Colston said it’s been a key to the Saints’ success over the past decade. He also said part of it went away when the Saints traded Darren Sproles to the Philadelphia Eagles last year. And he said it’s what a lot of NFL teams, in general, are missing.
Jaworski, who hosts a weekly show on Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic, shared a story about how he noticed Colston adjusting a route on film last year and tried to figure out what Colston saw that made him do so. When he later asked Colston, Colston said it was because quarterback Drew Brees looked at him.
“It’s everything,” Colston said of the importance of playing with Brees throughout his career. “Everything. Because receiver is one of the positions in football where you’re totally dependent on everyone else. If the offensive line doesn't protect, the running back doesn't do his job in protection and actually running the ball to kind of keep the defense balanced, the quarterback’s not on point with the ball, you can't have success. So playing with a guy like Drew for my entire career has been a huge part of my success personally."
When asked if that’s more important than any of the physical traits that can be measured at events like such as this week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Colston talked about the importance of that stability.
“To me, I look at the NFL right now and there’s just not a lot of stability in a lot of places,” Colston said. “So, what we’ve been able to do on offense, I think, is a product of stability. Sean Payton has been there nine years. Drew has been there nine years. We've got other pieces there six, seven, eight, nine years. The stability that comes with that allows for us to make the adjustments and kind of go out and put together unique game plans knowing that everyone’s on the same page. I think in a lot of these situations, the lack of stability, that’s when you see a lot of these mobile quarterbacks, their physical abilities and traits start to take over and kind of cover up some of those areas that aren't quite where they’re supposed to be yet."
Jaworski then asked about Sproles specifically, saying he believed that losing Sproles had a negative impact on the Saints’ offense. And Colston seemed to agree with his answer.
“That kind of speaks to the stability I was just talking about,” Colston said. “When you lose a guy that has produced at that high of a level and don't have an immediate replacement planned for him, you're gonna struggle at times. You know, those crucial situations when you know exactly the matchup that you're gonna get, the look you're gonna get and what you're gonna get out of that player. When you don't have that, and it's kind of an unknown, it just kind of makes game-planning a little more difficult."
Colston wasn’t asked about any contract issues – which is a hot topic right now because it seems highly likely that Colston will need to agree to a pay cut in the next couple weeks to remain in New Orleans.
Colston did reflect a lot on his combine memories. And he talked about his second career as an arena football league owner. Colston recently joined Jaworski’s ownership group with the Philadelphia Soul. The full interview can be found here.