds me of myself is Jamal Adams. But if you’re asking me to pick one, I’ll definitely pick Troy Polamalu, man. Ever since I was a little kid I just looked up to him. He always plays with his hair on fire, man and I’ve always like that. Started off when I was younger and I just like to model myself after him.

RJ: Who are some of the front office members, or potentially coaches, that you’ve talked to since joining the Saints?

EB: Cory Robinson (Secondary Assistant). I’ve known him [because] we actually played against each other, well, he was the coach at Calvert Hall (Baltimore, MD) and I went to McDonogh in Owings Mills, MD. We would always play against each other and we would always talk trash and stuff. Friendly conversations and stuff and I’m real cool with one of the guys that he knows Shaq Smith. He’s a linebacker that just got signed [by the Saints], too. So, I was just talking to him, literally I was trying to figure out what was the best fit for me. I was on the phone with my agent and we’re trying to decide that. Then Cory called me like, “Hey man, we got a roster spot for you. You can sign with us, honestly. Just talk to your agent and see what’s the best fit for you.” And I’m like, “Man, let’s take it and run with it.” Honestly, it just sounded too good to be true. I think it’s a great opportunity for me.

RJ: What do you want Saints fans to know that they’re getting with you in the black and gold?

EB: Just a hard working guy. Just whatever I’m doing on the field or off the field, I’m going to always be professional with what I do. And I’m just excited to work, man. [To} meet new people. Coaching staff, teammates, literally I’m going to do anything I can do just to help this team win and win a game and win a Super Bowl. Sky’s the limit. like I said and I’m just ready and stoked to get there and just let it all loose.

Burrell will head into this weekend’s rookie minicamp with his first chance to impress with the IQ he mentioned focusing on. As the interview continues, we also discussed his special teams acumen, Malcolm Jenkins being the first person he’s going to go to when he gets the chance, and finishing both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Wisconsin before graduating.

Listen to or watch the rest on the Locked On Saints podcast Friday afternoon.

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