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latest talk with m. triplett, some good stuff..........

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Old 04-16-2008, 05:06 PM   #1
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latest talk with m. triplett, some good stuff..........

Talk Saints with beat writer Mike Triplett - New Orleans Saints Beat - Times-Picayune NFL - NOLA.com
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: latest talk with m. triplett, some good stuff......

Talk Saints with beat writer Mike Triplett (04/16/2008)

11:59 timespicayune - OK, we're ready to roll. Looks like everyone wants to know about Jeremy Shockey so we're going to start with the Giants' star tight end and then delve into the Saints' schedule and other topics.
11:59 [Comment From Tim]
Will the Saints trade for Shockey? IF so, what will be the cost???
11:59 [Comment From Johnny S.]
It seems the rumor of Shockey to the Saints is gaining momentum. Can you shed any light to the rumor?
11:59 [Comment From wesley landry]
Will the saints trade up or down in the draft? Will Jeremy Shockey and Lito Sheppard be saints?
11:59 [Comment From JImmy Lee]
What are the real chances that the saints will trade for shockey?
11:59 [Comment From LL]
Whats your odds on Jeremy Shockey becoming a New Orleans Saint?
11:59 [Comment From james]
whats the latest on the shockey rumors?
12:00 [Comment From Ralph (Uptown)]
Why are we trying to give up so much to acquire Jeremy Shockey? Isn't he the epitome of the "me-first" behavior that the Peyton regime has prided itself on ridding itself of and avoiding the last few years???? I agree we need an upgrade at TE, but Shockey is not the answer and especially not for a #2 and Harper.
12:01 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: This has been the most popular topic three weeks running in these chats. … I don’t know if I’d say the Shockey rumor is gaining momentum, but it’s certainly not going away. Giants GM Jerry Reese addressed the Shockey trade rumors with the New York media last week, when, as is annual tradition, the volatile tight end wasn’t around for the start of the offseason conditioning program. Reese insisted that the team plans to keep the volatile tight end. But you can never take those statements at face value.

I know the Saints inquired about Shockey’s availability early in the offseason, probably to find out if the Giants were looking to unload him at a discounted price. And I think it’s clear the Giants aren’t offering a discount.

I think it will cost at least a second-round draft choice, maybe more. And I don’t think we’ll find out until draft day. If the Giants like a player who’s on the board at No. 40, they might be willing to deal. If the Saints like a player who’s on the board, they might not.

By the way, I’m curious how many Saints fans actually want to throw Shockey into the mix. He’s definitely a risk-reward proposition. … Sounds like a poll question to me.

12:01 [Comment From Ziggy]
How many years does Sean Payton have left on his contract? Do you believe he will agree to an extension when the time comes?
12:02 timespicayune -
Payton has two years left on his deal, and I definitely expect them to re-up at some point. Probably next year, but maybe as soon as this summer. … Of course that could all change if the Saints flop this season, but he’s been an outstanding fit in New Orleans, and I actually think the Saints will be very good this year.

12:02 [Comment From HennessyROB]
What are our chances of trading up for a DT in the 1st round?
12:03 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: I think that’s a definite possibility – IF the Saints covet Sedrick Ellis as much as the Saints’ fans seem to. That’s the one thing we never know about the Saints around draft time, is how they have these players ranked. Maybe they like linebacker Keith Rivers or cornerback Leodis McKelvin better than Ellis. … But if Ellis has the top grade on their board, I think they’ve proved in the past that they’re not afraid to be very aggressive on draft day, whether that means trading up or down.

By the way, I think Glenn Dorsey would be a dream come true in the Saints defense, but I just can’t see him slipping past the top five under any circumstances.

12:04 [Comment From Andrew A.]
wow 43 days away from the dome seems like a awfully long time, have the Saints ever played away that long?
12:04 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: Actually, yes, Andrew. They played four straight road games over a five-week span in 2003 … and they won three out of four (win at Tampa Bay, win at Atlanta, loss at Philadelphia, win at Washington).

