Friday, 17 December 2010 16:59

New Orleans Saints Under Bad Weather In Baltimore Ravens Game

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Sean Payton was asked if an offense has a disadvantage in bad weather conditions, which the Saints may face on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens?

"The advantage an offense can have when you're playing in bad weather on one of those grass fields that become very slick and muddy and the turf footing is poor, there is an edge for the offense because it's hard to rush the passer in poor footing and I think it's harder to play man coverage in a reactionary mode when the footing isn't what you like.

"The receivers know the route and the corners have to react to it. When you're on a sloppy field and it becomes harder to cover because you can fall down on a sloppy field.

"The wind can benefit the defense. The heavy rain can benefit the defense. That's from my experience. The footing we know will be good because they have Field Turf now, not grass.

SAINTS safety Darren Sharper and linebacker Jon Vilma have been selected to the All-Fundamentals Team by USA Football, the sport's national governing body. The two were among 26 players to make the team. Players are chosen for their abilities to play and to make a positive impact on their  communities. Heath Evans continues to lead NFL fullbacks in fan voting for the Pro Bowl. Saints safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper have gained ground. Drew Brees moved up to sixth as the highest voter-getter. Michael Vick leads the voting. Fans can vote until Monday at

More Louisiana Sports

Ohio is a one-point favorite over Troy in the New Orleans Bowl at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the the Superdome. The game will be on   ESPN.

No mater what Ohio coach Frank Solich (former Nebraska coach) and his players say, the Bobcats (8-4) will spend too much time thinking back to that ambush at Kent State 28-6 on Nov. 26.

The Bobcats had seven straight wins entering that game, but got the door slammed in their face.

Troy (7-5) deserves all the Bocats' attention. The Trojans lead the Sun Belt Commence in both scoring (32.9) and total offense (441.1).  They do most of their average through the air, courtesy of of redshirt freshman quarterback Corey Robins, who has surpass the 300-yard mark in each of his past two games.

Prediction: Take the Trojans and the point.

Other fearless college picks: New Mexico Bowl: BYU- 14 over UTEP aand Northern Illinois -6 over Fresno State.


 LSU has informed the NCAA and SEC of its decision to self-impose restrictions on its football program, as a result of an internal investigation that revealed violations of NCAA rules as announced earlier this year.

“LSU took quick and thorough action when we discovered these violations and we are hopeful the NCAA will ultimately agree with our assessment of this case,” said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin.   “The reports to the NCAA and SEC and our decision to self-impose penalties are the culmination of many months of arduous work by our compliance office and I am confident their thorough examination of this case has produced appropriate sanctions for the football program.”

LSU has reported the violations to the NCAA and SEC in two reports.  The first report was delivered to the NCAA and SEC in March 2010, and focused on recruiting activities involving one assistant coach and one student-athlete.  Before that report was submitted, the two involved individuals both left the University, and the student-athlete never participated in a game for the Tiger football team.

In addition, during the course of the investigation, LSU discovered other violations pertaining to improper telephone calls between non-coach administrative football staff members at LSU and prospective student-athletes, their parents or their high school coaches.  Those violations are detailed in a report submitted to the NCAA and SEC in October 2010.

“Our compliance office discovered additional violations during the course of this investigation and took immediate corrective measures to ensure they would not occur again, which is what a good compliance office is supposed to do,” said Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics.  “I am disappointed that these violations took place, but I am proud of the way that LSU reacted to the situation.  We now stand ready to assist the NCAA in the completion of this process.”

The self-imposed restrictions include a reduction in official visits for the 2010-11 academic year, a reduction of initial scholarship recipients by two for the 2011-12 incoming class, a reduction of the overall scholarship counters by two for the 2011-12 academic year and a reduction of the total number of National Letter of Intent/SEC scholarship papers that can be offered to prospective student-athletes by two for the February 2011 signing date.

LSU is awaiting the NCAA enforcement staff’s completion of its review of the reports and anticipates receiving a notice of allegations from the NCAA, outlining the violations the NCAA believes have occurred.

LSU notified the NCAA of the self-imposed sanctions pertaining to the former coach and former student-athlete in September 2010, and then completed the report of the case with the submission of a report on the impermissible phone calls in late October.

Upon the initial discovery of potential rules violations in September 2009, the involved student-athlete was not permitted to participate in varsity athletic contests and the assistant coach was restricted from participating in recruiting activities for LSU.  The assistant coach resigned from the university in December 2009 and the student-athlete left the university prior to the 2010 spring semester.

The investigation centered around the recruitment and transfer of the student-athlete from a junior college to LSU in the summer of 2009 and the assistant coach’s role in the recruitment and transfer process.   It involved potential violations associated with impermissible telephone calls to the student-athlete during the recruitment process, impermissible transportation before and after the student-athlete’s arrival at LSU and impermissible housing and reduced-rent at an apartment complex in Baton Rouge in the three months prior to the student-athlete’s enrollment at LSU.

The additional impermissible phone calls were discovered to have been placed by non-coach administrative football staff members at LSU.  NCAA rules specify that only coaches may place and receive recruiting calls.

Here is the Saints schedule and that of Atlanta:

New Orleans Saints Football Schedule

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens Dec. 19

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dec. 27

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints January 2

Atlanta Falcons Football Schedule

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks Dec. 19

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Dec. 27

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons January 2

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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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