Bennie Fowler: How the Saints WR landed in New Orleans
Kyle T. Mosley
After the Saints sign a player, we would typically see Saints fans' comments to understand why Mickey Loomis decided to offer the player a contract. The NFL generally is the same as the real world. Players get tryouts and deals as a result of "who they know" on the team.
Networking, nepotism, and word of mouth are great to help someone land a job. I got my first job at a restaurant on St. Charles Street in New Orleans because of two friends' recommendations. My future employer trusted them. In WR Benny Fowler's case, the same was true for him. Two influential Saints players, QB Drew Brees and WR Emmanuel Sanders helped the journeyman receiver land a 1 year deal with New Orleans. But, how and why?
Emmanuel Sanders reminded the Saints press on Friday of the workout he and Drew Brees had several weeks ago. Drew flew out to Denver to meet and train with the Saints' offseason prize acquisition, Sanders. Brees needed another receiver to accompany Sanders during those workouts, and Sanders brought along his friend and former teammate, Bennie Fowler. According to Sanders, Drew Brees was impressed with Fowler. Enough for Brees to recommend to Fowler to the Saints and convince them to give him "a shot" during training camp, they did, and now Fowler is a Saint.
A few weeks ago, Bennie Fowler was without an NFL team to call home. Today, the 6-year NFL pro is in Saints training camp competing for one of the two or three spots in the Saints WR rotation behind Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and possibly Tre'Quan Smith.
Some may say Fowler is just a "camp body." But, Fowler's performance in Denver must have been impressive enough for Brees to recommend the receiver to Payton and Loomis. He has a limited window of opportunity to make an impression to the Saints staff in training camp. Will Fowler catch on with the Saints? I'm not sure. Remember, it's not what you know, but who you know. And, it's definitely good to know and have friends like Drew Brees and Emmanuel Sanders.