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BillyC 12-08-2003 09:40 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
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Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- The advice from New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett to his quarterback is blunt -- hold onto the football or else.

Aaron Brooks fumbled four times in the Saints' 14-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- three of them were lost, all hurt New Orleans.

Haslett, who has staunchly defended Brooks since he became the starter, admitted that he considered pulling Brooks when the fumbles started.


"I think there's some point, and I addressed this with him, that he needs to take care of the ball or we'll have to do something," Haslett said.

With the Saints (6-7) up 7-0 late in the first half, the ball slipped out of Brooks' hand as he attempted to throw a pass and Tampa recovered and ran it to the New Orleans 37. Two plays later the score was tied.

Late in the third quarter, the Saints had a third-and-8 at the Tampa Bay 44. Brooks scrambled away from the pass rush and gained 4 yards before being hit by linebacker Derrick Brooks and fumbling again. Tampa Bay recovered it at their 30.

New Orleans was on the verge of tying the score early in the fourth quarter, playing a first-and-goal at the Bucs' 6. Brooks was sacked again, fumbled again, and Tampa Bay recovered again.

"They were all his fault," Haslett said. "He's got to take care of the football better. It's like a running back or anybody who carries the ball. He carries the ball every single time we have a snap unless we have a direct snap. He's probably going to touch it 69 out of 70 plays and he's got to do a better job of managing the football."

Brooks leads the NFL with 10 of his 13 fumbles lost. The Saints have lost 18 of their 30 fumbles, the most in the league.

Brooks' fumbles came after an outstanding first half in which he completed 13 of 17 passes and the Saints gained 216 yards to Tampa Bays' 113.

"I'm thinking we're throwing the ball on Tampa Bay, we're doing a great job, we're going down the field," Haslett said. "The guy's smoking, he's on fire, he's taking the ball up and down the field. Then all of a sudden the ball pops out. It can't go on any more. He needs to take care of the football."

It's not a case of Brooks making bad decisions, Haslett said. Brooks has only thrown eight interceptions this season.

The No. 2 quarterback for the Saints is Todd Bouman. Haslett said he has confidence in Bouman, but admitted Bouman does not know the offense as well as Brooks or have his mobility.

Haslett isn't worried about shaking Brooks confidence.

"He better have thick skin, he's a quarterback," Haslett said. "A quarterback's got to be able to handle it. Nobody else put the ball on the ground first of all. He did it and he's got to deal with it. He understands that. We had a good talk about it."

A victory against Tampa Bay would have left the Saints just one game behind the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in the wild-card race after both lost and fell to 8-5. Instead, New Orleans will need some help to make the postseason field for the first time since 2000.

The biggest reason for the losses this season are the turnovers the Saints have had, Haslett said.

"Most definitely," he said. "If we had protected the ball yesterday we would have won the game. But you can probably say that about four or five of our other games also. We're minus-six in turnovers. In order to win in this league you've got to be in the plus-five to plus-10 range. If you're above that, you see some teams now that are plus-18 that are 12-1 or 12-2. That's why they have those kinds of records."

saint5221 12-08-2003 10:16 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

\"I think there\'s some point, and I addressed this with him, that he needs to take care of the ball or we\'ll have to do something,\" Haslett said.
Wow, for Haslett to say he has even allowed the idea of sitting Brooks to flow through his mind is pretty significant. I wish he had talked like this a lot sooner, now it seems like too little too late. It is a good turn from his pat defenses of Brooks though.

saintz08 12-08-2003 10:32 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
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Looks like product sales could slip ......

BillyC 12-08-2003 10:44 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

Wow, for Haslett to say he has even allowed the idea of sitting Brooks to flow through his mind is pretty significant. I wish he had talked like this a lot sooner, now it seems like too little too late. It is a good turn from his pat defenses of Brooks though.
Hasett is joined at the hip with Brooks just like many NFL coaches have been in the past and even now. Haslett has done nothing different, IMO, then many coaches have done. He\'s stuck with his man the first couple of years, through the good and the bad. And, in the first couple of years there is always the bad. Some more than others. Most of the time it pays off. Sometimes it doesn\'t though.

