Bouman holds on to new position
15 players on the injured list; blackout is lifted
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
By Brian Allee-Walsh
The Saints' three-man snap, place and kick team will have a new look this season.
Backup quarterback Todd Bouman has replaced punter Mitch Berger as the holder for kicker John Carney on field goals and extra-point attempts.
Veteran Kevin Houser remains the short- and long-snapper.
"Right now, we think Todd (Bouman) is an upgrade," Saints special teams coach Al Everest said. "It's nothing against Mitch. He's a very competent holder. If he had to do it, we'd be very happy to go in that direction. But right now I think we got the best guy in that spot."
Berger held for kicker Gary Anderson at Minnesota, and Bouman served as the Vikings' backup holder.
"This was a decision by committee, with Al, Coach Haz (Jim Haslett) and myself," Carney said. "If things don't work with Todd, then certainly we'll go back to Mitch. Mitch held for Gary Anderson, who set a lot of records. So we're very comfortable with Mitch as well.
"Todd is very athletic and gives us the ability to run more fakes and put more pressure on defenses. Todd is real quick getting the ball down. We just felt it was a good opportunity to get him in the mix and see how things go."
BLACKOUT LIFTED: Friday night's home exhibition game against the New York Jets was declared a sellout and will be shown locally on UPN at 7 p.m. Season-ticket sales are closing in on 50,000, Saints executive vice president of administration Arnold Fielkow said.
INJURY REPORT: The list of injured players reached a camp-high 16 Tuesday, including quarterbacks Aaron Brooks (quadriceps), Todd Bouman (abdominal strain) and running back Deuce McAllister (knee). Saints coach Jim Haslett gave Brooks a "50-50 chance" of playing against the Jets. Haslett said McAllister is expected to play.
Veteran wide receiver Germane Crowell's comeback from reconstructive knee surgery may get short-circuited, Haslett said. Crowell, who missed all of last season with the Detroit Lions, has been sidelined the past week with an injured right knee. An MRI confirmed interior damage.
OWENS ON HORN: Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver Terrell Owens is featured in the September issue of Playboy. Perhaps his funniest line came when he was asked to compare the touchdown celebrations of Cincinnati's Chad Johnson and New Orleans' Joe Horn last season. Owens said Johnson's sign plea was original, and Horn's cell phone call was a cheap imitation of Owens' famous Sharpie celebration.
"He (Johnson) knew what everybody was expecting, and he flipped the script, saying 'Please don't fine me,' " Owens said. "But Joe Horn was basically being a copycat; you can call him Kinko's."
CRACKIN' DOWN: The Saints' locker room has a different feel this season. Haslett has banned cell phones, CD players, boom boxes, card games and dominoes. Violators will be fined.
He has removed card tables and chairs. He also has eliminated the distribution of newspaper clips, and only tapes from past Saints games are shown on the TVs in the cafeteria.
FYI: Tonight's practice at the Superdome is open only to season-ticket holders. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and practice starts at 7:30 p.m. The Saintsations will be available for autographs, and the Saints Experience interactive area will be open for kids. Season tickets are still available, including the $150 ticket. Call (504) 731-1700 for more information.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1,500 -- Char-broiled oysters, courtesy of Drago's restaurant, that were consumed by players, media and staff at Tuesday night's dinner.
I am beginning to see improvement in Hazlett! I reserve the right to comment later if he does not follow through.
Owens would think that Horn was imitating him. That ego is going get popped this year, hard and often.
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