Fleur-de-Links - Oct 20th: Welcome to the Team, Bowen!

The Brees family announced the name of their newborn son today - Bowen Christopher Brees - and reviews have been mixed. I like the name. It's original and, in twenty years when this kid is tearing it up on some college football field, it'll have a great gridiron ring to it.

Lot's of Saints roster moves today and yesterday. Most surprising was the release of LB Clint Ingram, who apparently could never get back to game shape after having offseason knee surgery. Best of luck to him. Randall Gay was also placed on IR. Apparently, the concussion he received during the 49ers game is still causing him problems. CB Quincy Butler was promoted from the practice squad to fill his spot.

Darren Sharper practiced today, but it's still not clear if he'll play this Sunday. They may try to ease him back in, since Malcolm Jenkins has proven himself very capable at the free safety spot.

TWEETS:

jeffduncantp RT @drewbrees: It's official. Brit finally gave in. Bowen Christopher Brees. Healthy, happy baby. Big hands, big feet. Brit is great.

drewbrees Thanks to everyone once again for the baby recommendations. There were some really good ones. A lot of thought went in to that decision #fb

T_Porter22 Everybody wants know where can they get my jersey..I wish I knew guys. Maybe we need to spread the word to the local stores! Dave? Dave? Better get on this.

Official_Saints @MalcolmJenkins is asking fans to name his campaign vs.violence in NOLA/design poster for it!Winner gets suite tickets: http://bit.ly/dBloYy

Official_Saints Payton on whether @sharper42 will play vs. Browns "We'll see. I wouldn't rule it out but wouldn't say it's a definite either."

jeffduncantp #Saints injury report: Did not practice, S.Shanle (ham), J.Greer (shoulder), R.Bush (fibula), T.Porter (knee) & P.Thomas (ankle).

Official_Saints Payton said the team has to decide by Saturday if Sharper will play. If he does the team needs to create a roster spot for him.

jeffduncantp #Saints injury report: Limited: J.Jones (shoulder), J.Shockey (flu), J.Evans (ham), R.Harper (ham) & W.Smith (groin).

jeffduncantp Payton said Malcolm Jenkins will stay at free safety despite the spate of injuries at cornerback.

Official_Saints Payton on Browns QB Colt McCoy "He is an accurate passer & leader. He is someone we liked coming out of Texas in draft."

jgoody76 Rankings in pro football mean nothing RT @ItsAubreyNow: the first 5 teams in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings are AFC (cont) http://tl.gd/6ism3q

jeffduncantp CB Quincy Butler was with the Saints practice squad for several weeks in 2008. He has previous experience with the Cowboys & Browns.

jeffduncantp Drew Brees: "It wasn't really a name battle. We had a lot of good choices. I liked the name Bowen. We definitely explored all options."

 jeffduncantp Brees: "Brittany wasn't necessarily committed to one (name) or the other. She knew how much I liked Bowen. She made that sacrifice for me."

jeffduncantp Brees said Bowen was born Tues."He has big hands, big feet. Looks like an athlete, big, ole barrel chest."

Official_Saints 1st 8 questions in @drewbrees press conference were about his new born baby. I believe that is an NFL record for a press conference.

Official_Saints 1st week off PUP, @sharper42 draws a lot of "coverage" http://yfrog.com/j1dppfj

Official_Saints RB Chris Ivory said Saints great @dmcallister26 offered him advice during the preseason.

DEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUCE! ^

jgoody76 Off to meetings

LanceMoore16 Had a nice long practice today lol, emphasis on long! But we got better. Moving forward.

Official_Saints Browns LB Scott Fujita said on bus ride back after Pitt game that @scottshanle & @JonVilma51 were already texting "friendly" trash talk

Official_Saints Fujita said he was impressed with Chris Ivory after watching film on him. Said he "runs violently & aggressively."

 

THE BREES FAMILY WELCOMES BOWEN:

Drew Brees announces name of his second son | NOLA.com
Wife Brittany finally relents to his requested name

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees tweets that his second son is born | NOLA.com
Young Baylen Brees gets a baby brother

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees says in his mind, it was Bowen all along | NOLA.com
"I won the name battle?" Brees said with a laugh Wednesday when asked about reports he and Brittany struggled with the choice. "It wasn't really a name battle, but it was, we had a lot of good choices and Bowen has been mine ever since Baylen was born, for that matter. I always hoped we'd be able to give him a little brother."