We have heard Haslett defending Brooks to the media, but we have no idea what he say\'s in private. I can\'t fault Haslett for defending Brooks to a rabid media.

I like the fact that Haslett is playing hard ball with Brooks now. I wouldn\'t even mind Haslett benching Brooks if the situation is warranted. This has worked in the past. No QB should be immune. No matter what their salary or importance to the team.

I would also like to see what Bouman can do for a number of different reasons. Some of which I think would prove that Brooks isn\'t near as bad as some think.

[Edited on 9/12/2003 by BillyC]

saint5221 12-08-2003 10:54 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

I wouldn\'t even mind Haslett benching Brooks if the situation is warranted.
Just how much more does Brooks have to screw up. The situation is warrented.

Quote:

I can\'t fault Haslett for defending Brooks to a rabid media.
Nor do I, but at times his defenses of Brooks fly in the face of the obvious.

saintz08 12-08-2003 11:04 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

Just how much more does Brooks have to screw up. The situation is warrented.
Mathmatical playoff elimination should do it .

See at that point Haslett would be taking a chance of his starter playing for a game of no value , if he got injured it could carry over into next season .

So jerk Brooks , and make the fans think it was for a good reason and you are making a stand .

The statement at this point means nothing ..... Had he made it during a game where Brooks was putting the team in jeopardy of not making the play offs , it would have value .

BillyC 12-08-2003 11:05 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

Just how much more does Brooks have to screw up. The situation is warrented.
What I mean is, I still think that Brooks should be the starter, but if he starts to screw up in a game, he should be benched.

How much more time? The biggest thing Brooks needs to correct is the fumbling. Brooks hasn\'t done bad in the passing game. I think it\'s better to focus on the problem at hand, rather than blowing everything out of proportion.

\"Correct the fumbles, or else.\" That\'s where you start and hope Brooks continues to develop. Oh, and hope the rest of the team helps him out more. The offensive struggles aren\'t all Brooks fault and I hope they put Bouman in, so everyone can see that.

BrooksMustGo 12-08-2003 11:06 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
I\'m in total disbelief that Haslett would say anything in shouting distance of these remarks.

I can only consider 4 options:
1. Haslett\'s need for self-preservation. He will even blame Brooks before taking any for himself. I find this unlikely, but possible.

2. Maybe Haz is playing head games with Brooks? Trying to get him to perform better, seems like a toothless threat to me.

3. Maybe Haz and Benson had a little sit-down this morning?

4. Getting a pass from the media by giving them a, \"Haslett to QB, fix it or sit down\" headline.

saintz08 12-08-2003 11:21 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
I would go with :

4. Getting a pass from the media by giving them a, \"Haslett to QB, fix it or sit down\" headline.

The media on Brooks bad performance and the December melt down theory . Haslett would need to hire a public speaker to speak for him . No way they would be pushing his buttons on camera .

Haslett tossed the dogs a bone .......

saint5221 12-08-2003 11:21 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
I don\'t think dumping Brooks is the answer. We are tied to him finacially and I also think he has done enough well and has enough potential to keep around a little longer. However he also has done enough poorly to need to consider and bring in other options. We just gave a nice pile of cash to a QB who now deserves a chance if for nothing else to see if it was a good investment.

Brooks erratic play has created enough doubts and it only seem to be getting worse. This franchise needs to have an answer if Brooks isn\'t the answer. Brooks needs some accountability as well.

BillyC 12-08-2003 11:27 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

I don\'t think dumping Brooks is the answer. We are tied to him finacially and I also think he has done enough well and has enough potential to keep around a little longer. However he also has done enough poorly to need to consider and bring in other options. We just gave a nice pile of cash to a QB who now deserves a chance if for nothing else to see if it was a good investment.

Brooks erratic play has created enough doubts and it only seem to be getting worse. This franchise needs to have an answer if Brooks isn\'t the answer. Brooks needs some accountability as well.
Now, that\'s a logical post. There is really no better way to approach the situation. It\'s amazing what someone with good \'ol common sense comes up with. Good post!!

saintz08 12-09-2003 09:49 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
In the end of all the reasoning and debate as to why Haslett has made the comment that Brooks needs to hold the ball or else , it may come down to one simple reason .

