One of the Atlanta morning show hosts fired over an offensive "comedy" sketch has written a long piece to apologize for the parody skit that made fun of former Saints safety Steve Gleason and his condition.
Chris Dimino, one of the three employees fired from the "Mayhem in the Morning" show, wrote the following post on his Facebook page. The full text of his post is below. How do you feel about his apology? Sound off below in the comments section (but please keep it clean, folks, this is a family-friendly station.
So where to begin. The obvious and rightful place is with an apology. And the reality of knowing that falls short...no matter what I say...is heartbreaking.
The sheer stupidity of trying to put this as a failed attempt at humor is not lost on me.
The words "Should have known better" mean nothing to me. And shouldn't to you right now
I would like to though offer my apology. Knowing that it is everyone's right not to accept it. Or even consider accepting it for now.
My apologies go out first to Steve Gleason and his family. The weight of what he and they are going through did not need to be made heavier or worse by the pure and straight insensitivity of my actions.
I also want to offer up my apologies to all who are not only dealing with ALS..but to those who are dealing with ANYTHING that has made themself or family and friends subject to the physical and emotional heartache of any debilitating disease or condition.
As a father of two girls, I put myself in a position that I have begged...pleaded..DEMANDED..they not put themselves in. That of the bully. The mean kid. The one who thinks what they say or do comes with no consequence. It does. It always does.
I have no illusion as to what 19 years on the radio...30 years of being a grown man..and most importantly almost 10 years of being a father..and what you build up in your name and reputation over those periods of time..should and does mean.
Now I know how quickly a stupid and worse than that non thinking moment can change all of it.
I hope I get a chance to prove this is not who I want to be. It was and is who "I am" today though. That much is not lost on me.
I have spent so long not trying to put other people in a bad place because of me. Today I failed miserably.
I'm very open to any and all dialogue as it pertains to the people I have hurt and disappointed. I've had that dialogue with myself..my wife and will with my kids.
by Steve Geller, email@example.com,posted Jun 7 2013 12:12PM
At the end of last season many analysts felt like it was the end of the line for Will Smith in black and gold due to his age, decreased production and inflated salary; but after renegotiating his contract to stay in New Orleans he enters 2013 right where he's always been... well, expect on the field.
After playing 9 seasons at defensive end in the NFL for the Saints, "Big Will" is moving to outside linebacker in new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.
"I have been in a lot of different systems throughout my career and had a lot of different defensive coaches, different styles, and different ways of going about things," Smith said. "I'm pretty adaptable to different things and adjusting to different things, so I didn't think it would be that much of a challenge. I'm still rushing the passer. I'm still doing the same things I've always done. It just puts me in a better position than I was in last year."
While the pass rushing aspect will remain the same for Smith, now having to drop back into coverage is a responsibility that he doesn't think will be an added burden.
"Just watch the games from last year. I dropped back a bunch of times when I had to cover tight ends and a couple of receivers," says Smith. "It's not something that I'm not familiar with, but I just haven't done it on a consistent basis. I did it earlier, when I first got here about nine years ago with Jim Haslett. He kind of went away from it, and then it came back. It's just something that I kind of need to get used to doing. I don't think it will be that difficult. I've played this base before."
At age 31 though, Smith isn't the same pass rusher. So how in the world is he going to be able to hang in coverage with tight ends, wide receivers and running backs? Is this experiment doomed for failure?
We will find out more once the players are in full pads in training camp, but it's hard for me to imagine that guys like Junior Galette, Martez Wilson and Victor Butler aren't better suited to fill the role on this team. All of them are younger, and you could say more talented at this stage of their respective careers.
You hear the moniker "gentle giant" used often to describe a player in sports that may be menacing in stature but is actually a very kind, easy going, and approachable person. That description fits 2nd year defensive lineman Akiem Hick to a T.
The 6 ft 5 inch 324 pounder always seems to have a smile on his face, and is even becoming quite the trend setter in the locker room.
