Alex Okafor Going Down In Practice Is An Unpleasant Reminder Of The Saints' Lack Of Depth On The D-Line
The good news here is that this is probably the worst news that has come out of Saints training camp thus far. I'm knocking on wood as I say the following, but keeping in mind offseason's past, a man down that forces a little stunned silence but is followed by said man returning to his feet and making it off the field under his own power isn't any reason to take shelter in Chicken Little's coup. It's unfortunate, but it isn't a sign of the sky falling on what looks to be a promising season.
The bad news, on the other hand, is that a pass rush that was starting to look as though it wouldn't be dependent on a significant contribution from the rawest of rookies isn't anywhere as deep as it seems on the surface. A substantial injury to Alex Okafor would obviously be a horrible turn of events for him, as he's responded about as well as one could have possibly hoped coming off a season that was cut short by an Achilles tear. However, it would also be a horrible turn of events for the Saints, as it would make Marcus Davenport's absence from practice a hell of a lot more concerning for an otherwise lopsided defensive line. Trey Hendrickson's development has been encouraging, but a starting caliber compliment to Cam Jordan he is (more than likely) not.
I'm not saying it will, but - to play the pessimist - if Alex Okafor's diagnosis ends up having been foreshadowed by the nerve-wracking reaction of his teammates then the pressure on the player on which the Saints spent two first round picks will be increased substantially. It could be worse, as that pressure was presumed to exist the second he was picked anyway, but his lack of participation in practice isn't going to continue being a footnote if there's a disappointing headline regarding their current starting RDE coming around the corner.
The Patch The Saints Are Wearing This Season In Honor Of Late, Great Team Owner Tom Benson Is As Fitting As It Gets
Perfect. Just perfect. Dare I even say, the most perfect of all the commemorative fabrics sewn onto sports jerseys in fond memory of the legends that have left us behind en route to a better place? It's not necessarily a knock on its competition, but - in terms of both creativity and cultural significance - Tom Benson's iconic likeness is exponentially easier on the eyes than those I can even remember seeing over the years. I want to again make it clear that it's not a contest, as "which late, great lived on through the most aesthetically pleasing patch?" would be a super grim poll. However, if (and only if) it were, the golden silhouette of Tom Benson would be taking home a medal of a similar color. That's just a fact.
The image of the patriarch of professional sports in New Orleans with his signature umbrella in twirl is just too perfect in its representation of both the city and the Saints, as Who Dat?! will never be asked of the person it memorializes who was undeniably synonymous with both. Here's to hoping this season is made as special as the contributions of the man, myth, and legend it's dedicated to, for without Tom Benson it wouldn't even be possible.
Cam Jordan Has Apparently Had Just About Enough Of Donald Trump's Bullshit, Regardless Of Who That Might Upset
If we are being honest, it would be negligent not to cap off a tweet storm that stated only facts and spun an empty threat into an invocation of philanthropy with the most fitting of GIF's...
Of course, we aren't being honest, as something that has absolutely nothing to do with politics is somehow, someway still being used to distract and pander to those that can't tell the difference between arguing right vs. left and right vs. wrong. Therefore, Cam Jordan's comments, as logical, genuine, and good-natured as they may be, will be seen as polarizing amongst some fans that would die for him as a player as long as it doesn't mean granting him the human right to argue for equal protection under the law as a person.
I know it's probably because I am sofa-king-lib-todd-did, but I stand with Cam Jordan in thinking that the supposed loss of Saints' fans whose support is circumstantial seems like addition by subtraction to me. Personally, I see a hell a lot of value in replacing those that think of football games as patriotism pissing contests with underprivileged youths, but that's just me...and the vast majority of the people putting their health at risk to participate in said football games.
It's obviously easier for me to say the following as someone who has judged Donald Trump off the entirety of his laughably checkered past and determined that he's a morally (and financially, depending on the week) bankrupt toddler. Still, I am now a bigger fan of Cam Jordan than I have ever been before, and that's saying a lot as he has always been as much of a leader in the community as he is on the field. Hopefully that helps split the difference in support made by those that are only now realizing that ownership of the athletes wasn't included in the purchase of their season ticket.
Either way, the player who has not once had the integrity of his intentions questioned quite clearly doesn't care about those who take it upon themselves to speak for the troops while using them as a political prop to make their point, or their spokesperson. Seeing as they only seem to care about him when he's rushing the passer, why in the hell should he?
Some NFL Scouts Suggested That Alvin Kamara "Clean Up" His Look Ahead Of The Draft, And Completely Ignoring Them Couldn't Have Possibly Worked Out Better
BleacherReport- The next day was technically Kamara’s off day, but he spent the majority of his day at Athletix to work out, hit the field for speed training and receive treatment. We return to the same metal chairs outside Smoothie King after he finishes.
