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SBD/August 1, 2012/Franchises
Saints Hang Large Banner Of Suspended Coach Sean Payton In Practice Facility
Published August 1, 2012
BOLD STATEMENT BY BREES: Saints QB Drew Brees told SI's Peter King that nobody trusts NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and ESPN's Mortensen noted that comment “carries weight around the league because this is Drew Brees talking." Mortensen: "It’s got to sting the commissioner, he’s only human. ... They do believe had the Saints gone through the process, maybe he would have had some outs. Maybe he would have reduced some of the penalties.” ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck noted Brees has been an active member of the NFLPA and said, "These words coming from a player as respected as Drew is, both on the field and off the field -- no doubt do they sting. But I think they ring true for a lot of players.” ESPN's Cris Carter: “I don’t think that we’ve had the history where ... we’ve had the best player speak out against the league like this” (“NFL 32,” ESPN2, 7/30).
FALCONS WANT NO PART OF STATUE: In New Orleans, James Varney cited sources as saying that the Falcons “refused to grant the Saints and sculptor Brian Hanlon permission to use the Falcons' symbol” or former P Michael Koenen's name in a statue outside the Superdome commemorating former Saints DB Steve Gleason's “famous blocked punt.” The blocked punt occurred against the Falcons in the "MNF" game in the Superdome after it re-opened in '06 following Hurricane Katrina. Sources said that the Saints “repeatedly sought permission from the Falcons, even urging officials in Atlanta to appeal directly to Falcons owner Arthur Blank” (NOLA.com, 7/27).