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Archive for September, 2009

Sep

21

Saints fans are enjoying a very good Monday

Another story from Gus —

 

Saints fans are enjoying a very good Monday. The Black and Gold are coming off a convincing 48-22 win at Philadelphia. At his weekly post game-day press conference however, Saints head coach Sean Payton was far from putting his team in the Super Bowl already.

 

“It is what it is. We’ve played two games and there’s a ton of football left. Our focus has really got to be on improving, and correcting the mistakes, and the things that we have to do become a better team..”

 

Saints quarterback Drew Brees and the offense is getting a lot of the attention for the team’s 2-0 start, as they should be. 93 points is two games is almost video game like. The Saints defense however has forced seven turnovers in two games, four coming against the Eagle. “We felt like that was necessary to go on the road, to have a chance to win that game that we needed to win that battle and in our case we did,” says Payton.

 

It is hard to have a bad feeling about the Saints start, however there were some problems the team is looking to correct. “There’s a lot we still have to improve on, by no means was it the perfect game. There are a lot of things when you watch the tape that concerns you. We’re still looking to get better in a lot of areas,” Payton said. “We gave up the big play on defense we talked about that being something that we couldn’t do against this team. We gave up a big return on our coverage units and that was disappointing. Offensively we had a couple protection issues, and certainly the one turnover.”

 

Throughout his chat with the media, Payton regularly repeated the need to improve, touched on the importance of correcting mistakes, and noted the confidence he has that his team won’t read into the good start.

 

“I think they’re smart enough to understand how long the season is and really we jus talked about getting the corrections made today, let’s make sure we get the corrections and we put a couple of examples up there in front of these guys that can’t happen,” Payton said of the his morning meeting with the team. “A couple of examples of what we’re coaching and this is what we’re looking for. By days’ end you put closure on the game.”

 

SHARPER AND JENKINS CATCH COACH’S EYE

 

Safety Darren Sharper showed again why he was so coveted this past offseason in free agency. Sharper had a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown. “Well he’s smart. He’s a player that understands the scheme. Though he got his weight down this offseason, and came in in good shape,” Payton says of Sharper, and points out the player’s ability to quickly learn a new defensive scheme. “ He’s done a good job. He’s got three turnovers now in two games and is playing with a lot of confidence.”

 

Rookie Malcolm Jenkins impresses the coach as well. Jenkins had a key strip to open up the second half, leading to a Saints touchdown. “He’s had two big impact plays now two weeks in a row. Last week he chased down a kick return, made a tackle inside the ten, we ended up holding that series to a field goal, so that’s a four point play,” said Payton. “Then yesterday the caused fumble that results in a touchdown is a seven point play, so there’s 11 points that you’d look at specifically and say he’s accounted for in two games, that’s pretty significant.”

 

 

BELL HOPEFULL FOR SUNDAY

 

Saints running back Mike Bell scored a touchdown to go with 86 yards on 17 carries Sunday against the Eagles. Bell suffered an injury to his right knee late in the game however.

 

“He’s got a sprained MCL. The news on his knee was positive. I don’t want to put a time frame on it, I really won’t know that until Wednesday, but it’s a lot less severe than maybe we anticipated,” Payton said Monday morning. “I don’t know what that does for his status this week, but it’s only Monday right, again the doctors seem to feel pretty good about the nature of that injury.”

 

Bell in the locker room on Monday says that he is still hopeful he will be ready to play at Buffalo on Sunday.

Sep

16

Do you have what it takes ??

Do you have what it takes to tell others what you think about the Saints ? If so we are always looking for people to contribute to Who Dat Nation so let us know if you are that person !

Now that Gus Kattengell is busy with gkattsports.com we need somebody to fill his shoes !

So if that person is you shoot us an email at whodat_nation@yahoo.com and let’s see what you can do !

Sep

16

New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit left to debate merits of serving suspension

by Brian Allee-Walsh, The Times-Picayune

Wednesday September 16, 2009, 9:07 PM


New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit did not appeal his suspension for testing positive for bumetanide. He lost his starting job and approximately $500,000 in wages and bonuses.

