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pakowitz 03-16-2003 11:04 AM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value

Sunday March 16, 2003

Jeff Duncan

Kyle Turley was married Saturday in City Park.

Meanwhile, the Saints' hulking left tackle is going through a painful and well-publicized divorce from his employer of the last five years, the New Orleans Saints.

After weeks of silence, Turley finally vented his frustrations during a March 7 radio interview with WWL AM-870's Kaare Johnson. Throughout the 45-minute diatribe, Turley lashed out at the Saints, General Manager Mickey Loomis and even questioned Coach Jim Haslett.

He followed with a similar rant on ESPN Radio's The Dan Patrick Show earlier this week.

A sampling of Turley's invective:

-- On himself: "As a professional, I feel that I am at the top of my game. . . . I've proven myself at every step of this game and at every level. I've played left guard, left tackle, right guard, and I've played it at the caliber that is deserved of the Pro Bowl every year."

-- On Loomis: "What you have, in Mickey Loomis' case, is a bean counter playing general manager. . . . Mickey Loomis does not do a very good job of maintaining a relationship with the players on the team. I really feel, and a lot of players do, that he really doesn't know enough about football to understand what it takes to put together a football team and keep it together."

-- On his relationship with teammates: "It's ridiculous that people even insinuate that my teammates view me as a distraction. The only way that that could have possibly have gotten started is through rumor. There is no merit to that whatsoever. Every one of my teammates would love to have me on their team.

-- On Deuce McAllister: "Deuce is going to be one of the best running backs there ever was in the NFL if he can stay healthy. I'm excited for him and his career. I have the utmost respect for him. I would love to block for him for the next 10 years. But unfortunately, I am not going to have that opportunity."

-- On Aaron Brooks: "As far as I'm concerned, Aaron Brooks is a tremendous quarterback. If his arm comes back healthy, then he will be a great quarterback. I thought his arm actually probably was a little bit hurt toward the end of the season. But that's a coaching decision. Aaron went out there and tried to win games for us. Coach Haslett knew and everybody could kind of see that his arm was not up to what it was at the beginning of the season."

-- On the Saints organization: "It just doesn't seem like this team cares about continuing to keep the players that it needs. . . . Key payers like Joe Johnson, La'Roi Glover, Willie Roaf, Ricky Williams, Chris Naeole, they just seem to be weeded out when it comes to anteing up, and it's unfortunate."

-- On the tumultuous offseason: "They (the Saints) are bad-mouthing me in the media, saying that I'm a distraction. I am nothing but, and for them to say that about me in the media is very damaging to our relationship . . . to the point where . . . it's irreparable. They have shown nothing but a lack of respect and a lack of loyalty."

-- On the future: "I'm really looking forward to moving on, getting somewhere that I can feel really good about, knowing that the owner and the general manager on down to coaching staff really cares about what's going on with their team and their key players. I'm extremely excited about the chance that I have to go out and start over, because it has just snowballed into a bit of a nightmare for me, really."

When contacted Friday, Turley declined to comment further, maintaining a two-year silence on speaking to representatives of this newspaper.

Loomis and Haslett also declined opportunities to respond to Turley's comments.

The harangue no doubt soothed Turley's peace of mind, but it also might have severely damaged his trade prospects.

The NFL is, above all things, a league of control freaks. The last thing owners, general managers and coaches want on their team is a loose cannon firing unsupervised shots, no matter how talented the player.

This week Saints officials said the market for Turley slowed to a trickle. Stay tuned.

ON THE SAINTS BEAT: Coach Jim Haslett spent the weekend with his family in Disney World. The respite was well-deserved. He has spent much of the past two weeks on the scouting trail. Haslett's itinerary: Texas A&M, Miami, Kansas State, Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson. This week he goes to Florida State and Texas. . . .

Tennessee's Jason Witten is at the top of the Saints' wish list at tight end. Haslett attended the Tennessee Pro Day on Wednesday, where Witten (6-5, 256 pounds) ran times of 4.62 and 4.66 in the 40-yard dash. He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times. "Coach Haslett came over to me and said he might like a big ol' country tight end like me," Witten told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. "I told him that would be fine." Witten said the 49ers, the Saints, the Steelers and the Browns are already trying to bring him in for another look. . . .

Wide receiver Donté Stallworth plans to work this offseason with a physical therapist to improve his stretching techniques in order to prevent the hamstring problems that have plagued him in recent seasons. . . .

Wide receiver Kerwin Cook and quarterback Chris Finlen shined for the Barcelona Dragons during an NFL Europe scrimmage against Frankfurt this week in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cook caught three passes for 104 yards, including a 71-yard pass from Finlen, who was 4-of-5 for 83 yards.

AROUND THE NFL: Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey was recruited to throw passes to wide receiver Kelly Washington, receiver Leonard Scott and Witten during drills at the Tennessee's Pro Day. Agent Jimmy Sexton of Memphis represents Ramsey, a former Tulane standout, as well as Witten. . . .

