Friday, July 30, 2010

Saints Nation Has Moved!

Saints Nation has moved over to be hosted by Bloguin

I'm happy to say the site is moving off blogger and will join the bloguin family to boost their sports network. Don't worry nothing has changed except the URL. Same content, same writers, and same daily posting you are used to.

Please click HERE to head over to SAINTS NATION.

Saints Nation: Payton/Loomis Training Camp Opening Presser Notes

We'll run through these for most of camp bullet style for the sake of getting the important information out of the way. Here's the run down of day one.

-- Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton both met with the media. You can read the transcripts by clicking HERE for Payton and HERE for Loomis.

-- Starting on the "Physically Unable to Perform" List (PUP) will be Robert Meachem, Marques Colston, Clint Ingram and Darren Sharper. Colston and Ingram shouldn't last more than a week or so, according to Loomis, whereas Sharper and Meachem may take a little bit longer. Overall it didn't sound like a major concern.

-- The fact that neither Heath Evans nor Jimmy Wilkerson were on the PUP list was a bit of a pleasant surprise. Those two had much more serious injuries, surgeries and recoveries than any of the 4 guys on the list and for those two to come to camp and be full go is really encouraging.

-- If you read between the lines with what Payton and Loomis said about Bobby McCray, it sounds like he was cut because they didn't like his attitude, and it sounds like he pleaded with them to get another chance. I'm impressed that actually worked and he got his job back. Hopefully he can show some real seriousness in camp.

-- With Sharper out, Malcolm Jenkins and Usama Young are both getting a fair shake at free safety during camp. For now both are switching out at starter. I have no doubts Jenkins will outperform Young with ease.

-- Nice to see Dunbar and Arnoux get kudos for their offseason progress, because someone needs to fill into Fujita's shoes.

-- It sounds like Patrick Robinson could be signed any second. He won't be nearly as late to camp as Jenkins was last year. <EDIT: see below he was signed to a 5 year deal last night>

-- I don't know why but I love the idea of Lance Moore holding on field goals and extra points. I hope he gets the job.

That's it for now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saints Nation: Saints Sign 1st Round Pick Patrick Robinson to a 5 Year Deal

1st round draft choice and 32nd pick overall, cornerback Patrick Robinson of Florida State, has signed a 5 year contract with the Saints and he'll be at camp in time for the first practice tomorrow morning. Kudos to Mickey Loomis for getting this deal done quickly and way ahead of last year's 1st round pick. I'm sure the fact that he was picked 32nd overall helped in negotiations a bit. Jason LaCanfora first broke the news, and it was confirmed by the team on Greg Bensel's twitter account.

I also forgot to mention that Bensel also communicated that "Black & Gold Scrimmage Set for Saturday, August 7 at Saints Camp...starts at 2:50 pm and ends at 4:20 pm...Open to the Public"

Saints Nation: Jason McKie Released

Almost as quickly as he was added to the roster, veteran fullback Jason McKie was shown the door. I'm pretty surprised to see him released without even getting a fair shake in training camp. I guess Heath Evans' injury is healing quicker than the Saints expected, and they feel good about him being full go by the beginning of the season. It's safe to assume this guy is good enough to catch on somewhere.

Also released was defensive tackle Earl Heyman.

Saints Nation: It's Time to Look Forward for the New Orleans Saints, by Joshua Joffrion

This season, the New Orleans Saints have a task ahead of them, one like they've never had to face before, it's time to defend their Super Bowl title.