A comment made by Governor Blanco

Quote:

It\"s about time to tell Mr. Benson where to go with his dome and his team. The state is giving him 3 million a year for nothing.
It\'s put up or shut up time in the Big Easy .

canucksaint 12-09-2003 10:17 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

It\'s put up or shut up time in the Big Easy .
Since we Canadians don\'t have the luxury of having home-town favorites, I would like to know if the Saints left NO, would everyone still be a fan or would you find new teams to cheer for? I know I would still be a fan, as obviously location of the team is irrelevant to me. If you wouldn\'t be a fan, who would you cheer for?

creole_t 12-09-2003 10:50 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
08- where did you see, read, hear that comment by the Gov. Is there more to that story, or is that just an outright comment?

That would be a good tread topic though...If the Saints moved would you follow?

saint5221 12-09-2003 11:02 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Wow, I\'m really not sure how to answer that. I would be very angry if the Saints left, it would be hard to feel the same. I live in New Orleans and the team is part of the community for me.

I go to the games and they are not just about 3 hours of cheering. Its about getting together with friends and tens of thousands of others excited by and enjoying the same purpose.The team is part of the everyday fabric of life in New Orleans you talk about them with your friends, when they win or lose it is a shared experience with the whole city. You can strike up a conversation instantly almost anywhere talking about last weeks game or looking forward to next weeks chance. People with little in common are suddenly connected. Its a link to others in the city we all share.

I see the players out and about, I do charity work with some of them and have gotten to know some of them. I have several friends who have or currently work for the Saints in various capaticies. The team and there families live here, there children go to school here, you see them at the grocery store. They are part of the community as well and work to make it better with all of us. The connections are personal for me and others around me.

The city would still be here and it\'s people still well if the Saints left but the intimacy of the experience with the Saints would be gone, and the bond to them lessened. I\'d always wish them well but it would never be the same.

BillyC 12-09-2003 11:48 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
HANDLE WITH CARE

Saints coach Jim Haslett says if Aaron Brooks doesn\'t start securing the ball better, he\'ll consider making a change at quarterback

Tuesday December 09, 2003

By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

Aaron Brooks\' ball security problems have jeopardized his job security.

For the first time since naming Brooks the starter three years ago, Saints coach Jim Haslett said Monday he will consider making a change at quarterback if Brooks\' can\'t rectify his fumbling problems.

Brooks fumbled four times, losing three of them, in a 14-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at the Superdome.

The fourth-year quarterback has fumbled 13 times this season. His 10 lost fumbles are the most of any player in the NFL and exceeds the totals of 16 teams.

\"It\'s inexcusable,\" Saints coach Jim Haslett said. \"It can\'t go on anymore. He needs to take care of the football.\"

Haslett met with Brooks on Monday to discuss the situation and to tell him that similar performances will not be tolerated. Haslett said he considered pulling Brooks on Sunday after his fourth fumble, which occurred at the Buccaneers\' 6-yard line and spoiled the Saints\' final comeback bid. On the play, Brooks was sacked from behind by Greg Spires on a play designed for a quicker release.

...

\"I don\'t want to replace Aaron by any means,\" Haslett said. \"I don\'t want to do it. But I might have to do it. When you start putting the ball on the ground, we have a problem.\"

WhoDat 12-09-2003 08:30 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Too little too late Haz.

I asked these questions this preseason and I\'ll ask them again now. How much longer should we give Haslett before we expect him to make the playoffs? Lots of people want to give him more time - but he\'s missed the playoffs now for three straight seasons (and he may only end up with a winning record in one of them and that winning record came after a 7-2 start).

How many more games do we give Brooks before top 5 QB play is required? He certainly hasn\'t been playing like the QB we\'re paying him and expecting him to be. So how much time does he get before it is put up or shut up time?

