The second-year pass rusher appeared to have at least two unofficial sacks in the non-contact practice session – and he had at least one more on Tuesday afternoon. But more than that, Tull is grateful to just be out there flying around on the practice field again.
Tull spent his rookie year on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp. And before that, the fifth-round draft choice out of Chattanooga missed all of OTAs and minicamp because of a surgery on his other shoulder before the draft.
But the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder insisted that he has tried his best to keep a positive attitude throughout.
“I mean, I’m human. Those [negative] thoughts happen. But you have to get them out of your head as quick as possible,” Tull said. “You know, it could be a lot worse. I’m not complaining where I’m at in life at all. And I’m really excited about this year, I feel good, I’m confident going into this year.”
Tull said that philosophy was reinforced when he saw the New Orleans premiere of the “Gleason” documentary with dozens of his teammates on Tuesday night. The film, which is set for a wider release on July 29, chronicles former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason’s battle against ALS.
“Just seeing that, it’s hard to be in the mindset of, ‘It’s hot outside,’” Tull said. “So I’m trying to approach things with a positive attitude and go from there.”
Tull will have the opportunity to become part of the Saints’ solution at the pass-rushing defensive end spot now that projected starter Hau’oli Kikaha is likely out for the season with a knee injury. He will have to compete for snaps with fellow youngsters Obum Gwacham and Kasim Edebali, among others. But performances like Wednesday’s will help his cause.
“I said something to him. I saw three ... two real good get-offs,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “So he’s someone that he’s obviously quick, he’s healthy, he’s doing good, his weight is right around . So I’m sure he’s anxious for us to get the pads on and for him to get some good work.
“But I thought today he had some good rushes. I specifically saw two, and that’s good. That’s good for us.”