Archive for January, 2008



Saints to play game in London

Chargers President Dean Spanos said he was “cautiously optimistic” that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce next week that the Chargers will play a 2008 regular-season game in London, England.  The game, which would be only the second regular-season game ever played outside of North America, would be against one of the Chargers’ road opponents.

“The Commissioner and I talked about two and half months ago and we talked again as recently as last week,” said Spanos, a member of the NFL’s International Committee.  “Should this occur, we would welcome the opportunity.”

“This would be a positive announcement in a number of ways.  First, it shows that the Chargers clearly have become one of the NFL’s marquee franchises; a team with a strong following that the League is proud of.  Second, it would be good exposure for our organization, for the players and for the city of San Diego.  And finally, I believe it would give the team added experience from playing in another big game.”

Last season the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins played in London in Week 8.  The Giants won the game, 13-10, and both teams had their off weekend following that game.  The Giants now find themselves playing in Super Bowl XLII.

In recent years, the Chargers have played three games overseas, though they were all preseason games.  The Chargers played the Giants in Berlin, Germany in 1994; the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tokyo, Japan in 1996, and the Denver Broncos in Sydney, Australia in 1999.  At the end of the 1994 season, the Chargers played in Super Bowl XXIX in Miami.

Though the entire NFL schedule is not expected to be announced until April, it’s anticipated that the game in London would take place in Week 8 (Oct. 26) and the participants would have a bye in Week 9.

Head Coach Norv Turner took a more pragmatic approach.

“It would be a good experience for our team and our players,” said the veteran coach who was part of the Dallas Cowboys staff when they played in London in 1993, “but we’ll just play the schedule they give us.  No matter where the game is, we’ll prepare as we always do and be ready to play.”



Saints Promote Two On Coaching Staff

NewOrleansSaints.com, NewOrleansSaints.com
Monday, January 28, 2008 – 3:39 PM

The New Orleans Saints have promoted two assistant coaches – Greg McMahon to special teams coordinator and Dennis Allen to secondary coach – it was announced today by Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis. Both McMahon and Allen joined the Saints with Coach Sean Payton’s original staff in 2006.

McMahon has been the assistant special teams coach since arriving in New Orleans, which followed a lengthy stretch in the college ranks where he earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top special teams coaches. He came to the Saints after a one-year stint at East Carolina. Prior to 2005, McMahon spent 13 years at the University of Illinois. From 2001-04, Illinois blocked 16 kicks and his special teams units accounted for nine touchdowns. Players under his guidance include the school’s leaders in punting average, single-season scoring and punt return yardage.

McMahon replaces John Bonamego, who has departed to become special teams coordinator of the Miami Dolphins.

Allen enters his third season in New Orleans after serving his first two years as assistant defensive line coach. He has been instrumental over the last two years in the club’s front four becoming one of the defense’s strengths, including posting 49.5 sacks since the start of the 2006 season. Allen joined the Saints after a four-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons. His final two years were as defensive assistant/quality control, with an emphasis on working with the defensive line, and in his first two seasons Allen helped tutor the secondary.

Allen – who was the secondary coach at Tulsa from 2000-01 before heading to the NFL – earned four letters at Texas A&M as a safety (1992-95), starting the final 21 games of his career. Allen replaces Tom Hayes on the Saints’ coaching staff.





The official 2008 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.

NFL Kickoff 2008 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 4, and the regular season will conclude on December 28.

Wild Card Weekend will be Saturday and Sunday, January 3-4; Divisional Playoff games on the weekend of January 10-11; and the AFC and NFC Championship Games on Sunday, January 18.

Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida will be played on Sunday, February 1.

New Orleans Saints Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers

Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs