this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Mickey Loomis, Saints general manager, and a candidate for NFL executive of the year, signed quarterback Drew Brees, who deserves all the credit in the world for turning the franchise around. Question: The Saints were the only team willing to ...
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|11-30-2006, 03:29 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New Orleans
Mickey Loomis Interview
Mickey Loomis, Saints general manager, and a candidate for NFL executive of the year, signed quarterback Drew Brees, who deserves all the credit in the world for turning the franchise around.
Question: The Saints were the only team willing to invest a small fortune in Brees. Was that a stroke of luck that overcame a serious injury to his right shoulder?
Loomis: I donÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t think we were smarter than anyone else. It was probably more a gamble.
Q: Why were you convinced that Brees wasnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t the risk other teams did?
L: We talked to a lot of doctors with experience with this particular injury in baseball, and basically they felt there was no reason he couldnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t come back from it. Now, sometimes players donÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t recover the full velocity with throws for some time, but the people we talked to gave us every indication he could back from this.
Q: Brees has the Saints on top of the NFC South and is among the leagueÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´s top-rated quarterbacks and is in the on-deck circle, right behind Peyton Manning when talk gets around to a league MVP. Are you surprised where he is now?
L: I think his numbers are a little better than we expected, but we knew Drew was going to be a good quarterback. I guess IÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´m a little nor surprised that more teams that needed a quarterback werenÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t pursuing him. But thank goodness they didnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t.
Q: Your first offer to Brees was $7 million a year. How did he get $10 million?
L: When youÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´re talking about money like that, thereÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´s not much difference in $7 million and $10 million.
Q: Why did you choose Brees?
L: The intangibles were so important. Probably more important than the physical characteristics. There was leadership and toughness, and we desperately needed that.
The Saints donÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t want to be a one-dimensional, pass-happy team, but canÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t help themselves.
Over the past month or so, they have been moving the ball through the air with ease.
Brees is putting up huge numbers and actually is is on pace to threaten Dan MarinoÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´s NFL record of 5,084 passing yards in a season. Part of the reason is because the Saints have been in close games almost every week, often playing from behind and being forced to abandon the running game. And part of it is coach Sean Payton runs such a creative passing offense with several talented receivers at BreesÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´ disposal.
There is no reason to expect Brees to slow down on Sunday against the 49ersÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´ defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in pass defense. The 49ers lack lack the defensive personnel to account for all of the SaintsÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´ weapons, but they do have running back Frank Gore. He ranks second in the NFL in rushing and also is a valuable receiver. The 49ers will try to play ball control on Sunday at the Superdome in an effort to keep Brees and playmates off the field.
The Saints are on a course to win the NFC South and must begin looking at playoff positioning -- a No. 2 seed and the all-important first-round bye is within the SaintsÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´ reach. The Niners lost to the Rams last week and pretty much removed them from the playoff picture.
Wide receiver Marques Colston should return this week. He tested his sprained left ankle in pregame warmups against the Falcons, but he and Payton decided that playing wasnÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â´t worth the risk.
"It was a situation where if I had played, it might have made it worse. The rest of the season is more important," said the rookie. "I felt like I could play and contribute, but I think it was a good move."
Jason Craft stepped in for Fred Thomas, who had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, and played well in helping hold the Falcons to 52 net passing yards. The Falcons were throwing at him all afternoon.
Former Cowboys kicker Billy Cundiff took over kickoff duties from John Carney and boomed three of his five kickoffs into the end zone with one going for a touchback.