As he sips on his strawberry Hulk, Kamara wonders if he would've gone higher in the draft had he changed his appearance. Selected as the fifth running back off the board—behind Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, who was captured on video punching a woman in the head in 2014—Kamara says there were NFL scouts and executives during the draft process who told him to cut his hair and take his nose ring out, including one NFL executive explaining how a team’s head coach wouldn’t approve of his look.
"I might have [gone higher]," Kamara says. "But if I wasn't myself, I wouldn't have been as successful this year."
If we are being honest, there's probably a more impactful point to be made about (mostly white) NFL executives trying to play God in turning (mostly black) kids who are often only as gifted as they are otherwise underprivileged into prim and proper foot soldiers that fit their preconceived notion of professionalism in a sport that's basically just organized barbarianism. I mean, it's not a point that I personally want to spend too much time exploring, as I'm really looking forward to the fun that comes as a result of football season. Not that I'm subjectively blind enough to think I'm witnessing the most wholesome of product, but doing a deep dive into how unqualified those who make a living during it are in dissecting every fiber of 20-22 year old beings when they can't even see past the stupidity of stereotypes doesn't exactly stand to supplement the solace of my Sundays. Still, that point is definitely out there to be fully examined, it's just better left to someone both smarter and less of an accurate generalization than myself.
Therefore, I won't get all philosophical in trying to figure out how some teams noticed a nose ring but all teams (including the one he's currently on) repeatedly missed the elusiveness, versatility, and humility of the transcendent talent whose septum it pierced. Instead I'll just appreciate how well staying true to his eccentric self worked out for both Alvin Kamara and the perfect fit of a franchise that sprung into action to break a fall down the draft board that seems laughable in retrospect. I couldn't tell you whether or not his golden grill truly charred his chances of getting taken prior to the 67th pick, but I can tell you that the team that came to own that 67th pick resides in the one city that not only embraces those that venture from the beaten path, but also encourages them to do so.
I don't know if everything happens really does happen for a reason, but there was a reason that the eventual Rookie Of The Year didn't go full-Steve Urkel to satisfy a couple regressively repressed scouting departments. I'd imagine it's the same exact reason why New Orleans almost immediately took such a shine to every damn dreaded lock poking out from beneath his helmet. Alvin Kamara is unapologetically himself, and while it's impossible to know if that made his wait even two minutes longer last April, it's the authenticity of his unique style and personality in conjunction with a skill set that Sean Payton (wet) dreams of that has unquestionably made it all the more worth it.
Alvin Kamara Said The Saints Would Have Beaten The Excrement Out Of The Eagles, Which Is As Debatable As It Is Irrelevant
As it turns out, Alvin Kamara isn't perfect. He might be damn close, as just about the only time he lost ground throughout his first full year in the NFL was when he ran the tape backwards to speak retrospectively about the Saints' chances in the NFC Championship Game that they prematurely penciled themselves into, but he's not perfect.
It should be noted that this quote came from a piece that was developed over the offseason, when the subject of it was still looking back on a heartbreaking end to his rookie season as opposed to looking ahead to an incredibly promising sophomore season. Still, the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" mentality is both one of losers and one that's almost always worthy of an eye roll. As much as I love Alvin Kamara's (over) confidence, this specific case is no different. The tangible (and lop-sided) results provide next to no reason for the Saints to believe that they would have beaten the Eagles into a clean pair of underwear this past January, nor does the brightness of their future give them any reason to dwell on a dark moment in their past.
Now, if I absolutely had to re-write history then I would say that New Orleans would have put up much more of a fight than Minnesota, as the Vikings looked very much like a team whose luck ran all the way out when Stefon Diggs crossed the goal line with zero seconds remaining. That being said, I don't have to, because only one team kept its shit entirely together in raising the Lombardi Trophy, and it wasn't the one that rostered the Rookie(s) Of The Year.
Personally, I think his filter malfunctioned when this quote was transcribed, as Alvin Kamara has otherwise been the picture of humility despite slithering through hundreds of prospective tacklers into superstardom. Unfortunately, the fact that what he said was out of character won't stop it from being posted on Philadelphia's bulletin board come Week 11, so he better be prepared to slap a couple dollar signs onto talk that is currently cheap when it actually matters.
With A Steady Dose Of Standing Out And A Premature Ed Reed Comparison, Marcus Williams Redemption Season Is Already In Full Force
In a lot of ways, it's entirely unfair that both an impressive and an impactful rookie season has been diminished to nothing more than one disastrous tumble into most unforgiving section of the history books. Highlighted by the game-changing interception that preceded said tumble, Marcus Williams footprints were all over the work of a young defense that was wise beyond it's years in kicking in the door that it's predecessors had spent so many god-forsaken years as the mat of. For that reason, he probably deserves better than to have every play he's made in preparation for his sophomore season viewed through the same lens through which his freshman campaign fatally faded to black.