New Orleans Saints guard Jamar Nesbit sat at his locker Wednesday, feeling happy for teammates Charles Grant and Will Smith, while debating the merits of a decision that he made a year ago.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Tuesday that Grant and Smith will not have to begin their four-game suspensions for using a banned substance bumetanide until a Minnesota state court resolves a suit against the NFL by Minnesota defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, who face similar suspensions for testing positive for the same banned substance.

The Williams’ court case is not expected to be heard until after the season, meaning Grant and Smith will likely be able to play out the full schedule.

Nesbit, too, tested positive for bumetanide a year ago, but he decided not to appeal his four-game suspension. That suspension cost him his starting job and approximately $500,000 in wages and bonuses as a result of using the over-the-counter diuretic.

Nesbit is suing the manufacturer in an attempt to recoup lost wages and compensation for damage to his reputation, claiming bumetanide was not listed as an ingredient in the pill. No court date has been assigned.

“I’ve been asked if I have any regrets, ” Nesbit said. “I was given advice from a variety of sources about how to handle the situation and how to go forth with the process, and nobody had a crystal ball and knew how this was going to turn out.

“I know from my position, all of a sudden people are concerned with fairness, so I’m sitting on the outside looking for a little fairness. Hey look, if (Smith and Grant) can play throughout the rest of the season, then congratulations to them, and our ’09 Saints are going to be a lot better for having those two able to play.”

Smith and Grant thanked Goodell, calling his decision that allows them to play both “fair” and “right.”

“It was a long process, ” Smith said. “It was kind of like we were on trial, but at the end of the day we’re happy with the decision that the commissioner has made. I feel as if we can move on from this and focus on the Philadelphia Eagles this week.”

Grant and Smith also thanked the NFL Players Association and team officials for their unwavering support since the league handed down the suspensions in early December.

“Our main focus right now is producing . . . and to be the premier (defensive) bookends that people consider us to be in this league, ” Grant said.

Sep

15

NFL commisioner: New Orleans Saints defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant won’t be suspended at this time

by Nakia Hogan, The Times-Picayune

Tuesday September 15, 2009, 5:16 PM


New Orleans Saints defensive ends Will Smith, looking to sack Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on Sunday, and Charles Grant will continue playing for the time being.

New Orleans Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith will not be suspended “at the present time,” allowing the players to continue playing this season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.

In fairness to the Saints, Goodell announced the suspensions of Grant and Smith for their 2008 violations of the NFL’s Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances will not be enforced at the present time.

“This situation presents several unique and narrow aspects that I believe call for us to put the good of the game ahead of questions of discipline,” Goodell said. “Considerations of fairness, uniform application of our policies, and competitive integrity all support deferring the suspensions at this time. I am not prepared to treat players differently when the same conduct is involved.”

It remains unclear when or if the players will face suspension in the future, although it appears unlikely the suspension will come down this season.

Last Friday, a federal appeals court in Minnesota unanimously ruled in favor of the NFL in the so-called “Star Caps” case, rejecting all of the challenges brought by the NFL Players Association, including unfounded claims of bias and failure to share information with players about diuretics. The Court of Appeals fully upheld the earlier rulings of a federal district court in favor of the league.

The ruling upheld the suspensions of the Saints players. However, the federal court also allowed Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings to pursue separate claims under Minnesota state law, which prevent suspending them at this time.

Goodell said the NFL will vigorously contest those state law claims and enforce appropriate discipline on a consistent and uniform basis.

Commissioner Goodell added, “Our primary goal is to maintain the effectiveness and integrity of our program, which has repeatedly been recognized as among the finest in all of sports. An important part of that program has been a tradition of fairness for players and clubs, with all players knowing they are held to a common standard. Because the Minnesota and New Orleans players committed the same violation and had their appeals resolved at the same time, I believe the appropriate step is to defer the suspensions while we pursue both our legal options and continue discussions with the NFLPA.