Basically, when is enough enough? I thought enough was enough after last season, but I was in the vast minority. I\'d like to hear what people have to say now.

saintz08 12-09-2003 09:34 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

08- where did you see, read, hear that comment by the Gov. Is there more to that story, or is that just an outright comment?
Have had a few of these emailed to me from various people , the one bellow is my favorite .The earlier post seems to be a comment , I think she has made a couple of such comments .Benson backed Jindal and she might have taken that personally .

McKeithen not betting on Saints in 2nd half

Secretary of State Fox McKeithen said he wasn\'t taking chances on people still watching the Saints game in the second half, so he only bought ads during the opening minutes of the game.

McKeithen has purchased $200,000 in television time around the state to talk about his accomplishments during four terms in office.

\"I told my campaign staff to buy (ads) just in the first quarter or none at all,\" he said. Based on the way the Saints have played this season, \"nobody is going to be watching after the first quarter, and it would just be a waste of money.\"

BillyC 12-09-2003 09:44 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

Too little too late Haz.

I asked these questions this preseason and I\'ll ask them again now. How much longer should we give Haslett before we expect him to make the playoffs? Lots of people want to give him more time - but he\'s missed the playoffs now for three straight seasons (and he may only end up with a winning record in one of them and that winning record came after a 7-2 start).

How many more games do we give Brooks before top 5 QB play is required? He certainly hasn\'t been playing like the QB we\'re paying him and expecting him to be. So how much time does he get before it is put up or shut up time?

Basically, when is enough enough? I thought enough was enough after last season, but I was in the vast minority. I\'d like to hear what people have to say now.
You know if someone that had some NFL experience were telling me this, I MIGHT be inclined to think they were crediable. But, even the experts are wrong about as much as they are right. The experts are praising guys like Ryan Leaf coming out of college. So, excuse me if I don\'t give your analysis much thought. So, many QB\'s have struggled much more than Aaron Brooks and went on to have GREAT careers. That\'s not an opinion, that is a FACT. He might go on to be the worst QB that the NFL has ever had. Who knows? You dont and that\'s for sure. This isn\'t to say that you are dumb or stupid. I don\'t think you are at all. I do think you are WAY too critical. It was only a few short weeks ago that you were saying you might be wrong about Brooks. You know you said that and now in your mind he will never be anything but a mistake prone QB.

That tells me one thing and that is your opinion changes too ofen for me too be putting much stock in it.

[Edited on 10/12/2003 by BillyC]

BillyC 12-09-2003 10:02 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

ie: After eveything you said on this board Billy thinks your opinion is worthless Whodat.

You have no NFL experience and even experts are Wrong, therefore Haslett should stay and AB should stay.


Hmm...didn\'t you say you wanted him gone in other thread? Why argue this point when you agreed to it in another thread. Is it because of the person writing the thread


Hmm...I dunno.

[Edited on 12/10/2003 by gatorman]

One big difference is I KNOW I could be very wrong. I really don\'t KNOW what this team should do. If I did, you would be watching me on the sidelines every Sunday.

I\'m no expert and my opinions have just as much chance to be WRONG as they do RIGHT. It\'s a unique concept, I know. But, it\'s a truthful one. Anyone else care to admit that?




[Edited on 10/12/2003 by BillyC]

BillyC 12-09-2003 10:26 PM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Gator,

First let me say that I think you are much more open minded than WhoDat. For the most part you are fair with your assessment. Sometimes you get pissed of and make remarks in the heat of the moment as we all do.

I know you think I\'m trying to say WhoDat don\'t know what the hell he\'s talking about. But the fact is he has been proven right on some things. He has also been proven wrong on some things. I could sit here and say the same things about 50% of the teams and coaches in the league and be right. There are going to be more losers than winners in the NFL.

He was right about the Saints record this year and therefore he was right about the coaches. The record reflects the coach. This really doesn\'t impress me that much. Teams flucuate so much in the NFL it\'s really a crap shoot. Just take a look around at how unpredictable the teams are EVERY year.

Now, I do think WhoDat has been very insightful on some things. I think WhoDat is very knowlegeable, but I think that about a lot of members on here.


WhoDat 12-10-2003 10:12 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
What\'s funny Billy is that I asked a couple of straight forward questions. Not to YOU, to the board. It\'s no surprise or secret to anyone here that I don\'t think Brooks is the future, nor do I believe in Haslett. I may be wrong, I\'ve admitted to being wrong about as many times as you have.

