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Tag:New Orleans Saints
Posted on: September 16, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Bush: Heisman return "not an admission of guillt"

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Saints RB Reggie Bush did the courageous thing today and talked to the media – come to think of it, he’s been pretty forthright with reporters throughout the late stages of the USC/Heisman Trophy debacle; that’s a move I can respect – and the most interesting thing he said was that the fact he gave up his hardware didn’t mean he was guilty of anything.

It’s just, as he said, the best way to put an end to the controversy.

"It's me showing respect to the Heisman Trophy itself and to the people who came before me and the people coming after," Bush said in comments recorded by the Associated Press. "I just felt like it was the best thing to do, the most respectful thing to do because obviously I do respect the Heisman. I do respect all the things it stands for."

His parents, Bush said, didn’t agree with the notion he should return the trophy.

"That's just the motherly and fatherly nature of parents,” he said. “They understand it at the end of the day. They understand I'm a grown man and I've got to make my own decisions and this is a learning experience for me and anybody else coming after me. ... All I can do is grow stronger from here."

Luckily, he no longer will have the heavy Heisman memento strapped to his back impeding his growth.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:09 pm
 

Players begin preparing to battle for lockout

DeMaurice Smith (right) said the move for some NFL teams to decertify themselves from the NFLPA is purely procedural (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NFL players are taking steps toward protecting themselves as the Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire in March.

ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen reports, the Eagles, the Cowboys and the Saints have voted to allow the NFL Players Association to decertify itself.

Once all the NFL teams – and all teams likely will vote the same way at some point – vote to decertify the union, the union wouldn’t be able to represent the players when they begin negotiations for a new CBA.

The players did the same thing in 1993, and as Mortensen writes, it “enabled individual players to seek antitrust lawsuits against the NFL and eventually provided the leverage that led to a new era of free agency in 1993.”

But wouldn’t you think that after watching the players accomplish that result 17 years ago, the owners would have a gameplan to avoid having the same result occur? After all, most of these guys didn’t make all their money by being stupid about … well … making money in the business world.

According to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, the votes don’t mean much. It also should be noted that the union fully endorses this move.

"To be dead honest, it's purely procedural and I believe it's a non-story until March," Smith told ESPN.com last Saturday after the Saints voted. "It preserves the best options to protect players in the event there's no deal in place when the CBA expires next March. Instead of scrambling at the 11th hour to get all our players' signatures (for decertification), we'll have everything in order. Our hope is that it's not necessary."

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 4:57 pm
 

Reggie Bush's statement on forfeiting Heisman

Posted by Andy Benoit

Saints running back Reggie Bush will forfeit his Heisman Trophy. Now comes the complicated and awkward question of , What do we call him? Former Heisman winner? Bush is the first player to give back his Heisman…does that make him a current Heisman loser?

Here is Bush’s full statement, released by the Saints Tuesday afternoon:

"One of the greatest honors of my life was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2005. For me, it was a dream come true.

But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.

It is for these reasons that I have made the difficult decision to forfeit my title as Heisman winner of 2005. The persistent media speculation regarding allegations dating back to my years at USC has been both painful and distracting. In no way should the storm around these allegations reflect in any way on the dignity of this award, nor on any other institutions or individuals. Nor should it distract from outstanding performances and hard-earned achievements either in the past, present or future.

For the rest of my days, I will continue to strive to demonstrate through my actions and words that I was deserving of the confidence placed in me by the Heisman Trophy Trust. I would like to begin in this effort by turning a negative situation into a positive one by working with the Trustees to establish an educational program which will assist student-athletes and their families avoid some of the mistakes that I made. I am determined to view this event as an opportunity to help others and to advance the values and mission of the Heisman Trophy Trust.

I will forever appreciate the honor bestowed upon me as a winner of the Heisman. While this decision is heart-breaking, I find solace in knowing that the award was made possible by the support and love of so many. Those are gifts that can never be taken away."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 13, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 4:10 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.13.10: first Monday of the season

Posted by Andy Benoit

A lot of people are wondering why Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley got back in for a few plays after suffering concussions. Fair question.

Pat Yasinkas points out that the Saints have a chance to start 2-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history. They’ll have to beat the 49ers in order to do it.

The huge Week 1 television ratings pretty much confirm that anyone who doesn’t watch the NFL is a loser.A. Hawk (US Presswire)

We’ll join the Revis vs. Moss hype later this week, but here’s a little taste to let you know that, even with the Jets still yet to play, it’s already starting.

Roddy White caught a career-high 13 passes against the Steelers. Matt Ryan targeted him 23 times!

A.J. Hawk did not see the field Sunday against the Eagles because Green Bay spent the entire game in nickel defense. Brandon Chillar is the club’s nickel linebacker.

Here’s another reason to like star running back Ray Rice.

The Giants may want to consider lowering their ticket prices.

Marshall Yanda will start at right tackle for the Ravens Monday night. Jared Gaither and Oniel Cousins are both injured.

