If history tells us anything, the New Orleans Saints are right where they want to be. Ha! The Saints are as in as tight of a financial situation as any of the 32 teams in the National Football League. With that said, in past years, facing similar situations, the Saints were able to land some of the top available free agents.
"Mickey Loomis and his Front Office have done some amazing things in the past," said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. "Being able to land guys like Curtis Lofton and Jairus Byrd when things were tight was incredible. I don't know if the Saints will be able to free up that kind of money this year. But in the past they have," said Hebert.
If you're looking ahead to what the Saints might do in-house, here's a few names to keep in mind. Veteran players like Offensive Guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs along with veteran WR Marques Colston could all be players that are kindly asked to take pay-cuts.
Both Colston and Grubbs would count about nine million dollars against the cap and Evans would cost 11 million from a cap standpoint. Being able to loosen up some payout on those three players would bode well in keeping proven veteran players intact and also helping the Saints front office be more flexible in the free agent market.
"I think that those three players are guys that the Saints will and possibly already have approached about taking a pay cut," said Larry Holder of nola.com and the Times Picayune. Holder said that the Saints have some work to do in order to free up some usable money this off season.
Some players that might become cap casualties that means possibly being cut outright include Linebacker David Hawthorne, Defensive Lineman Broderick Bunkley and Defensive Back Corey White.
"Bunkley and Hawthorne will count about four and a half million against the cap and White's cap number has elevated to about a million and a half dollars." Holder said that paying nearly two million dollars to a back-up CB in White might be too much for the Saints to pay out to Corey White in 2015.
The Saints also have to deal with the future of RB Mark Ingram. Ingram is coming off his best season yet as a pro but if the Saints can land one of their two first round picks from the 2011 draft to a long term deal with take some work and probably some compromise from both sides.
I think the Saints feel like that Mark Ingram is more valuable to them than that of any other team. But will the Saints be able to land Ingram at the price that they feel is right?
Coach Paul Mainieri and his #2 ranked LSU Tigers enjoyed another solid week on the diamond that included a third straight weekend series sweep of an opponent. The 10-1 Tigers took down the Princeton Tigers 3-0 this weekend including a 15-4 series finale blowout win Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.
"Our goal is to be at our very best once SEC play begins. Certainly we want to win each time we step out on the field. I think that we are in perfect position the final week before Southeastern Conference play starts. Certainly we would have liked to win the one game we lost but I'm truly happy with where we are as a team," Mainieri said.
LSU beat Southeastern in a slugfest last Thursday night 9-8 and then nipped Princeton 3-2 on Friday; "I used to get upset on those nights when we did not hit the ball well and came out of a close game. But after my father pointed out to me, those close games help your team get into tight situations that allow the team to gain poise, keep their composure and gain confidence in tight games," Coach continued.
The Tigers have their final few tests before SEC play begins next weekend when they entertain the Ole Miss Rebels. The Tigers have five games on this week's schedule. LSU plays host to Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday followed by another home game against in-state foe Grambling State.
This weekend the Tigers face their stiffest competition of the season as they participate in the 2015 Houston College Classic in Houston, Texas. LSU will take on the team that knocked them out of the post season last spring in the 8th ranked Houston Cougars. The series takes place all weekend long at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
"Those are three very good teams with some big time players. We all know how good Houston is, Stephen F. Austin always plays us tough and Nebraska comes from a power conference that is well coached. It's going to be great competition in a Major League Venue and we are expecting a lot of Tigers Fans with us in Houston this weekend."
The Tigers will also battle Big XII foe Baylor and LSU wraps the weekend with a non-conference tilt against Big Ten foe Nebraska.
Well the long trip to WDW (Walt Disney World) was a little shorter than planned as our oldest child, the lovely Emma Claire came down with the flu. On Mardi Gras Day my wife Richelle spent pretty much the entire day in the urgent care with her, so our trip had to be altered some.
Instead of being in WDW for the rest of last week, I was back home on Wednesday afternoon. But man oh man did we all have a great time! We got to see the Yeti, rode everything we wanted to at Magic Kingdom and I got my Pork Shank from Gaston’s Tavern.
Jackie was once again all hyped up when we got to the Thunder Mountain Ride and for the first time in my life, I got wet riding Splash Mountain. Spending time with the family was fun and much needed.
