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Saints News: 5.25.08

I guess I have to lead off with the latest Charles Grant news. Here it is, from the Times-Pic. Its actually pretty extensive and detailed. I suggest checking it out.

Here is what the police report said.

"Deputy Moore came upon victim Charles Grant at the intersection of Murdock Ave. and N. Church Street. Mr. Grant was bleeding profusely from a stab wound on the back of his neck. I spoke with Mr. Grant and advised him to calm down and sit on the hood of his car . . . until EMS could arrive."

"I started asking the crowd if anyone saw anything. (A witness) came up to me crying, stating I needed to help him. I asked what I could do. (The witness) stated Charles Grant shot Possum, a.k.a. Ms. Reed, and she was dead. I asked him if he saw the shooting, and he said yes. . . . Several people in the crowd were yelling that Charles Grant did the shooting."

And here is what the man himself had to say. It's a lot.

"Nah. I told the truth," Grant said. "The truth will set you free. That's nothing that worries me. I'm going to hold my head the highest a head can be held.

"I worked 29 years to get to where I'm at; at 29 years old, that came with a lot of ups and downs. I have a lot of stuff that has been on my shoulders. Like I said before, I'm a warrior. Warriors are born. Some people, you have to turn them into that. I stand for something.

"Putting me on TV, that's all fine. I have to take that bullet right now. But you know, in the end, as long as the truth comes out, like I told you, that's all that counts to me. The truth."

Ummm...."take that bullet right now?" Charles, please, I think you could be choosing your words a little better at this point.

"I won't hide. I won't shutter in a cave, because sometimes that's what people want you to do, shutter yourself. I'm a grown man," Grant said. "If I would have done anything down on Church Street that night of the incident Feb. 2, I'd have claimed it. I'm a grown man. I'd have claimed my responsibility in any situation. And that night, I was a guy who got attacked.

"Now I'm turned into the guy who did this or did that. But my lawyers are handling it. They're great lawyers. My prayers go out to the family and the people who have to go through this, and I just can't wait until it's over."

"I went to one club (Pokey's), and I've been going to this club for years. I know the owner very well. It's not like people look at it, as a guy has a certain amount of money and he can't go out? I've been going out my whole life. You tell me I can't? This is America. That's why they have freedom of speech, rights. That's what we stand for as people. That's what people before me have fought for. This is a situation not only for me; this is a situation for every guy who stands in the NFL who has accomplished goals. You're going to tell those guys you have to stay shuttered in the house because you achieved such greatness; you're not able to do this, you're not able to that? I think that's wrong."

"You're a reporter, right?" Grant said. "Your job is to come and find out the scoop and put it in the paper, right? Who is the guy who has the most money in this situation? Me, right?

"You figure that out. And just know one thing: I worked 29 years to acquire my name. The money doesn't so much mean anything to me. It's moreso my name, because my kids will have to come up with my same name. I don't want anybody dragging my kids through the mud."

"I haven't been back to Pokey's," he said. "Who's to say? Right now, I won't. But who's to say. I'll just make sure another kid, in this business that I'm in, will not be humiliated in this situation because of who they are and what they work for. That's my ultimate goal in this situation.

"There are 2,000 guys in this league I'm in. Every time one guy in this league (gets in trouble), he's always the guy to get humiliated. But this is where you stand for something. Everybody has to stand for something. Rosa Parks, when she got on the bus, she stood for something. So in this situation, it's not a race situation. I'm not mad about any of this that's going on."

I'm curious to know everyone's take on this whole situation. Comments please.

Good news, coming from an article in the Times-Pic, is the possibility of the Superbowl coming back to New Orleans for 2013. Now, we knew Benson and the Saints were trying to get a bid, but this article says Tommy boy must have worked some magic at the recent owners meetings and convinced a fair share of the owners that New Orleans was deserving of the honor it has missed out on for what would be 11 years.

Jerry Jones...

