Q)How does it feel to be a Saint?
Vilma: It feels awesome. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates, all the coaches and all the people in the organization. I am really excited.
Q)At what point did you think it was a real possibility that you could be headed to the Saints?
Vilma: I really didn’t want to get my hopes up too high. I always tried to keep a cloud of doubt around me because you never know what can happen. There was obviously a lot of speculation kind of swirling and I tried not to get my hopes to high that it would be New Orleans. But I can say that at the end of the day it is where I wanted to be and am just really excited to be able to say I am a Saint. The waiting has been pretty hard. Then my agent called and said it looked like the Saints and Jets had completed a trade. It was a great piece of news.
Q)Were you aware that the Saints had a lot of interest in you when you were coming out of Miami?
Vilma: I knew that the Saints looked at me and spent some time scouting me. I know that there were a few other teams interested as well but you just never know what is going to happen. It is really out of your control. It wasn’t until I actually spoke to Mickey (Loomis) last week that I found out they were really considering drafting me in 2004 if I would have been available.
Q)You spent time with Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton in Indianapolis last week. What did you take from your meeting with them?
Vilma: The meeting really was interesting. We talked some football, we talked about life, and we covered a lot of ground, such as their expectations, my expectations and it went really well. The coaches were getting a feel for me and I enjoyed being around them and what they were all about. The thing I took away from meeting them was how comfortable and familiar I felt with them. The good thing about it was they are really good people and I think they felt comfortable that I am, too.
Q)You were sidelined midway through the 2007 season with a knee injury. Can you talk about where you are in the rehab process and what your next few months will look like?
Vilma: The next few months are laid out in front of me as far as what I have to do to get back to 100%. I haven’t had any setbacks and my progress has been excellent to this point and moving right along. I haven’t had any setbacks and am doing everything that I should be doing at this point in time. I am really progressing and have people that are working closely with me. I feel good.
Q)Being a sideline-to-sideline defender has been one of the trademarks of your career since you were at Miami. Do you have any concern that the medical procedure you went through will limit you in any way from being that type of player?
Vilma: No. Not at all.”