For years and years, the Lovable Losers of Louisiana never really had much of a chance to make the playoffs, much less make any postseason noise, but that was before Drew Brees and Sean Payton came to town. Since the magical season of 2006, the Saints have been in the playoffs discussion every year but after missing the postseason in 2007 and 2008, the  Saints patched up the defense and reeled off thirteen straight wins to start a season for the ages. Three straight losses followed and the Black and Gold seemed destined to crash and burn once more.But Brees & Co. got it all back together and clipped some Cardinal wings in the second round of the playoffs which set up the NFC championship game between the Saints and Vikings, arguably the best game in Louisiana Superdome history. Garrett Hartley's winning field goal in overtime put the Saints on a path to make history and the Who Dats never looked back. The season ended like every season should and the Saints were crowned league champions after a 31-17 win over New Orleans native Peyton Manning and the mighty Colts of Indianapolis.But those are all memories, water under the bridge. Drew Brees summed it up best in an interview with Sports Illustrated, "Last season was awesome, just awesome, but now it's time to bring another trophy back to our city." 

The offseason was eventful, to say the least. Both Brees and head coach Sean Payton both released best-selling
memoirs, the Lombardi Trophy was carted around like a circus oddity,  which of course, for this area, it is, and one of the worst environmental disasters in US history rudely interrupted the celebration just over two months after Black and Gold left Miami as NFL champions. But as Brees said, it's time to bring some more hardware home. The Saints have a chance too, a really good chance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saints Nation: Dolphins Sign Charles Grant

I guess teams are filling out their roster at the 11th hour getting ready for training camp because we've seen tons of movement all around the NFL in the last 48 hours. Former Saint Charles Grant was the latest to find a team, as he inked a 2 year contract with the Miami Dolphins. You remember Grant was released earlier this offseason by the black and gold, following yet another disappointing season. The deal is apparently worth up to $4.5 million, and I for one was shocked to see anything but the bare bones minimum going into his bank account for a chance to play again at the highest level. The fact that a team would throw that much loot at him to basically continue to reward his lazy behavior and slack attitude is frankly disturbing. If he's still available to this point in the offseason, it's not like teams are throwing silly money his way. It was hard enough to stomach the $20 million in guaranteed money he got from the Saints over the 3 years of his mammoth deal he actually played for the team. Those 3 years, by the way, he produced positively miserable results. He was injured all the time, and you know why? Because he was so fat and completely out of shape. It's a given you get more hurt when you're out of shape. Grant had no motivation to get fit because he had it made, and he had no fire inside him. So what happens? The Dolphins throw more millions at him. Unbelievable. I wish him the best and maybe the Dolphins will get a revitalized player out of him, but I highly doubt it. I'll be the first to doubt his ability to make any impact whatsoever with his new team. The bottom line was that Grant would only stay focused long enough to get his, and the Dolphins aren't really asking him to prove much. I guess it remains to be seen if they gave him an incentive laden deal with a very low salary - that would be the only saving grace for the Dolphins in this move.

Saints Nation: Mark Brunell Signs with New York Jets

Lots of Saints news today and we're gearing up for camp! On the same day Patrick Ramsey signed to be the backup quarterback to Drew Brees (assuming he beats out Chase Daniel and Sean Canfield which is no given), it's being reported that Brees' former backup Mark Brunell (pictured) has signed a 2 year deal to play with the Jets. I actually think Brunell will serve as more of a role model and mentor for Mark Sanchez, who is still very green, so it's a good move for them. Brunell's experience is less beneficial to a guy like Brees, but I think a guy like Sanchez can stand to benefit a lot from having him around. Of course, if Brunell is thrust into duty, then God help them. I've met Mark and he's a super nice guy, and I'm glad to see an NFL team out there still has a use for him. As for his performance, I think the Carolina game last year proved that he's pretty washed up and the Saints probably stood to improve their backup quarterback position looking elsewhere. Though Brunell, like Ramsey, won't be guaranteed a roster spot. He'll have to battle with Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Donnell. Brunell will likely end up number two, I would think, but it's not like he'll just inherit it. He'll have to prove he's better than those other guys, and it's not like Clemens and Ainge are completely incapable.

Best of luck to Brunell, and thanks for his time in New Orleans! Let's not forget he contributed to the Super Bowl run by holding on some majorly important field goal kicks.