Former Purdue QB Drew Brees laments how bad the Big Ten is while living in SEC Country

So, Sunday is for the NFL, but Saturday is for college football. And, since today is Saturday, we’ll take a brief break from NFL talk (kinda) to discuss college football… with one of professional football’s stars. Today’s topic? Why the Big Ten sucks. Now, the Big Ten being terrible isn’t new. But it is timely, with no conference teams in the coaches’ poll. Why not ask former Purdue QB Drew Brees what he thinks… especially because he lives in New Orleans, which is SEC Country through and through. It’s all LSU there. In the phone call that led to posts like this one and this one, Brees explained. “You know what? I’m so disappointed… especially because I live in New Orleans […]

Saints QB Drew Brees says of the younger breed: “They seem so much more well-prepared than I was”

Earlier today, you saw the first installment of my interview with Saints QB Drew Brees, who discussed dealing with unforeseen losses. As part of his venture with Xbox 360, I spoke with Brees about other topics as well. One thing I really enjoyed was getting his take on the younger brand of QBs in the league. I asked him an open-ended query about quarterback play, and where Brees took it was to discuss the young’ns. Seems Brees is pretty impressed with several QBs around the league. But first, when I mentioned his struggles, and that of Cam Newton, and that of Aaron Rodgers, he brought up a good point. “First of all, it’s hard to win in this league,” Brees told […]

Saints QB Drew Brees explains how dealing with losses means taking “things opposite of human nature”

Saints QB Drew Brees made the media rounds yesterday, beginning with our crew on NFL AM. There, they discussed with him some bounty issues, Terry Bradshaw’s view on his record, and his endorsement deal with Xbox. Well, I was slated to talk with him later in the day about some other stuff… along with that Xbox-related program called the 60 Million Minutes Challenge, which encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes each day. So what did we discuss? Losing. In his 12th season, Brees only has two losing seasons. Yet this year, following a holdout and a tumultuous offseason for obvious reasons, the coach-less Saints are 1-4. How does Brees deal with it? Has it gotten easier? What has it been […]

The Saints are starting to get the fact that perception can sound just like reality

Drew Brees sat down at the podium today and uttered a completely classic line. The Saints QB has a way of offering brilliant nonchalance, and this was another example. “The offseason went by fast,” Brees told reporters. “A lot of crazy stuff happened obviously, but here we are — first day of training camp.” That’s one way to sum it up. Brees got a new contract, the Saints lost their coach and a bunch of other key parts to a bounty scandal, and that was only two of the crazy things that happened. The easy thing for the Saints would be to say that they are who they are and that the events haven’t changed them. That’s kind of the […]

Random video of the day: Saints QB Drew Brees becomes a cabbie, educates on concussions

Earlier in the week, Saints QB Drew Brees made the media rounds to educate on concussions. He teamed with Dick’s Sporting Goods, who created a national marketing campaign aimed at teaching young athletes and parents about the realities of the condition. Of course, few actually wanted to talk with Brees about concussions, but that was his cause. Related to this fight for awareness, Brees made a fairly comical video that includes him flashing some Cash Cab-style skills. Yup, he’s the cab driver. Check out this video:

My story: With Gronkowski’s deal done, is it now time for the Saints to pay Jimmy Graham?

The Patriots opened up their pocketbook for star tight end Rob Gronkowski today, inking him to a six-year, $54-million extension. It could turn out to be a good deal for both sides. But with one of the game’s best tight ends locked up… what about the other? It’s time for the Saints to lock up Jimmy Graham in similar fashion. The two will always be linked. And because Graham doesn’t have Gronkowski’s injury concerns, his contract could eclipse Gronk’s. Considering Gronk did that to Graham’s single-season yardage record last year, it’s only fair. As of now, set to make just $540,000 and $570,000 over the next two years, Graham is badly underpaid. Not that Graham would say so. He’s too […]

My story: The Saints fought at practice on Wednesday… so what?

