Former Notre Dame quarterback Book praises the ‘unbelievable chance’ to make his Monday Night Football debut.
Because to the uncertainty of COVID-19, New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book and fellow reserve quarterback Trevor Siemian adopted the slogan “Stay ready.”
Book is about to find out how prepared he really is, thanks to a COVID-19 epidemic that has infected at least 15 Saints players and numerous coaches.
New Orleans’ No. 1 quarterback, a rookie out of Notre Dame, took snaps during practise on Friday and is set to make his NFL regular-season debut against the Miami Dolphins in the Superdome on Monday night.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Ian Book remarked Friday night. “I’m not sure how I’m going to feel.” I’ve played in major games before, but I believe this is the biggest. This is Monday Night Football, and we’re pros now.”
When regular Saints starting quarterback Taysom Hill contacted on Thursday to tell him he’d tested positive for COVID-19, Ian Book, who had been inactive for the first 14 games of his career, believed he’d play. Book was the lone active quarterback on the roster after Siemian tested positive shortly before Hill.
“I did the arithmetic really fast there,” Ian Book said.
New Orleans signed veteran Blake Bortles on Friday, but coach Sean Payton indicated Ian Book would continue to start.
There’s also a potential Hill or Siemian will be able to test out of COVID-19 procedures in time to be activated Monday night, but Book stated he can’t afford to think about it.
“I intend to participate,” Book said. “Trying to get dressed on Monday morning, you can’t simply flick the switch.” It just doesn’t work that way, particularly at quarterback.”
Payton’s voice will be heard in Book’s helmet earpiece when he hears play calls. After his personal brush with COVID-19 caused him to isolate for almost a week and miss the team’s win against Tampa Bay on Sunday night, the coach returned to practise on Friday.
While Payton said that Ian Book is throwing well and seems to be a good “student of the game,” he also stated that it is the responsibility of the coaches and the whole squad to assist Book in playing to his strengths and becoming comfortable.
“Obviously, you have a new quarterback,” Payton said, “but it’s more than just the quarterback.” “Everyone else is painting the correct image, and we’re kicking good and playing well on defence.”
“I’m sure he’ll be alright.” Payton continued, “He’s ecstatic about the chance.” “It’s up to us to offer him the correct stuff in terms of the game and our attacking situation.”
Book’s timing seems to be fortunate. His family is coming to see him for the holidays, including a sibling who is in Army boot camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. They’ll all be there, as will Book’s former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who departed the Irish at the conclusion of the regular season to become the head coach at LSU.
And Book’s first opportunity comes after months of watching and learning how Payton’s offence is intended to function. “I have to take everything in mentally every time there was a snap in practise or a game,” Book said.
Payton said he isn’t concerned about Book’s composure after seeing him play in so many huge games at Notre Dame, when he set a school record with 30 wins in four seasons.
“He’s played in a lot of big games and he’s done it more consistently than any quarterback in Notre Dame history in terms of wins and losses,” Payton said. “Obviously, there is a step up to this level, but I believe he is up to the task.”
Saints players have also shown their support, according to Book. Jameis Winston, the Saints’ injured quarterback who started seven games before tearing his ACL, sent Book a “lovely letter.” Over the phone, Hill and Siemian gave advice.
“This whole squad is behind me,” Book added. “I feel like all of these people have my back, and hearing everyone’s excitement that I’m getting a shot is quite nice.”
Of course, the same viral epidemic that gave Book this chance also took away other key players from the roster this week, including linebacker and defensive captain Demario Davis, safety Malcolm Jenkins, and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Book, on the other hand, seems unconcerned.
“There are a million reasons out there,” Book remarked, “and we’re not going to use any of them.” “It’s just a matter of getting out there and playing and having a good time.” It’s football, after all.”