Unfortunately, as evidenced by the Bill Buckner's of the the sports' world, it takes a hell of a lot longer than one offseason to have any noticeable success in scrubbing clean the type of stain that was left on the memory of Saints' fans when their first year safety did the exact opposite of upholding his job description by recklessly barrel-rolling through all his reinforcements en route to the sudden death of season-ending defeat. All may be forgiven, but all is not forgotten, as the making of history tends to be both heartless and context-free in its perpetual portrayal of its most notorious casualties.
I personally hate harping back on a single play that couldn't be more misleading as to the potential of the player who was on the wrong end of it. However, otherwise accomplished careers have been defined by similarly indefensible and ill-timed blunders, so having it hang over the victim of one's head until his next game of consequence was as inevitable as the sun rising. Whether or not it's justified is completely moot, because Marcus Williams is very much fighting an uphill battle in showing the football world that he's much, much more than just a repetitive punchline to be directed, ad nauseam, at the nearest and dearest Saints' fan in your life.
All that being said, his initial steps in overcoming what might seem like a Mount Everest-esque obstacle to men of lesser will has filled some pretty big shoes in the trained eyes that have been used to Jedi Mind Trick some of the best ballhawks in NFL history into galaxies alternative to the one in which his targets have often run free over the last decade+...
All praise that is heaped from across a locker room should be taken with a drop of glue, so as to helplessly attempt to keep inherently fickle fans somewhat grounded in their expectations of the endlessly mocked second year player that just got mentioned in the same sentence as a generational talent who might as well schedule the fitting for his gold jacket. The namedrop of someone who is going to be immortalized with their own bust in short order is liable to have the most loyal of its readership on the verge of a less honorable bust of their own. To put it simply, it's important to take a deep breath before considering Marcus Williams the second-coming. After all, there's reason to believe that someone as smart and calculated as Drew Brees was blowing smoke to cloud the haunting memory of this past January.
On the other hand, there's also reason to believe that the future first ballot 'Hall Of Famer' was blowing smoke to fog the narrative of a training camp that has seen him repeatedly victimized by a face that was left weeping last time it took center stage. The last person I'm worried about is Drew Brees, but if Marcus Williams' performance thus far wasn't worthy of being singled out then the play of the quarterback who has repeatedly found himself flummoxed by his range would be...
Let's be honest, Ed Reed would probably be left rolling with laughter in a way that might give #43 flashbacks if he heard his illustrious name loosely attached to a someone who is still a league-wide laughingstock. Still, objectively (and prematurely) speaking, it's been more justified to view him in the mold of the former rather than the latter as of late. Even if it's highly, highly unlikely he ever comes close to filling it in a way that washes free his attribution with one of the most flagrant rookie mistakes in sports' history, Marcus Williams appears to have put it as far in his rearview as the New Orleans Saints could have possibly hoped for at this point, and he's done so with a lot more than just lip service...
While it would difficult to do anything other than absolutely love what Craig Robertson's answer says about the cohesive culture of a defense that, to this point, has been biting their bark in trying to one-up last year's unexpected feeding frenzy, it bears mentioning that the dogs in question are too damn big for all of them to eat. A great defensive line is a linebacker's best friend, but training camp is much like life in that it tends to tighten that inner circle over time. At some point, the rottweilers are going to emerge ahead of the pack while the labs are left a stray, so the "dog" label is as vague as it complimentary.
That being said, if the reports out of training camp are any indication, there's not one player that's going to let himself get pooched from the trenches without a fight. In fact, though the constant disruption up front has been the most surprising and encouraging aspect of it, an early prognosis that is overwhelmingly positive isn't even defensive line centric. Never mind one play or player, because it hasn't even been one position group that has stood out in getting the better of an offense full of Pro Bowlers. From the presumed strength of a hungry secondary to an unheralded group of the linebackers that have been licking the chops left for them by the dogs on the d-line, the lack of a single defensive standout is much more indicative of their overall dominance than it is any sort of deficiency.
Admittedly, the hype hasn't been hushed by the fact that almost every defensive talent pool the Saints have had access to during the Sean Payton era has been shallow enough for Darren Sproles' feet to scrape the bottom. Perhaps organizations that haven't repeatedly broken their own record for incompetence are much more familiar with the concept of making tough cuts of deserving and impactful defensive players. Still, having an embarrassment of riches on the side of the ball that isn't afforded the Drew Brees' bump is a new feeling for both the Saints and their fans. It's still early and Craig Robertson's opinion might be a wee bit biased, but there's reason to believe that other NFL teams might actually be willing to adopt some of their dogs, and that only stands to strengthen the pick of the litter.
The Saints' Defense Completely Dominated The Day, And For The First Time In A Long Time That's Not A Reason To Overreact
And ironically, the most pleasantly surprising aspect of watching the Saints' defense buzz around giving perhaps the most consistent and dynamic offense in the NFL throughout the last decade+ absolute fits is that it was much more pleasant than it was a surprise. For further back than I prefer to remember, a day-long defensive effort that dominant would have a desperate fanbase drunk off false hope. However, I think I speak for the majority of the Who Dat Nation in saying that I'm feeling soberly assured about the state of a group that undeniably reinforced quality with more quantity over the offseason.
