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Saints News: 6.4.08

I know some of these articles are from yesterday. Sorry for the delay.

The Times-Pic has a quick write up telling us that Odell Thurman is facing an indefinite suspension. For WhoDats hoping the Saints might pick him up, start looking elsewhere.

There were two interviews on the New Orleans Saints official website. The first one is with Sean Payton. He's the guy that coaches the team. Whoever was asking the questions must have been an LSU fan because half of the them were about Skyler Green. He is probably going for the return/receiver spot. The rest was about Mark Brunell looking good and mentioning the players who were sitting out. The one thing that stood out however, was this statement on the Will Smith situation...

"I think when the time comes there will be an announcement, but right now Mickey and his agent are working through the contract and trying to sort things out. There’s nothing really new to announce."

My interpretation of that comment is this is a done deal. I get that feeling. The Saints still have plenty of cap room, so its totally possible. Of course its a good sign that he showed up to voluntary OTAs yesterday as well, even if he did sit out of practice because of his toe. Things seemed to have smoothed over a bit, don't you think?

Two articles covering this were from the Times-Pic and Sun Hearald; here and here.

Speaking of Skyler Green, the Times-Pic has a piece on him today. I get it meow. Times-Pic writer Jimmy Smith was the LSU fanatic asking the questions in the interview. Let's hear what Skyler had to say.

"This is very special," Green said after Tuesday's practice. "I can't wait for the opportunity to come out on the football field. When it does, I'll make the best of it."


"I just have to go out here and do the things I'm asked to do," Green said. "I have to make the plays when the plays are there for me to make and just some kind of way catch the coach's eye, show them I have given all the effort I have to make this team.

"This is not the easiest time to do it. But when you can go out there and do it repetitiously every day, it's good on your part that they see you give the effort every single time you're out there."

"My priority here is to be a returner and special teams guy first," Green said, "then work my way into the receiving corps. The things I'm doing now, the coaches see I give the maximum effort every time -- catching balls, making the big plays when they're there to be made. The only thing I need to do is get into that playbook a little more, get a little better understanding.

"To be a part of the Saints organization, make it as a punt returner first, starting punt returner, and getting in there in the offense and playing some wide receiver. . . . That would be the perfect world."

Here is what Payton said about him in the aforementioned interview.

It's hard, because you're not really getting a lot of good return looks," Payton said Tuesday. "Until we get into the preseason, you won't know exactly where he's at as a punt returner. But, certainly, he's a candidate to be competing for a position on the team, starting with special teams and as a backup receiver."

"I think you always have to consider that. Yes. Yes. Yes," Payton said. "If a guy brought something to the table more than what you felt like you had, I think you see teams each year do that. One of the things we mentioned at the onset of this camp was improving the return game, both kickoff and punt returns. We are collectively looking for those guys; who are they going to be."

You got your story Jimmy Smith.

The other interview from the New Orleans Saints official website was with Drew Brees. Not much here really. He sugar coated every answer. According to Drew, every player we are interested in learning more about is playing at a high level and is looking great out there. Come on Drew, give me something.

Also from the New Orleans Saints official website was the news about our two new signees. Here is what they had to say.

The New Orleans Saints have signed free agent cornerback Jerametrius Butler and center Marquay Love, Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today.

Butler is an eighth-year veteran defensive back who spent his first six NFL seasons with the St. Louis Rams and played in 2007 with the Buffalo Bills. The 5-10, 181-pound former fifth-round draft choice has played in 71 career regular season games, starting 32 of them, and made 218 tackles along with nine interceptions, 25 pass defenses, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries.

The product of Kansas State posted his most prolific seasons to date in 2003-04 for St. Louis, leading the Rams in interceptions in both of those years before a knee injury suffered in training camp prior to the 2005 season forced him to miss that entire campaign. Butler has also proven to be valuable on special teams, adding 20 career stops in kick coverage. He is a veteran of six career postseason games, with three playoff starts under his belt. Butler participated in the Saints' weekend minicamp on a tryout basis.

Love, who stands at six feet tall and weighs 307 pounds, first entered the NFL when he signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in May 2007. The collegiate defensive tackle made the switch to the offensive side of the ball during Miami's training camp before being waived in the team's final round of roster cuts. The former University of Houston lineman participated also took part in the team's recent minicamp as a tryout.

The Saints also waived linebacker Chris Graham, who was signed as a rookie free agent last month.

WWL had a report about the difference between OTAs and minicamp. Their findings: there is none. The same things are accomplished except minicamp has one more practice a day.

Jon Stinchomb expresses his feelings on the situation.

“To me, minicamps are outdated, to be honest,” Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. “OTAs, we do the exact same thing. The routine is pretty much the same. We practice the same. The tempo and intensity is the same.


“In the next CBA (collective bargaining agreement), it probably should be addressed in my mind. There’s something where the difference is so minimal in my mind.”

“I think you’d have to explain to me what the advantage of the minicamp brings that OTAs don’t,” Stinchcomb said. “I don’t want to speak out of turn, and I’m not cracking down on it. It’s really not a big deal. But the way these things are run, there’s no difference between an OTA and a minicamp.”

The Sun Herald had an article covering the same old Will Smith news. The article also gave us a little info about Sedrick Ellis' progress in the contract signing department.

"I don't even think there's been any discussions," Ellis said.

Ellis doubts negotiations will begin until July and will wait to see what type of deal Kansas City defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey gets to help his own deal. The Chiefs took Dorsey at No. 5 and the Saints traded up to No. 7 to snag Ellis.

Oh the beauracracy!