“Now that the courts have rejected the NFLPA’s improper challenge to our collectively bargained program, we hope the union will join us in ensuring that these principles of fairness and uniformity are preserved. The union’s unfortunate refusal to do so thus far has created needless uncertainty for our program. This is an important issue not only for the NFL, but for all sports and everyone who cares about the integrity of sports competition. This is why the other professional leagues and the USADA supported us in this case. “

Sep

14

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Sep

11

Friday afternon at Saints Camp

The Saints put a wrap to their practice week this afternoon indoors as heavy rains once again fell in the New Orleans metro area.

 

Saints head coach Sean Payton’s final injury reports lists running back Pierre Thomas will be a no go Sunday, that means Mike Bell will share the bulk of the carries with Reggie bush

 

Finally, Jeremy Shockey did not practice on Friday due to an ankle injury and is listed as probably for Sunday’s game. Also Payton added that left tackle Jammal Brown, who is still recovering from a sports hernia surgery, would undergo a scope procedure to his hip on Friday.

 

TIME TO KICK IT OFF

 

The regular season is finally here and the NFL 2009 season is already underway with the Super Bowl Steelers edging the Titans 13-10 in over time.

 

So, how will the Black and Gold do this season, will it be another disappointing underachieving year, or will we be talking about meaningful football late December and January? Like many fans and media out there, I’m in agree that the Saints have improved in some areas, add that to a group that should have performed better the previous two seasons and that makes me feel as if this is a talented team. That schedule scares me when you factor in the Saints will have to play the NFC and AFC East Divisions. The Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, and Giants are tough teams. Dallas is the perennial team that should make the playoffs every season, Washington made the most noise spending wise this offseason, the Giants were in the playoffs last season, and Philly went to the NFC Championship game.

 

In the AFC East, everyone is giving the title to New England, and with the return of a healthy Tom Brady at quarterback they’ll be good, the Jets aren’t bad, heck they started out 8-3 last season. Miami won the division surprising everyone, and Buffalo well they just fired their offensive coordinator.  So six of those eight maybe seven should be competitive teams at the least, throw in the three NFC South Division opponents in Atlanta, Carolina, and Tampa, the saints will have their work cut out for them.

 

I believe the Saints will go 10-6 and yes that’s enough to win the NFC south. So indeed I see a playoff season. First though you got to take care of business on the field and that starts with Detroit in Week 1.

 

The Lions didn’t win a game last season and the saints are anywhere from a 13 to 15 point favorite. Saints players all week however have warned this ISN’T the same Detroit team the Saints embarrassed 42-7 the second to last week of the season.

 

Detroit has 31 new players on the current 53-man roster, a new head coach, and new starting quarterbacks in top overall pick Mathew Stafford. In fact, the theme all week at Saints camp has been not overlook this team.

“This is basically a whole other team. They don’t have many guys on this team that they had last year. They have a whole new coach, whole new atmosphere, whole new team,” says defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. “It’s a clean slate, it’s a new year. There is no gimmes in the NFL.”

 

Stafford has a strong arm and played well at times in the preseason, he also has the benefit of having a very good receiver in Calvin Johnson. Johnson as a rookie had 78 catches for 1,331 yards to go with 12 touchdowns.

 

“Did a lot of film study on him and the biggest thing is that he’s a big strong physical guy so, you don’t want to get up in there to much and battle with him at the line of scrimmage cause if he gets that one rip on you, it can a long day for you,” says Saints cornerback Tracey Porter who also believes Stafford could use Johnson as a security blanket in the game when in trouble. “You definitely want to be on top of your P’s and Q’s when you’re on him.”

 

PREDICTION

 

As for how I see the game going on Sunday? The Saints have the better talent and should come away with a win. 31-13 is how I see it, an important win in the first quarter of the season in which the Saints play Detroit, Philly, Buffalo and the Jets. The Saints need to start 3-1 before the meat of the schedule kick in.

Sep

07

GEARING UP FOR DETROIT

The Saints began their first regular season workweek indoors in shells and shorts. Head coach Sean Payton is hoping to take advantage of the bonus day this week, usually on Mondays the team just reviews game film and players receive treatments.