And don’t forget the 2005 season, when they played every game away from home. … Of course, that didn’t turn out so well. CORRECTION: The Saints actually played just three road games during that four-game stretch. The Atlanta game was at home. ... The game was incorrectly listed as a road game in the Saints' media guide. games

12:05 [Comment From Guest]
Is this an absurd rumor that I read on the ProFootball weekly Whispers column: That Devery and Meachem both might not make the team?
12:06 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: I don’t think that’s absurd. If Meachem outperforms Devery in training camp, you’ve got Colston, Patten and Meachem as your top three receivers. Then you’ve got Lance Moore and Terrance Copper, who are valuable special teams contributors. … I really think Devery needs to step up and win one of those top three receiving jobs to stay on the roster ... which he certainly might do. I think his battle with Meachem in training camp will be one of the most compelling in training camp.

Meachem’s roster spot is probably safe, regardless. But it was rare when the Saints kept six receivers last year. Those final two receivers really need to be big-time special teams contributors.

12:07 [Comment From bsmith]
do you think that by the league giving us 2 monday night games along with the thursday night game they consider the Saints one of the better teams in the league?
12:07 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: At least one of the most watchable teams. If nothing else, the Saints have an exciting offense that can put a lot of points on the board. And they have marketable stars like Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister and Marques Colston. … I definitely think it wasn’t a coincidence that the league sent two high-powered offenses to London (the Saints and San Diego) to help market the sport after an offensive dud between the Giants and Dolphins last year.

12:08 [Comment From Ross, Mobile, AL]
Whose idea was it anyway, to have the Saints play a game out of the country?
12:09 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: The way I understand it, Ross, the league offered the Saints the opportunity, and the team enthusiastically accepted. … It doesn’t help from a competitive standpoint, but team executives and local business leaders are very excited about the opportunity to market both the team and the city throughout the months and weeks leading up to the game.

It really should be good for the city. … Hopefully it won’t come at the expense of the team. That will be a very, very important week for the Saints’ psyche. If they win, that’s a big win against a tough opponent. If they lose, they’ll have a long flight home and a long two weeks with the bye to sulk over how unfair it was.

12:09 [Comment From Samdogg]
What's it gonna take for the Saints to realize that Dominique Rogers-Cromartie is too talented to pass up? 6'1.5" 4.29 forty 38" vertical...plays as fast as he tests!!!
12:10 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Saints are in love with Rodgers-Cromartie. In recent years, they have really gotten excited about these high-upside, diamond-in-the-rough types. … But I’m not so sure that’s the smart move with the No. 10 pick in the draft, with a team that is not in rebuilding mode. Rodgers-Cromartie has outstanding natural tools, but scouting reports say he got burned a lot at Tennessee State, and he wasn’t exactly playing against the top level of competition.

I personally think the Saints should find a guy who will make an instant impact in this year’s draft. I think they can compete for the NFC Championship this year, especially if they add another difference-maker on defense. … Maybe Rodgers-Cromartie is that guy. But you’re rolling the dice a little more with him than with Troy CB Leodis McKelvin or USC LB Keith Rivers, I think.

12:10 [Comment From Yoseph]
My question is about the rookie offensive linemen drafted last year Bushrod and Alleman. Have you been able to ascertain any information on their development? Do they have the ability to play all of the positions on the line? I ask because the Saints will only go as far as Drew Brees can take them. We must be able to protect at all times regardless of injuries. Thanks!
12:11 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: You’re right about Drew Brees. He’s the main reason why I think the Saints should be in win-now mode. As long as they’ve got a healthy Brees running the offense, they’re Super Bowl contenders.

As for Alleman and Bushrod, I think the Saints are happy with both of them. I think Bushrod, especially, is an exciting prospect. He’s a big, athletic guy who looked really good at times in training camp last year and should make a nice leap in Year 2 of his development.

The Saints like all four of their offensive tackles – Jammal Brown, Jon Stinchcomb, Zach Strief and Bushrod. So I don’t think they’ll be tempted by any of these top-tier tackles in the first couple rounds of the draft.

