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from the tp, more on selection of harper and bush.......

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; SportsFlash Home | More Saints News Saints surprised Harper by taking him 4/29/2006, 10:05 p.m. CT The Associated Press METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Alabama safety Roman Harper kept hearing he wasn't going to be an early second-round pick, and he ...

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Old 04-30-2006, 06:55 AM   #1
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from the tp, more on selection of harper and bush.......

SportsFlash Home | More Saints News

Saints surprised Harper by taking him
4/29/2006, 10:05 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Alabama safety Roman Harper kept hearing he wasn't going to be an early second-round pick, and he had started believing it by the time the Saints called Saturday to tell him they were bringing him to New Orleans.

"I was a little shocked. I was more shocked because of the fact I wasn't paying attention to the draft until I got the phone call from" Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. "I'm really, extremely excited about it. Some people said I wouldn't go that high."

Harper, 6 feet, 190 pounds, was taken with the 11th pick of the second round, which is where the Saints made their second selection after trading their original second-round pick to Cleveland for center Jeff Faine.

The Saints already had six safeties on their roster. Their more pressing needs seem to be on the offensive line and at linebacker.

But head coach Sean Payton made clear his draft philosophy has less to do with filling roster needs than taking whomever seems to be the best overall player available.

"We didn't enter today's draft looking for a running back, either," Payton said, referring to Reggie Bush, who the Saints selected with the second overall pick. "It's not like free agency, where we're going out looking for certain positions. That's not the approach. He's exactly what we're looking for in regard to a type of football player. This one was easy and obviously we're excited about it."

Attributes that Payton liked included Harper being a three-year starter at Alabama who also served as captain of the team.

Harper had a reputation for delivering heavy hits. He started his final 38 games at Alabama. His 302 career tackles ranks second all-time among Alabama defensive backs and sixth overall at the school.

Last season, he forced two fumbles and returned an interception 50 yards in leading a defense that allowed the fewest points per game in the country.

___

FIRST CLASS:@ Reggie Bush arrived in New Orleans on Saturday night, flying in from New York on Saints owner Tom Benson's private jet, along with agent Joel Segal.

Their first stop was the Saints' training facility in suburban New Orleans, where Bush met the local media, wearing a suit and a white hat with a gold fleur-de-lis.

It was a trip Bush sensed he'd be making since a night earlier, when he got a phone call from new Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who General Manager Mickey Loomis said had taken it upon himself to track down the Heisman Trophy running back and talk to him about New Orleans.

"He told me that he'd be more than happy to help me down here, and that meant a lot to me," Bush said. "It made me feel good to know I was wanted and he was looking forward to playing with me."

In the short drive from the airport to Saints headquarters, Bush had yet to experience first-hand the mania his selection is causing in New Orleans, but said he'd already heard about fans going wild at the Saints draft festivities.

"It's a blessing to be here. I think I can do a lot for not only this organization, but the city itself, which obviously had some adversity within this last year or so," Bush said. "I'm looking forward to being here."

Bush has said he loves New York and would have loved to play there and capitalize on the marketing opportunities. He suggested coming to a small market like New Orleans and doing so as a second pick, rather than the overall top pick many expected him to be, could be "a blessing in disguise."

"The pressure's off my shoulders now," Bush said. "Obviously I'm aware of the market, but I'm here to play football, that's the most important thing."

Bush said he was not bothered by an NCAA probe into whether he or his parents received money or a rent-free home from a sports marketing company that hoped to sign Bush on as a client after he turned pro.

College players are not supposed to have any contact with agents. Furthermore, a lawyer who says he gave Bush's parents money has threatened to sue for fraud.

"I've been fine. The biggest thing is reassuring (his parents) that everything is OK," Bush said. "For them it's probably a little shocking. We know the truth and that's the bottom line."

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Old 04-30-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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RE: from the tp, more on selection of harper and bush.......

brees has turned out to be the absolute best player we could have signed. i mean the guy calls bush, he takes out an add telling the poeple of new orleans he is happy to be there. we are really getting a team concept. this is great man.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:59 AM   #3
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He has defininitaly been a Huge signing. He has already proved himself as the leader this team has lacked for years. The team is really moving in a positive direction, and I am excited about the season to come.
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