 

GEARING UP FOR DETROIT

 

The Saints on Sunday kick off a highly anticipated season that has many fans predicting late January football.

 

Detroit is looking to win its first game since 2007. The Lions went 0-16 last season, the first team to go winless in NFL history.

 

It didn’t take long for Saints head coach Sean Payton on Monday to be asked if he thought his team might overlook the Lions this week, in advance of next week’s Eagles game at Philadelphia. “We have players that are pretty intelligent and they understand that they need to play well to have a chance to be successful,” Payton said in his media session Monday afternoon. “This league is too good. It’s not like college where you look past someone. Every week you prepare and you focus on playing your best game regardless of who the opponent is. This is an entirely different team than a year ago when you look at the roster, the coaching staff, and the make up, it’s completely different. So the focus is really on us and playing our best football, eliminating mistakes and things that keep you from winning.”

 

Early odds have the Saints favored by 13 points. That line was before the Lions named Mathew Stafford, the top overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, as their starting quarterback, a move announced late Monday morning.

 

Stafford had his moments in the preseason showing off a strong arm, but also showed the usually rookie mistakes. “He’s a tremendous talent so he’s someone that you saw a lot on Georgia film do a lot of good things,” Payton said of the former Bulldog QB, whose play in the preseason as well will be used to prepare for.

 

PLAN IS FOR GRANT AND SMITH TO PLAY

 

Starting defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith practiced today as the NFL has yet to formally suspend them as their appeals have yet to be ruled on. “Right now our focus is playing them in this game until we’re told otherwise,” Payton said of the team’s approach to having them available. Typically the NFL doesn’t announce possible suspensions or moves that would put a team at a disadvantage by providing decisions early in the week. Payton feels tomorrow would be the day the league would inform him if both players were not allowed to play this Sunday.

 

“We’re waiting to hear from the league that’s really the proper channel. The League will keep us up to date and advised as to how to proceed, and right now we’re proceeding with the idea that these two players are playing,” Payton said.

 

BUSH BACK, PIERRE NOT

 

Running back Reggie Bush was back on the practice field for the Black and Gold, while Pierre Thomas was not seen at the facility. Payton said he would wait until Wednesday, the first day the NFL mandates teams to report injuries, to update the status of Thomas. Thomas suffered a sprain MCL against the Texans in preseason.

 

BUMPS AND BRUISES

 

CB Randall Gay was held out of practice of the flu.

 

Thanks Gus for another great story.

 

PS…   http://www.gkattsports.com/  is looking great !

Sep

04

Billy Miller

Saints tight end Billy Miller’s season is likely over. Millers suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in Thursday night’s preseason finale. The injury occurred in the second quarter in the Saints 10-7 loss to the Dolphins.

 

Miller on Friday told media he didn’t think the injury was serious at first, “I was running a route and I thought somebody kicked me in the back of my heel,” Millers recounted. “I was laying there and just wanted to get up and didn’t necessarily have much pain at all, but after this morning it was pretty clear cut.”

 

On the sidelines following the injury, a tearful Miller was surrounded by many teammates expressing well wishes, a gesture that was not lost in the moment. “This locker room is my family and they understand that. If it takes my Achilles or whatever for this team to be successful I’d give them anything I got,” said Miller. “Now that I might be sidelined for a while I’m still going to the games, be as supportive as I can, and try to help some of these young tight ends out to try and make sure Shockey is not barring the whole load, and that we get some guys in there to help him.”

 

“It’s heartbreaking just cause you know what he means to the team. He is the prototypical guy that we look for we look for for this team,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said of Miller. “Extremely high character, nothing has ever been given to him, he’s always had to fight for every inch ever since his first game in the league. My heart goes out to him, he’s a great friend, a great teammate and I’m very confidant that he’ll come back stronger than ever. He might end up missing the whole season but he’s a guy who I know will come back better than ever.”

 

The Saints were thin at the tight end position prior to losing Miller. Currently the roster has just a pair of healthy tight ends in Jeremy Shockey and Buck Ortega.