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Payton praises Carney for role

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE — The Saints returned to practice Wednesday without one of the most dependable players in franchise history as 45-year-old place-kicker John Carney was released a day earlier. The Saints signed Carney, who was the team’s kicker from 2001-2006, in ...

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Old 12-26-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
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Payton praises Carney for role

METAIRIE — The Saints returned to practice Wednesday without one of the most dependable players in franchise history as 45-year-old place-kicker John Carney was released a day earlier.

The Saints signed Carney, who was the team’s kicker from 2001-2006, in training camp when they learned that Garrett Hartley would be suspended for the first four games. Carney remained active for six weeks after Hartley’s return before Hartley took over and Carney was deactivated for the last three games.

“We were able to benefit a lot from John throughout the weeks that he was active, and then certainly in the weeks that he wasn’t active,” coach Sean Payton said after practice Wednesday. “He’s a tremendous leader in his own way and a great influence on a number of guys in that locker room, as well as a number of us coaches.

“It got to where it became challenging with the roster as we’re trying to develop and get ready for a playoff run. But he’s a special guy and has kicked amazingly well for a long period of time. I know I’m better as a coach having been around players like John Carney.”

Manning edges Brees

Fan balloting for the Pro Bowl ended Monday and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning edged Saints quarterback Drew Brees as the top vote-getter among fans. Voting by players and coaches ended Wednesday, and rosters will be announced next Tuesday.

“I’m more concerned about me continuing to help my team find a way to win and get the grand prize at the end which would be a Super Bowl,” Brees said. “Certainly it’s an honor to have the fans vote for you that much and know that the Who Dat Nation was madly clicking their mouse online for everybody on our team.

“There are a lot of guys on our team that are well-deserved. When that stuff comes out, I hope we do see a lot of our guys on there because guys deserve it.”

Other Saints likely to receive strong consideration for the Pro Bowl are guard Jahri Evans, wide receiver Marques Colston, defensive end Will Smith, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, and safety Darren Sharper.

Bush says he’s OK

Running back Reggie Bush said the hamstring injury that sidelined him during Saturday’s game against the Cowboys was little more than a cramp. He added that he felt fine at practice Wednesday and fully expects to play Sunday against Tampa Bay in the Superdome.

Greer limited

Bush was one of 12 Saints who were limited in practice Wednesday. The most notable of the others were DT Sedrick Ellis (knee), who sat out Saturday’s game, and CB Jabari Greer, who was involved for the first time since undergoing sports hernia surgery two weeks ago. Payton said he’s encouraged by the progress of both, though it’s unlikely Greer could play this week.

2theadvocate.com | Saints | Payton praises Carney for role — Baton Rouge, LA



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