By Brian allee-walsh
Special to The Advocate
July 10, 2012
METAIRIE — Early Thursday morning, a New Orleans radio station reported estranged quarterback Drew Brees and New Orleans Saints officials were close to reaching agreement on a mega-buck, long-term contract.
And as quickly as that report surfaced, it was dashed with adamant denials from a passel of NFL reporters across the worldwide web.
Around the time of those reports, a Loomis Armored Truck innocently pulled into the parking lot at the team’s training facility. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis chuckled when told of the coincidence.
“I’ve said all along that (Brees) is going to be here, so I’m not surprised,” Saints acting head coach Joe Vitt said when told of the report.
A quarterback did sign with the Saints on Thursday but it wasn’t Brees. Veteran free agent Luke McCown (6-foot-4, 212 pounds) signed a one-year minimum salary deal with the team after participating in minicamp on a tryout basis.
“I think he is a heck of an athlete,” Vitt said. “He’s got a live arm. I thought he did a really good job getting the offense in and out of the huddle. The ball was on the ground one time in the three days he’s been here. He’s done a good job.”
The team also signed rookie free agent running back Joe Banyard (5-11, 213) to a 3-year contract. Banyard, who participated in the minicamp on a tryout basis, spent his final two years of college eligibility at Texas-El Paso where he rushed for 1,490 yards with 14 touchdowns.
The latest ‘Vitt-icism’
Vitt is not one to mince words with reporters, especially when it comes to fielding unwanted questions.
When asked to comment on a report on Yahoo! Sports that claims Saints strong safety Roman Harper and former Saints linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar earned $200 apiece for “whack” hits in a wildcard victory in January against the Detroit Lions, Vitt replied: “Number one, I don’t know who Yahoo is, and, number two, I don’t read Yahoo so I can’t comment on it. What is Yahoo, a person? Don’t know and can’t comment on it because I haven’t read it.”
Second-year running back Mark Ingram said he is “feeling great” and expects to be “100 percent” for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in late April.
“I just felt a little something in there, and got my knee cleaned up,” said Ingram, the second of two-first-round draft picks in 2011 who has spent the bulk of the offseason in rehab.
“There’s nothing to be worried about, just taking care of the body and getting the body healthy.”
By the numbers
- 31 — Times that reserve quarterback Sean Canfield has been re-signed to the team’s practice squad during the past two seasons.
- 3 — Times that he has been promoted to the team’s active roster from the practice squad over the same time frame. “I’ve set an NFL record, it’s got to be,” a smiling Canfield said Thursday.
Canfield joined the Saints a seventh-round draft pick in 2010 from Oregon State.
NFL officials reportedly were reviewing practice tapes of a scuffle involving upwards of 30 players during practice Wednesday morning. They are looking for any sign of contact between players which is prohibited during the offseason by the new collective bargaining agreement. The Seattle Seahawks were docked two OTA days after the NFL and NFLPA learned that there was live contact during their practices. ... Saints punter Thomas Morstead is writing a daily minicamp blog for the team’s website. Fans can access his work at www.neworleanssaints.com. ... Team officials are expected to announce next week their travel and practice plans leading up to their exhibition game against the New England Patriots on Aug. 9.
The Saints will conclude their offseason next week with four Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Monday through Thursday. All are closed to the public. Wednesday’s workout will be open to the media.