Thursday, 09 August 2012 04:26

Ghost of Loomis, bountygate hangs over New Orleans Saints, Patriots

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spag-vitt2-newThe ghost of bounty overhangs the match between Drew Brees and Tom Brady as the New Orleans Saints take on the New England Patriots.

Showing little impact from the bounty drama and looking to build on the momentum of a 17-10 win over the Cardinals last Sunday, the Saints will challenge the Patriots on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.



However, on Wednesday, the Louisiana state police have handed over the finding to the FBI in an investigation into GM Mickey Loomis perhaps listening to opposing coaches via special wiring in the coaches box.  The claim by ESPN that Loomis reportedly engaged in a practice is not a part of bountygate, but, the article was written during the chaotic spring and takes on the same spirit.

The teams practiced against each other Tuesday and Wednesday with the Saints winning the practices battles over the defending AFC champions. However, the Patriots are three-points favored. The game will be broadcast on CST and WVUE-TV.

This game will briefly feature two of the best quarterbacks in the game, Drew Brees, 33, and Tom Brady, 35.  The Saints offense was crisp with Brees driving the Saints to a touchdown on their first possession and hitting four-of-five passes for 41 yards and a 100.8 passer rating.

Chase Daniel will replace Brees. He maintained the tempo against the Cardinals in the Hall of fame game at Canton, Ohio, by completing 20 of 25 passes for 203 yards with one touchdown and a passer rating of 102.7.

Defensively, the Saints under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo surrendered only 48 yards rushing and allowed only one touchdown.

Former LSU standout Stevan Ridley is the Patriots featured back and he's working on ball security. "The ball can't be on the ground," said Ridley, who missed the Super Bowl last season because of a lack of ball security.

Saints running back Mark Ingram, who scored the Saints' first touchdown against the Cardinals, thinks Ridley will be a good back. "I think he'll do great," said the former Heisman Trophy winner. "He ran the ball hard at LSU. He can catch it, make you miss with power. He'll be a good back."


The Saints are running short at cornerback. Projected nickel starter Johnny Patrick went to the sidelines on Tuesday with a back injury. Starters Jabari Greer (sports hernia surgery) and Patrick Robinson (shoulder) are on the sidelines and that leaves Corey White, Marquise White and Elbert Mack available at the corners.

Robinson is ec\expected to rejoin practices soon and Greer is due back in late camp.

Brees Tweet: @drewbrees  Great practice today against the Patriots. Got a few tips from Jon Bon Jovi on the no huddle offense between series.


Jimmy Graham was rolling around in pain after catching a touchdown pass in the morning drills. But he only had the wind knocked out of him.


Graham says league’s tight ends watch other tight ends.

"We all watch each other," said Graham. "Hernandez and Gronkowski with the Patriots. Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta, Antonio Gates in San Diego. I study film a lot. Gronkowski uses his body really well. Me and him are similar in size."

Who has the better touchdown celebration, Graham or Gronkowski?

"Gronk's spikes are pretty good," said Graham. "He's got some velocity in those. But I'd rather dunk it any day."


SOME hither, others yon: Drew Brees and Tom Brady sat of the field together after Tuesday's join practice. Passing  coach Tom House of both QBs dropped by to chat, as did Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen. Patriots WR Wes Welker dropped by. Later, Brees would tell the Boston Herald, "Brady and I have the same motivation. We both have the same competitive drive. If you stood the two of us next to each other (Brady is four inches taller), you probably wouldn't say there's many similarities, but I think the heart and the desire and the competitiveness, the love of the game, I see the way he approaches it. It's very obvious in the way that he plays. I have that within me as well."

The 24th annual Saints Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon and the 13th annual Saints Night Gala is set for Friday, Sept. 21 at noon in the Bienville Room of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This year's inductees include Saints owner Tom Benson, former Saints running back Deuce McAllister and Saints play-by-play voice Jim Henderson. Tickets are $750 per table of 10 or $75 per person. For info, call (504) 471-2192 or e-mail [email protected]...

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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