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bigbrod81

Mickey Loomis says he never took offers for Sean Payton

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Loomis always planned to keep Payton, Brees

The Saints never shopped their coach to other teams, that’s what General Manager and Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis said today.  Loomis sat down with the local media for his end of the season review following last week's press conference from Head Coach Sean Payton.  Loomis reiterated that he's “100 % confident” in Sean Payton.  “He's a great head coach, a great head coach. Just look at his record," Loomis stated.

Payton is 87 and 57 as the Saints head coach in 9 seasons, with a 6 and 4 playoff record for those keeping track at home. Loomis also said that he "never had a discussion with another team about the availability of Sean Payton. No one called. I didn't call anyone."

Well I guess that settles that.  

In fact, Loomis said that Sean Payton walked into the Monday meeting after the season and told Loomis the same thing that  he said in the press conference last week. "I want to be the coach here, I want to be the coach of the Saints," is what Payton said.

 Loomis today explained, "It never really went beyond that."   

Loomis described his relationship with Payton as solid and went into the relationship between him and Payton. "I'm the General Manager, and he's the head coach.  From the beginning we have come to a mutual conclusion. We've never had to say 'it's my final say' or 'it's his final say' - we've never had to get to that."  

As I talked about repeatedly since the Saints ended the season almost two weeks ago, the number one priority now for the Saints on the check list of offseason items is the contract of Drew Brees.  What will the Saints do with his $30 million dollar cap figure?  "I know this, Drew is going to be our quarterback," Loomis explained.  "We'll figure out how we're going to handle, the contract whether it remains the same or whether we do something different.  That's all a part of what we have to figure out in the next several weeks."

The Saints are projected to be $10 million dollars over the cap at the start of the league year on March 9th, but Loomis says he'll find a way to work around that. "It's not a great cap situation. It's not as dire as sometimes made out to be.  We know where we're at, and what we have to do. It's definitely a factor though," Loomis added. "I don't like be up against the cap or being over the cap, but I'm comfortable in that area.  When  you're a good team and you're paying guys that circumstance is going to happen."

There is a school of thought that Payton and Loomis aren't held accountable by anyone in the organization because of the perceived health surrounding team owner Tom Benson.  "There is accountability. I answer and we answer to Mr B.  I can't help perception. Look he entrusts the football people to make football decisions.  Are there mistakes? Yeah but we always own them," Loomis said.  

The General Manager also touched on the recent misses the teams have had in free agency "You know what makes it hard to build depth is having two second round draft picks taken away from you,' Loomis said in a clear way of voicing displeasure for the way the league punished the Saints for the bounty scandal.  "Making a mistake with a contract with a player that's harmful. we all do it though, we all have those. Just like we have draft picks that don't work out. We have other guys that work out, so we're all focused on the ones that don't work out," he added.

I've been asked several times about how Loomis' role with the Pelicans effects his ability to manage the Saints.  I've always maintained that that theory is a little overstated and that it's really not that much of an impact on his ability as the General Manager of the Saints. "I gotta pay attention to that. I'm fully engaged in the Saints and getting us to the next level. My role with the Pelicans is a little overblown. We've got a general manager and head coach that we have a lot of confidence in to get that ship righted. I don't feel that way, and yet I gotta pay attention and make sure that's not happening."  Loomis really isn't that involved in the day to day operations of the Pelicans, look at it as a over arching approach to some business decisions and stepping in when he feels like he needs to with the Pelicans.

Last off-season the Saints were highly aggressive in trying to change the culture of a team that lost some character, and it affected the locker room and ultimately the play on the field.  How did it get away? "It's Sean and I, and our responsibility is to make sure we're bringing the right guys into the building.  You have to pay attention to the garden," Loomis explained. However, the team feels like it's headed back in the right direction. "We do feel really good about the flip in culture in the last year. The group we brought in regardless of the end result was really good in our locker room."  Going forward the leadership and character aspect will remain a significant part of the evaluation process. "We still have to evaluate each player based on how can they help our team going forward.  It's a factor, it's a variable. Leadership and the intangibles is definitely a factor in the evaluation but it's not the only factor."

The Saints decision to move training camp away from New Orleans and to West Virginia at the Greenbrier two years ago was met with pretty significant pessimism by the fans and the media. The decision has come under even more scrutiny after the Saints finished both of those seasons with 7 and 9 records. The decision as to whether the team will train there again this summer is one of the big discussions the team will have this off-season over the next couple of weeks "There is a team building aspect to training camp. There is the mental aspect to training camp and the physical aspect to training camp. You're just looking for the best environment for all three of those factors," Loomis explained.

