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Kristian Garic

Talk sports and more with Kristian and Seth Dunlap on "Double Coverage!" 

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Twitter: @kristiangaric
Email: kristian@wwl.com

Kristian: Saints in good hands with Vitt, but need Brees

As the Saints begin offseason work outs, they don't have their head coach or their star quarterback.  I'll get to Drew Brees in a little bit.  Some national experts are suggesting the Saints would have been better off getting Bill Parcells to run the show for the Saints during Coach Sean Payton's suspension.  I don't know that I agree with that.  In fact I know I don't agree with that.  Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis did what he's always done, and that's what's best for the team. 

Would hiring Parcells really have been the best move? 

If so, I think Loomis would have made it happen.  One national expert suggests that Mickey Loomis would have felt threatened by the presence of Parcells in the front office.  That's a laughable premise! Why would he feel threatened?  Team owner Tom Benson has stood by Loomis over the years and through the bounty saga.  Loomis is without ego, for the most part anyway.  That's saying a lot considering the NFL is breeding ground for large ego's and "me guys."  Loomis often doesn't get enough credit for being a steady force in the Saints organization.  He doesn't seek the limelight.  He would prefer to sit back and let others take credit for his accomplishments.  Loomis wouldn't say it, but I will.  He is just as important as Sean Payton.   He appointed Joe Vitt (above) to run the team on an interim bases in 2012.

It's a no brainer, absolutely the right call. 

A source told me that Parcells was hot and cold about taking the job; wavering at times about if he had the stamina and wherewithal to coach one more season.  That doesn't sound like a guy I would want running my team.  History will be the judge on if Loomis made the right decision in making Vitt "the guy" in Payton's stead.  However, at first blush, it was the right call. 

Vitt has been an assistant for years and has the support of the Saints locker room.  "Things will be run exactly the way they were run under Sean," explained wide receiver Lance Moore.  Get the message there?  I do!  For Loomis and the Saints it's about familiarity.  That's what Vitt brings to the team, compared to Parcells who would have had to come in and learn the team and coaches - all the while trying to lead the team to the postseason and beyond. 

"We'll be fine" Moore said.  As the assistant head coach under Payton, Vitt was often called upon to give the pregame speech to the team the night before a game.  In conversations with players over the past four seasons, they've all told me he's unbelievable in those addresses.  Vitt knows all the right buttons to push.  The Saints are trying to win NOW, not next year, not the year after, but right now.  That's why the Vitt move makes all the sense in the world to me.  Parcells wasn't ready to commit, and Loomis did what's best for the organization.  To suggest that he's threatened or he just "settled" would be foolish.  The players believe in Vitt, and he's got a wealth of experience in the league. 

Sure, it will be a little awkward during the 6 game suspension Vitt will have to serve.  The Saints boast a very solid locker room, however, and during that time the players will have to step up and take over the leadership role. "We as players understand that a lot more responsibility will be on our shoulders as well," safety Malcolm Jenkins said.

Now with all of the aforementioned points to Vitt being the right guy, it would help tremendously for the Saints to have their franchise quarterback in the fold during this tumultuous time. Drew Brees has not signed his franchise tag tender, and talks with the team and Drew are dragging along.  His teammates want him in camp, but understand where the signal caller is coming from.

"He wants to be paid fairly, which every guy wants to do," Moore said. "He's not trying to break crazy records with how much money he's getting paid." 

So what's the hold up?  Let's see here.  Uh 'Bounty Gate?'  Yeah that had to be a bit of hurdle in the negotiations. It's hard to negotiate this kind of deal fending off attacks from the NFL at the same time.  All the while team owner Tom Benson was putting a deal together to buy the New Orleans Hornets. Those are a couple of things that I think could have interrupted the progress of talks.  Not to mention this is not as "cut and dry" as one person close to talks told me.  The Saints are trying to balance paying their franchise QB while still having enough money to surround Brees and the team with enough other play makers to win Super Bowls. 

Meanwhile Brees and company are trying to maximize his earnings in what is sure to be the last big money deal he'll sign of his career.  Yeah he won't be there for the start of the offseason workout period, and it hurts, but it's not the end of the world.  Panic day is May 21st when the team hits the field for work outs.  Until then, just sit tight until the end or the saga is almost over.  The two sides will get this deal done, they respect one another too much to let it slip away.

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Topics : Sports
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People : Bill ParcellsDrew BreesJoe VittLance MooreMalcolm JenkinsMickey LoomisSean PaytonTom Benson

04/16/2012 9:22AM
Kristian: Saints in good hands with Vitt, but need Brees
Please Enter Your Comments Below
04/16/2012 11:48AM
OK with Vitt from Rod of Sacto by way of New Orleans
I think it is the best call. Anybody here of the idiot Herm Edwards being very critical of the Saints regarding the Rooney rule. What an idiot, the Saints did not interview anyone because they are not making any additional hirings. So idiot Herm, the rule does not apply to the Saints. You should have known that as a highy % possibility. Enough of the bashing of the Saints.
04/16/2012 11:57AM
Brees be signed soon from Rod in Sacramento
We need Drew signed as soon as possible. Saints go all the way. I hope we get a lot of national TV games. I don't get all the games, this is 49ER and Raider country. Beat the Niners and the Raiders.
04/16/2012 3:32PM
from Georgetown, TX
Thank you for a very solid and Saintsible article. We have heard so much nonsense from so called Sports Experts in the last weeks!!! It really does come down to only New Orleans.knows it's Saints!
04/16/2012 11:09PM
Vitt good for Saints
No way. While I think he should be the choice if he wasn't facing a 6 game suspension. So who is the interim interim coach. What happens if goes 6-0 then has to turn the team over to Vitt and he goes 0-6. The phycalogy of the team will be in shambles. The whole thing is a mess. Brees isn't worried about the team, he only has his own interest in mind. I agrre with the Saints, spread the agreed on amount over the life of the contract. Paying the bulk in the first 3 years will leave the saints stuck for all the money if he is injured or decides to retire. Poor Denver is going to learn that the hard way with Manning.
04/17/2012 12:25PM
No Brees
I don't get why Brees can't at least work out with the team. Him not going to the workout now I don't think will affect his contract at all. What about being a team player?
04/18/2012 12:52PM
Heart and Soul
Brees is the heart and soul of the team, pay him whatever he wants. The Saints need a highly motivated Brees now more than ever. Super Bowl in the Home Dome!
04/24/2012 6:38PM
Why is it a problem to pay Brees?????
If Benson can go buy the Hornets for that much money, why is it a problem to pay Brees, sounds crazy to me. I am a concerned Saints fan that lives out of state, you should hear the S--t that people are saying about the Saints, but I still wear my Saints shirt. All teams do the same, why penilize just the Saints. We need Brees!!!!!!!
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