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What will 2012 be like for the Saints?

ColtsPRIDE11

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I want to put a disclaimer at the beginning of this blog: I in no way am putting the Saints (who are not involved in the Bounty Scandal) or Saints fans down in this blog. I urge you to not consider that to be anywhere in my words. Quite the contrary, I feel for the fans (I can only imagine what I would do should my beloved Colts have been involved in something like this...), I feel for the players who are innocent and uninvolved in the bounty,,,but, the question I pose is one we're all thinking...

The Bounty Scandal. We all know what it is. We all have our opinions about it. And we are all wondering the same thing: Just how bad will this season be for the NO Saints?

To recap: dating back to the 2009 season, the powers that be that run the NFL have suspected a possible "bounty scheme" being run within the Saints organization. The Saints and Payton where given one, no two, no wait THREE warnings about shutting it down if there indeed was such a thing going on within the organization. The Saints pled innocent, assuring the commish and others no such thing was happening in their organization...well, someone snitched on the organization and confirmed to the NFL powers that a bounty scheme was indeed being ran in NO (who it was does not matter to me, and personally I am glad they did...now if I was a fellow teammate that happened to be involved in the bounty scheme I'd be shall we say ticked). Therefore, a full on investigation was logded to find the truth.

Well folks, the truth ain't pretty.

Not only was Greg Williams (then the NO Saints DC and most recently hired as the Rams DC) involved, but so was Sean Payton, the HC and someone I considered to be a pretty stand up guy...boy was I wrong...I first thought, no, Payton didn't know about it. He just wasn't doing a good job at managing his staff. Friends, this hope has been shattered with evidence showing Payton was indeed aware of the scheme. He lied to investigators about it, and instructed his defensive assistants to lie as well...let's just say any ounce of respect I had for him is gone. I hang my head in dissapointment at this one. You see, even though I am not a Saints fan per say,I had gained respect for them...especially Payton and Brees. These two men to me brought the organization up from ashes to a playoff contender consistently in the recent past, so to find out that one of them was deeply involved in something as repulsive as a bounty scheme disgusts me (and yes, slightly crushes me).

Commish Goodell then issued his verdict and sentences for those involved: HC Payton suspended for the entire 2012 season (originally to begin April 1st, but pushed back to April 16th due to appeals), Assistant HC Joe Vitt suspended for 6 games , GM Mickey Loomis suspended for 8 games, a $500,000 fine to the organization, and the loss of their second round draft picks for not only this year but next year as well, and Greg Williams, well IMO he has been Pete Rose'd from the NFL...suspended indefinitely.

Ok, recap done, let's move on to what "good behavior" from Payton, Vitt, and Loomis could get them. After the appeals, Goodell, who has been (and remains) pretty unyielding and firm regarding not tolerating such repulsive behavior as bounties, has not locked the door on the monetary fines and loss of draft picks.

Goodell said in a statement if Payton, Loomis and Vitt “embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way,” he would consider reducing the financial penalties on them.

Goodell also “would consider whether there are factors that would support modifying the forfeiture of the team’s 2013 second-round draft choice.” (What I read into this is, depending on how deep and wide this thing goes the Saints might have the opportunity to get this part of the punishment revoked.)

So in essence, Goodell is saying "Hey, you messed up...big time, BUT if you learn from your mistakes and get on the straight and narrow I will make things a little easier as time moves on"...so, hope is not lost for the Saints...it's time for these men to show what they are made of. Time to admit you are wrong, correct your ways, and honestly promise not to do something so dispicable again...to me that is what Goodell is looking for from them.

OK! All that said (and it needed to be said to get to the meat--the point--of this post), where will this leave the Saints in 2012?

The book is not closed regarding this scandal. Up to 27 players (many who are still with the Saints and many who are now else where) are being investigated and are likely to be fined/punished for participating in this sorid scandal. (FYI: Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been charged by the NFL with offering a $10,000 bounty on Vikings QB Farve if a teammate sidelined him in the 2009 NFC Championship game...first of many...) When Goodell has finished running his fine toothed comb through this situation and has issued all punishment that needs to be issued, where will the Saints be? What will they be left with? Will their season this year (and possibly next) be down the drain with no hope in sight? ... ...

All is NOT lost IMO. Butm the weight of this heavy task falls on the shoulders of one man: Drew Brees. Brees is the heart beat of the Saints team. When he came to NO, he revived the Saints and a city that seemed to have given up on football. He was like water in a dry desert (granted, Brees would say the same about the Saints b/c this organization revived Bree's NFL career from the dead...no one wanted him after his shoulder injury). Drew brought passion...he brought hope...he is a big reason why the Saints are who they are today. Whether you want to admit it or not, Drew is at the center of the reason for success for the Saints.

Now, this task for Drew is even bigger than ever b/c his counter part in success was/is Sean Payton...who finds himself smack dab in the middle of this bounty scandal...so...Payton is gone and Drew is left alone to keep the team from falling...can he do it? Will he get it done? ... ... ... ...

My answer is this: IF ANYONE CAN DO IT, DREW BREES CAN.

... ...but the Saints organization needs to get a contract sealed for their leader... ...if they fail to do this, I shudder to think of the future for the Saints... ...

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You say it the best in the very last sentence. The Saints need to step up to the $20 million plate (Manning got $19.2 with Broncos)ASAP.

