Deadline, so will New Orleans Saints Appeal Goodell's Bounty Suspensions
Written by  // Monday, 07 May 2012 10:03 //

vilmaWill they or will they not?

The two New Orleans Saints players suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell have the end of business today to file their appeal--should they appeal the Bounty suspension. Linebacker Jon Vilma was suspended for the 2012 season and defensive end Will Smith was suspended for the first four games of this year.


 Thus far, the players have said Goodell did not have the jurisdiction to suspend them.


Former Saints and Chargers kicker John Carney paddled out with his son. It was a special occasion to remember the man he met in 1990 when they both joined the Chargers.

"A lot of people reflected on what he meant to San Diego," Carney told the San Diego media. "We're all grieving the loss of a great man who had so much positive on San Diego."

An estimated 1,200 spectators and 200 surfers including Saints quarterback Drew Brees gathered on the beachfront outside Junior Seau's home on Sunday to honor the deceased former NFL star.

Brees has a home in San Diego and trains there during the offseasons.

Seau, a 20-year NFL veteran, died on Wednesday in his Oceanside home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. He was 43.

Brees and other surfers paddled into the Pacific and formed a giant circle in what's called a 'paddle-out.' They periodically chanted the linebacker's name and slapped their hands against the water for an hour.

"It's a beautiful day," Brees told USA TODAY Sports. "We were in the water where I know he loved to be. It was a beautiful day because Junior is here with us."

Brees played with Seau two years with the Chargers. He wore a wetsuit and rode an orange and red surfboard.

"It was pretty unbelievable that so many people came out to pay tribute," said Brees. Junior was truly was an inspirational person and somebody who's spirit will live forever."

Brees didn't have any news about the long-term contract he wants to sign with the Saints. He can negotiate with the team until the deadline of July 16.

Steelers LB James Harrison on Jon Vilma's suspension: "It's extremely unfair. Decisions such as bounty plans are handed down from a higher team authority, so in essence, Vilma was just doing his job although that's a weak defense. How the league can actually prove what hits or plays Vilma made under the bounty system is impossible to gauge. So far that reason alone a season-long suspension is down right ridiculous."...Cut by the Texans last week, WR/KR Jacoby Jones of New Orleans has visited the Panthers and Ravens. He has returned four kicks and punts for TDs...

Former Saints RB Rickey Williams has retired from the NFL and is living "his dream" in a tent in Australia. He told Esquire Magazine that only "a few people got to him. It's so refreshing to just to be able to talk about something meaningful."...Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said quarterback  Robert Griffin III "is the starter. Period." He'll get his first regular-season start against the in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome t DC  Steve Spagunolo's defense...

HARPER NO. 1 PASS RUSHER Saints FOR DEFENSIVE BACKS:  Saints safety Roman Harper had 7.5 sacks last season, you can't  but think wow. After all, defensive backs aren't meant to produce that many sacks.

Profootballfocus.com, which keeps stats over every NFL snap, says that numbers without context are just part of the picture, and with all due respect to Harper, his sack numbers don't tell the whole story. A blitzing defensive back is likely to generate bigger sack numbers based purely on the number times they blitz, so before praising Harper we need to look at how he rushed compared to his peers to see how productive they are.

Harper rushed the passer 121 times while the Packers' Charles Woodson at 83.  In fairness, Harper may have the most rushes, but he does also play an every-down role, so he's bound to have more opportunities than some others.

Harper drops to third while Donald Strickland of the Jets had 241 passing snaps with 48 pass rush snaps for a 19.92 percentage. Harper had 624 passing snaps with 121 pass rush snaps for a 19.39 percentage.

Before unveiling the most productive pass rushers, the website looks at which players generated the most pressure. Harper leads the way with 17 QB disruptions.

So what does this mean for Pass Rushing Productivity? Well, looking only at defensive backs who rushed the passer at least 30 times, Dawkins comes out on top with a PRP score of 23.36. Harper was 15th in this category while teammate Malcolm Jenkins was slotted sixth over-all.

(Photo: Jonathan Vilma)

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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