A few minutes with ... Jerico Nelson

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