Hicks on his hairdo: "It's really funny because last year, I think it was either around game 7 or game 8, I had brought it on to a real light small Mohawk. Now mine's been growing and everybody else is trying to catch up. I'm not too mad about it, it's all right."
The Saints 2012 3rd round draft pick is looking to grow more than his hair in 2013.
"Everybody's is fighting for a job and everybody wants to play on Sunday," Hicks says about the competition in practice. "Everybody is going to get reps but who is going to get the most, though. It's a competition and its need for the cream to rise to the top."
In his rookie year Hicks played in 14 games and totaled 20 tackles with 1 forced fumble and 1 pass defended. You could really see his progression toward the end of the season, and he was one of the very few bright spots in the league's worst defense. Now in year 2, a lot more will be expected from the 23-year-old who faces a new challenge of learning a new defensive scheme and position.
After one season Steve Spagnulo was out as Saints defensive coordinator and Rob Ryan was hired to take his place. The biggest difference between the two is that Spags ran a 4-3 scheme while Ryan uses a 3-4. Hicks will also be making the switch to defensive end from defensive tackle, but he insists it really isn't that big a deal.
"It's been going really good," says Hicks. "I played a lot of defensive end in college so I'm pretty used to it."
Certainly nothing is set in stone, and Hicks could end of playing nose tackle still. But it was pretty clear after the Saints selected John Jenkins in the third round this year that they felt Akiem Hicks could better be utilized as an end.
His main competition for playing time at the defensive end position is Kenyon Coleman.
by Steve Geller, Steve@wwl.com,posted May 22 2013 6:24AM
OK, so there was no draft lottery magic for the Pelicans this year like in 2012 when New Orleans earned the top spot in the NBA draft, but there's also no player close the caliber of Anthony Davis in this crop of young talent who is the consensus #1 overall pick.
The Pelicans won the rights to the 6th overall pick in this year's draft and can most definitely still add a kid to their roster who can come in and make an immediate impact. This year's rookie of year, Damian Lillard, was taken by the Trailblazers with...the 6th overall pick in 2012.
"I'm a little surprised, but I'm not disappointed by the sixth pick," Coach Monty Williams said. "It's still a high pick. There are a lot of quality guys that will be available, a lot of rotation guys. We feel good about the pick. It's only going to add to the young core that we have. I feel like we'll be able to find a rotation guy that will be on our team for a long time."
With the order now set, it's time for mock drafts to start on where analysts believe players will begin their pro career. What position does Coach Williams feel the Pelicans will target?
"I don't know that. Certainly, free agency will have a lot to do with that as we start to forecast what's going to happen," Williams said. "We'll have to look at the needs with our team, but I don't want to do that right now. Sometimes when you start talking about what you need, it seems disrespectful to what you have. We're looking forward to the process of looking at players and getting the sixth pick. That's a big time pick. We had one and ten last year, so we kind of split the difference. We feel good about that."
As for GM Dell Demps, he isn't revealing a thing either about the franchise's strategy and hints that maybe, just maybe, a deal with another team could be made.
"You never know. There are trades, there's other opportunities that may present themselves," says Demps. "We're going to look at every angle to give ourselves the best possible chance to make our team better."
The next step for Williams, Demps and the rest of the Pelicans staff is to host a number of pre draft workouts ahead of the NBA draft which is Thursday June 27th in Brooklyn NY.
by Steve Geller, Steve@wwl.com,posted May 16 2013 10:55AM
Free agent acquisition Victor Butler has yet to play a game for the Saints but feels last year's league worst defensive unit will drastically change under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
"You get a guy like Rob, you get a guy like Keenan Lewis, and you add him to the secondary... you get a guy like me who can come in and help guys pick up this defense, and you're going to see a hell of a defense. That's what I'm expecting. A hell of a defense," Butler said. "We've already got the players to be the number one defense. You get a defensive coordinator in there, a guy who's going to be passionate and convey that passion to the players, I wouldn't be surprised if we were the number one defense in all categories next year."
Wait...did he say first in ALL defensive categories? Was Butler aware that Saints defense gave up an NFL record 7,042 yards last season?!?
