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tiggerpolice 06-23-2005 07:19 AM

Loomis looking straight ahead
Loomis looking straight ahead

Focus is on '05, despite all that swirls on field



For a franchise that's had more crossroads than a Robert Johnson documentary, New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said he doesn't have that feeling about this season.

The club is trying to get a new stadium deal with the state of Louisiana, while on the field trying to shed the recent bridesmaid trend when it comes to the playoffs.

Loomis addressed the Kiwanis Club of Gulfport at the Holiday Inn Beachfront on Wednesday afternoon, admitting the team is right on the precipice but has fallen short the past couple of years.

The other stuff swirling around the franchise, though, doesn't affect the football operations - and it shouldn't be a deciding factor in negotiations.

"I know that if we have a good season, it can impact favorably," Loomis said after his 45-minute speech and Q-and-A session. "But, the bottom line is, it shouldn't. It influences, but ultimately it's not going to make or break it."

He pointed out a Cincinnati franchise that got a new stadium recently, brought to fruition while the team was a laughingstock.

The tunnel-vision approach of a football team, the one that says the next minicamp, training camp or Sunday afternoon is the most important thing in the world, doesn't allow for the off-field things to leak in.

He didn't say it, but the guillotine that hangs perpetually over coaches and general managers is all the motivation anyone should ever need. They know they're hired to be fired.

Loomis touched on off-season acquisitions and losses, including free agency, the draft and the coaching staff. He joked that Az-Zahir Hakim, the wide receiver signed this week, was a bit nervous about coming to New Orleans.

While playing for the Rams, Hakim dropped a punt late in a 2000 postseason game that gave the Saints their only playoff victory ever. Longtime radio play-by-play man Jim Henderson's call of the muff has been part of what callers to Saints camp hear when put on hold ever since.

"He said he helped us win a playoff game once," Loomis said, "and he wants to do it again."

His first question Wednesday was about why the Saints didn't address their defense with their first-round draft pick, one he says he's used to and explains away by saying there was nobody that could have helped that side of the ball like offensive tackle Jammal Brown can.

He admitted they made a mistake with Tebucky Jones, who was jettisoned this offseason with the signing of former Tampa Bay safety Dwight Smith.

Loomis said the departure of offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy will mean a trimmed-down playbook, along with hoped-for improvements in communications including a wristband with plays for quarterback Aaron Brooks to get them to the line quicker.

Loomis talked about the passion of Saints fans for their football teams, feelings that have grown to schizophrenic levels - and focused criticisms on him, coach Jim Haslett and owner Tom Benson.

"I'm not responsible for the 38 years," he said, "but sometimes I feel like it."

WhoDat 06-23-2005 10:16 AM

RE: Loomis looking straight ahead
No, but you are responsible for the last 3. How'd they turn out buddy?

stockman311 06-23-2005 10:43 AM

RE: Loomis looking straight ahead
Loomis looking straight ahead at Help Wanted ads. He has done a good job of dumping the garbage he brought to the team, I think he would be perfect in the waste disposal industry after this year.

WhoDat 06-23-2005 11:19 AM

RE: Loomis looking straight ahead
Tunnel-vision? Blinders? Well, that would explain AB and the lack of action at LB or DT... LOL

Tobias-Reiper 06-23-2005 02:22 PM

RE: Loomis looking straight ahead
.. what is he looking at? The headlights?

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