Friday, 20 May 2011 14:19

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, NFL Lockout, Loomis, Reggie Bush

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Drew Brees said the NFL players will have their day in court in June when their appeal is heard. "The owners are asking the players to take a considerable cut in money while the NFL is increasing its earnings an average of 8 per cent per year. We want to protect the past players, present players and future players.  It appears right now we could miss part of the season because of the lockout." The quarterback hopes Reggie Bush continues his career with the Saints, "His recent comments were a sign of frustration.  Reggie and Mark Ingram are two different kind of running backs.  An NFL team today needs three running backs. We'll have Reggie, Pierre Thomas, Mark and a young physical back in Chris Ivory."...



For Saints general manager Mickey Loomis the lockout has enabled him to do things that his staff hasn't thought of before, things they have wanted to do over the past five years.

In this Q&A Loomis discusses the Saints' off season priorities, scheduling and Reggie Bush.

Q: Is the  work stoppage something your team can handle and that having  a veteran team could be a benefit once the work stoppage ends?

A: I don't know if I'd phase it that way. We like the leadership on our team. We have a lot of really good leaders on both offense and defense. I'm not surprised that they would take it upon themselves to prepare as the best they can for the upcoming season,  Other than that I don't have a lot of comments about it.

Q: Do you think it is a thought  process around the league that the later team activities start, that you need to rely more on players immersed in a system for a long time?

A: I definitely think that the longer this goes, the more difficult it becomes for our coaches to develop a plan and prepare for the season. We'll deal with the circumstances as they're dealt. Hopefully this situation will get resolved and we'll be able to plan and get together soon and be able to play in the regular season.

Q: Would you anticipate free agency both with veterans and undrafted rookies potentially being a mad dash because of the abbreviated offseason?

A: I think that really it's just delayed. I don't know that there will  be a mad rush. Always when the league year begins there's an initial rush to get guys in. guys you have targeted and guys you get signed. There are always more signings in the first seven, eight, nine days of free agency. Whenever that happens, I wouldn't anticipate it being a lot different. For us, we've been prepared when it's ready to go. I don't see it being a lot different other than we're in this holding pattern, at least at the club level.

Q: Have you started contingency plans and different calendars for off seasons or training  camps of different durations?

A: That's really Sean (Payton) in terms of the calendar, We've talked about it.I don't know that it serves a lot of purpose to do a lot of when we're iffing right now. There's still time on the schedule. You you don't have to go to training camp until late July so there's
 time. It's impacted the offseason program you would ordinarily have. We'll just adjust accordingly.

A: Is there anything your club as a staff has been able to do more of that has been beneficial to you?

Q: We go back to and review the evaluations we've already done. You're reviewing, you're reviewing. We're taking on a few projects we've had on board for a while. So we've had time to do that.

Q: Can players benefit physically  from the time off?

A: I don't know the answer to that. Every individual's going to be a little different. I like to think that the offseason program is really  important to our success.

Q: Do you have a reaction to Reggie Bush's most recent comments that he wants to retire as a Saint? Does your club have a feel for him after talking to him during that brief window where contact was permissible?

A: We'll have an opportunity to talk to  Reggie and his agent. Hopefully we can work that out. We'd definitely like to have Reggie be part of our program. He's been important to us the last five years and we think he can be important to us going forward. We'll deal with that when we're
able to.

Q: Do you say that as the work stoppage looms longer, are things like filing out your roster and signing Bush to a new deal top priorities?

A: I wouldn't characterize it that way.  We're going to have roster  turnover you're going to have to deal with.You need to have a certain number of people at each  position. The most important thing for us is that we need to get guys under contract that we'd like to have back on our team. I would say those are the things that are most important, the guys that aren't under contract that we'd like to have with our team.

Coach Bobby April (1996-99) now with the Eagles envisions kicker Alex Henery leading Philadelphia in scoring for 10-15 years. However, he was careful not to completely close the door on veteran David Akers. The Eagles picked Henery in the fourth round of the draft. The last kicker to go that high in the draft was the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski,and that worked out pretty well...Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar faces allegations of sexual assault, according to WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. Dunbar's lawyer said the charges were "totally unsubstantiated," and that he believes they never will be substantiated,. Dunbar, 44. played at LSU from 1986-89 and with the Saints in 1993...

More Sports

SOME hither, others yon: Bill Belichick is the highest paid coach in American sports now that the Lakers' Phil Jackson has resigned.  His salary is estimated at $7.5 million. Seaways coach Pete Carroll and Redskins coach Mike Shanahan are each believed to make a little less at $7 million. Sean Payton makes $3 million, but should sign a new contract this season and move up to $5 million. Belichick deserves to be the highest-paid coach with 140 wins and three Super Bowl rings in 11 years at New England...Most NFL players are just waiting for news on the lockout  like the rest of us...Giants owner John Mara on it's time to get back to football: "There's no reason for the situation to come to this. The NFL's business model needs to be fixed."...

NBA Hall of Famer Sir Charles Barkley is certain he played with gay teammates on two or three teams during his basketball career -- and said it didn't bother him one bit. I'd rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can't play."...It looks like the end of the road for Shaq O'Neal. One small request, Shaq: Make it a clean break, OK, Don't answer the telephone if your ID-caller reads Brett Favre. Favre has been following the Southern Mississippi baseball team this season...Parting thought: The Blue Book value of your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas is in it...

Warning: The following item might upset people sympathetic to mass murderers: I hear bartenders have invented a new cocktail called the Ben Laden. It's two shots and a splash of water...

LSU's football helmet is ranked ninth-best in's College Football's Top 20 Best Helmets. "LSU's helmet history is a bit comical. There have been four revisions over the  years and all of them clash yellow and purple. But somehow it works. If fact, the collision of the two colons is a bit royal, like the guy who wears an odd wardrobe because he can. But in addition to the colors, the school's acronym and a fierce tiger are placed prominently on the helmet giving this an all-round appeal. We'd wear this in Death Valley any Saturday in the fall."...

Colts owner Jim Irsay has targeted early July as the necessary flashpoint for settling a new collective bargaining agreement in place. That date would provide ample time for preseason and regular-season games...Preakness winner: I'm going with Derby winner Animal Kingdom to win the Preakness by daylight. His Derby win was legitimate and he has never run a bad race..."Trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are real." -- Abraham Lincoln...Sometimes I mispell on perpose...

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. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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