What\'s telling is that you spouted off about how my opinion is worthless b/c I\'m not an NFL expert - whatever that is. You didn\'t address either questions. They\'re simple ones.

I asked for a good reason. Because at the beginning of the year, guys like Gator and BnB, and others all agreed, \"NO EXCUSES\" this year for Jim Haslett. This was the year that everyone was looking for Haslett and Brooks to step up and show their value. I think that they clearly did not.

So I want to know, how long is long enough. I asked this to Saintfan (and maybe you as well) in the preseason. Look, even Brooks\' coach says that at some point, if things don\'t change, Brooks will sit.

Frankly, if it were my decision, that would have happened already. But I didn\'t make that post to hear my opinion. I know my opinion. And frnakly, I didn\'t really want to hear yours either, b/c I know it. I want to hear what other people have to say. Some members of this board (gues who Billy) seem to be content to allow Brooks to stay the starter indefinitely b/c he has potential. Well, at some point that potential will have to materialize. Three and a half months ago most of the members of this board were saying that had to happen this season, and others, LIKE YOU, made bold statements about how you would see Brooks in the Pro Bowl this year. Neither of those things happened, so the question remains - how long is long enough?

WhoDat 12-10-2003 10:18 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
Quote:

First let me say that I think you are much more open minded than WhoDat. For the most part you are fair with your assessment. Sometimes you get pissed of and make remarks in the heat of the moment as we all do.
One other thing - be careful Billy. Simply b/c I disagree with you about Brooks and see him as a major problem with this team does not mean that I am close-minded. I\'ll challenge you to this as well - find one other TENURED member of this board (other than yourself and Saintfan) who has defended Brooks as much as I have this season. That\'s right, I promise you can\'t. I defended him right along side of you for the first 6 weeks of the season. I made statements about how if he continued to play the way he was in the beginning of the season then he would make a believer out of me. Remember those comments? I can dig up threads for you if you\'d like.

The problem is not me. It\'s Brooks. His play has tnaked this season, and he\'s regressed right back to where he hurts more than he helps. I see those couple of good games early for what they were - a hot streak by a streaky QB who can\'t play consistently well for more than a few games, quarters, plays, whatever at a time.

BillyC 12-10-2003 10:20 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
WhoDat --

I hear so much of \" 3-years is enough.\" Since when? If that were the case you guys would have knocked half the guys out of the hall of fame because plenty of them stuggled mightly in their first few years. There is no \"Bible\" for when it\'s enough time. Every situation is different. Feel free to have your opinion. I\'m not here to stop you from having your opioion. I am here to make fair comparisoins, whether you or anyone else agrees with them or not. You could be right about Brooks. You could be wrong.

When is enough time is not a question anyone can answer. Not fairly anyway. There have been MANY QB\'s that have been given up on that did just fine. I think it would be WRONG to give up on Brooks at this point. So to answer your question, I don\'t know exactly what point in time we give up on Brooks but it ain\'t now. Obviously if he can\'t correct the fumbling problem, he has to go. But, don\'t come telling me it will be something else with him after the fumbling. Unless I can look in your crystal ball?

BlackandBlue 12-10-2003 10:23 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
****, let\'s give him 10 years and be done with it.

[Edited on 10/12/2003 by BlackandBlue]

WhoDat 12-10-2003 11:00 AM

Haslett says quarterback must eliminate fumbles
 
I\'d bet if it were Drew Brees or Tim Couch or Kurt Warner or Tim Wienke or Rob Johnson or Brian Griese or Jay Fiedler or Jake Plummer or Kerry Collins or Tommy Maddox or Jon Kitna you\'d say the same thing.

How many of those guys are playing top 5 QB in the leauge football?

Fact is, those hall of famers that you keep referencing are the EXCEPTION, not the rule. For each of them there are probably 20 QBs that showed flashes but just never materialized. So go ahead, if you want to think that Brooks can do the improbable go right ahead - I\'ll stick with probability though since I live the the real world.


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