I got to see so many great hometown folks while I was in Orlando. Thanks to all of you for being so kind to me and my family. You know the kid in us all shows up and comes out quite often when visiting Disney World!
I’m already looking forward to going back with my girls hopefully again soon. So here are a few more pictures from last week’s Disney World trip.
Even after a midweek loss to Nicholls State, the LSU Tigers are once again off to a hot start. LSU is now 6-1 after their second straight weekend sweep of the season. “We want our starting pitchers to pitch efficiently and effectively. I thought we did both last weekend.”
LSU Coach Paul Mainieri visited with Bobby and I Monday night on Sports Talk. “I thought our pitching was outstanding this past weekend. I thought Jared Poche did a decent job and then Alex Lange came back and pitched extremely well on Friday Night against Boston College,” he said. The Tigers swept the BC Eagles in a three game series.
The Tigers improved to 6-1 overall on the season and LSU is currently ranked #2 in this weeks Baseball America Top 25. LSU has a midweek game against in-state foe Southeastern Thursday night at 6:30pm (originally scheduled for Wednesday but rain's coming). The LSU Tigers then host the Princeton Tigers for a three game series beginning Friday at Alex Box Stadium.
“This might be the best year I’ve seen Louisiana Baseball Team’s as a whole. The entire state is playing well and all of the teams are good. The midweek games in the state have become extremely challenging and that’s what you want. You want your team to be challenged.”
You can listen to our entire interview with Coach Paul Mainieri by clicking below.
The 2015 college baseball season is here! “We are all excited about a new season. We think we have a pretty good team and we are ready to take on a good Kansas team,” said LSU Coach Paul Mainieri when he spoke to Bobby and I before the Tigers season opener Friday night against the Kanas Jayhawks.
LSU is coming off a 46-16 record in 2014 in which the Tigers earned the #8 National Seed. Coach Mainieri says that he has a good mix of pitchers this season. "We are very confident in our pitchers. We have a good mix of veterans and a good group of freshmen. I have a lot of confidence in these kids. They lead me to believe that they are going to handle the bright lights well,” Mainieri said.
Coach Mainieri said that he hopes to have his pitching rotation set by the fourth week of the season. “We will evaluate where we are as a pitching staff before we go to Houston in four weeks. Allowing each pitcher to have about 15 innings worked is what we hope to have.”
Here in New Orleans, the UNO Privateers are on the road to open the season. Coach Ron Maestri and his club are in Mobile to take on the South Alabama Jaguars. “I think we’ve got a few more players that can swing the bat. We lost a lot of close games last season. We’ve got some good kids back and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.”
UNO was 11-38 in 2014 but lost a lot of close games. UNO lost 22 games by two runs or less, and Maestri thinks the Privateers will be better this season. “The kids have put in good work this off season and I think we will be able to win more of those close games this season.”
In Uptown New Orleans, the Tulane Green Wave are cross country taking on the Pepperdine Wave. First Year Coach David Pierce makes his debut as the Wave’s new head man. “It’s the best. We would like to open up at home but opening up on the road at a place like Pepperdine is a very nice place to be.”
Coach Pierce has been one of the most successful coaches in college baseball with 14 straight post season appearances at while coaching at Houston, Rice and Sam Houston State. “Our kids have worked so hard in the off season and they are raring to go and I’m looking for to the season.”
The ULL Ragin Cajuns and Southeastern Lions open their seasons this weekend as well. ULL takes on Texas San Antonio on the road while the SLU Lions will battle the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs up in Hammond. Bobby and Deke spoke to ULL Coach Tony Robichaux and SLU Coach Matt Riser.
You can listen to our interviews with all four coaches right here.
Delvin Breaux has signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. He was once one of the nation’s most sought-after high school football prospects when he starred for the McDonough #35 Roneagles. “It has been a long road. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity that I have now before me.”
Breaux inked a scholarship with LSU but never got to play a single down for the Tigers. “Once I got injured, it was pretty much trying to get well and be able to get cleared medically to play football again," he mused.
During the 2006 prep football season, Delvin was seriously injured on special teams. Breaux fractured his C4, C5 and C6 vertebrae during a kickoff return. From that point on, it was not only the athletic future of Breaux that was put on hold, but the everyday life and ability to function properly was at stake as well. “I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. Before I could really even truly think about playing again I had to go through a lot. But keeping my dreams of playing football again was more than enough motivation for me,” Breaux said.
