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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Time has come for Mueller to return A year ago, ESPN executives asked Randy Mueller to attend the Super Bowl in his role as NFL analyst for ESPN.com. This year he filed reports from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. ...

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Old 01-30-2005, 02:55 PM   #1
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Horn to restructure?

Time has come for Mueller to return

A year ago, ESPN executives asked Randy Mueller to attend the Super Bowl in his role as NFL analyst for ESPN.com.

This year he filed reports from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Asked if he plans to attend Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Fla., this week, Mueller shook his head. "I told them I'd rather be here," Mueller said with a smirk. "This is more my speed."

Anyone who knows Mueller understands that the Senior Bowl is his element. He's a low-profile grinder more comfortable breaking down film than navigating the zoo that has become Super Bowl week.

After nearly three years out of the game, it's time for Mueller to return to the NFL, and not just as an ESPN analyst.

"I enjoy what I'm doing, but obviously my passion is evaluating talent and team building," Mueller said Thursday after watching the North squad practice at the Senior Bowl. "I think I'll be a GM again if I want to be. I think so."

Mueller has been the subject of two of the best-kept secrets in the NFL in recent years. Why was he fired by Saints owner Tom Benson in 2002? And why hasn't the 2000 NFL Executive of the Year landed a job since?

Mueller had a chance to return to Seattle two years ago but declined because the fit wasn't right. He has failed to land a spot otherwise, despite receiving looks in Miami, Cleveland and San Diego.

"I think there are very few jobs that make sense for someone like me," Mueller said. "And in the NFL, most jobs don't go to the best guy. There are agendas. And I'm not a political guy. I don't think I've been passed over by anybody. It just hasn't been the right time, the right fit."

Now may be the right time and the right fit. Mueller is a top candidate for jobs in Seattle and San Francisco.

He's the local favorite to replace fired Seahawks president Bob Whitsitt and Ted Thompson, the Vice President for Foootball Operations who left to become the Packers' general manager. Minnesota vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, Miami chief operating officer Bryan Wiedmeier and former Saints general manager Bill Kuharich are also in the hunt.

Mueller is also on a lengthy list of prospects scheduled to interview for the San Francisco 49ers' top personnel position.

The Seahawks or 49ers could use someone with Mueller's talents. Both face crucial offseasons.

Seattle hasn't won a playoff game in 20 years. They have 17 unrestricted free agent candidates, and more than half of those were regular starters, including running back Shaun Alexander and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

San Francisco is coming off its worst season since Bill Walsh's debut campaign in 1979. The 49ers have the No. 1 pick in the draft in April and can't afford to make a mistake.

Considering the lack of experienced candidates for the Seahawks and 49ers job, and the rebuilding jobs he orchestrated in Seattle and New Orleans, Mueller would appear a lock to land one of the positions.

Mueller's ready. His time away has freshened his perspective and validated his strategy.

"It showed me that the plan works, (that) we know what we're doing," Mueller said. "The only two times I've gotten a chance to build something we've built division champs."

Mueller said he has no regrets from his two-year tenure in New Orleans. En route to Mobile, Ala., he returned to town this weekend for the first time since being unceremoniously fired three years ago. If things break right this offseason, he'll return again soon, this time as a visiting NFL executive.

"We loved New Orleans," Mueller said. "It was good for me personally and professionally. We did things the right way, were respected throughout the league. I have no regrets whatsoever."

TURLEY DETONATES:Think the St. Louis Rams regret the day they traded for right tackle Kyle Turley? After a strong initial season in 2003, Turley has done nothing the past season but cause trouble.

Now he's trying to blast his way out of St. Louis in similar fashion to the way he discharged from New Orleans. Turley continued his personal rant against Mike Martz last week, ripping the Rams coach on ESPN radio and SportsCenter.

Turley was asked in the TV interview where he would rank Martz among the 32 NFL head coaches. Turley replied: "Ah, man, are they going to have an expansion team? I put him down at 33."

Turley is tactlessly paving the way for his release. Cap implications will prevent the Rams from doing anything until June 2 or later. But rest assured, Turley's career in St. Louis is over.


TIGER TALENT:Here's how ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. handicapped the three LSU players at the Senior Bowl:

-- Defensive tackle Marcus Spears: "Spears had an excellent week. He used his long arms and great athletic ability to bat one pass up in the air and intercept it. He's a great kid and a hard worker."

Kiper said Spears will not be a feared pass rusher in the NFL, but that he will be excellent against the run and pick up four or five sacks per year. He said Spears is a mid-first-round choice.