 

ROSTER MOVES:

New Orleans Saints place CB Randall Gay on injured reserve for 2010 | NOLA.com
He suffered concussion vs. San Francisco 49ers

New Orleans Saints sign CB Quincy Butler to roster | NOLA.com
The New Orleans Saints, struggling to keep a battery of cornerbacks healthy each week, signed Quincy Butler to the roster Wednesday after placing veteran Randall Gay on injured reserve. Butler, a 3rd-year man out of TCU, spent time with the Cowboys and the Rams the last three seasons. Coach Sean Payton said the 6-feet-1, 188, defender has, "good size,...

New Orleans Saints release linebacker Clint Ingram | NOLA.com
Ingram was eligible to return from PUP list this week

2theadvocate.com | Saints Blog | Saints terminate contract of LB Ingram — Baton Rouge, LA
The Saints on Tuesday terminated the contract of linebacker Clint Ingram, one day before he was expected to begin practicing after spending the first six weeks of the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

 

BROWNS @ SAINTS:

Brees is short in stature, long in ability - Canton, OH - CantonRep.com
Drew Brees, who will lead the New Orleans Saints against the Browns on Sunday, was the No. 32 overall pick of the 2001 draft. Brees quarterbacked the Saints to a Super Bowl win in February and is on the cusp of consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Bourbon Street is still celebrating, and the New Orleans Saints are still one of the NFC's best: Tony Grossi's Scouting Report | cleveland.com
Just as the Saints stopped celebrating their 2009 Super Bowl win, they found themselves tied for the best record in the NFC again.

QB Colt McCoy could start Sunday v. New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Although he tried to remain noncommital, Cleveland Browns Coach Eric Mangini conceded the obvious Wednesday in a conference call with reporters, namely that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy could start Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The top two quarterbacks on Cleveland's depth chart, Louisiana native Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, have both been sidelined with severe ankle sprains, and...

Cleveland Browns coach says self-inflicted mistakes must stop vs. New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Penalties, turnovers plague Browns

Cleveland Browns' starting defensive end, right tackle out for season | NOLA.com
Robaire Smith, Tony Pashos placed on injured reserve

Scott Fujita sees similarities between struggling Cleveland Browns and when he joined New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Linebacker seeks happy return to New Orleans

Scouting report: New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns | NOLA.com
Breaking down the Saints' next foe

Saints find diamond in rough in Tiffin's Ivory - Canton, OH - CantonRep.com
A week after the Browns traded Jerome Harrison, who inexplicably went limp in 2010, they are preparing to stop Chris Ivory, who just as inexplicably lit up Tampa Bay for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

 

POWER RANKINGS:

NFL power rankings: Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger No. 1 again - USATODAY.com
6. Saints. How the hell are the Colts ranked at no. 3?

ProFootballWeekly.com - MVP Meter: Kolb, Vick don't make cut
3. Saints QB Drew Brees (No. 8) — The Saints' offense had its best game of the season in Week Six, piling up 475 yards in a blowout victory over the Buccaneers. It was all started by Brees, who threw for three TDs and said after the game that his team is, "A confident group. We've got some swagger." Considering New Orleans already is tied for the best record in the NFC and is just now starting to get rolling, the rest of the league may want to watch out.

NFL Power Rankings: Digesting the Sanchez factor - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
7. Saints: They looked like the 2009 Saints against the Bucs. For once, the offense really seemed to click.

 

LAGNIAPPE:

ProFootballWeekly.com - Rookie Meter: Undrafted Ivory makes a splash
Rams QB Sam Bradford regains the top spot in this week's Rookie Meter, but last Sunday belonged to undrafted Saints RB Chris Ivory.

Video Review: Rookies Ivory, Robinson have standout games | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
Re-watching the video review of the Saints-Bucs game from Sunday shows exactly why New Orleans owned that game.

Saints offensive line earns weekly Madden honor
Playing their most complete game of the season, the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints picked up a season-high 475 yards of total offense, including a season-best 212 yards on the ground on their way to a 31-6 victory over Tampa Bay.

Fines, suspensions are welcome, but NFL referees must do their job to curtail improper hits: Terry Pluto | cleveland.com
What can the NFL do to stop some of the violent hits? Throw more penalty flags.

Benson Family, Payton & Brees Greet Wounded Soldiers Prior to Bucs Game

Join S Malcom Jenkins' Campaign to Stop Violence in New Orleans

Will Smith Gridiron Classic Set for Wednesday Evening At Saints Facility
Four teams and over 100 youth football players and coaches will meet at the Saints facility Wednesday evening for the Second Annual Will Smith Gridiron Classic in New Orleans.