There's always a back-and-forth nature to training camp, and thus bad offense can sometimes masquerade as good defense (and vice versa). That being said, it's tough to view the caliber of the plays that were executed by the additions made to what was already a young, promising unit and come away anything other than satisfied with their potential to, at the very least, replicate last season's unexpected performance. I don't know if this season will provide the rarity of an improved sequel, but Patrick Robinson, Demario Davis, Kurt Coleman, (to a lesser extent) Alex Anzalone, and Natrell Jamerson all being featured as fresh faces in a lengthy trailer of what's to come is more objectively reassuring than it is subjectively encouraging. Especially considering the completeness and cohesiveness of the starting secondary they are being added alongside.
For the first time in a long time, there are actual reasons to believe those flashes will occur outside of the proverbial pan that is the month-long grueling grind of preseason practice. The feeling of confidence in the side of the ball from which Drew Brees does not operate is an unfamiliar one, but it's a hell of a lot more gratifying than the intoxicating-yet-temporary high of blind optimism.
They could just as easily get torched by a HOFer next time out, but it's awesome to not be made instinctually bi-polar by the peaks and valleys of the Saints' defense during the innately erratic and unpredictable process of team building that is training camp.
I suppose the disclaimer here should be that these one-on-one drills that cast a defensive back away to an island that's lonelier than one inhabited by nothing more than a man and his volleyball are extremely friendly to the wide receiver, as every cornerback's best friend (a pass rush) never gets the invite. It is actually impossible to say whether or not these routes would have enough time to develop if not for the lack of urgency on the part of a quarterback whose got no shortage of Mississippi's at his disposal.
Keeping that in mind, Michael Thomas' dominance is still noteworthy. Every person who is entranced by the finer points of secondary play speaks of Marshon Lattimore's hips as if they are attached to the ass of Shakira, and his fellow Ohio State alum had them caught up in a web of their own lies quicker than someone hiding a mistress in their closet. There is a limit on the amount of conclusions that can be drawn from the most finesse drill run during a camp that's mostly meant as a physical and mental test of its participants' will, but one obvious takeaway is that Michael Thomas is prepared to ace it despite having no idea what the word 'finesse' even means.
I suppose the following isn't news, as his dedication to his craft has been on full display since he was drafted, but #13's mastery of deliberateness, deception, and slap-boxing appear more and more ninja-esque with each passing summer. I can't speak for Ken Crawley, but one of the better #2 corners in the entire league must have felt like he was trying to blanket Jet Li as he was left grasping at air with the imprint of a grown man's hand in the swell of his back.
Given his statistical dominance during the first two seasons of his career, it was already safe to assume that it's very, very difficult to guard Mike. That said, the start of training camp has given Saints' fans no reason to believe that the theory behind 3rd year wide receivers won't hold true, and if it does then putting the shackles on a player who is still criminally underrated in some circles might actually be an impossible task for one man to take on.
Thomas Morstead Crushed 418 Pull-Ups In An Hour As Part Of A Fundraiser For A Friend/Saints' Employee Who Has Cancer
Usually I'd say that it's pleasant surprise to see a professional athlete spending one of his last few days of downtime during the rapidly receding offseason giving back, but the only surprise here would have been if Thomas Morstead weren't on high alert for the next opportunity to use his platform to make a difference in lives of others. Being able to bang out 418 pull-ups in one hour, which roughly equates to a pull-up every 8.5 seconds, is undeniably a credit to how physically committed he is to remaining one of the best punters in the NFL, and yet that's nowhere near the cause that's most near and dear to his heart. At this point, it's honestly probably easier to list off the philanthropic endeavors he hasn't had a hand in than the ones that he has, as his greatness as a player somehow pales in comparison to his goodness as a person.
It's awesome to see one Saint looking out for another in a time of need, the truth is that Thomas Morstead proved he'll give the shirt off of his back regardless of the colors of the jersey on yours when he encouraged the raising of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a Children's Hospital in Minnesota immediately after being eliminated by the Vikings in heartbreaking fashion. He's just a genuine dude that exemplifies the togetherness of not only the New Orleans Saints as an organization but the NFL as a community, and for that reason he's the ultimate role model for prospective role models. Therefore, there is truly no better lead to follow if you're feeling so inclined to donate to the worthy cause of setting up Chris Cordaro's family for a future that tragically might not include his presence for too much longer.
Saints' D-Lineman Mitchell Loewen Helped Save A Man Whose Car Fell Four Stories From A Parking Garage
NOLA- A New Orleans Saints defensive lineman led a crowd of bystanders who jumped into action to free a man trapped in a car after it plunged from the fourth floor of a CBD parking garage Sunday afternoon (July 15).
