Posts Tagged ‘Drew Brees’

Drew Brees’ deal with the Saints just about wrapped up

July 9th, 2012 | Posted in Saints, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Photo courtesy of Newspaper.li
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will finally come to an agreement for a new five-year contract this next Monday. As the July 16 deadline rolls around, Brees’ contract will be worth somewhere between $19.2 million and $20 million per year, thus making him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Brees’ success in increasing his market value came from having one of the best seasons in NFL history last year. The Saints could have moved forward and kept his contract at around $18 million to force him into a hard decision because he is not a free agent and the Saints have leverage of the franchise tag. Nonetheless, the New Orleans Saints stayed loyal to their quarterback and offered Brees far more than the market value.

For more information on this story, visit http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2012/07/drew_brees_deal_with_new_orlea.html

Geaux-ing Away: NFL Commissioner Suspends Saints’ Head Coach for 1 Year

March 21st, 2012 | Posted in Local Issues, National Issues, Saints, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rocked the Saints’ world today.

As punishment for paying defensive players under-the-table bonuses for delivering extra brutal hits to opposing teams, Goodell suspended head coach Sean Payton for one year, beginning April 1. This means no talking with players, other coaches, creating game plans or aiding the Saints in any way. Goodell also suspended Saints’ GM Mickey Loomis for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt, Payton’s logical replacement, for six. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams? Suspended from the NFL indefinitely, at least for the next year. Also gone are the Saints’ 2012 and 2013 second round draft picks.

The Saints now have a lot to overcome if they want to be competitive next season. The pressure is even more intense because the city of New Orleans will be hosting the Superbowl in 2013.

Goodell made his extremely harsh decision to underscore the NFL’s increasing focus on player safety, especially stemming from violent hits such as helmet-to-helmet blows. His message unequivocally shows that the league will not put up with any sort of bounty programs now or in the future.

While the NFL’s response is ultimately a positive step forward for player protection, it sure is unfortunate that the Saints are forced to bear the weight of this punishment.

Saints, Williams Likely to Receive Harsh Punishment for Bounties

March 5th, 2012 | Posted in Celebrity Justice, Legislation, Local Issues by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the current Saints organization are expected to be severely punished following a NFL investigation that discovered Williams offered ‘bounties’ of $1,000 or more for brutal hits that left opposing players injured or unable to return to the field during games.

The investigation also suggested that Saints’ management, such as owner Mickey Loomis, were aware of and condoned the behavior.

Insiders believe that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will levy fines exceeding those against the Patriots for their 2007 ‘Spygate’ scandal, which totaled $750,000 and a first-round draft pick.

According to a person familiar with Goodell’s thinking, the commissioner views the Saints’ case as a critical opportunity to underscore the league’s burgeoning emphasis on safety and need to change a culture that sometimes promotes injuries, another sign a significant penalty could be coming.

In a USA Today online pole, 56% of respondents said Williams deserved a life ban for his role in offering bounties and encouraging overly violent play. What’s your take on this? We want to hear from you!

Contact Bloom Legal at 504-599-9997 for immediate assistance and a free case evaluation.

Saints Move on in Playoffs – Next Stop: San Francisco

January 9th, 2012 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

Saints' safety Roman Harper tackles 49ers quarterback Alex Smith

The Saints ended the Lions’ season Saturday night with a scintillating 45 to 28 victory. Their next stop on the road to the Superbowl are the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the #2 seed in the NFC and arguably boast the league’s best defense. This will be an extremely close game, for sure. Here are three key things the Saints need to do to come out on top:

1. Keep the pressure off Brees. The 49ers have an excellent defensive line in Aldon and Justin Smith, so Saints’ center Brian De La Puente needs to step up and protect the pocket so Brees has time to throw.

2. Score in the red zone. The Saints are only 7 for 22 on touchdowns scored in the red zone on grass this year. They will have to make the most of their opportunities in this game because the Niners allow red zone TDs only 25% of the time.

