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  1. #1
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    HARD HIT SAINTS WILL NEED A FEW YEARS TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS

    HARD HIT SAINTS WILL NEED A FEW YEARS TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS

    "The NFL's decision to take away the head coach, the general manager,
    assistant head coach, money and draft picks from the New Orleans Saints won't just
    affect the club for this season. It will take it years to extricate itself, and
    I'm not just talking about on the field.


    I'm talking about the team's image. </p>


    Only two years ago, the franchise was one of the NFL's feel-good stories, a
    team that put a down-and-out city on its back and carried it to its first Super
    Bowl. Now, it's a club that forever will be linked with one of the game's worst
    scandals, one considered so heinous that commissioner Roger Goodell pushed back
    with landmark penalties. </p>


    It wasn't enough to suspend a coach or two. Or subtract draft picks. Or
    impose substantial fines. Nope, he did all three, making sure that what the
    Saints did nobody ever thinks about doing again.
    </p>


    </p><div class=" hasByline">

    But it's not what Goodell did to the Saints that hurts; it's what the Saints
    did to themselves. They took a good thing and covered it in disgrace, disrepute
    and shame. No longer are they the team that lifted the city with a
    come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl XLIV. They're the club that practiced
    "Bountygate," an episode with enormous implications for the league and one of
    its most successful franchises. </p>


    And to think ... this could have been avoided. </p>


    In its original announcement into findings that former defensive coordinator
    Gregg Williams paid players to hurt opponents, the NFL said it contacted New
    Orleans owner Tom Benson to notify him of the practice and that he cooperated
    with the investigation. Moreover, it said Benson warned general manager Mickey
    Loomis about what was happening and that Benson told him to stop it
    "immediately." </p>


    It also said Loomis ignored the warning. </p>


    "The evidence," the NFL said in a statement, "showed that Mr. Loomis did not
    carry out Mr. Benson's directions. Similarly, when the initial allegations were
    discussed with Mr. Loomis in 2010, he denied any knowledge of a bounty program
    and pledged that he would ensure that no such program was in place. There is no
    evidence that Mr. Loomis took any effective action to stop these practices."
    </p>


    So the NFL took action itself, and now it's time Benson makes the next move.
    Until now, we've heard how supportive he is of his coach and GM, but in the wake
    of Wednesday's penalties, he needs to face reality. And the reality is that they
    ruined the reputation of a popular and proud franchise. </p>


    This could've been avoided had Loomis only listened to his owner, but he
    didn't. So fire the guy. You heard me. Fire him. He disregarded an order from
    the boss, and look what happened. </p>


    The Saints are the Aints again, as in Aint got a head coach, Aint got a GM,
    Aint got $500,000 and Aint got two draft picks. Had Loomis done what he was
    supposed to do, this might have been avoided. But he didn't. </p>


    Benson could hire a replacement from another team, or he could promote
    someone like Khai Harley, the team's director of football administration, from
    within. I don’t know where Benson goes here, but I do know this: I'd hire
    someone who follows orders, and I'd start talking to people outside the club,
    pronto. </p>


    It's time the Saints start over here, and I mean change the entire culture of
    a place that not only ignored the commissioner's directive on player safety but
    flouted it. Worse, according to league findings, the team engaged in a
    systematic coverup, with Payton denying the existence of the program until
    confronted with evidence. </p>


    "In January, 2012," said the league statement, "prior to the first playoff
    game of the 2011 season, Coach Payton was advised by Mr. Loomis that the league
    office had reopened the investigation. Coach Payton made a cursory inquiry but
    took no action to ensure that any bounty program was discontinued." </p>


    Well, then, he's got to go too. </p>


    The question is who becomes interim head coach, and the obvious choice was
    assistant Joe Vitt, the team's assistant head coach who ran the club when Payton
    was sidelined last year with a shattered kneecap. Only one problem: Vitt was
    suspended six games too, telling you that what happened here ran deeper than
    first believed. </p>


    So that makes offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael the leading candidate,
    and my guess is that's where the Saints turn. Carmichael called the plays after
    Payton bowed out last season, and he was terrific. In fact, when Payton
    returned, he wisely let Carmichael continue. </p>


    "He's doing a great job," quarterback Drew Brees said then. "Not just a good
    job. He's doing a great job." </p>


    Brees' endorsement counts for plenty, and it should when this club decides
    where to go next. Again, Benson could look outside the organization, but that's
    not reasonable -- not in the middle of the offseason, not with teams in
    pre-draft modes and not with players reporting to facilities within a month.
    </p>


    It makes no sense. But it might after this season. As I said, this practice
    apparently ran deeper than anybody, including the league office, first believed.
    </p>


    I don't know what happens from here with Payton, Loomis or Benson, but the
    league needs to clarify a few things. For instance, can a suspended head coach
    be in contact with the club? Can he visit the facility? Can the GM? Can they
    have communication with staff? With players? Can they consult? Review tape? Make
    recommendations? What? </p>


    The penalties are enormous and they are far-reaching, but they should be. The
    New Orleans Saints willingly and wantonly ignored warnings that they were in
    violation of NFL rules and the league's player-safety policies, and they dared
    the NFL to do something about it. </p>


    Well, it just did. But what the Saints did to themselves is far, far worse."
    </p></div>
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


  2. #2

    Re: HARD HIT SAINTS WILL NEED A FEW YEARS TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS

    Ouch! but the Saints did it to themselves. Rams will also have to look for another DC as G. Williams was suspended indefinitely.

    Poor Brees is stuck with the Saints for next season because of the franchise tag for now. How is he going to get his "big" contract now without the GM?

    Talk about collateral damage....

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Re: HARD HIT SAINTS WILL NEED A FEW YEARS TO CLEAN UP THIS MESS

    [quote user="NYGRealityCheck"]Ouch! but the Saints did it to themselves. Rams will also have to look for another DC as G. Williams was suspended indefinitely.

    Poor Brees is stuck with the Saints for next season because of the franchise tag for now. How is he going to get his "big" contract now without the GM?

    Talk about collateral damage....[/quote]

    Loomis' suspension doesn't start right away. He has until opening day, I believe. Plenty of time to to FA and the draft.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


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