Mitchell Loewen, 25, was enjoying brunch with his wife and 2-year-old son at Willa Jean when the car came crashing down near the intersection of Girod Street and O'Keefe Avenue. His back was to the window he said, and the impact sounded like an explosion.
"People were screaming, it sounded like a bomb or an earthquake or something," Loewen said.
"There were a bunch of people standing around, but not approaching the car and I was like 'What's up, let's help this guy,'" Loewen said Monday. "I mean, obviously there was someone in there, I wasn't going to just stand by and watch. It was a life or death situation."
"There was no way I could have dragged him out of that, so I called for people to come help and about 10 of us flipped the car onto its side," Loewen said.
After another push, the car was upright again but the man inside stopped responding to Loewen's questions.
"I got really worried. We couldn't see into the car very well, but the doors were so crushed we couldn't open them," Loewen said.
Another bystander crawled into the car and opened the back-passenger door from the inside, Loewen said. He called out to say the man was still conscious. Loewen wrenched open the door from the outside, ripping it off its hinges and leaned into the car to speak with the man.
"He didn't say much, he was just thanking us all. I hugged him and told him he was going to be ok, and then I prayed with him," Loewen said. "I couldn't tell how bad his injuries were, but there was a lot of blood and broken glass."
First but definitely not foremost, a tip of the hat goes to Mercedes-Benz. With craftsmanship of such quality that a man can go full Fast And Furious from the 4th floor of a parking garage and live to tell the tale, it's no wonder they've been able to maintain the naming rights of the SuperDome. I don't know that I would use their product's ability to defy near certain death as as selling point, but it's still pretty impressive that that G-Class didn't grade out as an 'F' in safety rating after that kamikaze-esque collision course.
Now, as for one of the many heroes that happened to be on the scene, I'm beginning to think there's something to Mitchell Loewen's "against all odds" mentality. Statistically speaking, the dude has very little business still being in the NFL as an undrafted free agent at a premium position that's typically overvalued. However, not only if he still clinging to a spot on a roster that's gotten exponentially deeper since his arrival, but now he's bolting out of brunch spots and orchestrating rescue missions by using his positional power to help get up "under the pads" of high occupancy vehicles that could be crushing the legs of their driver? He's definitely made a habit out of finding himself in the right place at the right time, but credit to him for making the absolute most of it, both on and off the field.
I still have questions as to how an SUV that's shaped like a brick finds it's way off the side/through the side of a building meant specifically to keep cars in-house. That said, the most important aspect of this story is that it has no casualties and that's due, at least in part, to the proactivity of the Saints' D-lineman who wasted no precious time in interrupting his eggs benedict to rally strangers in the face of what could have easily been a fatal catastrophe. Crisis somehow averted.
Brandon Browner Was Arrested For Kidnapping, Burglary, Etc., Thus Cementing His Legacy As A Terrible Person
PFT- NBC Los Angeles reports that Browner was arrested today on charges of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment and violation of a restraining order.
Police got a call that Browner broke into a home this morning, and when the resident tried to run away, he forced her back in. Police say Browner physically harmed the woman and threatened to kill her before taking a Rolex watch from her and leaving.
The woman reportedly had previously been in a relationship with Browner and had a restraining order against him. Browner spent two days in jail in May for violating a restraining order.
Today’s arrest is at least Browner’s fourth arrest in the last year. In addition to the May restraining order violation, he was arrested on drug charges in October, and he was arrested for making criminal threats in September.
We're going to work under the assumption that Brandon Browner doesn't have CTE. Only time will tell whether or not it was safe to assume that brain trauma didn't turn a repeat offender on the field into a far more threatening repeat offender off the field.
However, during that time, I'm just going to appreciate (for lack of a better term) this somewhat rare instance in which an athlete's behavior translates so well between both his professional and personal life. Admittedly, I'd prefer the crimes were of the more victimless variety, but him racking up four different charges on his rap sheet in one single day is so unbelievably characteristic of the unforgiving flag magnet that refused to own up to the laundry list of disturbances he cause during his sole season as a wildly overpaid New Orleans Saint.
I don't want this to read as if I'm relishing in the arrest of someone simply because he was in abject failure in helping my team win relatively meaningless football games. Brandon Browner belongs behind bars because he's a clear and present danger to women, loved ones, and society at large, not because he couldn't even cover his own tracks without getting burned for at least 120 yards (50 by penalty) and an uncontested touchdown.
That said, with how often our judgements of pro athletes as people are proven to be prematurely presumptuous, it's nice to know my Saints' bias wasn't entirely at work when I considered Brandon Browner to be a huge asshole that completely lacked any sort of consideration for others after he tried to fight both his coach and a reporter after two separate dismal performances.
Here's to hoping he stays behind bars, as he's given not a single reason for anyone to believe he won't end up back there sooner rather than later anyway.