You’ve probably read a bunch by now about the Saints fighting at practice, as it has drawn some headlines. While the NFL looks into it, the Saints are clear they know the rules to mini-camps and OTAs. But how much does this fight really mean? That was the subject of my NFL.com story that came out today.  I laughed at LB Curtis Lofton’s story about how Falcons coach Mike Smith made him hold hands with a dude he fought a few years back. And I was intrigued by S Malcolm Jenkins talking about how the team actually got into a big fight at a practice before a playoff game last year. No wonder there were such shrugs yesterday. “During practice,” […]

Uh oh, Saints coach Joe Vitt isn’t happy: “Yeah, I understand the (minicamp) rules”

Man, Saints interim coach Joe Vitt wasn’t happy today. Not at all. A day after his team drew some headlines for their fight at practice, Vitt made sure his voice was heard. Loud and clear. His team is trying to do the right thing was his message. This guy just fights for his team…. and it’s kind of awesome to watch. So, I mentioned the Saints fight during my Total Access hit, and then I wrote about it for NFL.com. To some, it led them to wonder whether the Saints would be scrutinized for violating some mini-camp contact rules. Well, Vitt wanted to make one thing clear: Yup, he knows, as the CBA said, “There will be no contact work […]

Reactions to a rumble: Saints players explain why they all tried to fight each other

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. As you read on Twitter and right here, the Saints got into a little fracas, donnybrook, or brouhaha. A skirmish, perhaps. One might say rumble. 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 […]

As the Saints begin minicamp it’s worth noting: They still think they can win the Super Bowl

The Saints begin minicamp today, three days of practices that are open to fans. I’ll be over there to check things out tomorrow after also making a cameo last week. But before I do, there was one thought I wanted to share from my trip to New Orleans, a not-so-shocking revelation that was still a bit shocking. The Saints still think of themselves as a team that can win the Super Bowl. With the bounty suspensions and a truck full of drama, they have an us-against-the-world feel. And with QB Drew Brees unsigned, they face more uncertainty than most teams. But still… Through all this, the Saints are the same confident — maybe cocky — group they’ve always been. The […]

Recapping this road trip: The Minneapolis/New Orleans edition

I spent Wednesday and Thursday flying around to two places, hitting Vikings OTAs on Wednesday and Saints OTAs on Thursday. This is my TV hit from Minnesota and here was mine from New Orleans. It was a whirlwind, but a productive experience. Now that my Columbia reunion is done, and I have some time, let’s recap. Want some highlights? First impressions: The first thing that struck me about both Winter Park in Eden Prairie, and the Saints facility in Metaire was the construction. Lots of it. Trucks everywhere, men working on things, both places are getting a facelift. Vikings VP Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley told me now that the Vikings stadium deal is complete, redoing the practice […]

My story: LB Curtis Lofton did his homework before joining the scandal-ridden Saints

When Curtis Lofton hit free agency, the Saints issues were well-known. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had already announced the investigation into the bounty system, and Drew Brees was still unsigned. The possibility of trouble loomed. Yet Lofton, the prize middle linebacker of the free agent class, came to New Orleans anyway. But before he did, Lofton did his homework. “I mean, I asked about the bounties,” Lofton told me in the locker room yesterday, “what was going on with that, what players they thought were going to be suspended, what they thought the suspensions were, what they were going do with me and (Jonathan) Vilma — I asked all those questions. They were very up front and truthful with me, […]

Saints LB Jonathan Vilma says: “We asked for evidence and (Goodell) wouldn’t give it to us.”

I just spent the last 10 minutes talking with Saints LB Jonathan Vilma about his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with other things related to the bounty issue. For the first time, Vilma explained why he refused to participate in the NFL’s investigation against his team. And he addressed the possibility of sitting out 2012. Here is what I wrote in this NFL.com story: Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he would not cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into his team’s bounty system because Commissioner Roger Goodell would not show him the evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. In an exclusive interview with NFL.com at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Vilma spoke publicly for the first time […]

Sean Gilbert, one of the earliest fighters against the franchise tag, still hates it

You read earlier today about former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sean Gilbert and his strong feelings about the situation surrounding Saints QB Drew Brees. As the last player to sit out an entire year in protest of the franchise tag, Gilbert has more than earned his bona fides on this topic. It’s been 15 years since Gilbert battled the franchise tag, sat out a year, then proved it was worth it. And he still hasn’t warmed up to the concept of the tag, which was, once again, part of the newest collective bargaining agreement. No, his serious opinions weren’t only for Brees. Want to hear Gilbert’s thoughts on the franchise tag? On his dealings with the franchise tag: “I wasn’t […]

My story: Sean Gilbert, the last man to take a year-long stand, backs Saints QB Drew Brees

There are so few people who can understand what Drew Brees is going through. The Saints franchise quarterback is without a contract for 2012, and he doesn’t want to sign his franchise tag that provides no long-term security. A contract drama that has played out in public may result in Brees missing mandatory mini-camp, some of training camp, and then who knows? The possibilities are chilling and endless. To gain some perspective, I spoke to the one person who can understand what Brees is going through and what his options are — Former Pro Bowl DT Sean Gilbert. Still the last player to sit out the entire season in protest of the franchise tag, Gilbert took the one stand so […]

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