12:11 [Comment From Raul]
Mike: What's the latest on Deuce's knees? Will he be 100% by training camp? Know any details of the agreement he reached with the Saints yesterday? Do you see him as a starter at this point in his career, or will he now share the load with Pierre Thomas?
12:12 [Comment From Tommy]
Is it REALLY possible for Deuce to be very productive this year after 2 major knee surgeries?
12:12 [Comment From Tom]
Is Deuce going to be 100% for training camp?
12:12 [Comment From TY KOPP]
12:12 [Comment From JoeS]
How realistic is it to count on McAllister being a workhouse running back post 2 ACL repairs in 3 years? Shouldn't a running back that fits Peyton's vision be high on draft needs?
12:13 [Comment From E.B.]
If the Saints take a RB early in the draft, could Deuce not even see training camp?
12:13 [Comment From Mike in Mobile]
Deuce McAllister just restructured his contract before the April 15 roster bonus. Is there a chance that, even with the restructuring, he does not make the Saints final regular-season roster? A backfield of 4 tailbacks (Bush, Thomas, Stecker, and Deuce) on the active roster seems awfully crowded.
12:15 [Poll popup] What do you think of the possibility of Jeremy Shockey being traded to the Saints? View Results
12:15 timespicayune -
MIKE TRIPLETT: Well, I’m definitely pulling for Deuce. And I think the Saints are, too. … He means a lot to the organization, the community and most importantly, the offense. They just need Deuce to be able to give them about 15 carries a game, splitting time with Reggie Bush and being spelled by worthy backups Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas. I think that’s very possible.

Deuce has been through this rehab process before, and he came back very strong. ACLs aren’t nearly as threatening as they were in the past. That microfracture surgey on his right league is a little more concerning, but he should have plenty of time to recover – depending on those dreaded training-camp setbacks.

I have a feeling we’ll be writing about 50 stories on Deuce in July and August. He’s one of the all-time favorites here.

12:16 [Comment From Matt]
Any possibility of the Lito Sheppard deal happening?
12:16 [Comment From E.B.]
what about the Lito Sheppard trade rumor?
12:17 [Comment From Alex]
What are the odds that we stay put at 10 or even move back w/ a trade to the Eagles for Lito Sheppard and instead of picking a CB or LB (because Dorsey and Ellis are gone) we pick the best OL available? And if we picked OL who is more valuable to the Saints, a tackle like Clady or Otah, or Brandon Albert as a mauling LG?
12:17 [Comment From E.B.]
how probable is the rumored trade with Philly to happen (trade #10 for #19 and Lito Sheppard)?
12:17 [Comment From Rusty]
How are we on Cap Room, and is it possible that we could go after the likes of a Lito Sheppard?
12:17 [Comment From Troy]
Do you think it is possible that Pierre Thomas will be the starter come week 1? Do you think we trade for Lito Shepard? I would really like to have him in our secondary.
12:17 [Comment From Nick]
What are the chances of the Saints going after Lito Sheppard, and if they do make a move for Sheppard, what do you think it will cost them?
12:18 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I think Sheppard would be a great fit here. But I don't know what the Eagles' price will be. If the Saints could get him by swapping first-round picks (No. 10 for No. 19), I think they'd have to seriously consider it.

Like I said before, the Saints have always been aggressive on draft day. Their trades for veterans Jeff Faine and Hollis Thomas in 2006 worked out brilliantly. And they are clearly intent on upgrading their defense this year. ... I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a deal like that go down.
12:19 [Comment From Guest]
How does the NFL pit us against Chicago 2 yrs running, in Chicago, in December?
12:19 [Comment From Steve - WI]
Why Chicago again IN chicago?
12:21 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: It's really just a coincidence. The schedule is set years in advance. The Saints were set to play the NFC North this year, with games at Chicago and Detroit. Three years from now, it will flip-flop. ... But there's always two wild-card games in the schedule, where you face the teams who finished in the same spot as you in the other NFC divisions. Last year, the first-place Saints played at first-place Chicago and hosted first-place Philladelphia.

Wow, that sounds more confusing than it really is when I try to explain it.

12:22 [Comment From John]
When do you expect Colston's contract to be re-negotiated. So far he has been underpaid for his production.
12:22 [Comment From E.B.]
When will we see long-term deals for Colston, Evans and/or Will Smith?
12:26 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I think Will Smith will be the first priority, and I think he'll get done before training camp. ... Although he'd get more leverage by holding out deep into the summer, I think both sides want to get this done, and I think both sides know roughly how much the deal will cost (somewhere between Charles Grant's deal from last year and Dwight Freeney's deal). ... The Saints have been good about locking up their core players to long-term extensions in the recent past.

