New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said his National Football League team had a special operative who helped win the Super Bowl: sports agent Mike Ornstein.
Payton said Ornstein helped arrange logistics such as game tickets and travel for players’ in-laws, minimizing crises. He also dreamed up irritations for the Saints’ opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, including strategically placing the Saints’ fleur-de-lis symbol around the Miami area.
“There is a little bit of a propaganda battle to how we travel — the hotels we’re staying in, what the wives are getting, the flowers, the cameras, the billboards — and that’s one thing we felt like we needed to win prior to even playing the game,” Payton said in an interview today. “By the end of the week, the scene was the fleur-de-lis everywhere.”
Parting ways with McCray was rather surprising, as he was the starting left defensive end in all three of the Saints’ playoff victories last season after Charles Grant suffered a season-ending torn triceps.
McCray did not respond to messages left on his cell phone Monday, but he did tell WWL-TV’s Scott Cody, “I’m speechless.”
In an unexpected move, the New Orleans Saints on Monday announced they have released defensive end Bobby McCray, who started for the team during its run to the Super Bowl title this past season.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby McCray takes down New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Nov. 30 at the Superdome.
McCray played two seasons with the Saints after signing as an unrestricted free agent in March 2008. He started eight of 32 games and made 59 tackles with 7½ sacks, three pass defenses and a forced fumble. The 28-year-old played the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He replaced Charles Grant in the Saints’ starting lineup after Grant was lost for the season because of injury and started all three of the team’s playoff victories.
When the New Orleans Saints passed out their Super Bowl XLIV championship rings last week, several members of the team spoke about the bittersweet nature of seeing that great team gather together for perhaps the last time.
New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton offers instruction Monday at the team’s practice facility in Metairie.
But the truth is when the Saints begin training camp July 29, the team will be something very close to the 2009 version. There will be fewer jobs available on the 2010 Saints roster than at any other time under Coach Sean Payton.
Still, Payton said he’s not approaching the upcoming camp or season with any predetermined mindset. The organization does not have a number, however vague, in mind in terms of how many roster spots might be up for grabs.
The New Orleans Saints on Saturday afternoon announced that two-time Pro Bowl tackle Jammal Brown has signed his one year, $3.6 million tender and been traded to the Washington Redskins.
The Saints’ release said the team will receive an undisclosed pick in the 2011 NFL draft from the Redskins.
Brown, a 2005 first-round draft pick from Oklahoma who has been a starter since his rookie year for the Saints, missed all of last season after having hip and hernia surgery during training camp. Jermon Bushrod started in Brown’s place last season including the Saints’ 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.