The Redskins might still be trying to figure out their offensive line personnel.

Vince Young says he “definitely wants the Heisman” and that he wouldn’t turn it down. But Young also said that Reggie Bush won it “fair and square”. (Of course, if Bush won it “fair and square”, no one would be talking about Young getting the Heisman.)

The Browns started fullback Peyton Hillis ahead of Jerome Harrison at tailback against the Bucs. Hmmm…


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Posted on: September 11, 2010 6:36 pm
 

Looking ahead on the players' "we are one" salute

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the most interesting moments of Thursday night’s season opener was the “we are one” salute of solidarity that the Saints and Vikings players performed before kickoff. We may have to come up with an official title for this gesture – and not just because “the ‘we are one’ salute of solidarity” is a tad wordy.

Though the gesture was not organized league-wide, it’s now been seen by all, which means it’s almost certain that players from the other 30 teams will partake in the act this Sunday and Monday. The question is, will we see it every week for the rest of this season?

Mike Golic of ESPN pointed out that solidarity is great, but it’s also unnecessary in this case because, unlike in 1987, the players don’t have to worry about crossing picket lines (they’re facing a lockout, not a strike).

If you want to read some hyperbole on the matter that’s overboard to the point of humorous, here’s a gem from Bills safety George Wilson, who is on the NFLPA’s board of representatives. Wilson, sharing his thoughts on the Saints’ and Vikings’ gesture with ESPN’s Tim Graham, said "It was a true acknowledgment from one team to an opponent 'Yeah, we're about to embark on 60 minutes of hell, of physical competition, aggression and passion, but before we do that, we're one team, one locker room.' It was gladiator-like, almost."

Gladiator like? Did gladiators even have unions?

Right now, the players are getting some positive press for the whole thing. But that could change if they continue to show solidarity every week for the next five months. It will be interesting to see how public opinion plays out here.

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Posted on: September 11, 2010 4:54 pm
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Posted on: September 11, 2010 8:53 am
 

Saints should be thrilled about their new safety

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Jenkins (US Presswire)
One of the brightest notes of the season opener for the Saints was the play of second-year player/first-year free safety Malcolm Jenkins. The ’09 first-round pick from Ohio State started in centerfield in place of All-Pro veteran Darren Sharper (PUP, knee). Jenkins showed phenomenal lateral range in deep coverage, good awareness in help-coverage over the top against the frequent seam routes Minnesota ran and adept – if not punishing – open-field tackling.

This had to be a relief to Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams’ scheme relies on stability in the secondary. You don’t find a more stabilizing force than the playmaking Sharper. Without him, the Saints could prove vulnerable. Jenkins received glowing reviews from training camp observers, but before Thursday night, the only true game film on him suggested he was a stiff-hipped corner who couldn’t change directions fluidly enough to play man coverage against NFL wide receivers.

The Saints drafted Jenkins knowing he might ultimately move to free safety. The move may have come a little earlier than originally expected, but if the “Thursday Night Jenkins” turns out to be the “Real Jenkins”, then the move came not a moment too soon.

While we’re on the topic of Saints safeties, it’s worth noting that Roman Harper was phenomenal against the Vikings, as well. Harper has benefitted from playing in Williams’ scheme more than any other Saints defender. He struggles to read and react in coverage at times (the further he is from the line of scrimmage, the worse he is), but he’s a genuine star as an aggressive downhill attacker. Against the Vikings, Williams frequently employed Harper in the box.

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Posted on: September 10, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Data says Cowboys are still America's team

Posted by Andy Benoit

For all of you who hate hearing the Dallas Cowboys referred to as “America’s Team”…sorry, but Nielsen’s numbers seem to back up the epithet. The Cowboys are the most popular team in the United States – by far.
 
Here’s how Nielsen explains its scores:Dallas

The Nielsen Sports Media Exposure Index measured all 32 NFL teams in four categories during the 2009 regular season: local team ratings, gross national TV audience, online buzz volume, and monthly unique audiences to official team websites. Teams in each category were assigned a score, with the top rank worth 100 points and each subsequent ranking assigned a lower weighted score based its distance from the top. Final team rankings were calculated using the sum of scores across all four categories, and then indexed with the highest total equaling 100.

The Cowboys were the most-followed team on national television and their website was the most-visited. The Saints were the most popular team on a local television basis (in other words, percentage-wise, fans in New Orleans watched their home team on TV more than fans in any other NFL market watched their home team.)

The overall top 10 most popular teams in the NFL last season were as follows:

1. Cowboys
2. Steelers
3. Giants
4t. Bears
4t. Packers
4t. Vikings
7. Eagles
8t. Colts
8t. Saints
10. Patriots

It shows the power of the NFL that a team from a mid-sized western Pennsylvania market and a team from a tiny Wisconsin market can both rank in the top five in popularity. Also, you may notice that 7 of the top 10 teams last year were from the NFC. Good thing Fox pays more than CBS for broadcast rights (even if that is only a result of the NFC having an overall larger market than the AFC).

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com