-- Cornerback Corey Webster: "Still looks like a second-round pick, but is struggling transitioning from the coverage scheme at LSU to the one here. You have to go back to his junior film to see his potential, as injuries slowed his senior campaign. The second round has been the hot round lately for corners. I think he'll be a pretty good football player in the NFL."

-- Cornerback Travis Daniels: "Has held his own but has not stood out."


SENIOR BOWL STANDOUTS: Several players helped themselves with strong performances during Senior Bowl practices last week. Starring for the South squad were Auburn running back Carnell Williams, LSU defensive end Marcus Spears, Georgia wide receiver Reggie Brown, Southern Cal defensive tackle Mike Patterson, Troy State defensive end/linebacker Demarcus Ware, Miami offensive lineman Chris Myers and Alabama offensive lineman Evan Mathis. For the North, Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton, Northern Colorado wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Washington offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, Iowa defensive end Matt Roth and Nebraska linebacker Barrett Ruud shined. Alabama-Birmingham wide receiver Roddy White and Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers were both showing potential to earn first round grades before being sidelined with minor injuries.


AROUND THE SAINTS: First-year director of college scouting Rick Reiprish is expected to run the Saints' draft under the guidance of personnel director Rick Mueller. A veteran of 26 years as an NFL scout and personnel director, Reiprish joined the organization full-time a year ago. As director of college scouting and eventually personnel director in Jacksonville, Reiprish oversaw nine drafts. He lost that job when Coach Tom Coughlin was fired in 2003. . . . Former Saints running backs coach Dave Atkins huddled with Terry Robiskie for much of Tuesday's practice at the Senior Bowl last week. Robiskie is the favorite to be hired as offensive coordinator when Romeo Crennel is hired as the Browns head coach. Atkins is expected to land a job on the staff, where he'll reunite with former Saints fullback Terrelle Smith. . . . Wide receiver Joe Horn expects to renegotiate his contract this offseason. Horn is scheduled to earn a $1 million roster bonus in March and a $3.8 million base salary in 2005. He hopes the club rewards him after a breakout season in which he set club records for receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,399) in a season. "There are receivers that have received signing bonuses that are bigger than what I've been paid in total over the last five years combined," Horn said.

. . . . . . .


Jeff Duncan can be reached at jduncan@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3405.
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:10 PM   #2
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Horn to restructure?

\"There are receivers that have received signing bonuses that are bigger than what I\'ve been paid in total over the last five years combined,\" Horn said.
This could seriously hurt our cap room (and ability to get a first rate OT and LB in FA), especially if we\'re supposed to be reworking Duece\'s contract.
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:17 PM   #3
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Horn to restructure?

Seattle hasn\'t won a playoff game in 20 years. They have 17 unrestricted free agent candidates, and more than half of those were regular starters, including running back Shaun Alexander and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
I thought the Saints were a team in complete confusion. All that and they don\'t even have anyone in charge to fix it.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:24 PM   #4
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Horn to restructure?

Horn is very valuable to the Saints, with that said the Saints need to really do their homework to keep him in N.O for a longtime, Horn loves it in N.O and I think wants to remain there
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:38 PM   #5
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Horn to restructure?

Seattle hasn\'t won a playoff game in 20 years, finish around 8-8 or 9-7 or 7-9 year after year and they have a brand new retractable roof stadium! Why are people in Louisiana so different? Hell Arizona is getting a new stadium too. Maybe Tom should sell the yacht and use the money as a down payment or sell the team to someone who actually cares about football and being successful! It is not the people in Louisiana or the state government it is Tom Benson! Once a car salesman always a car salesman.
Prediction: Joe Horn will be an Oakland Raider next year because that is the NFL\'s version of a retirement community for old overpaid players.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:55 PM   #6
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Horn to restructure?

Ya know, Joe keeps signing these contracts and then wants to renegotiate years before they end. If he wants more bucks he should have negotiated for more. But, if it turns out to be a mutually beneficial thing such as Saints getting salary cap room, then they might as well deal with him. He\'s showing no signs of slowing down.
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Old 01-31-2005, 01:01 AM   #7
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Horn to restructure?

Randy has already been hired by the Seahawks so we lost out. We gave up on a fabolous GM for Loomis, which was extremely stupid. Randy had great drafts with us and made very good personel decisions.

Heck if Webster was still there in the second round, which I doubt, the Saints should jump all over him. He had an injury riddled senior season. Remember if he would have left last year, he would have been drafted higher than Trufant. That was a guaruntee, but he decided to finish his senior season under Saban. Too bad he got hurt and couldn\'t show scouts the his full potential.

Nice find SCSaint, it was a good read.

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

All little common sense goes a long way.
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