Saints Preseason News, 8/23/13: ESPN Draws Criticism For Caving To League Office Pressure Over Player Safety Documentary

USA TODAY Sports

Reports are coming out today that ESPN backed out of an upcoming PBS 'Frontline' documentary on player safety and concussions after Goodell and the league office pressured them to do so. A disappointed NFLPA is now questioning ESPN's trustworthiness. George Attalah noted that between the lockout, the Saints' bounty situation, and the ongoing negotiations for HGH testing, the union has been disappointed by how many reporters "take the league's story whole hog." With ESPN seemingly acquiescing to the NFL's wishes on the 'Frontline' documentary, the NFLPA says it'll be harder to separate reporters from league mouthpieces.

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ESPN says, "Yes, Master" to Roger Goodell

NFLPA: Players Will Have To Think Twice About Trusting ESPN
Atallah noted that between the lockout, the Saints' bounty situation, and the ongoing negotiations for HGH testing, the union has been disappointed by how many reporters "take the league's story whole hog." With ESPN seemingly acquiescing to the NFL's wishes on the Frontline documentary, it'll be harder to separate reporters from league mouthpieces.

N.F.L. Pressure Said to Lead ESPN to Quit Film Project - NYTimes.com
At the combative meeting, the people said, league officials conveyed their displeasure with the direction of the documentary, which is expected to describe a narrative that has been captured in various news reports over the past decade: the league turning a blind eye to evidence that players were sustaining brain trauma on the field that could lead to profound, long-term cognitive disability.

Report: NFL pressured ESPN to abandon PBS concussion project | ProFootballTalk
The tipping point may have come this weekend, when Steve Fainaru and John Barr (whose flimsy-yet-breathless report last year regarding the Saints and wiretapping has never been corroborated) raised questions about Dr. Eliot Pellman, former head of the league’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee. Apart from continuing to ignore that the NFLPA (and thus, necessarily, all players) had a seat at the MTBI Committee’s table, the article points out that Dr. Pellman was at one point Tagliabue’s physician — and argues that this undermines Pellman’s credibility.

Saints Nation: Roger Goodell Being Roger Goodell
ESPN has dropped out of a long standing investigation and story on concussions in the NFL. It's being reported that they caved to the NFL's pressure to cease their involvement, despite public denials from ESPN and the NFL on that topic. And of course, Roger Goodell is at the center of the controversy.

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Who dat talkin' 'bout dem Saints?

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Rafael Bush refuses to believe he’s anything more than a player trying to make an NFL roster with less than two weeks to go before final cuts hit the league.

WR Parker believes he’s still fighting for Saints roster spot | wwltv.com New Orleans
Preston Parker is only giving himself a 50-50 chance of making the Saints’ final 53-man roster.

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Rafael Bush nearly failed the sixth grade, so his mother punished him in the harshest way she could think up: No football for a year. The p…

Saints’ Rafael Bush taking nothing for granted | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
Rafael Bush nearly failed the sixth grade, so his mother punished him in the harshest way she could think up: No football for a year. The p…

2013 NFL season preview: New Orleans Saints - CBSSports.com
With Sean Payton back in charge and Drew Brees under center, the Saints should be contenders, right? Maybe. Pete Prisco says it might come down to the defense.

#NFLRank on Marques Colston and Ryan Kalil - ESPN
No. 65 New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston

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Five things to know about the New Orleans Saints on Friday, August 23
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Bryce Harris moves past ‘freak’ injury | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
METAIRIE — However the New Orleans Saints’ 53-man roster shakes out in the coming days, promising second-year offensive tackle Bryce Harris

Saints rookie defensive end has coaches' attention | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald
METAIRIE, La. -- After registering three sacks in his first two NFL exhibitions, defensive lineman Glenn Foster likes his chances of becoming the latest undrafted rookie to make the New Orleans Saints' regular season roster.

The End of the Jason Smith Experiment - Who Dat Dish
Jul 26, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Charles Brown (71) and offensive tackle Jason Smith (78) during the first day of trai

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Saints @ Texans

Ultimate Texans " Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins out vs. Saints, still at stage one of concussion protocol
Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins out vs. Saints, still at stage one of concussion protocol

Camp report: Payton still mulling over how much starters to play | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
Plans have not been finalized yet, but Saints coach Sean Payton said the starters likely would play the entire first half Sunday night agai…

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Around the league

Greg Williams keeping low profile with Titans | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gregg Williams is still preaching aggressive, physical defensive play now that he’s back in the NFL. After being suspend…

Joe Flacco: I love Ray Lewis, but his speeches didn’t even make sense | ProFootballTalk
When Ray Lewis was asking his teammates if any dogs were in the house, Joe Flacco wondered what all the woofing was about. For the second time this offseason, Flacco has said that while Lewis was a great player and teammate, the pregame speeches that were intended to fire up the locker room often...