If Michael Thomas Isn't Planning On Switching To Linebacker Then I'm Genuinely Fearful For NFL Corners
Well, I think we might have our answer after all. I was a wee bit concerned that no information had come out in regards to why Michael Thomas had an excused absence from attending the Saints' mandatory mini-camp, but clearly it was just a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of his own teammates. I thought I'd be looking closer for him come training camp, but if he wants to keep overhead pressing all-terrain vehicles through traffic as a way to start opening up his sweat glands in the morning then maybe he's better off not joining the team until their tasked with tackling targets that aren't chiseled out of granite.
As if the only player in NFL history to record 200 receptions over his first two seasons wasn't an intimidating enough presence on the practice field prior to this offseason, now his elite level hand-fighting is liable to do enough damage to leave a cornerback's healthcare liable? Anyone who plans on covering the Saints' #1 wideout this season is going to need safety, and I'm most certainly not talking about another inferior mortal. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but I'd argue this one speaks of 1,000 reps...per day, as it damn near rendered me speechless. I'm pretty sure Michael Thomas departed the Pro Bowl, went straight from the airport to the gym, and the only time he's left it since was to drop by OTA's and let the Saints know he's switching from wide receiver to weapon of mass destruction...
You Won't Believe This, But Junior Galette Has FINALLY Found Himself "Humbled" After Insanely Turning Down A 2-Year, 10 Million Dollar Deal From The Redskins
I have so, so many questions. The main one, of course, being how a professional athlete who followed up his second straight 10+ sack season by all-but-forcing his release from a $41 million dollar contract with organizational slander, domestic abuse charges (that were backed by video evidence), and enough character issues to make Hank Moody look like Phil Dunphy by comparison was able to avoid humility until now. Junior Galette went from going undrafted, to being (laughably, in hindsight) elected team captain, to getting cut, to spend ding two full seasons nursing career-altering injuries, to moderately contributing for the first since time since 2014, to scoffing at a multi-year deal that was worth well more than what he actually deserved. I guess I'm glad he ran into the reality check that is the lack of a paycheck, but how modesty didn't come close to crossing his mind until now is about as unfathomable as the fact that Drew Rosenhaus let him leave $10 million on the table while he was on an especially slippery downside of his tumultuous career. Junior Galette now has exponentially more NFL logos tatted on him than teams interested in him, but that was somehow predictable despite him possessing a skill set that's at a league-wide premium.
Maybe it's just the scorned fan in me that had to sit idly by as the Saints spent years resurrecting themselves up from under the demons of dead dollars' past, but I'm pretty sure the last thing anyone wants to hear about is how grateful Junior Galette is. We're talking about a guy that was perhaps the league's longest standing unapologetic asshole. A player that showed zero appreciation for the God-given talent he had on the field by constantly pissing into the winds of the prosecution off of it. It just feels insanely disingenuous for him to try to bail from his wave of unabashed arrogance now that it's finally come crashing down on top of him.
After compiling one more sack (3) than he did season-ending injury (2) throughout his three seasons in Washington, Junior Galette turned down a contract that was at least 2x as long and 3x as valuable as any other team would have offered. I'm of the opinion that a professional athlete is worth the max someone will pay them, but - considering the entirety of his past -it's impossible to view that negotiation as anything other than Junior Galette removing his belt and whipping a gift horse in the mouth.
If nothing else, it's an indisputable sign that he learned absolutely nothing throughout one of the most up-and-down NFL careers that I can remember. So forgive me if I'm not ready to throw him a graduation party, as it's pretty clear he's only self-proclaiming his decency diploma in hopes that he'll finagle his way into another job after doing everything possible to get booted out of school.
A St. Louis Jury Decided To Award Reggie Bush 12.5 Million Dollars At The Expense Of The Los Angeles Rams In An Injury Lawsuit From 2015
STLToday- A St. Louis jury has awarded millions of dollars to a former NFL running back who suffered a severe knee injury in a game at the Edward Jones Dome in 2015.
The Los Angeles Rams were ordered to pay Reggie Bush $4.95 million in compensatory damages and $7.5 million in punitive damages.
The jury found the Rams 100 percent liable for Bush's injury. He had also sued public agencies that own and operate the Dome, but they were dismissed from the suit by a judge last week after arguing the football team had control of operations at the facility on game days.
"I'm very happy with the verdict," Bush told the Post-Dispatch after the verdict. "The people spoke and decided very fairly."
First and foremost, it's just nice to see the little guy get a win for once. I know that feels like a weird thing to say that about a universally recognizable athlete that lays claim to maybe the most viewed highlight tape in sports history, a gone-but-not-forgotten Heisman Trophy, the endless love of a region that was inspired by his timely draft selection, a Super Bowl ring, and - most importantly given the context - over $60 million dollars in career earnings. However, in comparison to a multi-billion dollar organization that, like all others, only bends over backwards to bend its talent over the barrel, Reggie Bush couldn't be anymore of the sympathetic figure here.
