Monday, July 6, 2009

new orleans sports scuttlebutt 7-6-09

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 10:46 PM

click to enlarge Pierre stretching

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

Its rarely if ever a good thing when long snappers make head lines -and this is no exception. At a time when the Saints should be preparing for breakout seasons  from Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, or Drew Brees (who along with  guard Jahri Evans made the NFL's Top 50 Players List) the Saints are preoccupied by "Snapper-Gate."

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Seriously!?!? They couldn't just have a disgruntled wide receiver like everyone else. Come on Lance Moore start calling out teammates or complaining about getting the ball. And where's your Sharpy- you call yourself a wide receiver!?

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The Saints could be so lucky. No, in true Saints fashion even their controversies more are back-page news than tabloid fodder. The Saints released veteran long snapper and amateur investment broker Kevin Houser last Monday. Houser had been with the club since 2000 and  was "surprised and unprepared for the call" from head coach Sean Payton that ended his tenure with the team.

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Houser was the "brains" behind the worst business deals since Mike Ditka leveraged the Saints future to get Ricky Williams. The scheme involving Louisiana film studios cost over a dozen current and former Saints (including Payton Drew Brees and Archie Manning) a total of nearly $2 million.

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The success of the venture was heavily  predicated on tax credits that were never authorized by the state.  Houser says that Payton told him that they were "upgrading" the position. New Orleans has since signed free agent Jason Kyle. But many, fair or not,  have already concluded the obvious - that the decision to release Houser was based on shady business practices rather than his performance on the field.

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