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New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Indianapolis -- The relationship between the New Orleans Saints and the Tulane football program has been give and take. But thanks to Green Wave coach Curtis Johnson, that relationship seems stronger than ever. Johnson spent six seasons coaching wide receivers ...

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Old 02-24-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
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Indianapolis -- The relationship between the New Orleans Saints and the Tulane football program has been give and take. But thanks to Green Wave coach Curtis Johnson, that relationship seems stronger than ever.

Johnson spent six seasons coaching wide receivers for the Saints from 2006-11 before accepting the head coaching position at Tulane in 2011.

But recently, it's been Tulane sending people to the Saints. The Saints signed quarterback Ryan Griffin as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and recently hired Wave assistant Mike Neu to coach quarterbacks after the departure of Joe Lombardi to Detroit.

"Tulane's important to the Saints and vice versa," said Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. "Now that C.J.'s there, obviously we know how good of a coach he is, how good of a talent evaluator he is.

"He has credibility with us, so when he tells us about a particular player, having an opportunity to be successful in the NFL, we listen."

Tulane runs the same style of offense as the Saints, which worked in Griffin's favor when they were evaluating him. The Saints liked Griffin enough to sign him from the practice squad to the active roster midseason, and he stayed on as the third quarterback for the rest of the year.

It didn't hurt that Neu had been talking up Griffin as far back as two years ago. The two will reunite this year with the Saints.

"Mike Neu was talking about Ryan Griffin and felt he had a lot of the tools to play in the NFL. He was just disappointed he didn't get to coach him longer," Loomis said. "Ryan comes to us after we signed him as a free agent. He had the advantage of being in the familiar offense, but it's much more than that. He's a talented player who got the chance to be successful. We like what we saw, and we have high expectations for him."

Toon on the other side: Saints wide receiver Nick Toon went through the Combine in 2012 and returned this year for the first time as a spectator. So it was a little strange for him to be taking it all in from the other side this year.

Toon, who spoke at a panel for Under Armour earlier in the week, said he always dreamed of playing in the NFL in the footsteps of his three-time All-Pro father Al Toon.

So for him, the Combine was essentially a job interview.

"It's a lot less stressful," Toon said of his second visit to Indianapolis. "There were a lot of unknowns the last time I was here."

Toon was taken in the fourth round of the 2012 draft by the Saints, and he said he couldn't be happier where he ended up. But he had no idea his NFL home would be in New Orleans.

"I zero correspondence with New Orleans before the draft," Toon said. "The only interaction I had with them was obviously at the Combine. I had a formal meeting with them and the scout came to my Pro Day (at Wisconsin). I interviewed with 15 different teams when I was here, so you just never know."

Toon will be entering his third season this year. He named teammate Marques Colston as one of the players he respected most in the league.

"He's had a lot of success, he's a great guy, and he's been extremely helpful to me," he said.

And, he added, he might be biased, but sometimes even he is in awe of tight end Jimmy Graham.

"Jimmy Graham is a freak of nature," he said. "Some of the things he does with his size isn't normal."

Toon, who is currently in Wisconsin with family, said he plans to return to New Orleans in a few weeks to start training again at Sonic Boom, where he trained in the 2013 offseason.

"I felt better than I felt coming into the previous season, so I'm going to go back and do what I did last season, continue to work, and hopefully build off that," he said.

Tweet of the day: "Can't lie archer had the boi nervous." -- Tennessee Titans running Chris Johnson on Kent State's Dri Archer 40-yard dash time of 4.26 seconds. Johnson, who ran a 4.24 in 2008, is tied for the fastest 40-yard dash in Combine history.
Result of the day: LSU guard Trai Turner, who played at St. Aug, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 seconds, which was the third-fastest time for an offensive lineman and faster than Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, who ran a 4.94.

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:17 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Nice article. Sounds like they really like Griffen and it will be interesting to see how he develops. Even though he is slow and not really quick.

As much as I like Tulane though, I kind of wish we had the same connection with LSU.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

I wouldn't call Payton Manning, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady fast or quick either.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Team obviously think highly of Griffin . Using a rare roster spot on him to make sure no one signed him off the PS.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Originally Posted by triman View Post
Team obviously think highly of Griffin . Using a rare roster spot on him to make sure no one signed him off the PS.
I agree, Griffin is most likely being groomed to be the next franchise quarterback for the Saints. Brees even speaks highly of him. Having Neau as a coach for our team can only improve upon my theory. Oh how I do miss C.J. though.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:25 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Griffin knows the offense because tulane run it, he is accurate and he can spread the ball around

Couple years behind Brees and I think he could be very good, possibly our future at QB
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Ive yet to put any faith in anything from fansided but if true, we may be in for a shocker.

*warning* The below is a blog-rumor.. You have been warned.

NFL rumors: Saints looking at QB prospects early in draft - FanSided - Sports News, Entertainment, Lifestyle & Technology - 240+ Sites
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says Tulane connection is important: notebook

Originally Posted by TheOak View Post
Ive yet to put any faith in anything from fansided but if true, we may be in for a shocker.

*warning* The below is a blog-rumor.. You have been warned.

NFL rumors: Saints looking at QB prospects early in draft - FanSided - Sports News, Entertainment, Lifestyle & Technology - 240+ Sites
Could you imagine them taking Derek Carr with the 27th pick? This board would blow up. Literally.
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