If you were excited about rookie mini-camp then this news should really get your juices flowing. OTA's are starting this week! Our first chance to get a look at the whole team. I can hardly contain myself. The Times-Pic has the article. Only four of those sessions will be open to the media including the one this Wednesday.
The rest is Times-Pic writer Mike Triplett telling us what he is most excited to watch at the OTA's. It's the same thing everyone wants to know. How will the new LB's look? How will Big Sed look? How will Meachem look? Who will win the CB battle?
We also get this bit in interesting info. Jim Haslett is so old. All together now...How old is he!? Haslett is so old he has coached Howie Long and his son, first round draft pick Chris Long.
"Howie was just like Chris," Haslett said. "Practices hard, very intelligent, understands the game, goes 100 miles per hour."
The Saints and the city of New Orleans are trying to land the Super Bowl in 2013. This comes from a report from the Times-Pic. When the location for the 2012 Super Bowl is announced, and it won't be New Orleans, it will be officially make it ten years since the championship has been in New Orleans.
It's a lull the city, state and the Saints are hoping to end by 2013, the next time the Crescent City could embrace the big game.
There's one glitch: the Saints' lease with the State of Louisiana, which includes financial inducements, expires in 2010. And until a new agreement is reached extending that date past the Super Bowl up for bid -- 2013 -- the Saints and New Orleans won't be back in the Super Bowl-hosting business.
The Saints and the Superdome Commission have held preliminary talks toward a long-term lease agreement.
"New Orleans intends to bid on the 2013 Super Bowl," Vice President of Communications Greg Bensel wrote in the e-mail. "Per NFL Super Bowl bid policy, there must exist a lease for the host team. We did explore extending our lease with the intent to bid for the 2012 Super Bowl."
Asked for an update regarding the progress or status of talks with the state on a lease agreement, Bensel wrote: "We have a good relationship with the leadership of the state and look forward to continuing to discuss long-term solutions. We will aggressively bid for numerous future Super Bowls once our lease is extended."
Miami has the Super Bowl in 2010, Dallas in 2011. New Orleans is trying very hard to get the 2012 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.
"To have a Super Bowl and Final Four in the same year within four months of one another in the same community is a very tough challenge...I think we would like to bid for the 2013 (Super Bowl)."
Black and Gold continued with its interviews of the coaches of our recent draft picks. This time its former University of Michigan wide receivers coach Erik Campbell talking about Adrian Arrington. Here are the highlights.
B&G.com: Scouting reports give Adrian some "props," when they talk about his performance in the Capital One Bowl (vs. Florida), but a lot of them have their doubts about his ability to make it in the NFL. Some talk about his reluctance to go across the middle, while others speak of his running undisciplined routes. How are these comments answered?
Coach Campbell: Well, since I spent a lot of time with Adrian (in practice and in game situations), I feel I'm qualified to address this. Those so-called "concerns" are about as 180-out from the truth as they can be. Arrington has absolutely no fear in going over the middle or anywhere to get the ball. And if you want to know about his route running, all you have to do is see his performance vs. Florida. In my opinion, he's one of our toughest guys, very disciplined, and productive.
B&G.com: Your number-one guy was Mario Manningham. Is it right or fair for others to compare Arrington to him?
Coach Campbell: Not really. This is because both are uniquely skilled and talented players. Manningham is a much smaller, fleet of foot-type receiver. Adrian, on the other hand, offers a bigger target that can also stretch the field. It depends on what a team is looking for. In my opinion, Adrian will be very successful in his own right.
Some website called Gridiron Gab came out with their off-season analysis of the Saints. Check it out here. It tells us who we lost, we be signed, who we drafted blah, blah blah. Here is the only part worth reading. Amazingly, they give the Saints an off-season grade of A-.
Two years after appearing in the NFC Title game, the Saints are hoping to get back to that form in 2008 after a down 2007 in which they went 7-9. The team was hit hard with injuries, as well as inconsistent play by a defense that allowed 24.3 points per game and 245 yards per game through the air. They worked hard to address those needs, moving up in the draft to take USC’s Sedrick Ellis in round one with the 7th pick, and CB Tracy Porter with their second round pick. They also worked on defense in free agency, signing corners Randall Gay and Aaron Glenn, as well as linebackers Dan Morgan and trading for Jets LB Jonathan Vilma.
While the defense should be better once they play with one another for awhile, it will be up to the offense to regain that 06 form that made them as dangerous as any team in the league. Drew Brees will look for more from WR’s Marques Colston, and with the hope that Deuce McAllister is back, the team can go back to using he and Reggie Bush in a rotation, which worked well in 06. Look for Bush to be more involved in the offense, as he struggled last season, but has dedicated himself to be active with the team in the offseason and be more committed. The Saints should be back closer to the form of 2006 than the under .500 team of 07.
I am off to a crawfish boil. Those of you not fortunate enough to be in Louisiana, commence drooling.