3. Maintain the run game. Much of the reason why Brees has been so deadly this season is that the Saints’ offensive attack is multidimensional with the addition of Darren Sproles and the strong play from both Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory. The Niners have the league’s best run defense. To win this game, the Saints must be a threat on the ground to create more opportunities to score.

The game kicks off at 4:30 PM Eastern time this Saturday, January 14th.

Saints Update: Lockout Over

July 22nd, 2011 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

After months of tense negotiations between players and owners, the lockout has finally come to an end. With the first preseason game only three weeks away, the agreement came just in time for both Saint’s fans and local businesses.

Photo Courtesy activerain.com

The Saints should be better prepared to handle an abbreviated training camp than most teams, benefiting from the team workouts put together by Drew Brees. The player led workouts were a boost to the team’s unity and to Bree’s popularity in the city, but a rumored scandal had some members of Who Dat Nation doubting their leader.

Amid an ongoing PR battle with hall of fame linebacker Sam Huff, reports surfaced that Brees was trying to cut a special deal for himself. The disagreement between Huff and Brees has been discussed extensively elsewhere, and Brees has taken to Twitter to deny any claims of a special deal. While the rumors around the MVP quarterback may be dispelled, Reggie Bush has a few of his own to deal with.

Ever since USC running back Mark Ingram was drafted, speculators have predicted Reggie’s departure from New Orleans, and the new collective bargaining agreement has added fuel to the fire. Under the new CBA, the Saints only have $11.7 million in cap space to deal with 26 possible unrestricted free agents. That compares to the $11.8 promised to Reggie for the 2011-2012 season. With a promising rookie in the lineup, Sean Peyton might be tempted to free up some valuable cap space.

Even with Reggie’s future unclear, Saint’s fans can look forward to a great season of football.

Mardi Gras Who Dat Nation just wants to say: Thanks, Drew

February 14th, 2010 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

By Mark Lorando, The Times-Picayune
February 13, 2010, 11:38PM
st saints parade 0182Scott Threlkeld / The Times-PicayuneThe Saints Super Bowl parade last week was just a warm-up for Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who will reign Sunday night as Bacchus.

This is what he will hear:

“DREWWWWWW!!! OHMYGOD!!! OHMYGOD!!! RIGHT HERE, DREW!!! I’M OPEN!!! THROW ME SOMETHING, DREW!!! I LOVE YOU, DREWWWWWW!!! WHO DAT, BABY!!! WILL YOU MARRY ME, DREW?!?!?!? I KNOW YOU’RE MARRIED, SO AM I, WE CAN WORK THAT OUT!!! REALLY!!! MY HUSBAND WON’T MIND, HE’S GOT A CRUSH ON YOU, TOO!!! DREWWWWWW!!! DREWWWWWW!!! OHMYGOD, DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!?!? HE THREW IT RIGHT TO ME!!! YOU DA MAN, DREWWWWWW!!!” Continue Reading »

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees may reign over the biggest Bacchus ever during Mardi Gras

February 13th, 2010 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »

By Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune
February 13, 2010, 9:05AM

drew brees parade square pass boyd.jpgG. Andrew Boyd / The Times-PicayuneDrew Brees tosses a Bacchus football during the Saints’ victory parade in New Orleans on Feb. 9, 2010.When the Krewe of Bacchus rolls Sunday during the final weekend of Mardi Gras, the specially designed king’s float bearing Drew Brees will be stocked with 10,000 commemorative black and gold foam footballs.

That’s not nearly enough. Continue Reading »

Super Bowl victory has Who Dat Nation feeling the love

February 9th, 2010 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »


By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune
February 09, 2010, 7:13AM

John Pope and Bruce Nolan wrote this story.

saints-fans-reggie-bush.JPGTed Jackson / The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saint Reggie Bush jumps into the stands at Sun life Stadium in Miami after the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in the Super Bowl.

Sixteen hours after the New Orleans Saints’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV, the crowd at Domilise’s Po-Boys was still in Who Dat heaven. Everyone who was assembling the Uptown restaurant’s iconic shrimp, oyster and roast-beef sandwiches was wearing a Saints-related T-shirt or cap, as were many of the customers, and everyone was smiling.

