Thursday, 31 May 2012 11:42

New Orleans Saints need Sharper Image with Brees For Superbowl Run

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brees-familyBy Ed Stanton

Darren Sharper may be right when he says he's never seen a quarterback of Drew Bress' magnitude let his contract run out and have to go through long negotiations in an effort to get a new deal.

Sharper, a former All-Pro safety who made the NFL All-Decade Team for the 2000s, was interviewed by WWL's Bobby Hebert the other day.

"It baffles me every day I wake up and I don't see, on the bottom line, a new contract for Drew Brees," said Sharper, a former Saints teammate of Brees, who will be an analyst for WWL-TV starting in August. "I'm just confused as to why a guy who has led this organization has not been given a contract extension so he can be on board for years to come.

"You just have never seen this happen to a franchise quarterback in every sense of the word,” said Sharper. (The Saints did make Brees their franchise quarterback in every sense of the word, making Brees livid.)

"Have you ever heard of Tom Brady going through a contract, stalled talks that have taken this long? Peyton Manning? Aaron Rodgers? Philip Rivers? None of those guys have ever had to deal with a franchise tag and had to play out the last year of their contract and then go into the offseason," Sharper continued.

Sharper has a point.

Brees has done a lot for the Saints and the city of New Orleans. You may see a guy like Manning or Brett Favre getting pushed out near the end of their careers. But Manning ended up with a great deal at Denver after parting ways with the Colts. Favre went on to have productive time with the Jets and Vikings. But Brees isn't at the end of his career. He has at least five good years left in him, and it's not like the Saints are ready to hand the job to Chase Daniel.

The Packers said they'll retire Favre's jersey in a year or two. But how can you do that when he may come back out of retirement again?

Brees is in any conversation about the league's best quarterback. He's right there with Rodgers, Brady, and Manning, and Brees is a notch or two above Rivers, who replaced him at San Diego.

Saints owner Tom Benson wrote a letter to The Times-Picayune owners to keep the newspaper daily, but that's not going to happen because when a business isn't making money it dies.

Benson should forget about the future of The Times-Picayune and spend his time getting his quarterback signed to a long-term contract.


Bushrod says Saints eyeing history

Saints’ offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod says the team will keep its "eye on the prize this season."


Despite the BountyGate scandal, and the player and coach suspensions, the Saints are picked to win the NFC South and enter the playoffs. The players want to be the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in their own stadium. That's the prize to which Bushrod was referring.

Bushrod said he is asked four to 10 times a day how are the Saints going to do this season. He said he tells them the Saints can only go up this season referring to their hornets’ nest offseason. He said the Saints will take the situation for what it is with a chip on their shoulder.

Bushrod, who has turned potential into production during his five-year playing career, said the players will come together and fight a little harder, prepare more, and try to do something that is unheard of – host and win a Super Bowl.

Bushrod was a fourth-round draft choice in 2007 out of tiny academic reserve Towson near Baltimore. Towson? Division 1-AA (now the FCS) Towson is on LSU's schedule this season. Towson will pocket about $750,000 for their visit to Tiger Stadium and will have the opportunity to oppose one of the top teams in the country.

But Bushrod isn't the only guy in the Saints building with Towson ties. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt was a linebacker at Towson from 1974 to 1977, and is in that school's Hall of Fame.


Two Saints, one former LSU star on Top 100 players list

Former LSU CB Patrick Peterson (Cardinals) has been selected No. 55 on the Top 100 Player for 2012. Saints LB Jon Vilma is No. 59 and RB Darren Sproles is No. 86 on the list. Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who sat out last season, is No. 50. NFL players voted on this list...The names of the top names on the list haven't been released yet...

New Orleans sports news and notes

Saints and Hornets owner Tom Benson has asked The Times-Picayune owners to keep it daily...Covington lawyer Antonio LeMon has opened a trust fund that he hopes will help keep QB Drew Brees with the Saints. The "Drew Brees Fans Step Up Trust Account" is an irrevocable trust to which the lawyer has contributed $500. LeMon said Brees can do whatever he wants with the money, and if he doesn't accept it, the total amount will be donated to the Brees Dream Foundation...

Ethan Pocic, a four-star offensive lineman recruit from Lemon Township (Ill.) High School has committed to LSU. Pocic, 6-feet-6, 285 pounds, ranks No. 7 on the top recruits list and is the highest rated of the Tigers' 12 commitments...Saints president Dennis Lauscha will teach a course on the business of football during Loyola's Alumni College. The course is scheduled for June 22-24, and will feature 25 sessions taught by alumni and current and former faculty and staff members. For info, call (504) 861-5454…

Article assisted by Drew Walker

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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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