Vikings break off stadium talks | ProFootballTalk
The headline makes the situation look worse than it is, but three weeks ago it would have been inconceivable. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the Vikings have broken off talks aimed at finalizing the team's new stadium pending resolution of an investigation regarding the o...

NFL has agreed to arbitration for all positive PED tests | ProFootballTalk
Lost in Thursday's back-and-forth between the NFL and the NFLPA regarding HGH testing is one fairly important point. The league has agreed to use third-party arbitration not only for HGH testing but also for all other forms of PED testing.

Detroit Lions seem excited to give Reggie Bush the ball a lot this season | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
From the blog Shutdown Corner: When the games count, Calvin Johnson will return for the Detroit Lions, and Johnson will get many Matthew Stafford off-his-back-foot throws his way. But this preseason, with Johnson missing two game because of a bruised knee, it's becoming clear the … Continue reading →

Defense carries Carolina Panthers past Baltimore Ravens, 34-27 | CharlotteObserver.com
In a weird game Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers had four returns for touchdowns to overcome an underwhelming offensive performance in a 34-27 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

Sources say two Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently being treated for MRSA, a serious staph infection - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
Sources say two Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently being treated for MRSA, a serious staph infection. Sources say two Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently being treated for MRSA, a serious staph infection

Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez calls hit on Keller 'ridiculous' | Atlanta Falcons | www.ajc.com
FLOWERY BRANCH – Normally, I usually don’t bother Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez when he’s warming up.

Cam Newton: Offense didn’t do its part on Thursday night | ProFootballTalk
The Panthers defense and special teams had a great night against the Ravens. Ted Ginn returned a punt for a touchdown and the defense scored three touchdowns to account for 28 of the team's 34 points. As you would probably imagine, the offense wasn't clicking on quite as many cylinders.

Bruce Allen: NFC East the SEC of the NFL | ProFootballTalk
The NFC East has won two of the last 17 Super Bowls (both by the Giants), while the SEC has provided nine of the 15 BCS national champions, with five teams contributing to the haul.

Tebow doesn’t play, but says that’s OK | ProFootballTalk
Last week, Tim Tebow had about as bad a preseason game as it's possible to play. But this week may have been even worse for Tebow's chances of making the Patriots' 53-man roster, as Tebow never got on the field.

Antonio Smith’s appeal denied | ProFootballTalk
The next time Texans defensive end Antonio Smith plays in a game, it will be the second week of the regular season. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the NFL has denied Smith's appeal of the suspension he earned for swinging Dolphins guard Richie Incognito's helmet in Incognito's...

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Lagniappe

Rickey Jackson, John Fourcade Join WHNO Sports Coverage
NEW ORLEANS – A Pro Football Hall of Famer and a local hero will join the ever-expanding weekday sports coverage on WHNO-TV, which premieres on Monday, Sept. 2.

Gleason Gras 2013 takes place on Friday, September 6 in Champions Square
General admission is free and open to the public

Lance Moore and Darren Sharper to host "Home Runs For Kids" on Aug. 30
The event will take place at Mike Miley Stadium on Aug. 30th at 7 pm

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Video

VIDEO: New Orleans Saints Morning Report: August 23
New Orleans Saints Senior writer John Deshazier talks with WR Lance Moore for the New Orleans Saints Morning Report on Friday, August 23, 2013.

VIDEO: Brian Cushing, J.J. Watt Talk New Orleans Saints
Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing and DE J.J. Watt talks about facing the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. Video provided by the Houston Texans.

Video: Sean Payton said Saints treating last two preseason games serious | Saints | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA

Black and Gold Today: Houston Texans game preview, fantasy football picks and more - Video | NOLA.com
Sports writer Rachel Whittaker and Saints beat writer Katherine Terrell break down the Saints' running game and defensive position battles as they prep for the Texans on Sunday. Also, a sneak peek at NOLA.com's fantasy football teams. Watch every weekday for your daily snapshot of all things New Orleans Saints.

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