Into this jam-packed eatery came Joy Favor, who had made a beeline for Domilise’s after getting off a flight from Miami, where she had seen the game. Wearing a black T-shirt and carrying a golden tote bag on her left shoulder, she said two words when she crossed the threshold: “Who Dat!”

Favor said she had had no sleep, but she was clearly excited about the game and what she had seen and heard Monday morning on the way back home.

“It’s unbelievable,” Favor said. “The pilot got on the microphone and said, ‘Who Dat!’ Even the Colts fans I saw in Miami were saying, ‘You deserve that.’”

saints-fans-confetti.JPGMatthew Hinton / The Times-PicayuneBrynn Comeaux, left, and Jourdin Shockley dance as the confetti falls on Bourbon Street the New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts for their first Super Bowl victory Sunday.

What might have seemed surprising was that this outpouring of Saints support was occurring in what is not only a favorite restaurant of the Manning family but also a virtual shrine to its members. Among the photographs behind the bar are pictures of Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback, and his brother, Eli, the New York Giants quarterback, holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy the year their respective teams won the Super Bowl.

Despite that strong bond, Patti Domilise, the restaurant’s manager, made her allegiance clear. Wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “Hey Shockey Way,” in honor of Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey, Domilise said there was no question about whom she and her colleagues would root for Sunday.

“When it was their turn, we were pulling for them,” she said. “It was our turn this time.”

If Sunday was a day of game-related tension, Monday was a time for afterglow.

saints-fans-kiss.JPGJohn McCusker / The Times-PicayuneSaints fans Tarak Anado and Jamie Walter share a kiss in celebration of the New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 win in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, Fla.

It was not business as usual. Traffic in and around the city was lighter than normal; many schools were closed. Businesses seemed to run at a little less than full speed; restaurants were not so crowded.

All over town, people seemed to have no intention of making Monday a regular day. It was not. Monday was a day full of camaraderie and good cheer, a day in which the electronic sign above the northbound entrance to the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bore a new name, Breesway, in honor of Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Nobody was a stranger.

New Orleans was undergoing what Jim Murray called “a perfect storm” of good fortune: a New Orleans mayor’s race that, in Mitch Landrieu, produced an astonishing 66 percent consensus on the city’s next leader; a Super Bowl championship; and Mardi Gras, which, one wag suggested, could be renamed “Dat Tuesday.”

“Yeah, it’s a perfect storm. I told somebody, not since 9/11 have I felt anything like this,” said Murray, a process operator at the Dow Chemical plant in Norco. “All the divisions feel like they’re gone. It’s like for once we’re all on the same page, right?”

Lisa Smyth, an Uptowner, said the weekend’s events marked nothing less than “a sea change for the city. It’s huge.”

“Oh, this is way bigger than the Super Bowl, trust me,” said Eddie Sandifer, the community-outreach coordinator for Positive Living Treatment Center, a private mental health clinic near the corner of Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway. “It’s the best day since — when? Since whenever, that’s when. This blurs all the lines: racial, income, social status, everything.

“We’re just in a holding pattern today, and it’s going to stay that way for a while, at least until the parade tomorrow.”

saints-fans-tear.JPGjohn McCusker / The Times-PicayuneKaren Licciardi of River Ridge wipes away a tear as she basks in the New Orleans Saints victory in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

During the warm and relaxed lunch hour, Sandifer and Darlene Jenkins, a counselor, supervised a group of a half-dozen or so clients passing a football back and forth on the broad Jeff Davis neutral ground. They are people living with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other problems.

But perhaps they had caught the vibe, too. “The Saints are good for everybody,” Sandifer said. “They asked whether they could bring the football out here today.”

In addition to making people happy, the Saints’ 31-17 victory inspires people, said Dr. Adrianne Brennan, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Throughout the buildup to the Super Bowl, people kept talking about “believe, believe, believe,” she said. “This is what keeps people rebuilding their houses; the belief that the city will come back. The Saints are a symbol of this.”

Brennan, who described herself as “giddy and ecstatic and hopeful and in awe, watching dreams come true,” said the good feeling may well last through Mardi Gras.

