Saints News: 6.6.08

Off we go...

The big story from yesterday was the apparent murder of David Jacobs (thanks to Stujo4 for that one). He was found dead yesterday with his girlfriend Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell at his house in Plano, TX. The NY Times and ESPN.com both have more info on the story. Jacobs knew he was putting himself in a dangerous situation by talking with the feds, but must have decided it was better than prison. From ESPN.com...

According to ESPN the Magazine senior writer Shaun Assael, who had been in contact with Jacobs throughout May, Jacobs was reticent and nervous about the information he had and the people it implicated.

When explaining why he did not want to go public, Jacobs said: "The kinds of people I know about could put a bullet in the back of my head."

When I first mentioned this story, I had no idea that it would have turned out like this. Very sad. It's like a movie really. I am assuming Matt Lehr has nothing to do with this.

WDSU  says you can all stop your panicking. The Saints and Hornets will not be leaving town. The house budget committee voted and the state will pay the teams $26 million out of the states surplus to meet its contractual obligations. Whew!

Here is an article from SI.com about Saints new vice president of player personnel Khai Harley. He is a salary cap guru, which will come in handy when the current CBA comes to an end following the 2010 season. Probably the reason behind the move.

Harley spent the last five years as the manager of labor operations with the NFL Management Council, responsible for reviewing and analyzing player contracts to ensure teams were in compliance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and salary cap.

He also advised individual clubs on how to ensure contracts under negotiation would comply with league and players' union agreements, giving him a working relationship with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and other executives around the league.

"We went through a thorough search to find a replacement for Russ Ball and we feel like our careful search has paid off with the hiring of Khai," Loomis said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge to the position; he has experience working at the League office and the Management Council and is very knowledgeable of the inner workings of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and where it is heading. I have worked with him for a number of years and consider him a valued asset to the team."

Loomis said the Saints' player personnel department will now consist of separate pro and college scouting departments, both headed by people reporting directly to the general manager. Loomis also said the Saints were hiring two experienced scouts to add to the college scouting department.

"This is always a tough decision when you make changes and as a result positions are eliminated," Loomis said. "Rick has been a valued part of this team since 2000; and it was under his direction that players such as Deuce McAllister, Will Smith, Charles Grant, Jhari Evans and Marques Colston were drafted."

Pro Football Talk believes that Sean Payton is secretly behind the firing of Mueller. Link here. Bear in mind that the source is Pro Football Talk.

But we’re now told by a source that Mueller’s termination had nothing to do with Loomis and everything to do with coach Sean Payton.

Payton, who was groomed in part under Bill Parcells, apparently is looking to take a page from the Tuna’s cook the meal/buy the groceries playbook.  And with no replacement being named for Mueller, the authority previously held by Mueller will land, apparently, in Payton’s lap.

I'll need some sources before I believe this.

AOL Fanhouse also throws its 2 cents in. All pretty much covered already.

There's a love story in the Saints locker room this season, and its between Mark Brunell and Drew Brees. The Sun Herald has the story.

"I hate the guy," Brunell said when asked about Brees.

The Saints starting quarterback overheard Brunell's verbal barb and responded accordingly.

"The feeling is mutual," Brees said.

Brunell immediately jousted back.

"I've got to deal with this guy until February," Brunell said. "I guess you can't have everything."

Don't worry, though, it's only a case of healthy locker room ribbing.

Aww. That's precious. And a special bond is formed.

Seriously though, this was all about Brunell. Here is what he had to say about the goings so far.

"I realize that I have a long way to go," Brunell said. "I think it's a great system, but it takes a little bit of time. So far for the most part, I feel comfortable with things. I hope to and I need to understand it more than I do now."

"First of all, there are just some really good people around here - in the locker room, in the front office and everyone I've run into," Brunell said. "Not only do they worry about the talent on this team, but they worry about the character and I've been able to see first hand."

For those of you still a little fuzzy on the whole CBA issue, the New Orleans Saints official website has a Q&A to which you can refer. Be warned: you will have a headache after reading this.

This article  from the New Orleans Saints official website came out yesterday but was acting funny, so I present it to you now. It is a long in-depth piece about center Jonathan Goodwin. A suggested read. Here is what he had to say about being slated as the current starter.

"It’s a great feeling," Goodwin said of regularly lining up with the starting offense. "It’s really the first time, except when I have stepped in when guys were injured, and taken the snaps with the starters. It feels good, but I know I still have to work hard and make sure I know the plays, what everyone is doing and where to go and make sure I communicate to the rest of the offensive linemen."

"I look at it like I learned from two of the top centers in the game today in Kevin Mawae and Jeff Faine," said Goodwin. "There were times of frustration, but I just kept working and had faith that one day my time would come."

The rest of the story covers Goodwin's rise from high school, through college and into the pros, finally landing with the Saints.

Here is Drew Brees' assessment...

Quarterback Drew Brees likes what he's seen in his two seasons with Goodwin, "I think he's a great player. He stepped in last year when Jeff was injured and we didn't miss a beat," Brees said. "He did a great job and I never felt like we lost anything. He stepped in, we didn't change anything, and we just kept going."

“Goody is a smart player,” Brees continued. “He is very athletic and moves well for a big man. He communicates exceptionally with the rest of the line and with the things that we do, the center is really the key to making a lot of the calls. He did a great job of that last year, but now you see the confidence level at a different level with him. It’s his time.”

An update on the Reggie Bush case. The Orange County Register has the info. The entire circus is being delayed...again. Reggie's lawyer wants to go into arbitration. Lloyd Lake's attorney claims this is admission of guilt.

“Their position has now changed. They’re admitting they did take the money, but now they’re saying they settled with Michaels and don’t owe any more,” Watkins said. “Lloyd didn’t sign that agreement.”

Bush settled out of court with Lake’s former partner, Michael Michaels, for $304,000. Lake, who had teamed with Michaels in an attempt to serve as Bush’s marketing agents, is seeking $291,000.

Lake, who was scheduled to be deposed Thursday, will now be deposed on Aug. 27 and 28. Michaels’ deposition is scheduled for Aug. 29, Bush’s for Sept. 2 and those of his stepfather and mother for Sept. 9 and 10.

Oh thats good. So instead of dealing with this now in the offseason, Bush will have to fly back and forth to California and have this as a distraction during the season. Genius. Can't wait. Reggie better have a hell of a season.

 

 

 

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