At a sweltering, dragging Saints mini-camp this morning, things got heated. I mean, it was already heated at over 100 degrees. But tempers flared.
After he had just been picked off twice during nickel day, QB Chase Daniel was pissed off that LB Curtis Lofton landed on him after trying to deflect a pass. Lofton came in unblocked, and touched Daniel. Uh oh. And it was on.
Daniel threw the ball into the ground, it hit Lofton, and players came from all over to push, shove, and yell. “Don’t hit the quarterback!” Daniel screamed. Players ended up on the ground, but it only lasted a minute.
When it ended, there was comedy.
“I think we’ll probably take ‘em to a petting zoo tomorrow,” interim coach Joe Vitt said. “Maybe do something like that. But yeah, it was great.”
So, Drew Brees isn’t here, as he’s staying away in a contract dispute. He’s actually shooting a Vick’s commercial in New Orleans, so Daniel is the best option. And he wanted to be treated like it.
“We really only have three quarterbacks there, so we don’t like to get hit at all,” Daniel said. “Because the slightest of hits can cause a serious injury as we’ve seen. It wasn’t necessary in frustration, I was just mad that he literally just ran into it. We cleared it up, we’re good. Everything’s good to go. It’s hot, we’re in the middle of practice, emotions flying everyewhere and that’s what happened.“
Daniel provided some levity. He was impressed his offensive guys took charge… but when it got real, he exited. Smart QB.
“Out of the whole scrum and scuffle, that was one of the best parts that I saw,” said Daniel, about his offensive players protecting him. “It was just guys sticking up and Jimmy Graham was in there and Jahri Evans and sooner or later, it was like 30 people. I just said, “Hey.’ I’m outta here. I’m going back to the huddle to get ready for the next play.’ But it was nice to see that.”
Everyone downplayed it, saying it’s no big deal. Maybe. But given the bounty investigation, all eyes are on them. Still, as S Malcolm Jenkins told me, “We don’t really care what anyone thinks.”
“I thought he was going to throw it, I jumped up, I kinda grazed him and quarterbacks are a little touchy when it comes to stuff like that,” Lofton said. “And then I was walking away and he gave me the look like… I was like, ‘He better not do that.’ And so he threw the ball, it bounced and then it hit me. I had to have words after that.“
Lofton thought his guys got the better of the offense in the episode.
“Defense definitely won this one,” Lofton said. “It wasn’t even close. Offense had a couple guys on the ground, couple helmets off…“
Within a minute, Daniel was back running a play and it was over. But with the intensity here, it may not be the last one…