Tag:New Orleans Saints
Posted on: June 8, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 5:07 pm

Hot Routes 6.8.11: Way back in Saints history

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The lockout isn’t all bad. For Bills assistant coach Dave Wannstedt, who spent the last six years as the head coach at Pitt, it’s a chance to catch up with what’s been going on in the NFL since he’s been gone.
  • If you were interested in knowing which 10 assistant coaches could have a shot at landing a head coaching job soon, CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco has you covered.
  • If CBSSports.com’s Chuck Finder had his druthers, Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney would be in the negotiating room helping to end the lockout.
  • Rams LB James Laurinaitis wishes people would stop saying nasty things about his former coach at Ohio State, Jim Tressell. "The fact that he's being vilified as some liar and backstabber and stuff," Laurinaitis told NFL.com. "That guy is about as genuine a person as you can meet. I've seen him be a father figure to plenty of players ... To see him get portrayed as the ultimate fake guy is disheartening."
  • Eric Crouch? Not giving up on the idea of playing pro football. He’s trying out for the UFL this week.
  • The NFL.com’s Albert Breer gives a good breakdown of how and why the players and owners suddenly have more motivation to get a labor deal done (pssst, probably because some people are saying that a lost season would cost the NFL $1 billion).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 6:28 pm

Vikings, Bills disagree with NFLCA's amicus brief

FrazierPosted by Josh Katzowitz

At some point, I just know we’re going to find a group of coaches who actually agrees with the NFL Coaches Association’s amicus brief to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

It hasn't happened yet, though, as the Vikings and the Bills have weighed in on the matter, throwing their support to the owners in this lockout battle.

The brief cited numerous issues that would harm the league’s coaches if the lockout continued. (The brief also made the statement that owners demanded a provision in the coaches’ contracts that would allow the team to withhold part of the coaches’ salaries in the event of a lockout.)

The Redskins coaches didn’t agree with the NFLCA. Neither did the Saints coaches, who said they were appalled by the brief. The staffs of the Eagles, Cowboys, Jaguars, Texans and Chiefs also threw their non-support behind the brief.

Now, there’s word that the Bills have the owners' back (per the Buffalo News, via Pro Football Talk) while Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told ESPN 1500 that his staff wasn’t even asked its opinion about the brief before it was filed.

From Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins: “Our entire staff had no prior knowledge, nor were we consulted that the amicus brief was being filed on behalf of the coaches. We support Mr. (Ralph) Wilson.”

Frazier, meanwhile, was asked about his reaction when he heard about the brief: “Surprised. Just wondering how that came about and wondering why our team wasn't contacted. I wondered ... just how many teams were contacted. But just really, in a lot of ways, it doesn't pertain to us because we had no say in it as a staff."

So, that’s at least seven teams that have come out against the brief, and I don’t see anybody who's currently working in the league who will announce their support for the NFLCA's brief anytime soon. Which makes you wonder. Who does the NFLCA actually represent in this matter? Because it certainly doesn't seem to be the coaches.

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 7:32 pm

Saints coaches 'appalled' by NFLCA appeals brief

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A brief recap of This Week in Lockout News:

Wednesday: The NFL Coaches Association filed an amicus brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the players' request to lift the lockout.

Thursday: The Redskins' coaching staff issued a statement clarifying their position relative to the NFLCA brief: "We stand united with our ownership and the brief does not reflect our thoughts on the matter." NFL Network's Albert Breer reported that 17 members of Washington's staff signed the letter, although head coach Mike Shanahan wasn't one of them.

Friday: The Saints became the latest team to speak out against the NFLCA brief, this time without the PR filter written statements usually provide.

New Orleans linebackers coach Joe Vitt said Saints' assistants were "appalled" by the NFLCA's decision to file a brief, the Times-Picayune's Mike Triplett writes.
"It was awful presumptuous on their part that they would represent all the coaches on our staff," Vitt said of the NFLCA, which is led by former NFL assistant Larry Kennan, who served as the Saints' tight ends coach in 1995.

"We're supporting the owners," Vitt said. "I've said this a million times, our organization has been built on trust. (Owner Tom) Benson has been great to us. Unequivocally, we support our ownership."
Therein lies one of the problems with the NFLCA not representing all NFL coaches. As Triplett points out, coaches can choose to belong to the union, and Vitt said that Saints' assistants collectively agreed not to join back in 2006. So just because the NFLCA issues a statement (or in this case, files a brief), there's no reason to expect solidarity among the coaches. There's no executive director in the mold of the NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith who, like him or not, has the players mobilized behind the "decertify and let the courts sort it out" strategy.