Breaux signed with the Saints on January 24 and he is expected to come in and compete for playing time at cornerback on the Saints defense this off season. When asked about his strengths, Breaux told us he’s an all-around complete player. “I don’t shy away from anything. My strength is being physical. I don’t think I have any real weaknesses. I go out and try and compete at the highest level each time I’m on the field and I play to win.”
Breaux is a proud native New Orleans man that is awfully proud to be with his home team. Back in 2012, Delvin played for the Louisiana Bayou Vipers of the Gridiron Developmental Football League. Later Delvin played in the AFL with the New Orleans VooDoo and recently played in the Canadinan Football League for the Hamilton Tigercats.
“It’s great to be able to play for the team in my hometown. I’m looking forward to working with some of the best players in the NFL and I’ll go out and lay it all on the line each time I’m on the field.”
I know we are just days away from the Super Bowl, but after talking to Delvin Breaux there is an exciting feeling that is running through my head right now. Sure he has a long way to go. But there haven’t been many that have ever had to travel the road that Delvin Breaux has had.
Delvin Breaux is back where he belongs, here in New Orleans. Delvin has taken the long road back home and that’s just fine with him. And the rest of the Who Dat Nation is behind Delvin in full force!
To listen to the complete interview with Delvin, click the link below
The legit journalists will point out the bios, history of, the numbers pertaining to and all of the facts dealing with stories they report on. But this piece comes from pure emotion…feelings.
We've been hit with a lot of news about the leadership of two of the country's professional sports franchises. Longtime Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson announced he revised his succession plan. Less than 24 hours later, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of his daughter and two grandchildren contesting Mr. Benson's new plans.
Anytime you’re settling an estate, many legal fronts are involved. So that part is pretty much expected. But even though situations like this happen a lot in many families, it doesn’t make anything easier or less intense. I can only tell you what I feel and what I know and that's it. Folks, this makes me sad. And I'm most sad for Tom Benson.
I've interviewed Mr. Benson three times in my career. The first time I ever personally came into contact with Mr. B was after the Saints 34-13 loss to the Denver Broncos way back on November 21, 2004. That day I caught him coming off the elevator and he was upset (to say the least) about how the Saints played. "That's the worst performance I've seen in my 20 years of owning this team. They looked like a bunch of high school players out there," he told me.
Since then, Bobby and I have been able to sit down with Mr. Benson on three other occasions to talk about him and the two pro sports franchises he owns. That is the extent of my relationship with Mr. Benson.
I think it's sad to see a man, who worked very hard to achieve great success on many levels in many fields, be subjected to such mean, outlandish and downright cruel treatment.
This is a man who has given millions, a lot of millions to schools, colleges and universities, numerous charities, medical facilities and hospitals. Mr. Benson has made a lot of things possible by his acts of kindness…through charitable donations over the years.
Tom Benson is 87 years old. He worked all of his life and now has to be called incompetent and not in his right frame of mind? Man, that's upsetting to me. When I read the lawsuit contesting Mr. Benson's succession plan, I got emotional. The things Mr. Benson is being called are coming from people who say they love him. Which leads me to the main question that is simply - how?
How can people love a man who has taken care of them all of their lives and dishonor him this way? I was raised and taught that if you have something, and YOU want to give it to someone that's your right, isn't it? To be fair here I'm quite sure there is more to the story and there are a lot of things I don’t know. As the coming weeks lead us into deeper territory of the Benson family battle, I hope for the best.
I hope that no more shame, embarrassment and hurt will be heaped on either side.
Most of all, I hope for the best for New Orleans and Louisiana….regardless of which side you are on…and some of you may not even pick a side.
I want the best outcome that helps the Saints and the Pelicans remain in New Orleans forever. I can remember the days after Hurricane Katrina, when we lived amidst uncertainty. I remember how it hurt to think about the Saints not being in New Orleans ever again.
We overcame that and the rest of the world was moved and began to realize this team is at the heart of this city. It took over seventy thousand fans packed into the Superdome Monday, September 25, 2006 (the first Monday night football game after Katrina) for some to understand that the Saints are far more than football to New Orleans, New Orleanians and the Gulf South.