“New Orleanians have this new identity now,” she said. “We’re not the underdogs. We’re on top.”

Staff writers Benjamin Alexander-Bloch and Chris Kirkham contributed to this article.

John Pope can be reached at jpope@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3317. Bruce Nolan can be reached at bnolan@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3344.

New Orleans Saints arrive at airport to shrieking crowds of fans

February 8th, 2010 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »


By Mary Sparacello, The Times-Picayune
February 08, 2010, 3:56PM

The Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints flew home Monday afternoon to find a throng of shrieking fans at Louis Armstrong International Airport.

saints-fans-airport.JPGBrett Duke / The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saints fans await their team at Louis Armstrong International Airport on Monday afternoon. The team’s charter flight from Miami touched down about 3 p.m., and players, coaches and other personnel began pulling away from the general aviation terminal in their own vehicles.

But it was extremely slow going, as the motorcade inched through thick crowds that had began lining the route before 10 a.m. By the time the plane landed, the crowd stretched back 1-1/2 miles.

Driving alone, head coach Sean Payton hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy out of the sunroof of his Mercedes-Benz, eliciting screams.

One of the first recognizable players in the procession was linebacker Scott Fujita. Others spotted in the line of vehicles were offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb, tight end Jeremy Shockey and wide receiver Devery Henderson.

Deuce McAllister, the former Saints running back whom the team brought back for inspiration before this year’s playoffs, also was in the motorcade. “Thanks, Deuce,” onlookers yelled.

Team owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle, and his granddaughter, executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc, also were popular with the crowd.

Earlier, an entourage of a half-dozen vehicles, one carrying Gov. Bobby Jindal, drove to the terminal to greet the team.

About a half-hour later at the Saints training facility on Airline Drive in Metairie, a crowd of a couple hundred people were gathered as six chartered buses pulled into the facility shortly after 3:30 p.m. The crowd, parked in the area between the Saints offices and the entrance into Zephyr Field, cheered as the buses pulled in, accompanied by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies.

Meanwhile, back in Kenner, loud music was blaring throughout the day, kids were throwing footballs and the mood was jubilant, with impromptu second lines breaking out periodically.

“I’m so happy that the New Orleans Saints are bringing the Vince Lombardi trophy to the city of New Orleans,” said Sam Granger, wearing a Reggie Bush jersey. “We have waited for so long.”

“We were coming today — win or lose,” said Stan Engolia of Metairie. He and his family are among the growing number of fans who greet the Saints outside the Kenner airport after every away game.

Karla Bordelon, of St. Rose, also greets the Saints after away games.

“I think it’s better than Mardi Gras,” she said.

John Bondio Jr., of Metairie, dressed up like the “Saints Hulk” wearing a gold and black mask. He looks forward to seeing the Saints after the Super Bowl win. “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “You can’t describe what happened last night.”

Kenner police set up barricades in anticipation of the crowds greeting the Saints’ private plane, Chief Steve Caraway said.

The Saints hire Kenner officers to work the team’s arrival from away games, and police have 35 to 40 officers on the route today. That’s compared to the 18 that worked the past few games.

“We’re expecting bigger crowds,” Caraway said.

Dee Duhe-Robichaux of New Orleans said she plans to attend the Saints parade Tuesday in New Orleans but wanted to greet the players at the airport today as she does after regular-season games. She showed up outside the airport at 8 a.m., despite celebrating the Saints’ Super Bowl victory most of the night.

“Right now I’m running on pure energy,” she said.

Drew Brees has everything but a Super Bowl ring

February 3rd, 2010 | Posted in Local Issues, Sports by Seth Bloom | No Comments »


By Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune
February 03, 2010, 6:00AM

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. ­- On the surface, it appears New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has it all — a multi-million-dollar contract, a stately Uptown home, a beautiful wife, a 1-year-old son — and the national spotlight.

drew_brees90.jpgTed Jackson/The Times-PicayuneNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was the man of the hour at Super Bowl XLIV media day Tuesday in Miami.But some guys never have enough.

