Wednesday evening news broke that the NFL had granted a request from Saints quarterback Drew Brees to allow Saints head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and linebackers coach Joe Viit to attend Sunday night’s game against San Diego.
Brees with one more touchdown pass will break Johnny Unitas’s record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Both men are tied at 47 straight games with a TD toss.
ESPN’S Adam Schefter reported late Thursday afternoon that Payton will attend the game on Sunday but that Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt would not. Vitt in an interview with Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune said he didn't want to be a story line in the game. “There’s nothing I can do there that’s gonna help them win this game. And I don’t want to be a distraction,” Vitt told Triplett.
Here is the link to read the rest of Vitt’s comments: http://www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2012/10/new_orleans_saints_coach_joe_v_8.html
Loomis is the Hornets Vice President and has been working with the team since his NFL suspension began at the beginning of the regular season. The Hornets, who opened up training camp back on Tuesday, play their first preseason game Sunday in Mexico City and Loomis could be planning on being with the team.
“It would mean a lot and that’s why I asked,” Brees told reporters Thursday when asked what it would mean to have the trio in attendance. “What a big part they are of our journey despite the circumstances and the fact that we have the opportunity to break the Johnny Unitas record, and I say we because it’s a team deal. Joe Vitt is a part of that. Sean Payton is a part of that. Mickey Loomis is a part of that. I felt like they certainly deserve to be there, be in attendance and share that moment with us.”
Brees since joining the Saints in 2006 up until this week has thrown for 29,744 yards to go with 211 touchdowns.
Saints fans on social media began wondering when and if Sean Payton would attend a Saints game following Sunday’s announcement that the NFL granted former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams permission to attend the Rams-Seahawks game in St. Louis. William’s has a son on the St. Louis coaching staff.
Brees said he knew nothing about that when he began to think about Payton attending Sunday and It had nothing to do with his request. Payton in attendance has boosted the energy of the fan base that is for sure but could it have a similar affect on the team? “Maybe,” Brees says of the possibility of energizing the locker room knowing coach is in the house. “We know what our job is, we got a job to do. It’s to win this game. It’s to prepare ourselves as best we can throughout this week. None of those guys are going to be in the locker room it’s not like we’re getting the pregame speech. We know what we need to do. I felt that it was important that those guys be there because they are a part of this.”
Thursday’s injury list saw four Saints players listed as not participating in practice. Wide receiver Lance Moore missed his second straight day with hamstring injury which likely means he will not be available for Sunday night’s game against San Diego. “It’s a case where guys have to step up and we have to adjust (to) what we’re doing and fill guys in where we can. It’s hard to replace Lance Moore,” said interim head coach Aaron Kromer Thursday.
Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (illness), linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring), defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) and running back Travaris Cadet (shoulder) were the other players that missed practice.
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck) and safety Roman Harper (hip) were limited.
Safety Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (ankle) weren't listed on the injury report after fully practicing Thursday, a day after being on the report.
WHO’S TO BLAME
It is still hard to believe that after a quarter of games in the books that the Saints are still looking for their first win. Everyone likely has an opinion or a finger to point as to why the team hasn't played to not only expectations but to the level of play seen around these parts the last couple of seasons.
Is it the loss of Sean Payton? Did the bounty scandal overall just affect this team too much? Are the players playing as hard as they can? Was Aaron Kromer the right man for the job to fill in while Joe Vitt went into suspension land?
Well one columnist for NFL dot com says it’s probably all of the above but don’t forget to point the finger at quarterback Drew Brees as well.
Just a warning Saints fans you may not like what you read.
The Saints will finish the week of practices with a Friday workout. Saturday is the regular walkthrough that leads into Sunday night’s prime time match-up with San Diego inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
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