The Saints are a beacon of hope, inspiration and motivation for so many people. Having the Saints remain in New Orleans forever is what Deke Bellavia wants, and I’m sure most of you too. Yes, I have strong feelings about this. But nothing - and I mean nothing - supersedes my desire to see New Orleans Saints stay in the Crescent City. And that's the bottom line!
As he worked the room on his way to our interview, I pondered what my first question to Coach Les Miles would be. Coach Les Miles inked his eleventh signing day class earlier in Baton Rouge: “We feel like we got a lot of players that we needed to fill key positions,” he said.
Coach Miles and his program signed 25 players to the class of 2015. The position that yielded the most players at one spot was along the Tigers offensive line. “Coach Grimes did a great job. Being able to talk to some of our veteran players and have them come back and then to go out and get what we feel like are seven quality guys is a job well done.”
Brent Grimes is the Tigers offensive line xoach and this was the first full year that Coach Grimes had to recruit, as he was hired just before signing day in 2014. The LSU Class of 2015 has a lot of talent in all areas. But when you look at the position breakdown, it’s easy to point out that Coach Les Miles had a strong emphasis on adding some offensive linemen.
The Tigers have signed a total of seven offensive linemen to their class of 2015. The top rated O-Lineman that the Tigers have signed is Maea Teuhema. The 6-3 338 five-star standout from Keller, Texas is one of the nation’s premier linemen. Six other quality players give the Tigers a complete group of big guys in the trenches.
Toby Weathersby (6-4 294) from Houston, Texas, Adrian MaGee (6-4 352) from Franklinton and Hanner Shipley (6-5 260) from Marble Falls, Texas give LSU three tall linemen that are solid both as run blockers and good at pass protecting.
The Tigers raided the state of Georgia once again and landed two offensive linemen; Blake Ferguson (6-3 230) from Bufford, Georgia and Chidi-Valentine-Okeke (6-5 306) keep the Tigers pipeline in the state of Georgia strong in the Les Miles era. And the Tigers wrap up along the offensive line with a get from the state of Ohio. Big 6-6 275 George Brown from Cincinnati comes to LSU once again proving that the reach of Les Miles extended much farther than the Southern States.
LSU also got richer at the RB spot. LSU inked two of the state’s best players in running backs Nicholas Brossette and Derius Guice. Brossette hails from the LSU campus as he starred for the 3A Champion University High Cubs. And Guice has long been committed to LSU from Catholic High in Baton Rouge. Guice is rated as the #2 overall player in Louisiana and he is ranked the 15th best RB according to rivals.com.
Brossette is the 15th best player in the state in 2014. David Ducre from Lakeshore High in Mandeville and Acadiana’s Bry’Kiethon Mouton give the Tigers four RBs that signed as part of the class of 2015.
Warren Easton’s Tyron Johnson is one of the nation’s premiere players, rated as the nation’s second best WR according to Rivals.com. As the Tigers wrap up signing day 2015 the focus now is on spring football which begins in about a month.
“We will look to solidify that position in the spring,” Coach Miles said to me when I asked him about the Tigers quarterback position. Currently, it looks like Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings will be vying for the Tigers starting spot this spring.
Riverdale DB Donte Jackson is also one of the Tigers top signees. “There is some debate to which player is the best in the state this year,” said Mike Scarborough of Tigerbait.com. “Guice is a great player, Johnson is nationally ranked but I think that Donte Jackson could very well be the best player in Louisiana this year.”
The LSU Class of 2015 has a lot of talent in all areas, but when you look at the position breakdown it’s easy to point out that Coach Les Miles had a strong emphasis on adding some offensive linemen.
The Tigers have signed a total of seven offensive linemen to their class of 2015. “LSU will welcome back some veterans on the O-Line but losing a guy like L'ael Collins means you have to add some quality players,” said Mike Scarborough of Tigerbait.com.
The top rated O-linemen that the Tigers have signed is Maea Teuhema. The 6'3" 338-lb five-star standout from Keller, Texas is one of the nation’s premier linemen. Six other quality players give the Tigers a complete group of big guys in the trenches.
Toby Weathersby (6'4" 294 lbs) from Houston, Texas, Adrian MaGee (6'4" 352 lbs) from Franklinton and Hanner Shipley (6'5" 260 lbs) from Marble Falls, Texas give LSU three tall linemen that are solid both as run blockers and good at pass protecting.