There’s still that one thing that keeps Brees from feeling complete and keeps him throwing passes long after practice is over.

“For me as a quarterback and as a guy who is very competitive, I’m in this league to win championships, ” Brees said Tuesday at Super Bowl media day. “I don’t see any other reason why you would want to play this game. You play this game to be the best. You play this game to win championships, especially at the quarterback position you are measured by wins and losses, you are measured by championships. And we have no greater opportunity than this week to have that chance.”

Brees, a veteran of nine NFL seasons, finally gets his shot at fulfillment, as he has led the Saints to Super Bowl XLIV, the first title game appearance for both him and the Saints’ franchise.

Already an accomplished quarterback with four Pro Bowl selections, two NFL records and an NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, Brees is on the cusp of pushing himself into the next stratosphere of quarterbacks.

But it likely will take a Super Bowl ring to get him there.

“I think it is fair to say that, ” said Saints reserve quarterback Mark Brunell, a 17-year veteran who has played in three Pro Bowls. “For his legacy to play at the level that he has played and to get a Super Bowl (win) would be huge. It would take him into that upper echelon as far as coverage in the media is concerned and how people view him. So this game is big.”

At the moment, Brees is widely viewed by the national media as the NFL’s third-best quarterback. He’s typically placed on the list behind the Colts’ Peyton Manning and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, both of whom have Super Bowl titles.

Brees has often outplayed both, though, at least in a statistical sense.

Click to launch the graphic.

Since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees has thrown for more yards than Manning, the gold standard of NFL quarterbacks, and Brady. In that span, Brees has passed for 18,298 yards, followed by Manning’s 16,939 and Brady’s 12,807.

Brees and Manning also have the same number of touchdowns passes (122) during that span, and Brady, who played in just one game in 2008, has 98.

Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino said Brees has a chance to cement his place in history Sunday.

Marino should know.

He continues to be haunted by never winning a Super Bowl in his remarkable career. Marino did get to one, guiding the Dolphins to Super Bowl XIX, a 38-16 loss to the 49ers in his second season. But he never returned to the title game.

“What (Brees) has shown the last four years and the way that he has been able to come back from injury, yeah, you have to consider Drew Brees a great quarterback, ” Marino said. “Sometimes he has been going under the radar, but this is the biggest stage. This is one of those things that if you get the opportunity you have to take advantage of it, because you never know when you’ll get back.

“And that’s what happened to me. I thought I’d be in a lot of Super Bowls, but I only went to one. But he has really played at a high level the last four years. It’s been fun to watch.”

Indeed, Brees’ passing heroics have caught the nation’s eye.

While Brees continues to chase his championship dreams, he’s become a TV/media darling, gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, appearing on The Ellen Degeneres Show on Monday, The Jay Leno Show earlier this season and has an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric slated to air Friday.

He’s also been an ambassador of the city, spreading the word and lending a helping hand in the Katrina recovery process.

“You just kind of take it in stride, ” Brees said. “The fact is I am the quarterback of this team, and that’s a tremendous responsibility. I do whatever I can to help us win not only in my preparation and performance but what I try to do as a leader, and the responsibility that I have and the platform. I have to really make a difference in the community and just to be a good person. I take all those things very seriously.”

He’s certainly made a difference with the Saints.

“Just hearing his words inspire you to go out there and do the best that you can, ” running back Pierre Thomas said. “You can see the passion. You can hear the passion in his voice when he speaks to you or just a one-on-one conversation. His passion is so heart-warming. It makes you want to go out there and do the best that you can and play all out for this guy.

“He really wants to be perfect. Nobody’s perfect but he really strives to be perfect. For a guy like that you really want to play hard for him.”

For a guy like Brees, the Saints want to help the quarterback, who seemingly has it all, get the one thing left in life he still desires. They want to help get him that coveted Super Bowl ring.

“We win this football game and his star is only going to get bigger and bigger, ” Brunell said. “That’s what we are hoping for. He’s a hard worker and a great guy. And I hope we win this football game, not only for the Saints but for Drew Brees because he deserves it.”

Nakia Hogan can be reached at nhogan@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3405.

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