This is an article from the May 30, 2011 issue
UNOFFICIAL WORKOUT LEADER
The Saints quarterback is practicing with teammates at Tulane while awaiting a Court of Appeals hearing on the legality of the lockout.
Dan Patrick:How many players are working out with you?
Drew Brees: We've got about 40 guys on any given day. Some of these guys are free agents. Some of them don't have contracts with the Saints. Yet as far as I'm concerned, they're members of our team until they sign elsewhere. Who knows when that will be. Obviously this is pretty unpredictable for all of us—even for a guy like me. I'm on the [NFLPA] executive committee, so I was in a lot of those mediation sessions before the lockout. I've stayed up to speed with what's happening in the courts. And you still feel pretty helpless. You're just kind of sitting there waiting for judges to make their decision.
DP:What are the chances now of missing games in the upcoming season?
DB: I don't know, because it's really all about this appeal that's going to be heard in the Eighth Circuit on June 3. Then who knows how long [a decision] will take—six weeks, eight weeks? That puts us into late July, early August. In that case, even if the appeal is upheld, we still go to camp much later than we would have otherwise, without having an off-season program formally with our teams. Although that's what we're trying to change by doing what we're doing here.
DP:Why isn't Reggie Bush working out with you guys?
DB: I don't know. I know he's got his workout structured on the West Coast. There are some guys that have guys they train with, and there are some guys who are not healthy yet—they're coming off off-season surgeries, and they might have a rehab guy they're working with, and that's fine. We've done our best to bring the guys together to train with a purpose. And to make sure we're prepared for when this lockout does end.
DP:If you were Reggie Bush, how would you feel about the Saints' spending a first-round draft pick on running back Mark Ingram?
DB: Let's rewind to five years ago when we had Deuce McAllister and we drafted Reggie Bush with the second pick. Deuce had been the face of this franchise for five or six years. He came out in 2006 and had one of his best seasons. I think he saw that his role was very different from Reggie's. I think Reggie should see that his role is much different from Mark Ingram's. By having Mark Ingram and having signed Pierre Thomas to a long-term extension before the lockout, and having a young guy like Chris Ivory—those are all powerful backs. Then there's Reggie Bush, who can do so many other things. You have to have at least three running backs on a team if you want to run the ball effectively because it's such a physical position. Reggie Bush's role has not been diminished at all.
DP:But isn't Bush too expensive for the Saints?
DB: I'm not sure exactly what he's set to make next year. But I know there have been talks about a renegotiation. I know he's said a few things on Twitter that he probably wishes he hadn't. But I've had conversations with him. He'd like to be in New Orleans. He'd like to stay here long term. I hope he's with us.
• Tall Order
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a right to feel slighted that the Lakers haven't honored him with a statue. He's one of the most underappreciated superstars in NBA history. But for Kareem to raise the issue publicly last week didn't help. Charles Barkley thinks the Lakers are in a can't-win situation. "Now if they give him a statue, it's not going to be from the heart," Barkley told me. "It's going to be like he forced them."
• No-Look Draft
This time of year everyone in the NBA is a draft expert. But not Nuggets coach George Karl. "I know nothing about the draft," Karl told me. "I don't get involved. I've been awful in the draft in the past, and I'm not going to change that in my future." Karl was the Warriors' coach when they drafted North Carolina State's Chris Washburn with the No. 3 pick in 1986. One of the biggest busts in NBA history, Washburn lasted two seasons before being banned for life in 1989 for failing three drug tests.
• Line of the week
Nolan Ryan doubts Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman hit 106 mph on a radar gun: "Once you get around the 100-miles-per-hour range, it's pretty much where people peak out. I don't believe he'd be surpassing other people by over five percent."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com
1. Justin Timberlake talks golf and reviews his SNL appearance.
2. Blake Griffin discusses how hard it is to guard Dirk Nowitzki.
THE FINE PRINT: The Fine Print apologizes. There was going to be a great joke here about Yankees catcher Jorge Posada—but he removed himself.