"Yeah, they were the worst defense, but you look at the players, we don't have the worst defensive players," the linebacker insisted. "These are guys who are Super Bowl champions, Pro Bowls at one point. These are great teammates. These are great football players."
You have to love the energy and optimism from the 25-year-old linebacker, but is what he saying realistic?
The Saints as a whole suffered a down year in 2012. It all started with suspensions of players, coaches and their general manager stemming from bounty allegations. Steve Spagnulo came in as the new defensive coordinator after the departure of Gregg Williams, and Spag's scheme just didn't seem to fit this group of players. In the first 10 games of the year, the Saints D gave up more then 400 yards in every game - including more then 500 yards on 3 occasions.
Shortly after Sean Payton returned from his one year suspension, Spagnuolo got the boot, and former Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan got the job.
"Rob wants to have the best defense in the league," said Butler, who spent two of his four years in Dallas in Ryan's system. "He's one of those guys who's really passionate and it's rubbing off on the guys. You're seeing a change in the demeanor around the facility, and guys are buying it. You've got guys like Martez Wilson who are grasping the defense and staying afterwards, going over plays, going over formations. You got a lot of guys who are going to have a lot of fun in this defense."
Butler thrived in his backup role with the Cowboys racking up 89 tackles with 11 sacks in 4 season of limited action in Big D and is now hoping to earn more time on the field with the Saints.
"I've done four years in Dallas of fitting in. It's time for me to stand out," Butler said. "I was behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Great guys to learn from, but I'd love to take those things that they've taught me and put them to good use. I've got some great teammates; some great, athletic guys and probably some of the best guys I've been around. But here for me, it's just a chance to step out of the shadows and become a productive member of the team. That's all I really want."
We will hopefully get our first glimpse of Victor Butler and the revamped Saints defense next week. The media is scheduled to view part of the organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday.
by Steve Geller @stevegellerwwl,posted May 2 2013 8:13PM
Johnny Manziel was in New Orleans today to accept the 2012-13 Manning Award, an honor given to a college QB judged to be the best in the nation by the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee. (The award is named in honor of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.) In its first unanimous vote, the Committee agreed that Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football” deserves to bring the hardware home to College Station.
"On behalf of my family, I would like to congratulate Johnny Manziel on his outstanding season," Archie Manning said at the award presentation. "It is very difficult for a young player to make the transition to college football, and Johnny not only made the transition seamlessly, he turned in the best year of any quarterback in the country.”
In addition to becoming the first freshman to win the Manning Award, Manziel was also the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and the Davey O'Brien Award. His electrifying athleticism helped produce some crazy numbers in his freshman year - 3,706 passing yards, 1,410 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns (26 passing, 21 rushing.)
"This is big time," said Manziel. "You look at what the Mannings have done for football and what they're continuing to do year after year. To win this award is really big."
Johnny Football’s greatness was stifled by defensive coordinator John Chavis and the LSU defense this year, though. He threw 3 interceptions and rushed for just 27 yards as the Tigers were victorious 24-19 at Kyle Field.
“LSU was the best defense we played last year,” Manziel said. “We just struggled a little bit there and they did a good job getting a lot of pressure with ends. They’re really fast, getting up the field with those ends. And you have speed all over the field. That’s a big key to why they were so good.’’
This year the Aggies and Johnny Football come to Death Valley on Nov. 23rd looking for a little revenge.
by Steve Geller, Steve@wwl.com,posted Apr 30 2013 11:49AM
As soon as it was announced that "with the 183rd pick in the 6th round of the NFL draft the New Orleans Saints select...Rufus Johnson, defensive end, Tarleton State," I was sent scrambling to not only find any info on a player I had never heard of, but also to find out just exactly where Tarleton State is located.
Well, the University is near the Dallas / Fort Worth area and competes at the Division II level in the Lone Star Conference. The TSU Texans football team went 6-4 last year and ended the season on a 3 game winning streak.