Another, bigger problem: communicating clearly. Kennan, appearing Friday on Sirius XM NFL Radio, told co-hosts Jim Miller and Alex Marvez that "I emailed all the coaches to tell them we were going to do this. However, I didn’t do a very good job of communicating with the Redskins. … It kind of caught them blindsided. Before they had a chance to read the Amicus brief and see that it was strictly about being for coaches, they panicked a little bit and maybe got some outside pressure to do something.”

Also worth noting: Kennan made his comments before Vitt spoke out against the NFLCA to the Times-Picayune.

Kennan continued: “If there were a whole bunch of teams [protesting], I’d be concerned. I’m not concerned about one. I know what happened there. They didn’t have all the facts. A lot of us make decisions because we’re in a pressure situation and get caught up reading about something and don’t have all the information.”

Perhaps. But in two days since the filing, two coaching staffs have come out in support of their owners. If the 'Skins and Saints are any indication, it's reasonable to think other staffs will be coming forward soon, too.

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:48 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 6:44 pm

Brees on Upshaw death: Owners saw blood in water

Posted by Andy Benoit

As executive director of the NFL Players Association, Gene Upshaw developed what many felt was an extremely cozy relationship with the NFL league office and the owners. His unexpected death in 2008 had a significant impact on the labor negotiations.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees thinks the owners used it as an oD. Brees (US Presswire)pportunity to gain leverage on the players.

"Ever since Gene Upshaw passed away -- I'm just going to lay it all out there -- the owners saw blood in the water," Brees told Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter. "They felt like, 'This is our opportunity to take a significant piece of the [financial] pie back at all costs, a piece that we will never have to give back again. This is our chance, while they don't have leadership, while they're scrambling to find a new executive director. This is our time.'

"I can point to about five different things to prove to you that they were ready to lock us out. They opted out of the last year of the [CBA] deal; they hired Bob Batterman [who oversaw a lockout of NHL players]. They tried to take the American Needle case to the Supreme Court to basically give them an antitrust exemption or single-entity status but were defeated 9-0; they established new TV deals to pay them in the event of a lockout, but we were able to put a freeze on that money because they did not negotiate in good faith and broke the law. And they had an internal NFL document that was leaked -- a decision tree -- that said smack dab in the middle of it 'financial needs in a lockout.' That was in 2008, OK? So you're telling me that they had no plans to lock us out and really wanted to get a deal done? I don't think so."

He went on.

"Their philosophy was, We're going to give you a very subpar deal, a slap-in-the-face deal, and hope that you'll accept it because hopefully we've intimidated you enough into thinking that this is a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and you're just going to succumb to the pressure," he said. "Well, guess what. We're a lot more informed and educated than in the past, and we're much better businessmen than you think and we're going to stand up for what is right and what is fair. Fifty-fifty is fair. It's been fair for the last 20 years and I think the game has done pretty well over the last 20 years. I think franchise values have gone up at a pretty good rate over the last 20 years. So you can't sit here and tell me that the system is broken."

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 4:54 pm

Hot Routes 5.23.11: Brady, Gisele frolic poolside

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • You think Tom Brady spent his weekend sweating the Rapture? Hell no he did not. So what did he do? He spent his weekend at a resort in Mexico, frolicking around a pool on a waterslide with his mildly attractive soulmate, Gisele. Yes, there are pictures. And yes, it's entirely possible to enjoy the lockout without actually SAYING SO. 

Posted on: May 15, 2011 6:03 pm

Darren Sharper not ready to call it quits

Posted by Andy Benoit

Darren Sharper has played 14 seasons in the NFL. Most of them solid if not spectacular. His résumé – 63 interceptions, 11 touchdown returns and a Super Bowl from his career-best ’09 seasoD. Sharper (US Presswire)n – will warrant a serious Hall of Fame discussion once he retires. (Five of the seven players in NFL history who have as many interceptions as Sharper are enshrined in Canton.)

Seemingly, that retirement should come in 2011. Sharper is 35. He missed a large chunk of last season recovering from a knee injury. His starting job was bequeathed to the younger, rangier Malcolm Jenkins. And, most importantly, his contract with New Orleans has expired.

