NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Larry Warford’s departure leaves a clear opening for the first-year, second-year tandem of Cesar Ruiz and Erik McCoy to become anchors in the middle of the Saints offensive line for years to come.
Ruiz, like McCoy, played mostly center in college but has experience at guard, so one of the two is likely able to move into Warford’s right guard post, alongside right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, and opposite of newly-resigned Andrus Peat, as well as the veteran of the group, Terron Armstead.
McCoy revealed this week that he has been in touch with Ruiz since before the two were even teammates “It was combine-specific stuff," he told the New Orleans Saints Podcast. "It was a week or two before the Combine and he hit me on Instagram in my DM and said ‘Hey bro, I’m a center out of Michigan, I’m just wondering if you had any tips or things that I can do to get ahead.’ It was pretty simple, short talk. Basically I just told him, gave him some tips for sleeping especially because that’s a big part of it when you’re there is getting the rest to be able to perform and really just let him know that those are going to be some of the longest days of his life but to also enjoy it because you’ll never have another opportunity like that again. So really just to have fun, enjoy the moment and treasure it because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The interview was released before news of Warford came down but McCoy spoke about some of the advice he gave Ruiz going forward “Not position advice just because I don’t know how it’s going to play out but professional advice for sure. I don’t want to sound super cliche but absorb everything that you can. Like when I first got here, coaches were telling me one thing, players were telling me one thing, you just get it from all different angles but really, soak it up, especially what youre hearing from the players because those are the guys you’re going to be out there with every single play and that have been doing it for years. They have their own different ways of doing things that might differ from the coaches and you can try them out maybe in practice and it might not work for you so you just go back to what the coaches were telling you. I would just say to be a sponge. Your rookie year is long and you have a lot to learn,especially with everything being virtual now. it’s not the same as in person. So when you get here, just take everything in and enjoy it.”
The Saints are not expected to convene before training camp but coaches can have contact with players so Ruiz is likely getting a heavy dose of information to begin processing.