Of course, it's preposterously inexcusable to circle your NFL stadium with a slick concrete ring that would primarily be stepped on by freak athletes running uncontrollably in cleats. But even if his season-ending and career-threatening injury wasn't the result of a run-in with an off-the-field death trap, everyone should have been rooting for Reg to come out richer in his legal battle against a representative for a league that shamelessly chews up and spits out it's athletes on the field. If you enjoy your Sunday football in spite of the soulless sycophants that suck dry both the earning power and the brain power of its actual entertainers, then you should have reacted to this news in the same way that the people's prosecution did...
In this case, that's especially true if you happen to be from St. Louis. As someone that couldn't imagine having to deal with having a team I root for uplifted by greed, the idea that even one member of the jury factored their neglected fandom into their decision against a defense that included the prick that orchestrated the move to Los Angeles makes me smile. It's a small win that doesn't make right the fact that Missourians have had to watch the Rams transform into a contender on the Left Coast, but it's a win nonetheless. When your undying hatred is directed at one of the NFL's untouchables, those are harder to come by than a human highlight reel like Reggie Bush.
Seeing as the Saints are merely a month and a half removed from mortgaging a significant chunk of their future on a project of a player whose cost was almost unprecedented given his position, hearing the news that Marcus Davenport was going under the knife didn't exactly uplift my mood on a Monday morning. That being said, while I pray they don't take this as a challenge, the unrelenting injury bugs are going to have to bite a hell of a lot harder than that if they are trying to get the Who Dat Nation to pile into a padded room in fear of the sky falling.
At this point last offseason, New Orleans was already without anyone that was even remotely accurate in snapping a football as Max Unger found himself upon a random foot injury. They were also on the verge of learning that their late first round pick was going to be rushed into action as Terron Amstead lost the following 4-6 months to a blocking dummy. And, as if that wasn't enough, the harsh realization that the irregular heart of prized free agent re-signee, Nick Fairley, was all the sudden beating down the door of early retirement. To put it simply, thumb surgery on even the most promising of hand is basically a hang nail in comparison to the unforeseen shit that got shoveled the Saints' way last summer.
When I skimmed through the tweet initially and caught only the name and the word "surgery" I was about ready to seek comfort in the arms of my old friend (and fellow Saints' fan) darkness, but I damn near laughed when I decided to prioritize proofreading ahead of numb paralysis. A thumb injury, HA! We are way past my panties becoming that easily bunched. If Saints' fans weren't immune to a prominent player's offseason operation on a body part that can't even call itself a finger we all would have been knocking down the locked doors of whatever mental institution was keeping us from our schizophrenic Sundays last season.
It undeniably sucks that a pass-rusher who is still rough-around-the-edges is going to miss out on valuable mini-camp reps, but Ocshner Medical is going to have to go two-a-days on the malpractice before a thumb surgery starts costing me any rest.
In Non-News News, Both The Saints And Adrian Peterson Would Be Open To A Reunion In Light Of Mark Ingram's Suspension
There's undoubtedly an impassioned subsect of Saints' fans that automatically correlate last season's rough start with what turned out to be the highly unnecessary presence of Adrian Peterson. In reality, it was a confluence of other factors - such as youth, inexperience, poor execution, and a lack of defined roles - that cost New Orleans their first two games against two very tough opponents. Unfortunately, nuance has not much of place amongst overreactive football fans, so I'm sure that hearing both parties would consider a reunion after Alvin Kamara, in the most heartwarming way possible, sabotaged their first attempt at a relationship has forced the bunching of quite a few panties.
That said, it's not all that hard to see why there might be mutual interest between the Saints and a veteran running back that knows a system that he'd likely improve in if offered an increased role by the vacancy that Mark Ingram is going to leave in the lineup. I can't see them bringing aboard a 33 year old to temporarily help replace a back-to-back 1,000+ yard rusher for just 4 games unless every back that's not coming off a 'Rookie Of The Year' campaign shows a complete lack of professional promise in training camp. Still, worst comes to worst, the abruptness of how things ended isn't going to stop the Saints from fortifying their roster at the least durable of positions in a pinch, just like it won't stop a future first ballot HOFer from exploring one of the the few opportunities presented to him.
That unforgettable glare couldn't have looked more mean, but Sean Payton and Adrian Peterson have had nothing but nice things to say about one another since their midseason split. If absolutely nothing else, they definitely share respect. Honestly, that's all it really takes to respond to "would you be interested in possibly giving it another go?" with something only slightly more open-minded than "HELL NO!".
Mark Ingram Appealed His Suspension On The Grounds That The Substance Responsible For His Test Result Was Neither Illegal Or Performance Enhancing, And Failed
You know what, against my better judgement, I think I might be liable to put some stock in this. Now, admittedly, a small part of the reason I'm willing to do so is because I'm a Saints' fan and thus inclined to give a veteran Saints' player with with no history of wrongdoing the benefit of the doubt. However, the much more influential aspect of this rebuttal is that it claimed a lack of clarity on the part of the NFL. A flat out denial of test results would have only been more cliche than it would be difficult to believe, but a deference of blame to the multibillion dollar operation that's as cautious and structured in their handing of discipline as an alcoholic father with whiskey on his breath? That, I may be able to get on board with.