As for Colston and Evans, I'm not sure how important it is to get something done right away. They're both restricted free agents next year, so the Saints could always sign them to long-term deals next year. ... I imagine they might want to get Colston done this summer, too, though, while they can still get him at a discounted price.
12:26 [Comment From keith]
could the saints possibly draft the running back mendenhall?
12:26 [Comment From BB]
when do you expect the saints to take a rb and do they like forte?
12:26 [Comment From patrick]
do you think the saints would try to unload one of their backs and a draft pick to select darren mcfadden?
12:26 [Comment From Guest]
is it possible that the saints take the kid from tulane in the 2nd round
12:29 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I highly doubt the Saints would consider Mendenhall with their first-round pick. ... Running back is not one of their top needs, and he's not the best available player that high in the draft. ... I also don't expect them to make a play for McFadden, obviously.

But I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility that they draft a running back at some point, if they think he's the best value on the board. They did it with Antonio Pittman in the fourth round last year, remember (even though it didn't work out). ... The Saints are true believers in the best-available athlete theory on draft day. ... And even if Deuce comes back strong this year, he won't be around forever.
12:30 [Comment From patrick]
do you think if reggie bush has another subpar year that he may be traded before the 09 season?
12:33 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: First of all, Patrick, no way. The Saints already invested about $26 million in signing bonuses on him, so they'll sink or swim with him. They don't get that money back if they trade him. ... Secondly, if he is somehow so bad that the Saints feel they need to dump him, then that probably means he won't fetch a high price in the trade market.

But most importantly, I expect a big season from Bush. He's had trouble adjusting to the pro game, and he's been dinged up in both of his seasons. But he still stands out as a fantastic, unique talent. He was sensational over the final three months of his rookie season, and I expect more of that going forward.
12:33 [Comment From Sal]
Everyone knows the Saints were weak at CB last year, but they were weak at LB too. Since they have added LB's, do you think they will opt for a CB in the draft?
12:33 [Comment From Brent Bearden]
Hi Mike- Any word on what CB the Saints have at the top of their draft board?
12:36 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: Again, this goes back to the Saints' love of the best available player. When's the last time their first-round draft pick addressed their most glaring need? (HINT: It involves Jonathan Sullivan).

I think they did a good job of plugging their most gaping holes on defense with two linebackers, two cornerbacks and a defensive end in free agency. Now they don't NEED to address any of those positions. But I still see them going with the top defensive player on their board.

How would I rank them, among the likely contenders? CB Leodis McKelvin, DT Sedrick Ellis, LB Keith Rivers ... then maybe Rodgers'Cromartie, CB Mike Jenkins or one of those DEs.
12:37 [Comment From Andrew A.]
I know it not easy judge right now but who do you think will be the breakthrough/surprise player in training camp this year?(like lance moore last year)
12:39 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: Obviously it's too early to predict who's going to come from out of nowhere. ... But if you can count Reggie Bush and Jonathan Vilma, then my vote would go to them. I already addressed Bush. I feel the same way about Vilma. I think he'll have the same kind of impact on the defense that Drew Brees had on the offense two years ago.

The other candidate that we know about right now would be Robert Meachem. But I think he'll ease his way into the mix rather than having a breakout season. ... And I think Jermond Bushrod will be a player on the rise in the next few years, but I can't see him cracking the lineup this year unless there are injuries.
12:40 [Comment From Mike]
How do you see the Saints addressing the punt and kickoff return positions? Lance Moore was a little disappointing in that area last year. If they get McKelvin, maybe that does it.
12:40 [Comment From pat]
do u think skyler green will make the team?
12:43 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: Maybe I should have mentioned Skyler Green as a breakout candidate. ... But he'll have to be VERY good as a return man to win that job, considering we already established that the Saints have 6 proven receivers fighting for 5 spots this year. Since Green has been cut by two teams already, he's a long shot.

