METAIRIE, La. – The first day of Chris Olave at the New Orleans Saints camp for beginners was technically Friday. However, the 11th overall pick in the NFL draft has already spent most of the past two weeks meeting his new counterpart, Michael Thomas, at their joint home base in Southern California.
Thomas welcomed a colleague of the former Ohio recipient via FaceTime shortly after he was elected – and then invited Olav to stay with him and practice.
“I couldn’t refuse that,” said Olave, who spent a week and a half with Thomas before flying to New Orleans for a beginner mini-camp this weekend.
However, this was not the first time they had worked together. Thomas shared a picture of the draft night since they did the same thing a year ago.
“I feel like it was exactly a year ago,” Olave said. “It was cool to be there with him. And finally being on the same team will be huge, I can’t wait.
“He has been showing me love since college, so we sent messages from time to time … I feel we have the same way of thinking. We both want to dominate. We are both competitors. Just when we go out on the field, we turn into another person. Just knowing him and knowing he’s on the other side of the field will make us better and harder. “
Olave said he liked Thomas’ “dog” mentality and laughed when he said he had seen him up close in the last two weeks.
“I see it, man. I see how he works,” Olave said. “If he misses the pass, he shoots the ball, he gets angry. But that’s what you want near you. I feel it will be better for you. He will invite you to your bs.
“So I like Mike as a teammate. Even as a person, I understand where he comes from. I see why he’s so hardworking.”
Olave already includes Washington star Commander Terry McClorin as the mentor and “big brother” he has looked up to since he was a teammate in Ohio.
And now he can add Jarvis Landry to his impressive list of mentors after the five-time Pro Bowler agreed to an agreement with the Saints on Friday.
Olave said that he heard “huge” news as he was leaving the training ground.
“I can’t wait to learn from them, those two legends,” Olave said of Thomas and Landry. “I just started playing receiver in my first year of high school. Coming here and when Mike Thomas and Jarvis Landry help me, I have a lot of room for development, I can’t wait to make the most of it.
“I’ve watched a lot of movies about Jarvis, just his fast pace. I watched a lot of movies about him in college, trying to get some things out of his game. And Mike is one of the best receivers in the game, so of course I watch him. But to see them in person, to see them work in person, I feel they will help me a lot. “
The New Orleans reception room has undertaken one of the most radical transformations in any position group in the NFL this off-season. The Saints finished in an unusual 32nd place in the passing league last year – largely due to major injuries to Thomas, quarterback James Winston and the offensive line.
Thomas is now expected to return after missing the entire season due to an ankle injury, along with newcomers Olave and Landry.
“(Landry) was obviously a really good player in our league. He’s a guy who can move chains. And we feel like he’s a guy from a character standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, which we can take advantage of,” the new Saints coach said. Denis Alena, when asked if he had heard from any LSU fans in the area who were excited about the addition of Landry and Tirana Matthew.
“Well, yes, I think my whole neighborhood sent me a text in some form or in some way,” Allen said.
As for Olave, Allen said that the two days of the beginner’s camp were “small sample size”. But so far 6 feet of 1, 189 pounds is “what we thought it would be.”
“A guy who is really fast, smooth in transition, a good route runner,” said Allen. “And you see, after all, he’s the type of person with the character we wanted to bring into the building. And I think it’s as important as everything else. “