"I support New Orleans for about anything it does," Dallas owner Jerry Jones said. "I got to play in two Sugar Bowls there (with the University of Arkansas) personally and have spent a lot of my life being a part of the great aura and tradition of New Orleans. I know what they've meant to the Super Bowl and, to that end, what they've meant to sports.

"I'm a big New Orleans fan. I don't have any problem supporting anything they do with the NFL. Of course (the time between games) is certainly a consideration. The Cowboys have gotten to play in (two) Super Bowls there (winning No. XII in 1978). So certainly I'll be a big supporter of New Orleans."

Bears owner Mike McCaskey...

"As (committee) chairman, I don't like to say definitely one city or another," McCaskey said, "but New Orleans has always been a terrific host city for a Super Bowl. So I hope, just personally, they'll be putting in a bid. I'm sure it will be outstanding. I remember very fondly Super Bowl XX in New Orleans. So I have a soft spot, indeed."

Colts owner Jim Irsay...

"We've always had a great time in New Orleans," Irsay said. "All our fans and our sponsors, people love to come to New Orleans. It think when everything gets worked through, I can see that. I think you guys in New Orleans know, if the stadium situation is right and the reconstruction is back up and running, it's a great town to host a party. I can see that being positive when we get into the next decade.

"You guys have been in the rotation for years. It's a site that's really liked by us. Everyone has a good time down there."

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen...

"I like New Orleans as a Super Bowl site; if you're asking me if I'd support them I probably would"

Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell...

"I think I would support that"

Looking good! For those Who Dats who are always worried about Benson possibly moving the team, his attempt to secure a Superbowl in New Orleans in 2013 should be proof enough of his dedication to the city and his plans to keep the team here. Particularly when added with his purchase of Fox WVUE.

The Sun Herald had an article about the Saints biggest off-season pick up, Jonathan Vilma. He's glad to be back in a 4-3 system after struggling two years in the Jets 3-4.

"It wasn't that I didn't fit into the system," Vilma said. "It was one of those adjustment-type things where it's you are right-handed and someone is telling you to write left-handed. It was a really big adjustment, not just learning the defense but when you go out there and play and you have to consciously think about fitting and your assignment and footwork.

"That takes time just like anything. Two years and it was still a learning process. Now that I'm back to something that I'm used to playing with through most of my career, the learning process isn't there. It's just learning Xs and Os."

Vilma's main focus is on his knee injury however,

"It's one of those where there's no need to be out there and forcing the issue, especially when we have a couple of months ahead of us," Vilma said. "Right now it's more of a time where you just take it in stride and just gradually go... . For me it's really just about taking it easy. Unfortunately, I have to hold back, which is something that I don't like to do."

"I'd say I'm pretty close," Vilma said. "I don't want to actually give a number just in case something happens. But right now I'm pretty close, barring any setbacks. I should be ready to go by training camp... . I feel good about where I'm at right now, but I'm not going to be satisfied until I get out there and we're playing full pads."

So what are Jonathan's feelings about the Saints and next season?

"You come in and they obviously want me to play a leadership role and a starting role and being in a defense that I'm comfortable with and just being able to go. You're not worrying about some of the little things. You just really focus on getting better with the knee and going out there and playing."

"The vibe that I get is a hungry vibe," Vilma said. "It seems like regardless of the record last year, a lot of guys have an agenda. The agenda is not to just make the playoffs but to win it all. You can feel that. You can sense that in the demeanor and the approach of these guys. Especially veterans like Drew Brees where you can see how he's leading the group. It's exciting to see."

The Times-Pic also had this article about the great wide receiver battle of 2008. Its pretty much the same info the Sun Herald gave us yesterday. There are also a couple of quick clips of league info, including a Belichick sighting at the Celtics game and a reformed T.O.

Saints signed S and punt returner Tuff Harris, formerly of the Miami Dolphins and the University of Montana. He will report to OTA's on Monday. From the Missoulian. With a name like Tuff, he better be, well, tough!