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don't know if this has

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; been posted here before just read it, most of what this guys says is accurate. but i do disagree with some. Wrongly accused Firing Haslett won't solve Saints' problems By Chris Neubauer (cneubauer@pfwmedia.com) Jan. 6, 2006 Jim Haslett was fired ...

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Old 01-14-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
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don't know if this has

been posted here before just read it, most of what this guys says is accurate. but i do disagree with some.

Wrongly accused

Firing Haslett won't solve Saints' problems
By Chris Neubauer (cneubauer@pfwmedia.com)
Jan. 6, 2006

Jim Haslett was fired this week.

Big surprise. Sorry, it’s hard not to be sarcastic when discussing Saints news.

I can’t blame the Saints for letting Haslett go. (That’s the PC way of saying someone was fired, right?)

It’s tough to justify giving a coach, who just wrapped up an awful 3-13 season and hasn't made the playoffs since 2000, a contract extension. Haslett wanted an extension. The stubborn Haslett wasn’t about to stick around and be a lame-duck coach to fulfill the final year of his contract.

No rose-colored lenses could make 3-13 look better even though the Saints were practicing on high school football fields, living out of hotels, lifting weights underneath a circus tent, and being forced out of the Alamodome because of a scheduling conflict with the NCAA Volleyball Championships. (Are you serious? Sadly, yes.)

But firing Haslett won’t cure the sick Saints.

Haslett wasn’t the problem. It’s the two men above him who have the Saints doomed.

No matter who replaces Haslett, the TBD head coach will fail because the men guiding the ship � owner Tom Benson and GM Mickey Loomis � form a misguided compass.

Benson openly flirted with San Antonio city officials to move his team there permanently. He even flaunted a pending move. I understand the NFL is a business and that it is Benson’s prerogative to make money, but there is such a thing as common decency (of which Benson apparently has little).

Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and most of the Gulf Coast. Too many people died. Too many homes and businesses were destroyed. Too many people were displaced. Yet here was Benson doing everything in his power to finagle a move to San Antonio. He fired high-ranking administrators who disagreed with him, like Arnold Fielkow, who was let go for suggesting that the Saints should do everything in their power to play their 2005 home games in Louisiana. Fielkow was instrumental in getting the Saints to play four games at LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. But Fielkow paid the price.

That’s cold.

So let me be cold for a moment. The NFL needs to find another ownership group to buy out Benson and then send him off to retirement along the Riverwalk.

The Saints' other problem is Loomis. He and Haslett have feuded since both arrived in the Big Easy in 2000. With Haslett gone, maybe Loomis will improve. But I doubt it.

Loomis has made several questionable personnel moves in the past 12 months. He failed to upgrade a thin and unproven linebacking unit. He neglected to bring in a veteran quarterback to compete with unraveling starter Aaron Brooks. And he wrongly invested a fortune in the offseason, re-signing aging WR Joe Horn, injured RB Deuce McAllister and disappointing CB Mike McKenzie. Horn battled a hamstring injury for most of the season and was a fraction of his former Pro Bowl self. McAllister lasted just five games before tearing an ACL. McKenzie started the first 15 games, recorded one interception and was burned more often than Sen. Hillary Clinton on the Fox News Channel.

By giving his last few pennies to the Horn-McAllister-McKenzie troika, Loomis failed to re-sign Pro Bowl C LeCharles Bentley. Bentley earned a trip to Hawaii as an offensive guard in 2003, moved to center in ’04 where he was a Pro Bowl alternate and was a full Pro Bowl member as a center this season. Bentley will hit the free-agent open market in the offseason instead of being firmly entrenched as a cornerstone of the Saints’ offense.


Loomis’ next big move is not to fumble the Saints’ No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The Saints need a quarterback to replace the erratic Brooks. I’m guessing Matt Leinart was secretly rooting for Vince Young in the Rose Bowl. Leinart probably has his fingers crossed that V.Y. forgoes his senior season and the Saints take him instead. Tennessee at No. 3 with Norm Chow, Leinart’s offensive coordinator in college, is probably much more appealing to the USC southpaw.

One bit of good news is that the Saints will return to New Orleans next season. Their move actually begins this month when they start traveling back to their Metairie, La., training facility. They will play at least the latter part of their 2006 schedule at the Superdome in New Orleans.

There will be NFL games in New Orleans in 2006. But that may be it. Benson and NFL commish Paul Tagliabue agreed on a one-year deal last week to return the Saints to their rightful home. While Tagliabue has said the NFL and the Saints will try to work on a long-term agreement for residency in New Orleans, you can bet Benson will spend ’06 courting San Antonio once again. If ticket sales stumble in New Orleans and/or the luxury boxes don’t sell, then Benson-to-San Antonio talk will heat up even more.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope the Saints will stay in New Orleans for a long, long time. I hope I’m just being a pessimist.

Sadly, when it comes to the Saints, it’s best to prepare yourself for the worst.

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Old 01-14-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
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RE: don

well i have more hope without haz then with
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Old 01-14-2006, 10:11 PM   #3
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RE: don

it won't cure our cold, but it sure will start the healing process.
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