Browns' Fujita calls league stance on hits hypocritical - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
Scott Fujita is all for safety on NFL fields. But Larry Holder says the Browns linebacker makes a point of saying the league is unfair in promising suspensions for questionable hits while proposing an 18-game schedule.

New Orleans Saints stars make 'cameo' appearances on Facebook | NOLA.com
Application allows fans to send messages from Drew Brees, Sean Payton, Reggie Bush and Darren Sharper

3 men plead guilty to beating newborn calf to death after Saints loss last year | NOLA.com
What a bunch of ignorant morons! Wouldn't mind seeing these guys beaten with shovels.

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post-Practice Press Conference

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Opening Statement:

"From a roster standpoint, we signed cornerback Quincy Butler, number 43, we placed cornerback Randall Gay on injured reserve and we terminated linebacker Clint Ingram off of PUP. The following players were full on the injury report: Drew Brees (knee) was full; Jon Stinchcomb (shoulder) was full; Zach Strief (knee) was full; Anthony Waters (hamstring) was full; Leigh Torrence (shoulder) was full; Jeremy Shockey was limited with the flu; Jahri Evans (hamstring) was limited; Julius Jones (shoulder) was limited; Patrick Robinson (knee) was limited; Will Smith (groin) was limited; Roman Harper (hamstring) was limited. The following players did not practice: Scott Shanle (hamstring), Jabari Greer (shoulder), Reggie Bush (fibula), Tracy Porter (knee) and Pierre Thomas (ankle). Most of today was base."

What went into the decision to put Randall Gay on IR?

"A lot of it just revolved around the symptoms and the frequency of the concussions he had this year. When the symptoms came back from his concussion in San Francisco they were pretty significant. We spent a lot of time on that decision in visiting with not only our in-house doctors but also the outside specialists and we felt like it certainly was in the best interest of the player. It’s disappointing when it happens this early in the season but it’s something that I’m sure was a concern, not only for the player and his family, but for us, and we made the decision."

Could that possibly be career-threatening?

"I wouldn’t say that. That’s a good question but I wouldn’t say that. I think more than anything else it was the symptoms lasting as long as they did and it being multiple times within a certain timeframe."

How did Darren Sharper look at practice today?

"He looked pretty good. He got some reps and got some work with the scout team as well. We’ll just keep evaluating him day-to-day."

Would he have been the equivalent of full on the injury report?

"We don’t have to list him, so…"

Is there any possibility of him playing this week?

"We’ll see. I wouldn’t rule it out and yet I wouldn’t say it’s a definite."

Did Clint Ingram not pass his physical? Is that what led to him being released?

"With Clint, we just didn’t feel like he was making the progress physically. His effort in the rehab and going through this thing has been outstanding. But ultimately we just didn’t feel like he was making the progress that we had hoped for. He’ll continue to work out and rehab on his own. So it wasn’t because he wasn’t doing all the necessary steps to get healthy; it ended up being longer than we expected and that was that."

But did he pass the physical?

"There’s no physical. He wouldn’t have passed a physical had we given him one, but that didn’t take place."

Is he still a consideration perhaps down the road?

"Yeah, we’ll see. Just having him around, he’s a guy that we enjoyed being with and having as a part of our team."

Can you make a decision to activate Sharper as late as Saturday or is there a cut-off?

"It would be Saturday. Again with Darren, if you bring him up to the 53, you have to create a space."

How do you deal with the stance of suspending players who make helmet-to-helmet hits now? What do you tell your defensive players?

"I think you’re mindful of location. You’re going to see more and more players going lower and lower."

Is that a good thing?

"There are some that are more challenging. If you look at the hits from the weekend that were receiving the most attention, the most challenging one would have been Atlanta’s versus Philadelphia. That happened so fast and (Dunta) Robinson’s leading with the shoulder pad like you’re supposed to and obviously he got a significant fine. So I think the landmark will begin to go lower and lower."

Is that something you addressed today?

"Nothing specifically. At some point during the week we’ll talk about it."

Do you think some of your players might disagree with the ruling?

"I think more than anything else it’s just making sure that it’s clear and that when we talk specifics, what are we teaching and what are we coaching. Certainly it’s for the health of the players so more than anything else, it’s just getting used to it."

Did some of the standards on concussions put in place over the past few years play into the decision to put Gay on IR? Would that have happened three years ago?

