Tuesday, 17 May 2011 18:46

New Orleans Saints QB, Coach Brees Discouraged But Hopeful

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New Orleans Saints quarterback  and workouts leader Drew Brees said on Monday he was discouraged by a decision by the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of  Appeals that kept the NFL lockout in effect.

In a 2-1 decision, the appellate court said it believes the NFL has proven it "likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay." The court also cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ruled April 25 that the lockout should be lifted to save the players from irreversible damage. The 8th Circuit panel put the decision on hold four days later.


On the reason for player-organized workouts, Brees told ESPN, "If we're only given three weeks to play our first game, how organized will we be? At some point, we'll be out there competing, trying to win games and we're taking that to heart,"

The quarterback said he hasn't read the opinion yet, but he believes the 8th Circuit Court had ruled in favor of the owners.

"We're in mediation now and I always go in with a positive attitude that we can work out a settlement.  It has to run its course, but I'm hoping there is progress made so we can back to football."

Brees said the Saints have had about 40 players participate in a third week of player-run offseason workouts at Tulane.

"We have structured, organized workouts with  position-specific drills,” Brees told ESPN. "We have empowered out leaders to step up. The way I look at it, we as players can only worry about what we can control. We want to make sure we're ready to put our best effort forward, whether its two months from now, three months, six months...I  don't think anybody knows."

The players aren't covered by insurance and are both contractually and personally at risk if they suffer injuries during these workouts. There is no contact in these drills, but in the past, players have suffered injuries playing pickup basketball games or engaging in other activities.

Saints controversial running back Reggie Bush isn't working out at Tulane, but Brees said, "I'm working on him and hope we can get out at some point."

Bush is working out at Los Angeles, He stays in good condition the year round.

Brees oversaw a public raffle on Tuesday in which four winners will be invited to join the Saints' training sessions for a day. Brees wants to keep Saints fans engaged during the lockout.  The winners will get, to practice and socialize with the players on Wednesday, May 25.

"It gives diehard fans from the Who Dat Nation a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Brees. "We'll fly in the winners, put 'em up at the Ritz Carlton, eat breakfast with… though the workouts, throw it around, have a big lunch, and a good social session."

Brees said the Who Dat Nation is craving football and this is an unpredictable time.

SOME hither, others yon: Jeremy Shockey, the unpredictable former Saints tight end now with the Panthers, has come up with a unique way to keep active during the lockout.  Shockey put together a team to compete in the Drambuie Pursuit race through the Scottish Highlands. His group finished fourth out of ten during a 100-mile race that combined white-water rafting, kayaking, mountain climbing and dune-buggy racing.  He showed some impressive managerial skills in the Highlands. He sat out the mountain-climbing because he said he doesn't have health insurance. He also picked three distance runners from Texas to join him on the team. As part of the event,Shockey donated $10,000 to the Heath Evans Foundation. He also plans to explore his heritage in Ireland....

If there is a season, Tampa Bay rookie Mason Foster will have a big grudge against the Saints. He was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft and he's out to prove he was "the steal of the draft." He said the Saints called him earlier in the round and out him on hold and then hung up. Foster said he later found out that the Saints were debating between him and another player. He said he plans to make the Saints regret their decision. The Saints took linebacker Martez Wilson.Reggie Bush on the Saints drafting Mark Ingram: "I welcome him with open arms." Bush had his fingers crossed behind his back when he said that....

RIP: Pete Taylor, former Holy Cross assistant coach and the father of Southern Mississippi baseball, died in his sleep om his home at Hattiesburg on Sunday. He was 92. He coached baseball at USM for 25 seasons and the university's baseball stadium is named Pete Taylor Park He attended Fortier High School and St. Stanislaus before going to USM.

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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