He will be the one that pulls their team together. I still hope Bill Parcels does not step in as coach. When Sean Payton was injured, Carmichael did well. They should wait for Vitt.

As I write this....Bill Parcels WILL NOT come out of retirement to coach! More Saints news....to come.

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Good! I'm glad Parcels made this decision. Vitt will more than likely be moved into the HC position and other coaching staff will have to fill in during his suspension.

The Saints need to get Brees's contract done yesterday. To me this is not something you fool around with,

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Good! I'm glad Parcels made this decision. Vitt will more than likely be moved into the HC position and other coaching staff will have to fill in during his suspension.

The Saints need to get Brees's contract done yesterday. To me this is not something you fool around with,

That looks to be the case on Vitt. Spags and Carmichael can handle it....

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I've always thought so...I guess that's why I got so dang aggrivated when Parcels was brought in the picture.

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Great post!

However the Saints do this, they cannot do it without Brees.

For the sake of the fans and the community, they need to sign him and move forward

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Agreed 100% Maureen. Brees is the key here. The Saints need to realize that ASAP.

Thanks for liking my post :)

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Some fans approach blogs & forum posts from a statistical perspective. Me, I'm more of a front office chemistry guy myself.

Drew Brees is your shining beacon of hope. When Hurricane Katrina broke the leeves in New Orleans & your city was brought to it's collective knees, who gave the people of the French Quarter & her surrounding areas something to cheer about? Drew Brees. When the Saints beat my beloved Colts in the 2009 Superbowl, who was a key advocate for creating a lottery system in which tickets were sold & donated to Katrina victims courtesy of a 2nd Superbowl Ring that a person could actually win & feel part of the Lombardi magic by owning their own NFL piece of history? Drew Brees. Who will put the burden of the bounty scandal squarely on his shoulders & remind the rest of the NFL that even the fallen are worthy of redemption? Drew Brees.

Pay the man now!!! $19 million sounds about right. The longer management drags these talks out; the more expense it will be for them IMO. Good Job CP11!!! Very well written piece of profession prose here.

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A lot will depend on what the player punishments look like. I saw Drew today saying that he still doesn't believe that the Saints are guilty of bounties for injuries, just an incentive program.

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I agree whole heartedly. Player punishments are going to be the other big key in how the Saints fair this season...

I figured he would be saying something along those lines. Really, what else would he say? It's not like he could say "Yeah we had a bounty scheme going on and those guys really need to be punished." Goes back to his credibility w/ his teammates and being able to be an effective leader.

Thanks for your input.

I've been thinking and trying to figure out which players are involved...got any ideas?

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Brees has and always will be a classy guy. As he will build the team up. And hopefully all teams will learn from this. That you can't hurt a player to end their careers. You may want to tackle them from keeping you from losing the game. But hurting them or to the point, paralyzing them. It is an outrage. Hopefully not just the Saints but the league as a whole, will learn that they should not hurt people just for the sake of it.

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"Hopefully not just the Saints but the league as a whole, will learn that they should not hurt people just for the sake of it."

I completely agree JPPT1974.

And as you say, Drew is one of the most classy guys in the NFL.

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Being that I am and are still living next to New Orleans I told people around here the year the Saints won the Superbowl ( during the year) that it looked and thought the Saints defense were a bunch of dirt bags and I could see something was up with this stuff matter of fact I think some of the Refs should have been suspended for letting them get away with in some of the playoff games. More could be said on this but I'll leave it like that. Also I take nothing away from the Saints on the win over the Colts except that if Freney would have been 100% he would have RIPPED BRESS HEAD OFF!!!! What I hope does happen to that team is? I HOPE THEY FALL APART!!!

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Not a fan of the State of La that I live in and certain-ally not of New Orleans

but that's another story.

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I'm with you Coltsense4. How did some fines or suspensions not come about when some of these hits were made? Especially the Warner hit and the Farve hit. I guess we'll never know.

I take nothing away from the Saints on the win over the Colts except that if Freney would have been 100% he would have RIPPED BREES HEAD OFF!!!!

You are right, if Freeney would have been 100%, I believe the outcome of that game would have been different. One of those things we can speculate but never know.

Whether the Saints fall apart or not does solely rest upon the shoulders of Brees (IMO). He'll be the glue that keeps them together as time goes on.

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The Saints, I do not expect anything better than a wild card spot this year. I expect the Falcons to win the NFC South this year. Saints start their playoffs on the road and continue their road woes in the playoffs by going one and done again like the last 2 years. I actually expect the Falcons to make the NFCCG.

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Hmmm...interesting. Honestly I haven't given much thought to the Falcons, but i will admit that I when I went to the Colts/Falcons game at LOS last year Ryan kind of impressed me a tad. I had underrated him and his ability.

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It depends for the Saints in the first 6 games. Spag is DC, Carmichael is HC, and a guy by the name of Drew Brees is OC/

Pending suspensions of players, no way Falconns win...they will go fourth and 2 twice..and fail as usual and it is the Saints divison to lose.

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Brent, you know how much I admire Drew, and if anyone can do it (other than Peyton) it's him...but how much of the current Saints D is going to be gone (at least for a period of time) due to the Bounty? And if it is far reaching, you might as well say that the Saints won't have a D to speak of this year...while Drew is good, is he good enough to over compensate for the lack of D? I lean toward yes (again, I love Drew), but time will tell...I'm anxious to see what kind of player penalties will be handed down by good ole Commish Goodell...

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