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Steve Geller

"WWL First News" Sports Anchor
Weekdays 5am-10am

"Sports Talk" Producer
Weekdays 4pm-8pm

Twitter: @stevegellerWWL
Email: steve@wwl.com

Steve: Would you like Reggie to return to the Saints?

When the news first came out yesterday that the Detroit Lions had released running back Reggie Bush, I knew many Saints fans would be clamoring to re-sign the former 2nd overall draft from 2006. But is that what you really want folks? Or are you just having fond memories of when Bush was here, helping the Black & Gold hoist the Lombardi Trophy in 2010?

First off, its 2015, people, and Bush will turn 30 years old on Monday. His only full season when he was a Saint was his rookie year. The guy is fragile! In fact in his nine seasons of playing in the NFL, Bush has played a 16 game season only twice (2006, 2012). Last year he appeared in 11 contests and scored only 2 TDs as he couldn’t stay healthy dealing with an ankle injury that never seemed to heal.

Secondly; I seem to recall Who Dats being frustrated here with Bush’s East/West running style instead of him going North/South. Sometimes his speed could break one for a big gain, but you can’t think he still has the same burst anymore. He would just frustrate you even more now as he’d opt to step out of bounds instead of risk getting dinged up.

And finally, Bush would be a luxury purchase for the Saints not a need. And to me the team has a whole lot of other problems that are more important in addressing. How about getting under the salary cap? New Orleans is neck deep in the salary cap water currently as they are about $20 million dollars over. There’s been talk of the team parting ways with Jarhi Evans, Marques Colston, even Curtis Lofton and I’m supposed to think about them singing a RB who is always hurt?

Go to YouTube or pop in your Saints Super Bowl DVD to relive good times with Reggie Bush. Because they aren’t coming back and neither should he.
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Topics : PoliticsSports
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Locations : New Orleans
People : Curtis LoftonJohn TarrMarques ColstonReggie Bush


Steve: Payton talks leadership, Saints needs and Brees contract

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com caught up with Saints head coach Sean Payton at the NFL combine and asked him about the team's disappointing 7-9 season.  Payton mentioned that a lack of leadership in the locker room was a big factor for their failure.  

He went on to name guys like Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Jabari Greer, Malcolm Jenkins, Roman Harper and Darren Sproles and admitted it was hard to recover losing so many of those guys in one season.

Payton was asked if he had any guys in mind to step up into that role or if they would have to address that more in free agency.

“I think both,” Payton said. “I think there’s going to have to be a few guys we look at in free agency. I also think we have a good, young nucleus of players.  A good locker room, by and large, but you can never take that for granted.”

Drew Brees’s big cap hit this season was also brought up.  The Saints signal caller along will count $27 million against the salary cap this season.  Is the team thinking about extending his deal to knock that number down some?   

“It’s nothing that we’ve discussed as something immediate,” Payton replied.  “I don’t think that’s going to be something happening anytime soon or something that he or his agent talk to Mickey about either.”

Being at the NFL combine, Payton was also asked the team’s biggest needs in 2015.

“I think one’s a corner,” he answered immediately. “I think another position is an interior offensive lineman and potentially a pass rusher.  And those are invaluable positions to every team every year.  Cover guys, guys that can rush the passer and an inside player offensively.”
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Steve: Pels and Heat swap guards at trade deadline buzzer

The Pelicans needed a short term answer to their Jrue Holiday injury problem and netted themselves Norris Cole from the Heat in exchange for John Salmons.  Cole is not having a good season, but at least the Pels basically gave up nothing for him.

In 47 games, he is averaging 6 points, 3.5 assists and 2 rebounds while playing 24 minutes.  On a positive note Cole is still just 26 years old and does have NBA Finals experience as he's played in Miami since 2011-12 season.

The 2nd half of the season resumes for the Pelicans tomorrow in Orlando.  New Orleans is 1.5 games behind Phoenix for the 8th and final playoff seed in the Western Conference. 

Both Anthony Davis (sprained right shoulder) and Ryan Anderson (sprained right elbow) have been upgraded to probable.
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Locations : MiamiNew OrleansOrlandoPhoenix
People : Anthony DavisJohn SalmonsNorris ColeRyan AndersonSteve Geller


Steve: Bad news for Pels' Jrue, but AD and Anderson hope to return

Before getting to walk inside the Pelicans practice facility today my phone lit up with a notification from the team that Jrue Holiday had suffered a setback.  Not a good way to start the day.

The Pelicans point guard  re-aggravated the stress reaction in his lower right leg and will be re-evaluated in three weeks by the team’s medical staff. There is no time table for his return and has already flown out to Los Angeles to see a specialist.

New Orleans had announced earlier in the day that veteran PG Toney Douglas was signed to another 10 day contract, which makes sense following the news on Holiday.

How about Anthony Davis though?  He spoke to the media following the day's workout and his sprained right shoulder was taped up with some ice.  Davis was injured in Chicago on Feb. 7th and missed the next 2 games. He also opted out of taking part in All Star weekend in NYC to rest his ailment but did still attend the event.

Davis' plan is to play Friday in Orlando barring any setbacks.  We will know more after tomorrow's practice session when there is actual physical contact. 

Also on the mend is Ryan Anderson who suffered a sprained elbow in that same game AD got hurt. Like Davis, he says the goal is to play Friday.

