06-10-2005, 03:50 PM
5000 POSTS! +
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: San Antonio, TX
Just to reinforce Scotty:
Saints DB Brown ends holdout
Posted: Friday June 10, 2005 4:09PM; Updated: Friday June 10, 2005 4:09PM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints returned to full strength at cornerback Friday when Fakhir Brown ended his holdout and reported for the first day of a two-day mandatory mini-camp.
Brown, who started the final 10 games last season, unexpectedly skipped 13 voluntary coaching sessions because he wants a new contract to replace the final year on his existing deal.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said the team would not consider negotiating with Brown as long as he was absent.
"I planned on being here all along," Brown said. "This is mandatory. This is where I want to be. Hopefully, something gets done. I don't regret anything I did. I want a new deal. But I've got to take care of business. I know the starting job isn't mine anymore. I know they had to move on. I understand that. Hopefully, I can earn it back."
Brown's absence created more opportunities for Jason Craft and Fred Thomas, who lost his job to Mike McKenzie last season.
Coach Jim Haslett said he was pleased to see Brown back on the field.
"I think it's good for our football team, it's good for him. He made the right move."
McKenzie also is looking for a new contract, but he has been participating in the off-season work. He held out with Green Bay last season, then reported shortly before being traded to New Orleans on Oct. 4.
"The contract is not an issue right now," McKenzie said. "I've been here throughout so right now everything is on pace. Everything should be squared up. I'm pleased as of right now."
McKenzie started 10 games and had four interceptions as the Saints won their final four games last season.
"I know there have been talks and I know that he's pleased up to the point of where it's at," Haslett said. "I know he's here, he's working really hard. I know the kid is a heck of a football player and he wants to be here and help us win a lot of games. That's the most important thing to me. I know his demeanor on the field has been outstanding."
Thomas is trying to regain a starting position after foot and ankle injuries and personal problems contributed to a sub-par season last year.
"It was a disappointment," Thomas said of his losing his job. "Everyone in this organization, as well as myself, had high hopes for me. It just didn't work out that way with the injuries and also personal issues. I came here this off-season to prove myself and now I'm focused on getting back to my old form of 2002 and 2003."
Thomas was the Saints' most consistent cornerback in 2002 and 2003, starting all but three games and making nine interceptions.
"Last year we had different starters each week, now we have continuity," Thomas said. "We know everybody's roles. We're confident with what's going on."