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Saints WR Michael Thomas says he'll be 'ready to go full speed' on first day of training camp

In early June, no news is actually not good news for some.

Tuesday delivered good news for Jimmy Garoppolo's outlook entering the 2023 season. Not to be outdone, Michael Thomas made a strong declaration later that day.

"We're going to be ready for training camp, fresh Day 1, out there with the team ready to go full speed, just like the old days and what everyone is used to," the Saints receiver said, via the team's official site.

This isn't the first time anyone has held high hopes regarding Thomas' outlook ahead of a new football season. But it is rather refreshing to be able to speak positively about Thomas' status as opposed to what has followed him for much of the last two offseasons.

Thomas himself sounds rejuvenated, if by nothing more than the fact he's able to participate in June, even if it was on a limited basis.

"It's a blessing any time I get to put on the Saints uniform and get to contribute," Thomas said. "Put on the (No.) 13 (jersey) in the black and gold. Just to come out here and be around the guys, the camaraderie, that's what I miss the most. Just talking ball.

"First day of school, that's kind of what it felt like. Talking football with (quarterback) Derek (Carr), getting on the same page, talking to the coaches, just game planning. Just basically building that camaraderie to be able to build something special and chase something special and win a lot of games."

As Thomas referenced, there's something special about the first day of a journey. The first day of a new job might get the nerves going, and the first day of full contact in camp always raises the energy level around a locker room.

Taking your first reps with a new quarterback is undoubtedly exciting, too.

"He's been amazing," Thomas said of Saints QB Derek Carr. "I can't wait to play with him. And just be out there and execute and create something special with him, a connection. I just like the way he demands the huddle, the sense of urgency, just the way he handles himself. He's a pro. I respect him a lot and I'm always watching him and talking football with him. He loves football.

"It's not hard working with him and it's not hard showing up and doing what he asks you to do. It's pretty much going to be a good thing on the other end if we execute. He tells me what to do, I tell him where I'm going to be and we're on the same page. We can execute at a high level against anyone."

For Thomas, these days have been long overdue. He hasn't played substantial snaps in over two years because of health issues, which sound as if they might finally be behind him.

Thomas also knows there's plenty on the line in 2023, a season he'll play on a contract designed to require another decision regarding his future at the start of the 2024 league year. There's no time like the present to produce, a process that will truly begin with the start of training camp.

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