With just 29 games left to go in the regular season New Orleans sits in 10th place in the Western Conference.  They are 1 game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and 1.5 in back of Phoenix Suns who reside in the coveted 8th spot in the conference.  
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Locations : ChicagoLos AngelesNew OrleansOrlando
People : Anthony DavisRyan Anderson


Steve: The Brow bows out of NBA All-Star game

Due to a shoulder sprain he suffered this past Saturday against Chicago, Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis has decided to sit out All-Star weekend in New York City “After careful thought and consideration, I've decided I will not be participating in this year’s NBA All-Star competitions", Davis said. "I want to thank the fans for voting me into the All-Star game and I am sorry I will not be able to play."

AD was the 3rd leading vote getter this year after making it as a reserve last season. Only Lebron James and Stephen Curry revived more votes from fans.

"While I’m disappointed that I won't be able to compete this weekend, I'm still very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the All-Star events in New York and celebrate our game with some of the NBA’s greatest figures", the Brow added. "More than anything, I am anxious to get healthy and back on the court with my teammates after the All-Star break.”

Davis is averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. New Orleans desperately needs him, point guard Jrue Holiday and forward Ryan Anderson back in the line-up as the team is just 1.5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. There are just 29 games left to play in the season; the next one being Feb. 20th in Orlando vs. the Magic.
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Steve: Saints not picked to play in HOF game

Despite Tom Benson making an $11 million donation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for reconstruction of their stadium, the Saints were not picked to open the 2015 preseason for the first ever game in the renamed Tom Benson Stadium. 

That honor goes to Pittsburg and Minnesota, who will kickoff August 9 at 7pm central in Canton. Steelers running back Jerome Bettis and Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff were selected for the Hall of Fame and will be inducted the day before the game.

I’m sure we won’t hear any complaints from New Orleans. The Black and Gold do not have to play an extra 5th preseason contest now, and also don’t have to report to training camp early.
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Locations : MinnesotaNew OrleansPittsburg
People : Jerome BettisMick TingelhoffTom Benson


Steve: Peyton Manning working out in New Orleans

Immediately after the clock ticked down to zero in the AFC divisional game between the Colts and Broncos, the future of Peyton Manning was questioned.  The 38 year old didn’t have a good game, as Denver lost to Indianapolis 24-13. Manning went 26 of 46, throwing for 265 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. Some analysts were saying his arm was shot, and that Manning should hang up the cleats.

Later on it was revealed that he was playing through a torn right quad for the latter half of the season.  It made sense, since the inability to drive off his plant leg most likely contributed to the drastic downturn in effectiveness in arm strength. 

Did Manning have it in him to return from another health setback? Well, the NFL Network is reporting that Manning is working out in New Orleans to see if he has another season left in him.

It’s not like he had a terrible season, just a bad playoff game, which has unfortunately been the norm.  In his career, Manning is 9-11 in the postseason and has gone one and done 8 times.

He still has another two years remaining on his five-year, $96 million contract, which includes base salaries of $19 million for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. If he is on Denver’s roster as of the final day of the 2014 league year, his base salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Manning is expected to meet with Broncos team president & GM John Elway before the NFL combine starts next week, so a decision is just around the corner.

I think most people are hoping Peyton does decide to give it one more shot.  We know Drew Brees does.

Imagine Brees vs. Manning in the Super Bowl Part II!?!?
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Locations : DenverIndianapolisNew Orleans
People : Drew BreesJohn ElwayPayton ManningPeyton Manning


Steve: AD out, Anderson doubtful tonight vs Utah

After suffering a shoulder sprain in Saturdays night’s loss at home to the Bulls, Pelicans forward Anthony Davis was initially listed as questionable for this evening’s tilt vs. Utah. But after this morning’s shoot-around the team has declared the All-Star forward out.

To make matters worse for the Pels, Davis’ back-up Ryan Anderson is also banged up. He is doubtful due to soreness in his right elbow. The dreaded injury bug is really hitting the team hard right now. The Pels will be without their two best players (Davis & Jrue Holiday), and most likely their 3 point sniper (Anderson).

On a positive note, just two more games are left till the All-Star break which will hopefully get the team healthy as they make a push for the post season. The Pelicans are currently just a game behind the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference for the 8th and final playoff seed, but Oklahoma City is lurking just a game in back of New Orleans.

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Locations : New OrleansOklahoma CityUtah
People : Anthony DavisRyan Anderson


Steve: Luke McCown back with the Saints

Back-up quarterback Luke McCown will be back in Black & Gold next season. His agent broke the news on twitter: McCown has a pretty sweet gig. He makes the league minimum of $970,000, along with an $80,000 signing bonus to not even take a single snap during the regular season. That is of course unless Drew Brees gets hurt.

McCown has just one pass attempt in two years with the Saints. This past preseason he beat out Ryan Griffin for the #2 QB spot on the roster by going 26 of 43 in the preseason with three touchdowns and one interception.
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Steve: Patriots locker room attendant under investigation

Can’t get enough of Deflategate? Well, Fox Sports is reporting that the NFL is focusing on a New England Patriots employee in connection with the underinflated football controversy. There is said to be video footage of the Pats’ locker room attendant taking balls from the official’s locker room into another room at Gillette Stadium before bringing them out to the field.

The report adds that the league has questioned this person of interest already. It will be interesting to see what comes of this now because we surely aren’t to believe that this attendant is the mastermind behind it all, are we?

If he in fact is the Deflator, I would think he was just following orders that were passed down from the head coach or the quarterback. There’s just no way would someone take it upon themselves to perform the act. Guess we’ll have to wait now to see if he’ll talk or take the fall.

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