But retirement will not come in 2011 – at least not if Sharper has his way.

"After last season, I really was very frustrated with how my season was and how our season went," Sharper told John DeShazier of the Times-Picayune. "If that was going to be my last year in the league, I didn't want it to go like that, in terms of being frustrated all year and not playing like myself. I want to show how healthy I am this year and play like I'm used to playing."

Sharper is working out with other Saints players and claims he’s back to 100 percent.

"I feel like pre-surgery," he said. "My knee is healthy, my body has had time to rest and recover, and I really feel good running. After a workout I don't have to worry about icing it down or anything, I don't have any swelling, and I've been pushing it pretty hard, working out harder than most of the young guys out here training. And I've been able to bounce back the next day."

If this is true, instincts and experience can make Sharper one of the better free safeties in the game for at least another year. It’s not a question of whether a team will take a flier on a healthy Sharper, it’s a question of which team it will be.

"I would love to come back to New Orleans, but as a free agent you always have to keep all your options open. There are a lot of teams out there that have a chance to win a championship, and that's my main goal, to be able to play, and play well, and have a chance to vie for another championship."

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 10:10 pm

Bayless, Bush involved in Twitter trash-talk

Posted by Will Brinson

Twitter is just getting everyone in trouble these days, you guys. First it was the Rashard Mendenhall, then it was Reggie Bush, and now ... no, wait, it's still Reggie Bush.

Except this time, Bush isn't just getting berated by fans for his stance on "enjoying the lockout" -- he's getting involved in a trash-talking affair with the one-and-only Skip Bayless. Sigh.

"Skippy Skipper Skip Bayless said my performance on the field doesn't give me a right to speak my mind! But his performance does!" Bush tweeted over a number of updates, all of which you can read here. "MY BAD! I mean what was I thinking! This guy Skipper put it in so much blood, sweat, and heart into this game all behind a desk! You got it boss! Let me take a step back and bow down to Skippy Bayless! All Hail the great Skipper! He def has my Hall of Fame Vote! Canton here we come!"

Naturally, Bush also did what any grown man would do: challenge Bayless to a weight-lifting contest.

"This is an Official Challenge to 1 on 1 full gear and full contact with Skip Bayless!" Bush tweeted. "Plus a full conditioning drill and weight lifting! If I win he wears a 25 jersey and a dress plus makeup on his show, he wins he gets a full game check! I bet he won't accept my challenge!!! Now put that on SportsCenter! Holla!!!!"

Fortunately, this is Skip Bayless, so he totally backed down and just let it go. Except he didn't. In fact, he kind of challenged Bush to a weight-lifting challenge live on "Cold Pizza." Or something.

"ANY TIME you want to come to Bristol and discuss or debate anything I've said about you, face to face on TV, you are welcome," Bayless tweeted. "ANY TIME you want to meet in Central Park, NYC, and run the 8-mile loop, I'll be there. Then we can hit Gold's & lift weights."

Maybe this is harmless fun. But Bush, as he's told us already, has plenty of time on his hands. And Bayless, as he's already told us, loves to take people to the old gun show. So this is absolutely something we could end up being forced to watch.

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 8:45 am
Edited on: May 10, 2011 8:46 am

Bush draws criticism for 'relaxing' tweets

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If Saints RB Reggie Bush really was trying to make a joke Monday on Twitter, he’d do well to remember one thing: sarcasm rarely comes through in that social medium.

On his Twitter account, Bush wrote “Everybody complaining about the lockout! Shoot I'm making the most of it! Vacation, rest, relaxing, appearances here and there! I'm good!” and “Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing.’

A few minutes later, he tweeted the following: “FYI last tweet was a joke! Relax people damn it's called sense of humor! Cry me a river why don't you.”

In between, Bush got lambasted by people because A) playing and practicing football was, you know, his job and B) they didn’t appreciate the term “slaving.”

But there’s potentially a larger problem at play here other than football fans getting upset about something so trivial that a utility running back off-handedly wrote. In the court system, the NFLPA is trying to argue that the NFL owners locking them out are causing the players irreparable harm, and that's a big reason why the District Court granted an injunction to lift the lockout. It’s a little tougher to argue that point when the owners’ lawyers can point to a tweet by Bush that says, “I’m good!” 

Sarcasm or not, it just wasn’t a good idea.

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Category: NFL
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