The Tigers raided the state of Georgia once again and landed two offensive linemen. Blake Ferguson (6'3" 230 lbs) from Bufford, Georgia and Chidi-Valentine-Okeke (6'5" 306 lbs) also from Georgia keep the Tigers pipeline in the state of Georgia strong in the Les Miles era.
And the Tigers wrap up along the offensive line with a get from the state of Ohio. Big 6'6" 275-lb George Brown from Cincinnati comes to LSU, once again proving that the reach of Les Miles extendeds much farther than the Southern states.
Coach Les Miles will recap his entire class this afternoon at the annual Bayou Bash in Baton Rouge.
When you return what many feel is the nation’s best underclassman in Leonard Fournette, the backfield on offense is pretty much set. But that is not stopping LSU from stock piling talent in the backfield. LSU inked two of the state’s best players in running back’s Nicholas Brossette and Derius Guice.
Brossette hails from the LSU campus as he starred for the 3A Champion University High Cubs. And Guice has long been committed to LSU from Catholic High in Baton Rouge. Guice is rated as the #2 overall player in Louisiana and he is ranked the 15th best RB according to rivals.com.
Brossette is the 15th best player in the state in 2014. Guice is one of four five star players that are signing with LSU which is currently tied for second in the nation. Only Florida State (5 five-star) has more five star players than LSU currently.
Mike Scarborough of Tigerbait.com says that LSU has long been able to sign the nation's best RB's. "You see a pattern of some of the best backs in the nation that sign with LSU. The history of being able to land some of the best RB's continues as Brossette and Guice give more depth and more talent to an already stout offensive backfield."
The LSU Tigers are finishing with a strong bang on Letter of Intent Day. So far, LSU has landed two of the nation’s best players on offense and defense. The Tigers got a big pick up this morning when they inked Toby Weathersby, the nation's seventh best offensive tackle according to rivals.com. The 6'4" 294-lb OL played for Westfield High School in Houston, Texas.
LSU has also signed David Ducre RB from Lakeshore High School in Mandeville, as well as one of the nation's premiere defensive backs in Kevin Tolliver II. The 6'2" 193-lb DB is the ranked as the nation's third best cornerbacks and has been committed to LSU for over three years.
Well it's never too early to look ahead to next season. Hell, it's next season right now! the Super Bowl came to an end, the newest odds are out on which team has the best shot to win it all in 2016. If you go by the numbers below the New Orleans Saints are considered the 9th best team in the NFL to win the Super Bowl next year.
The Saints are among six NFC teams in the top 9, with only New England, Denver and Indianapolis representing the AFC. The Saints are considered the 6th best team in the NFC behind Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco. If you consider what the Saints record was in 2014 that's quite impressive of what Vegas thinks about the Black and Gold right now.
Of the top 13 favorites for 2016, the Saints have the worst record from this past season posting a 7-9 mark. Only New Orleans and San Francisco (8-8) are teams that won less than 10 games in 2014 that are among the odds makers top 13 teams. And please keep in mind people, Las Vegas has no home team. Vegas goes strictly by the numbers. And these numbers right now say that the Saints are still very much an elite team.
So if Las Vegas thinks the Saints are still a legit Super Bowl contender, shouldn't we also? Only time will tell but another 7-9 season, or not making the playoffs will be a bad season and the numbers say so!
These 2016 Super Bowl Odds are courtesy of Bovada.
Odds to win the 2016 Super Bowl
Seattle Seahawks 5/1
New England Patriots 7/1
Green Bay Packers 8/1
Denver Broncos 10/1
Dallas Cowboys 14/1
Indianapolis Colts 14/1
Philadelphia Eagles 20/1
San Francisco 49ers 20/1 New Orleans Saints 22/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 25/1
Arizona Cardinals 33/1
Baltimore Ravens 33/1
Detroit Lions 33/1
Atlanta Falcons 40/1
Carolina Panthers 40/1
Chicago Bears 40/1
Cincinnati Bengals 40/1
Houston Texans 40/1
Kansas City Chiefs 40/1
Miami Dolphins 40/1
Minnesota Vikings 40/1
New York Giants 40/1
San Diego Chargers 40/1
St. Louis Rams 40/1
Buffalo Bills 66/1
Cleveland Browns 66/1
New York Jets 100/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 100/1
Tennessee Titans 100/1
Washington Redskins 100/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 200/1
Oakland Raiders 200/1