One of the eight officials fired this week by the NFL was Bill Spyksma, who ruled that Browns wide receiver Quincy Morgan caught the Hail Mary pass that beat the Jaguars 21-20 this season. . . .

The seven-year, $42 million deal ($6 million average) Peerless Price received in Atlanta makes him the eighth-highest paid receiver in the league, trailing Randy Moss ($9.37 million), Eric Moulds ($6.75 million), David Boston ($6.71 million), Keyshawn Johnson ($6.68 million), Marvin Harrison ($6.0 million), Joey Galloway ($6.0 million) and Isaac Bruce ($6.0 million).


-- "I love quarterback competition. I've seen it bring out the best in the best. I was there when a Hall of Famer was being pushed by a surefire Hall of Famer. In my opinion, there is no one better than Joe Montana, and I personally believe that Joe would not have hit the peak that he hit were it not for the drive created by the competition from Steve Young. So I just see us being blessed, and thank God we have two good guys." -- Browns president and CEO Carmen Policy.

-- "I really don't even want to talk about Cincinnati too much. It's a new day and I'm a Buffalo Bill now. That's all in the past. I can tell you this though, I had a great time in Cincinnati, I had a great five years regardless of what the record shows. I do not regret any time spent in Cincinnati." -- new Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes.

PSno23 03-16-2003 10:00 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
He seems to have the utmost respect for his teammates, which I think is very strong. It\'s so unfortunate that things have come to this. Why is it that this team is always so strong in their convictions about getting rid of a player? It seems to me that the Front Office doesn\'t want him on the team at all, but it also seems like they\'re not making a marked effort at shopping him around. Like I said in a past post, though, I\'ve stopped questioning this team\'s motives.

pakowitz 03-16-2003 10:26 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
in my opinion, i think that our management really does want to keep turley, i mean, no one wants to lose a young quality LT a good teammate, and we even offered him a contract with a 8.5 million dollar signing bonus at the start of the offseason which he subsequently turned down b/c he said it wasnt enough, but yet he also states that he doesnt play this game for money........i dont know, i just hate to lose him, i dont want to see him go, he is a fan favorite, one hell of a player and its sad b/c his situation is public and everyone knows he doesnt want to be here, but the real reason is Y, what is his real reason, i think we havent heard the whole story

WhoDat 03-17-2003 08:54 AM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
Mt. Turley Erupts on WWL
By Dan Indest - Staff Writer - 12:05 am CST

Kyle Turley was a guest tonight on “The Game� hosted by Kaare Johnson on WWL radio in New Orleans. Kyle did not hold back at all on letting his feelings be known about his relationship with the New Orleans Saints organization, the coaches, and the fans.

The show started off on a light note as Kyle Turley has been enjoying the off-season thus far. He recently visited Daytona Beach spending some time on his Harley with friends. Turley held nothing back though when it came to discussing the recent developments with the Saints.

Turley made it quite clear that he believes the team has a multitude of problems, especially in their recent dealings with himself and other key veteran players on the team. The failed negotiations on a new contract, which Turley said were initiated by himself and his agent, have not resulted in the five-year vet signing a new contract. Recent signings by tackles Flozell Adams of the Cowboys and Luke Pettigout of the Giants have now raised the bar even higher as to what a quality tackle in the NFL must be paid. The Saints are seeking a first round pick as compensation for Turley, yet are not willing to give him the ten million dollar signing bonus that top tackles are receiving during this free-agency period. Seattle’s Walter Jones, considered one of the top free agent tackles this year, has already turned down a 12 million dollar signing bonus. The St. Louis Rams put the franchise tag on Orlando Pace after he had even higher expectations for his signing bonus

Turley was not only concerned with himself in recent negotiations, he also mentioned that the organization has low-balled other free agents this off-season. He inferred that the team gave pathetic offers to Sammy Knight, Jerry Fontenot (offered league minimum), Michael Lewis, and Toby Gowin. All of them had very productive 2002 seasons. Gowin subsequently signed with the Cowboys. On Mickey Loomis, Turley said, “He’s a bean-counter playing General Manager�. He believes that Mickey Loomis is more interested in the bottom line than fielding a championship team. It is obvious to this writer that the disgruntled left tackle wants out of New Orleans.

Kyle also made it clear that he has problems with head coach Jim Haslett as well. As player rep, he often has to bring the complaints of the players to the coaching staff. He implied they are not willing to do the little things that can help make a team better such as supplying quality food at training camp. He mentioned that moldy food, swarmed by flies, is not very appealing to the players.

Turley was quite sincere when he made it abundantly clear that he loves the Saints fans and his teammates as well. He feels that the fans of New Orleans are the greatest and that he very much appreciates the support they have given him. At every mini-camp and training camp since he has been with the Saints, Turley has always been more than willing to go the extra mile to please the autograph seekers. He has always made time for the fans.

