A few minutes with ... Jerico Nelson

This is a 2012 photo of Jerico Nelson of the New Orleans Saints football team. This image reflects the New Orleans Saints roster as of June 4th when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
This is a 2012 photo of Jerico Nelson of the New Orleans Saints football team. This image reflects the New Orleans Saints roster as of June 4th when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

Safety Jerico Nelson talks about being a local guy trying to make it with his hometown team, the competition and people thinking he has an endless supply of tickets.

The Advocate: The Saints are pretty deep in the back end of the secondary. How tough is the competition back there with some veterans and a couple of newcomers in Kenny Vaccaro and Jim Leonhard?

Jerico Nelson: At the end of the day it’s all about competition. I just have to learn the playbook and try to grind it out in practice every day and compete for a spot.

TA: What’s it like playing for the hometown team?

JN: It’s an honor. I grew up here and grew up a Saints fan … everybody around me are Saints fans. So playing for my hometown team is a great feeling.

TA: How many people come out to see you practice?

JN: Probably 12 or more every day. I grew up down the street (in Kenner), so it’s a blessing to be competing for a spot on this team.

TA: What’s the mindset every day knowing you got cut last year?

JN: It’s a grind because everybody is competing for a spot. They only keep 53 (players), so you have to be mentally tough and keep working and show the coaches you belong.

TA: Being a local guy, what’s the funniest thing you hear from the stands?

JN: I hear people saying stuff like, you know, my old nickname (Jayco, short for Jerico). It feels good to see them come out and support me.

TA: Do people try to hit you up for tickets?

JN: Last year was more. It’s not that many this year because they know how it works now (they’re not free). Right now, I’m more concerned about being here.

Sheldon Mickles