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Changes coming for Saints

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Changes coming for Saints Wednesday, December 28, 2005 The Saints' season from you-know-where ends Sunday in Tampa, Fla. Head coach Jim Haslett will likely end his tenure as the Saints' top guy sometime next week, though his command will almost ...

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Old 12-28-2005, 11:27 AM   #1
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Changes coming for Saints

Changes coming for Saints
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The Saints' season from you-know-where ends Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

Head coach Jim Haslett will likely end his tenure as the Saints' top guy sometime next week, though his command will almost certainly end when the clock at Raymond James Stadium reads all zeroes.

Aaron Brooks' days as the Saints quarterback ended a couple of weeks back, though the grouchy, enigmatic Brooks is still on the sidelines for another game as Todd Bouman's backup. The Saints will likely cut Brooks after the season, and Bouman isn't ready to be a winner in the NFL, so a new quarterback will be under center for the franchise when the 2006 season begins.

The Saints have been scoring at a much slower rate than in any previous season under Haslett. They are averaging 14.8 points per game, which ranks 29th in the NFL, and they are among the league's bottom six teams in red-zone percentage and goal-to-go percentage.

In other words, change is justified.

It just shouldn't stop there.

Hurricane Katrina certainly deserves some of the blame. The powerful storm not only ravaged the Crescent City, but it also displaced the Saints. FEMA took over the team's practice facilities in Metairie, La., and the Louisiana Superdome was rendered inoperable.

But the majority of the blame falls at the feet of team owner Tom Benson. The Saints didn't play a home game all season, set up temporary shop in San Antonio and were cast aside by a league infuriated at Benson. It's been a mess, on and off the field, and it promises only to get worse before it gets any better.

The Saints will likely lose to the same Tampa Bay team that beat them four weeks ago in Baton Rouge and will drop to 3-13. Before Katrina, many figured this Saints team was a wild card-caliber club. When the Saints beat the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte in September, the country embraced them. Brooks and kicker John Carney graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Four months later, the Saints don't know where home will be next season. Who will replace Haslett? Will anyone want the job? Who will replace Brooks? Will a free agent quarterback be desperate enough to start that he'll sign with the Saints? If the Saints draft Southern California's Matt Leinart or Texas' Vince Young, would either player even sign? Or would whoever gets drafted with the Saints' first pick follow New Orleans native Eli Manning's example and let the team know that he's willing to sit out of football a year and wait for a better, more stable opportunity?

Benson didn't cause Katrina, of course, but the rest of this disaster of a franchise is of his making. Because of Benson's horrid public relations skills and his utter lack of empathy for the people of Louisiana, the Saints will have to be resold to a fan base that once loved them regardless of their warts.

Everyone who's followed the story knows Benson doesn't want to return to New Orleans but is being pushed back by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Benson has made it abundantly clear that he wants to keep the team in San Antonio, where the Saints set up camp and played three games this season. Tagliabue has made it equally clear that the NFL doesn't look fondly upon San Antonio as a permanent NFL home.

Louisiana officials recently sent a letter to the Saints asking them to return to their facility in Metairie. That action came days after a Dec. 14 meeting in which Benson told staff and players that the club cannot return to its headquarters in Metairie because FEMA and National Guard officials had not given them clearance to return.

Until Sunday, all of those issues can be buried thanks to the presence of a football game on the schedule. On Monday, however, there can be no more denials. Changes will likely come quickly. Benson should make the process easier by putting his team on the market. And if he won't, Tagliabue should find out just how powerful he and his league are.

Contact Neal McCready at:

nmccready@mobileregister.com


http://www.al.com/sports/mobileregis...320.xml&coll=3
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:29 PM   #2
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RE: Changes coming for Saints

Right on!!! Sell those Saints, Let TB take them to the Promised Land
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:54 PM   #3
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RE: Changes coming for Saints

I am so on the Terry Bradshaw Bandwagon.
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:18 PM   #4
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RE: Changes coming for Saints

I really don't care who owns them at this point, as long as it's not Count Dipstick, the blood sucking owner. The new owner, if the state agrees to sign the subsidy again needs to sign a contract for 100 years and shut the hell up and make some money. Mr. Benson has not lost any money owning the Saints and that includes this season. I guarantee you if the Saints play all of their home games next year in the Superdome all games would be a sell out and the population at the point would probably be 50 to 70% pre-Katrina.

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Old 12-29-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
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RE: Changes coming for Saints

Lets all get on the TB bandwagon, I can't imagine what a dynamic person like that can do with our guys...He knows the modern game because he probably watches more tape than the average qb in the league...He can be the answer to alot of prayers...Hell I'll give him ten bucks
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