"That’s a good question. Certainly he would have seen an expert. When you have the symptoms as long as he had after the play in San Francisco, I think the outside experts would have been very cautious and might have led us to the same conclusion. But with the awareness and where we are – if you had said 10 years ago, it probably wouldn’t have happened. But I think we’re a lot further along as it relates to player concussions, player safety and long-term side effects than we were in years past."

What can you tell us about Quincy Butler?

"He has good ball skills; he has good range and good size. He had a good workout with us a week-and-a-half ago. He got some good reps in today and we have to get him up to speed as soon as possible."

What did you see from Colt McCoy last week?

"You see poise; you see a calmness about him. He’s played in big games at Texas. He’s a guy that we evaluated and liked in this year’s draft. He’s an accurate passer. Just on film when you watch, he has those leadership qualities that give confidence to the overall unit. Those are some of the things that you see. Certainly his first start in Pittsburgh is a tough assignment and he handled that pretty well."

In the determination to make Sharper active, would it just be his health or does the role that he could play based on the players you would have to release factor into it?

"You probably would factor in all of the above. Where’s he at from a health standpoint? Do we feel like he’s close to 100% and if so, what’s the role? All of that gets factored in when you make a decision like that."

With Randall out and with Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter also hurt, would you give any consideration to moving Malcolm Jenkins back to cornerback?

"No, right now Leigh Torrence is someone who has played a lot of snaps for us. Obviously Patrick (Robinson) is playing and playing pretty well. With the addition of Quincy (Butler), we feel like we’ll be solid and yet we’ll always have contingency plans. I’m still hopeful that Jabari has a chance here this week. We were fortunate with the news on his injury. He felt pretty good today. We didn’t practice him and we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. That would obviously give us more flexibility."

When Patrick Robinson was made inactive for the game in San Francisco, do you think that served as an eye-opener for him?

"I think with any transition for a rookie there are a lot of things. Trying to explain the inactives…in college, all 80 guys are on the sideline and ready to go and if they need one they grab one. The dynamics in our league as it pertains not only to the starting 11 or however many on defense and offense, but special teams and factoring in who the inactive players are going to be, I think they quickly gain an appreciation for that and begin to understand that. In his case, he’s continued to make good progress and that’s a good sign, especially for a young player. Are they getting better week by week and are they practicing well enough to give you the confidence to play them on game day."

Have you described Jabari Greer’s injury?

"It’s a right shoulder."

What are your thoughts on Scott Fujita coming back to play here as an opponent, given that he was one of the first players you brought here in 2006?

"He was. We were together in Dallas. He’s someone that we certainly have a lot of respect for and was a big part of the building blocks early on. He’s playing well for them in this 3-4 defense. He’s a complete player; he plays in the base, he’s playing in the nickel. He has a lot of versatility and I think he has provided leadership for them as well. Once again – and this happens quite often in our league because of free agency – a player comes back to play his old team. But watching the tape, he’s doing a very good job."

Is too much made or is there any validity to the idea of him being able to provide an insider’s view of your team to his new team?

"I think probably more is made of that. The one area that we would spend time with on a player – for instance Jimmy Wilkerson before we played Tampa – as it pertains to personnel; strengths and weaknesses of certain players. But I think the video is the most important. You get all the games; you get all the preseason games. Maybe you can verify some things by asking questions; it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened. Scott’s very bright so he’ll have a complete grasp of the packages that he’s playing in defensively and certainly some of the things that we try to do offensively. But overall, I think probably a little bit more is made of that than merits."

 

Cleveland Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini

Conference Call With New Orleans Media

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It looks like you guys have been awfully close but haven’t been able to seal the deal. What do you need to be able to get over the hump?

"For us there are a couple different areas that we need to improve on. Penalties for us were down last week in terms of number of penalties. That’s going to continue to be important for us. Last year we were the least penalized team in the league and that’s my expectation. The other thing is turnovers, consistently protecting the ball. The giveaway-takeaway ratio ends up deciding a lot of games. We had three last week, muffed a punt, had a pick in our own area, had a pick in a drive. That’s going to happen throughout the course of a season. We start with the self-inflicted wounds, handling those that would help a lot. Outside of that it becomes us continuing to play complementary football, where each side does what they need to do and supports the other two sides. We see some progress there, but it has to be week in and week out."

What has Scott Fujita meant to your football team?

"Scott’s been great. He’s so bright. He understands what the offense is trying to do, he understands what we’re trying to do and then he can take parts of the defense and there’s certain tools available with each call where he’s got enough intelligence to capitalize on those. Like the strip sack he had against Atlanta was a call he and Robaire (Smith) made, based on the opportunity that was there in the defense and it created a strip sack. It blocked the punt. He’s done a lot of things from that perspective, plus he’s athletic. He’s got good leadership skills. He’s a really good person and just that, he understands what it takes to win in that the Super Bowl experience and all the things that come with that are invaluable in a locker room that is learning how to win."