I think the Saints might very well end up with McKelvin in this year's draft, or another return threat. But I also think we'll see Reggie Bush as the primary punt returner this year. The Saints are ready to get the maximum return out of Bush, and they'll use him wherever he's a threat -- especially now that he won't be the featured tailback on offense.
12:43 [Comment From Tom]
Who is the pick @ 10?
12:46 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: We went with USC weakside linebacker Keith Rivers in our mock draft. He makes perfect sense. He's an athletic playmaker, exactly the kind of disruptive player the Saints have been trying to add to their defense. He fills one of the team's biggest need positions. And the team knows him well. He was recruited to USC by new Saints d-line coach Ed Orgeron.

I think they would take USC DT Sedrick Ellis or Troy CB Leodis McKelvin ahead of him, though, if either of those players falls to No. 10.
12:46 [Comment From John L]
Given the $$$ the Saints paid for Jason David and the aqcuisition of Randall Gay, what are the chances of him being benched, traded or even cut?
12:46 [Comment From dave]
Could we trade Jason David for a pick or help on D
12:47 [Comment From dave]
Will we try to deal Jason David?
12:49 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I'll say the same thing about David that I said about Bush earlier ... If the Saints don't want him, why would other teams want to trade for him?

I definitely think David is on the hot seat this year. The Saints already proved they're willing to eat a bad investment when they cut linebacker Brian Simmons after just one year. ... And they're isn't enough room on the roster for CBs Mike McKenzie, Randall Gay, Jason David, Jason Craft, Usama Young and another possible high draft pick.

That all being said, I think David WILL show a lot of improvement in his second year in the Saints' system. He is a talented young corner who just needs time to adjust, almost like a second-year player in the pros. He could very well win a starting job, especially if McKenzie is slow to recover from his knee injury.
12:50 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: By the way, we've had a few McKenzie questions. ... I'm not implying that he won't be ready for the start of training camp. By all accounts, his rehab is going well, and he should be back in the mix this summer. He's just more of a question mark since he got hurt in late December, so he doesn't have a lot of wiggle room in his recovery timetable.
12:50 [Comment From ozzy]
If the Saints had the #1 pick who would they draft and why?
12:50 [Comment From AKwhodat]
If the Saints could draft anyone who would it be and why?
12:52 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: Good question, Ozzy. ... I honestly think it might be Glenn Dorsey. I know, I've been saying the Saints don't draft based on need. But I truly think Dorsey might be the best available talent in this year's draft. ... Otherwise it would probably be DE Chris Long or LB/DE Vernon Gholston -- the other two most disruptive defensive playmakers in the draft.
12:52 [Comment From 504saint]
what will be pierre thomas's role with the saints next year
12:56 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: Thomas will be a backup and a valuable special teamer, possibly a kickoff returner. More than anything, he'll be an insurance policy. The Saints have proved more than most teams in recent years that you need to have a deep backfield. ...

I think we'll see him get three or four carries per game as a change-of-pace runner. And at some point, he could become a full-time replacement for Deuce and Aaron Stecker. ... He was really impressive as a rookie.
12:56 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I meant at some point IN THE FUTURE, by the way. Not at some point this season ...
12:56 [Comment From Joey]
what do you think about drafting a kicker in this years draft, like coutu out of Georgia???
12:57 [Comment From Troy]
Do you think the Saints will draft a kicker? I would really like to see that and I think gramatica doesn't have the leg strenght that the need.
12:58 timespicayune - MIKE TRIPLETT: I suppose it's a possibility, but the Saints only have six draft picks this year, so they want to make them all count. I think it's more likely that they'll sign an undrafted free agent to compete with Gramatica. ... I think they like Gramatica, though, and his leg strength isn't that bad. I expect him to win the job this year.
12:59 timespicayune - Thanks for all the great questions. We will be back next Wednesday at noon with a draft special. Mike will be joined by his partner on the Saints beat, Jimmy Smith, to discuss the April 26-27 NFL draft.

You can see a replay of this chat any time on nola.com.
12:59 Thank you for reading today.

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Old 04-16-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
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Re: latest talk with m. triplett, some good stuff......

WOW !!!! i just read the whole thing. that was great.
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