To be clear, I'd have to be extremely biased to say I didn't still think it was very possible that Mark Ingram took something illegal in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage. If you take out of the equation the likability of the person, the current circumstances of the player's career could easily fit the bill as a motive.
That said, as someone who suffered through the bullshit of BountyGate, who am I to rule out the idea of Roger Goodell and the gang handing out penalties for the use of a substance that they, themselves, have both deemed harmless and circumstantially thrown under the libelous label of 'PED'? Taking excessively self-important measures to protect the shield is very much on-brand for the NFL, and what's more excessively self important than temporarily taking away someone's livelihood for failing to ask if they could use something that you would have allowed them to use anyway?
Having wildly different definitions for 'banned' and 'illegal' makes about as much sense as an insanely violent sport's stance against marijuana usage. Therefore, only the league with an opiate dependency that governs itself about as well as North Korea could ultimately come to the conclusion that what essentially boils down to a lack of manners is punishable by a 4-game suspension. After all, the NFL would rather its players take the field with needles sticking out of their ass than sacrifice a sliver of pride by indirectly admitting their system is flawed at the expense of said players.
Sigh, Mark Ingram Has Been Suspended The First Four Games Of The Season For Violating The NFL's PED Policy
Okay, so one of two things happened here. Either Mark Ingram was careless with what he put into his body...orrrr he took a look at his birth certificate, his contract, the budding star sitting in the stall next to him, and decided to take a calculated risk.
Unfortunately, considering his status as a veteran, I think the second hypothetical is far more likely than the first. That's not to call into question the integrity of a player who has been integral to the Saints' culture change as a vocal leader in the locker room and a selfless player on the sidelines. It is, however, to point out that a 28-year old running back who is likely coming up on the last sizable payday of his career had the motivation to act out of character with a transcendentally talented player in line to take his "starting" job at/by the end of the year.
I don't want to sound like a parent here, but - if he did try to pull one over on the league - I'm not so much mad as I am disappointed. Not only because it was an inevitable suspension waiting to happen, but because the Ingram/Kamara brotherhood, both on and off the field, was one of the most fun aspects of the Saints' resurgence. I was legitimately living vicariously through their bromance, so - while the first quarter of the Saints' schedule isn't too treacherous, and there's no reason to be too skeptical of Alvin Kamara's ability to shoulder the majority of the workload for a month - I'll be rather perturbed if that relationship is at all fractured. I think we're quite a few improvements in advanced analytics away from having a stat for how much chemistry can positively affect a team, but the Saints, led by their running backs, benefited from it in spades during an unexpected season of surpassed expectations. The following, however, does not sound beneficial...
As for Mark Ingram the player, as opposed to the personality, his absence - to put it simply - is going to suck. Not only did he and Kamara make each other's lives exponentially easier en route to having to a historic impact as a duo, but he's gotten more versatile and efficient as his career has rolled on. Four games is more than likely manageable, but if we see anything that remotely resembles the curious case of Willie Snead (circa '17) then a Saints' offense that was finally balanced would take a huge and unnecessary hit during a season that was shaping up to be special.
I guess we'll be getting a look at Boston Scott a little sooner than we thought...
Don't Tell The Saints' Players That Came In At #81 and #82 Respectively Not To Concern Themselves With The NFL's Top 100
Never will I ever fall into the NFL's offseason trap of getting worked up over the outcome of a poll take amongst players that likely had very little interest in putting anything more than a passing thought into the order in which they selected their Top 100 peers. Not only is it nothing more than a cheap way to get people to debate football during the time of year in which football, not-so-coincidentally, couldn't be less newsworthy, but whatever biased, idiotic arguments might ensue are dependent upon the idea that professionally athletes are putting hours of painstaking research into doing the NFL Network's job for them. That's why I always find myself confused when players take offense, seeing as I highly doubt even those that are made mad by the results were happy to closely analyze every single roster in nonsensically judging players with insanely different skill sets against one another.
That being said, I do appreciate that two of players who did take offense happen to be New Orleans Saints. Michael Thomas and Marshon Lattimore might be wasting their energy in getting annoyed by something so meaningless, but if it manifests itself in motivation then who am I to question their frustrations. The 81st and 82nd ranking is definitely too high for a first year and second year player that dramatically altered their team's fortunes on both sides of the ball, but that still puts them puts them in pretty exclusive company. The idea that being slotted in the Top 5-10 players at their position registers as a huge insult to two studs who only stand to improve upon their rookie and sophomore seasons is good news for Saints' fans, and bad news for the rest of the league. Therefore, you won't catch me telling them that the source of that unintended disrespect is quite possibly the most preposterously meaningless practice that currently exists in sports.