The NFL is fining and considering suspensions for violent hits. There was a game last weekend you were involved in that had one of these. What’s your take on trying to protect these players but at the same time keeping the NFL and the game what it is and what fans have grown to love?

"I think it’s a difficult situation, because on one side you want to have the hits that we’ve all been accustomed to and are a great part of the game and on the other side you want to protect the players. I think the league’s done a good job of working to protect the players. This weekend highlights the need to continue to emphasize that and they’re doing that. I’ve been on both sides of this. T.J. Ward had a hit against Cincinnati. I was the coach of the Jets when Eric Smith hit Anquan Boldin. I believe he was suspended the next week for that. You do the best you can from a coaching and playing perspective to make sure that you’re not losing your aggressiveness but also playing from the framework within the rules. I don’t think anybody can disagree with the fact that we need to do everything we can to protect the guys that are playing."

As a defensive coach, the conventional wisdom is that this would change the way you prepare and teach. Is that true?

"I think you just continue to emphasize at a pad level, emphasis of not only where the receiver is when he’s making a catch, but where the receiver’s going to be when you make contact and you do the best you can. So many of these decisions are split second decisions at high speeds with a lot on the line. It’s difficult from all aspects, but it’s important to try to get it right."

Has Scott Fujita been in your ear about Drew Brees and what this Saints offense is about?

"He doesn’t really need to. You look at them offensively and Drew Brees is just so, one, talented and two, you can tell what a great understanding he has of his offense and what a great feel he has for the defense he’s playing against. There’s not just one receiver that gets an inordinate amount of balls. He gets it to the the right place. It’s a creative offense. Every skill player can do something with the balls that they get. It doesn’t matter who you put in whether it’s Lance Moore or whether it’s Chris Ivory. When the guys go in they excel. It makes it tough. Playing in New Orleans as loud as it’s going to be an on turf; those things are all tremendous challenges for us."

Do you see Colt McCoy as your probable starter Sunday and how did he look against Pittsburgh?

"Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace) are a week further along so we’ll have to see how the week goes. If they can’t play then Colt would start. I thought Colt did a really nice job in his first start. You’re playing Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh with the blitzes they bring, what they do even when they’re not blitzing, another environment that’s really loud, the rivalry that’s there. There were a lot of chips stacked against him and he played well. It wasn’t perfect but you wouldn’t expect it to be perfect for a rookie. Now we come in and play against another defense in New Orleans that has a variety of blitzes, they’re creative blitzes and it’s a little bit of education through fire."

Prior to this week the Saints looked a little vulnerable with three close wins and a couple losses and then last week they probably looked a lot more like what they were used to seeing. What were you seeing was going on with the Saints and what do you think accounts for the drastic improvement between week five and six?

"I’m not surprised when they’re explosive. They have the ability to change the game at any point. There’s a deep ball to (Robert) Meachem or Devery Henerson or (Marques) Colston. You can start putting points on the board pretty quickly. Every play they have that potential. Sometimes when they’re coming off a Super Bowl year, it can take a while to get back in that rhythm. Every team is giving you their best shot. From experience in New England, they have to be up every week and you have to expect the best shot every week. There is a learning experience for them doing them. It is a new thing for them being in this role."

Last year Chris Ivory was in school in Tiffin. He seemed to have as bad a college career as you could have to make it in the NFL. What are your thoughts as to the Saints’ decision to give him a shot and whether you knew anything about him having played the little he did in Ohio?

"I didn’t know much about him, but that’s the great thing about the NFL or about any transition you make whether it’s high school to college or college to pro football. You have the chance to be defined by what you do there and every guy that you bring into camp has an opportunity to impress, reinvent themselves and show what potential is. I think that Chris has done a great job with that. I’ve seen it. Randall Gay was a guy that we signed in New England out of LSU. He wasn’t very well-known. He’s created a nice career for himself. There are a lot of guys like that, when they get their chance and you seize it. He’s seizing his chances."

If you look at him on film, in terms of measurable why would a team want to give him a chance? Is it size, speed, or a combination of things?

"He has excellent size, excellent speed. He runs tough, so those three things alone I think are redeeming qualities that I think you’d want to look at."

 

VIDEO:

Saints Vlog: October 20 - Saints defense looking 'Sharper'

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