Saints Notes & Quotes from Spike, Shaq, Jameis, Reggie, Allen and Glenn (6/10/20)
Kyle T. Mosley
The New Orleans Saints organization has been in the spotlight over the past week in the sports world. Here are a few topics of note:
New Orleans Saints on Tuesday's team meeting had Spike Lee as their guest to speak with the team's players. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker spoke for 45 minutes and praised the beleaguered Saints QB Drew Brees for countering President Trump on player's kneeling issue during the National Anthem before games. In Lee's career, his films have challenged present-day social problems in America from racism and discrimination (Do the Right Thing), interracial relationships (Jungle Fever), as well as intra-racial issues (School Daze).
Per Sean Payton's request, Shaq also met with the New Orleans Saints via Zoom. Former LSU Alum and NBA Hall of Famer took the time to deliver a message of unity for the team, and it came at a great time. The team was reeling from the comments Drew Brees made in his Yahoo Finance interview.
The meeting gave them an excellent opportunity to listen to Drew and address concerns from fellow teammates. O'Neal impressed upon the team to stay unified for them to keep talking with one another to prevent the media from creating a divide in the team's locker room. Shaq pointed to the factors which deteriorated the relationship he had with his former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant.
JAMEIS WINSTON BELIEVES HIS TALENT
Saints backup QB, Jameis Winston, had an interview with Bleacher Reports' Jason Dunnes. Winston is confident that his talent and abilities as an NFL quarterback are elite. New Orleans signed Winston as an insurance policy for their record-setting QB Drew Brees. If you based upon the numbers Winston has notched since he arrived in the league, Jameis bolsters a solid defense to his claim. He topped the league in passing yards for an NFL QB with 5,109 yds, 33 TDs, 30 INTs, and a 60.7% completion rate.
The question in New Orleans is if Winston will ever see the playing field in relief of Drew Brees in 2020? HC Sean Payton has been vocal about QB Taysom Hill's future in New Orleans and currently sits as the #2 QB on the team's depth chart.
The saga of Reggie Bush and his estrangement from the USC is over. The Trojans banned Reggie from any involvement with the university after the NCAA investigation concluded Bush was the recipient of improper benefits. After the inquiry, the college sports governing body stripped him of his 2005 Heisman trophy, and USC lost scholarships and their 2004 National Championship title. Bush was the #2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft for the Saints. He helped New Orleans defeat a Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts team in Super Bowl 44.
In April, the NCAA gave student-athletes to right to profit from their name, image, and likeness. The college or university cannot pay the athlete.
SAINTS DEFENSE - COACHES LED, BUT PLAYER FED
Saints Defensive Coordinator, Dennis Allen, and Defensive Backfield Coach, Aaron Glenn, both met with media this week. One reporter asked Allen about playing Tampa Bay's QB Tom Brady twice this season:
Aaron Glenn shared great nuggets of information on his defensive backfield players and how their "versatility" will place pressure on offensive coordinators' gameplans this season. But more importantly, Glenn spoke about how the current Saints team is equipped to handle the fallout from Drew Brees' comments on last week: