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Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't coming ho

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Thursday, October 18, 2007 By Mike Triplett After an unforgettable seven-year run in New Orleans, Joe Horn is in unfamiliar territory. It's not just that he's in Atlanta now, lining up at receiver for the Saints' oldest rival. But he's ...

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Old 10-18-2007, 11:07 PM   #1
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Cool Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't coming ho

Thursday, October 18, 2007
By Mike Triplett


After an unforgettable seven-year run in New Orleans, Joe Horn is in unfamiliar territory.

It's not just that he's in Atlanta now, lining up at receiver for the Saints' oldest rival. But he's in the shadows, playing a minor role on a struggling Falcons team. Horn has just 11 catches for 117 yards and zero touchdowns this season, with Atlanta off to a 1-5 start.

Perhaps a return to the Superdome is exactly what he and the Falcons need.

Admit it. You can picture Horn being inspired enough to break off a classic 100-yard, two-touchdown, "Remember me?" type of performance on Sunday.

Horn's probably imagining the same thing. He just won't say it.

This new, unfamiliar version of "Hollywood Joe" actually tried to turn down the volume before his arrival.

"I'm going to try to do my best and do my job as far as playing for the Atlanta Falcons, because that's my new team now. But I'm not coming back for no 'hoo-rah' and not trying to embarrass somebody and make somebody feel bad. That's not where I'm at right now," Horn said in a conference call with New Orleans-area media on Wednesday. "We're 1-5 right now. The Saints are 1-4 right now. So I don't have the right to even talk about what I might do and what our team might do against their team.

"That (stuff) is irrelevant. I'm just trying to come down and win a football game, man, so we can get on the road to try and have an opportunity to play in the playoffs."

Horn's departure from New Orleans wasn't exactly ugly, but it wasn't pleasant, either.

The Saints released the 35-year-old receiver, who was set to earn $5.55 million in salary and bonuses this year. They might have been willing to keep him at a reduced price, but after sitting down with Horn and his agent, it was clear that both sides were ready to move on.

On his way out, Horn talked about not feeling wanted anymore. He was particularly disappointed that Coach Sean Payton chose not to play him in the NFC championship game at Chicago, when Horn was still nursing a groin injury.

But this week, Horn was focusing on the warm-and-fuzzy memories from his record-setting reign in New Orleans.

"I know you guys probably think I'm trying to play it down. But you know what, I miss New Orleans," Horn said. "I miss the fans there. I miss the people that were real with Joe Horn. That's what I miss. I loved New Orleans. I'm humbled every time I think about New Orleans. I get chill bumps.

"I get chill bumps when I think about coming to New Orleans."

Payton also spoke positively about his time with Horn, saying he was "fortunate to have been able to coach him."

"I'm always going to remember guys like Joe Horn or guys that played for me that gave the effort and the energy, and put it on the line like he did for us in a season that was pretty special," Payton said. "I think that he's someone that's been a great competitor, has had a great career and has worked his tail off. He had to go a long way to get where he's at. He didn't have the easy route. Through determination and hard work, he's someone that persevered and made himself a special player in our league."

Horn said he knew he'd be facing the Saints twice a year when he signed a four-year, $19 million deal with Atlanta, but that wasn't his motivation.

He said there were a number of reasons he chose Atlanta. Among the biggest reasons were the level of interest the Falcons showed and the proximity to his wife's family in Mississippi.

"I just didn't want to end my career somewhere where it was uncomfortable for my family," Horn said.

At the time, Horn was excited about playing with Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. But Vick's legal troubles got in the way of that pairing.

Instead, Horn has tried to provide a reliable target to replacement quarterback Joey Harrington, while offering some veteran leadership to young receivers Roddy White and Michael Jenkins, both former first-round draft picks.

"I love Joe," first-year Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino said. "He comes to work every day with a great attitude. He's an unbelievable competitor, and has really helped bring our young receivers around and has taught them how to be a professional and how to prepare."

Horn starts at the Z receiver position, although White, Jenkins and tight end Alge Crumpler are the Falcons' top receiving threats.

Horn said his son was joking with him the other night, calling him to the computer to show him his statistics.

"It was kind of funny," Horn said. "But I'm a team player. I always have been. I've never hot-dogged my quarterback. I've always been humble and done what's been asked of me. We still have 10 games left. The season's not over. And I don't look at stats and say, 'Let me make sure I'm getting mine even though we're not winning football games. I'm not selfish.

"Once a veteran player shows young players that he's. . . off that he's not getting the rock, that rubs off."

Horn said he has talked to a few of his former teammates this week, and plans to go over to Deuce McAllister's house for a meal. Mostly, he said he's been telling the guys to stay positive.

Horn said the Saints' 0-4 start was unexpected, but not shocking.

"Nothing surprises me in this league," Horn said. "Nothing."

Horn certainly will get a rousing ovation Sunday afternoon, with a few boos mixed in. But he said in many ways, he'll always feel at home in the Dome.

"In my heart, yes," Horn said when asked if he'll always be a Saint. "To the fans, yes."

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Old 10-18-2007, 11:21 PM   #2
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

Classic Joe. Half brilliance, half BS.

Still love ya Hollywood. Ego and all......
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

"triumphant return" with the 1-5 Atlanta Falcons.

Oxymoronic, isn't it?

I'm still trying to figure out what and where is the triumph coming from?
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

Will we Boo him or Applaude him?????
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

I'll be applauding
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:11 AM   #6
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

I'll applaud the fact that he will be a "non-factor" in the outcome of this game.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Joe Horn makes his triumphant return to New Orleans on Sunday, but he isn't comin

^^^^^

That was so wrong.....but I like it.

That photo of "MORGUS" freaks me out.
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