Former Saints linebacker joined The Michael Balko Show on Tuesday and was asked about what it was like to play in New Orleans.
Born in New Orleans, playing for the Saints likely meant quite a bit to Michael Mauti. Playing his collegiate ball at Penn State, Mauti, an outside linebacker, played the majority of his career with the team.
He played 35 of his 58 NFL games with New Orleans, although just starting a handful. His best season was in 2015, starting two games and recording 26 solo tackles and two tackles for loss. Mauti played 16% of the team’s defensive snaps and over 50% of the special teams’ snaps.
Continuing through his injuries, Mauti made it to the NFL and was a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. However, he eventually landed in New Orleans, and he had high praise for Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the sport.
“I mean there’s just nobody like him,” Mauti stated. “I just have a huge amount of respect for the way he approaches the game and perfects his craft and is always refining it and there’s a reason why he’s so good and has so much success and it’s because he’s always working and always repping,” Mauti continued on about future first-ball Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
Mauti also went on to say “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Thursday walkthrough, a Saturday walkthrough, or a practice, it might as well be a two-minute drive in the NFC Championship game that’s just his focus level on the day to day and that’s what it takes to be one of one in my opinion.”
That’s a pretty strong opinion. It means exactly what it sounds like. Drew is about business. If he’s on the practice field or on the field captaining the team to a Super Bowl, it’s the same business-like mentality at all times.
Mauti in New Orleans wasn’t always a surefire deal; however, it was clear to him that after being a Viking for two years, that stint was coming to an end. He then packed his bags and headed home to the Big Easy.
Mauti continued to talk about how the Saints claimed him from the Minnesota Vikings by saying: “Well they claimed me at about 11:50 in the morning and the cut-off was as noon so I was sitting in the Wendy’s parking lot, slamming junior bacon cheeseburgers when I got a call from a 504 number and say ‘hey Mike we just claimed you, you think you can get on a flight at two?’ and I said heck yeah and grabbed a couple things from my apartment and hit the road.”
While his career in the league didn’t last too long, Mauti’s story is one of perseverance, and at the end of the day, he was able to be on a few highly successful teams. Those will be memories that last him a lifetime.
That’s one of the cooler stories you’ll hear about how a player ended in the Big Easy. That said, if you want to listen to the full podcast, click here.