Kyle’s biggest problem though may be with the New Orleans media, in particular, the Times Picayune newspaper. He told them he would not discuss or go into the details of his divorce. He also warned them that if they did delve into the details, he would no longer talk to the media. They did not comply with his request and took unfair shots at him. Turley took Picayune writer Brian Allee-Walsh to task for a recent article that alleged that Turley and quarterback Aaron Brooks had a heated argument on the sidelines during the game with the Detroit Lions. He denied that they had any disagreement, and that the only time things got heated on the sidelines during a game was in the first game against the Carolina Panthers. He said that everybody was pointing the fingers during that game and that things got a little out of hand. He went on to say that when they returned to the field that he and Aaron Brooks shook hands and were determined to win the game, which they did.

From tonight’s radio show, it is very obvious that Kyle Turley is not a happy camper with the New Orleans Saints. He shot one across the owner’s bow when he said, “Mr. Benson does not deserve to own a football team�. He also referenced a recent article in the Picayune that discussed Benson grooming his granddaughter as a possibility for taking over the team in the future. Turley’s comments were, “Get me out of here. Trade me now. I demand a trade.�

Kyle Turley did not hold back at all tonight. Are his controversial statements the ramblings of one disgruntled player, or those of a team player representative that express the feelings of most of his teammates? My gut tells me it’s the latter.

Everything in bold I either agree with or find very interesting. Whose to say that Turley really is that nuts? Yes, he has a temper, but maybe that just enables him to be open about his discontent while other players hold it back. The treatment of players by Haslett and the low-balling of Loomis could be part of the reason that our veteran stars leave every year. Maybe we should stop focusing on Turley and start looking at management.

WhoDat 03-17-2003 10:56 AM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
C\'mon Gator, tell us how you really feel. I\'m not saying that Kyle isn\'t looking out for Kyle - but that doesn\'t mean he is only interested in money and willing to do or say anything to get more of it. There are a lot of other things people need in any job to be happy. If he really feels this way about the organization it is just more reason to leave. In fact - like you said, the Saints offered him a crap load of money earlier in the off-season. He turned it down. Why would he turn down that kind of money on a team that COULD be a winner as early as next season if he didn\'t feel these things were true?

WhoDat 03-17-2003 11:52 AM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
Hey, I am NOT a Turley fan. I agree with you - good ridance. Still, the guy is the player rep. Sure he\'s a loud mouth, but you have no idea if this is just one crazy guy, or if there is substance to what he is saying. I don\'t like Kyle Turley, but just because he\'s a hot head doesn\'t make everything he says a lie.

He isn\'t the first player to lash out at the Saints managment for their lack of dedication to winning and taking care of the players. A lot of players and ex-players have said that management is only concerned witht he bottom line. All I\'m saying is, Haslett and Loomis are not innocent little victims of some crazy man\'s slander. Turley definitely should be handling things differently... but apparently so should management.

pakowitz 03-17-2003 12:03 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
finally some mudslinging!! im game :D lol

i agree with both u guys, i think turley hasnt wanted to be here ever since he got here and he knows that management doesnt want him so it makes it easier on him to take shots at them and he is one who would do that when he gets a chance... but its not for lack of us not trying, we offered the guy millions to stay here but he just doesnt want to

WhoDat 03-17-2003 02:00 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
So you don\'t believe anything he said?

You think Loomis is more that a \"bean-counter\" playing GM? You think Benson is more interested in winning than he is in money? You think Haslett has dealt with player issues as well as can be expected? You think that this team is dedicated to keeping talented veteran players in New Orleans?

pakowitz 03-17-2003 02:08 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
some of the things maybe but come on, flys around the food? u think that would be true? i think he has a problem with the org. and he is taking his shots b/c he can...

WhoDat 03-17-2003 04:21 PM

Turley's talk may be hurting his trade value
I\'m not being sneaky. All I\'m saying is that everyone is jumping on Turley\'s back because of his WWL interview. I completely agree that Turley is handling this the wrong way. But you two are falling victim to a PR machine if you think the Saints organization is innocent.

I think the WAY that Turley is handling this situation is wrong, but I doubt that the things he is SAYING are FALSE. Joe Johnson and La\'Roi Glover both had similar complaints when they left last year. This isn\'t the first time that we\'ve heard players complain about management.

Turley needs to go. The Saints are making the right move. I just think in this instance they are saying \"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.\" Turley isn\'t the first unhappy player. Obviously, every team has them. The Saints seem to have more of them - usually high-caliber veteran players - than most teams.

I think THAT issue needs to be addressed as well. If everyone is so up-in-arms about Turley, why aren\'t they exploring reasons why he AND so many OTHER players are unhappy. No, everyone wants to point their finger and make Turley out to be this complete nut. Maybe he is, but that doesn\'t mean he\'s a liar.

Turley being a nut does not affect \"Loomis being a \'bean-counter\' or Benson\'s interest in winning or Haslett\'s dealings with player issues or this team\'s dedication to keeping talented veteran players in New Orleans\" - you\'re right about that. But those things can cause Turley, and other players, to be unhappy.

We know Turley is crazy, he has been for three years. That\'s not news. The cause for his unhappiness, and that of many other players, is more important to the future of this team. But no one wants to talk about that... so let\'s keep repeating \"Turley\'s crazy, Turley\'s crazy\" like good little Saints androids.

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