Leading the team in sacks, with 10, was Johnson... despite playing in just 9 games. He also had 50 total tackles on the year, 17.5 of which were for a loss along with 7 hits on the quarterback and a forced fumble. Those impressive numbers earned Johnson the conference's Defensive Player of the Year honors.
"I'm a very aggressive player, I'm a good pass rusher, and I read the ball well," Johnson said when asked about his strengths. "I'm just an aggressive player and a wonderful pass rusher; my pass rushing skills are top notch."
Johnson says he models his play after NFL greats like Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware.
The 6 ft 6", 270 pounder says he ran a 4.69 in the 40 yard dash on his pro day, but really turned heads with a solid performance at the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star game.
"One of the things we try to do in the later rounds is look at size, speed and some measurables," Saints head coach Sean Payton said when asked what he saw in Johnson. "We feel like he is a guy that can rush the passer really well, so he can line up one of those outside positions, and we will see how he develops. You are looking for some traits that stand out, and with him clearly that was the case."
We will have to wait and see if Jonson's success at a small school will translate to the pros, but you can't really second guess the Saints since they've had so much success with drafting these types of players in the past. Zach Strief, Marcus Colston, Jahari Evans are just a few.
Rufus Johnson now joins former Tarleton teammate Saalim Hakim in New Orleans. If you don't remember (which I did not) Haakim was on the Black and Golds' active roster for the final two games last season. Bectha TSU has more Who Dats now than Cowboys fans... Haha.
My 2nd go at predicting the draft was a lot easier this time around now that the dust has settled from free agency. However, I am still wary because I do believe there will be 2 or 3 deals on day one that will shuffle things in the first round.
If Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is in fact around at #15 when the Saints pick, they ‘aint trading down! Richardson is a 6-3, 295 pound force that would provide a much needed pass rushing presence up front. I know new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan would love a shot at molding this kid.
by Steve Geller, Steve@wwl.com,posted Mar 12 2013 10:38AM
I still expect a lot of things to change since the free agency gates are just about to open, but wanted to put together my initial mock of the season. Funny thing is as I was typing this; the Percy Harvin trade went down and threw me a curve already. LET THE FUN BEGIN!
by Steve Geller, Steve@wwl.com,posted Feb 15 2013 9:18AM
Cam Cameron is LSU's new offensive coordinator. He and head coach Les Miles have been friends since the '80s when both where assistant coaches at the University of Michigan. In fact, the two are so close that they've been groomsmen in each others weddings.
Cameron left the Wolverines to go on to the NFL to be the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins from '94-'96 before becoming the head coach at the Indiana University from '97-'01.
Then in 2002 he jumped back to the pros where he had great success with the San Diego Chargers. That's where he met a young Drew Brees who was just entering his 2nd season in the NFL.
"He was huge. Cam was huge in my career," Brees says in his book. "I was with him for four years. He was the offensive coordinator while I was in San Diego for those last four years. That was a time in my career where during that stretch I got benched three or four times, and they ended up drafting Philip Rivers. Cam was pretty much the one who broke the news to me. My postseason exit meeting with him after the '03 season I went in his office, shut the door and he said, 'I'm just telling you they're either going to go out and get a free agent veteran quarterback to come in here or they're going to draft a rookie high to compete with you. Just get ready for that.' I feel like he was always very honest with me. He always did things to try to get the best out of me. There was a time or two where we would butt heads, but I think that was all part of the process of him trying to mold me into the type of quarterback he knew I could be, the type of person he knew I could be, leader and I appreciate him for that. I love the man. I think he's a great coach and obviously I had a lot of great years with him."
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger would benefit greatly from that kind of tutelage. Mett is a kid, that if properly mentor, could emerge as one of the nation's best. So far his career has been marred by a boring and stale offense that was ranked 85th nationally last year with the passing attack coming in at 92nd. UGGGHHHHH!
Now with Cameron on the Bayou Bengals sideline, those snooze-fests could soon become a thing of the past. Mettenberger just might be able to show off his prototypical NFL skills in a prototypical NFL offense.