Over the next several weeks Loomis and Payton will begin laying out the off-season plan for the Saints to improve for the upcoming season.  Loomis said the team will comprise a list of "Musts, needs, and wants."  Loomis stressed the importance of continuing to draft well as they feel like they did last year. "It will determine what we need and then we have to figure out where we are going to go to get it. Whether that's the draft, free agency or some sort of trade possibility."

Remember at the start of the league year in 2015 Loomis and the Saints started off the rebuilding project with a trade, sending Tight End Jimmy Graham to Seattle for C Max Unger and a first round pick.  The off-season before the Saints landed the biggest free agent on the open market in Safety Jairus Byrd.  Loomis expects the Saints to remain agressive but also stressed the importance of operating with a degree of caution in free agency. "I think on the surface you would say we're probably not going to be as aggressive this off-season because there is a lot of younger players in the pipeline that we like the prospects of more so than a year ago."  

The Saints have used all three phases to try and acquire talent in building their team through trades, the draft and free agency. "I believe in using all of them, but you've gotta be pretty cautious when youre signing the high end free agents."  The Saints are determining  what resources they'll have at their disposal.  

The bottom line is I wouldn't rule out anything with this team, every year we say they don't have the cap space yet they figure out a way to add to their team in free agency. I do however expect the team won't be as active this off-season in trades and free agency as we've seen in the past.  Loomis and Payton were really energized by the future of the team and especially the way the team finished down the stretch and the young players that are currently on this roster mixed with some of the veterans currently in place.

http://www.wwl.com/pages/11853141.php?contentType=31&contentId=4608&pid=515720

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With this interview of Loomis, the conspiracy is now complete........  he must have checked his notes with Payton to make sure their stories matched.:P

I am glad it worked out that the most successful GM and Coach in the history of the Saints will continue to work to bring back a championship.

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Of all the new HC hiring in the last few days,I don't think any of them could do a better job with our Saints than Sean Payton,maybe I'm wrong but I am glad he is the coach.With our new hires and a new vision moving on,perhaps next season we want be on the outside looking in.just a solid defense would be huge for us and a few other tweks on special teams,shore up the Oline and lets roll into 2016..

Brian Milici and phil like this

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We will probably never know the full story. Everyone has their theories, here is mine for what it's worth:

My company hired a new CEO a little while back, who was supposedly hired to help us reach "the next level". During this period there were tons of rumors, chief among them was that the new administration was looking to sell off our company. The new CEO addressed this in a town hall meeting. He said, no we're not actively looking for buyers. Then he picked out a random person and asked them if their home was for sale. This person said no, and then our CEO said what if I gave you $1 mil for it, would it be for sale then? Of course their answer changed. So while we are not being marketed for sale if the right offer came along then well, we are a publically traded company we would have to do the right thing for our share holders.

What it sounds like to me is that one or more teams made inquiries on Sean, probably prompted by the rumor mill, and the Saints Org didn't want to let him go but made a pie in the sky request, which sounds like it was overly generous to the Saints and so was rejected by his suitors

  I just have a hard time believing that if Sean really wanted out that the Saints would force him to stay out of what, spite? Spite to a coach that won us our only Super bowl? If I owned a team would I want to keep our HC a hostage that didn't want to be here? Especially if a team was willing to offer any compensation for him? It's not like SP has had a contentious relationship with management...

Just my .02

 

 

phil, bigbrod81, Allan and 4 others like this

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We will probably never know the full story. Everyone has their theories, here is mine for what it's worth:

My company hired a new CEO a little while back, who was supposedly hired to help us reach "the next level". During this period there were tons of rumors, chief among them was that the new administration was looking to sell off our company. The new CEO addressed this in a town hall meeting. He said, no we're not actively looking for buyers. Then he picked out a random person and asked them if their home was for sale. This person said no, and then our CEO said what if I gave you $1 mil for it, would it be for sale then? Of course their answer changed. So while we are not being marketed for sale if the right offer came along then well, we are a publically traded company we would have to do the right thing for our share holders.

What it sounds like to me is that one or more teams made inquiries on Sean, probably prompted by the rumor mill, and the Saints Org didn't want to let him go but made a pie in the sky request, which sounds like it was overly generous to the Saints and so was rejected by his suitors

  I just have a hard time believing that if Sean really wanted out that the Saints would force him to stay out of what, spite? Spite to a coach that won us our only Super bowl? If I owned a team would I want to keep our HC a hostage that didn't want to be here? Especially if a team was willing to offer any compensation for him? It's not like SP has had a contentious relationship with management...

Just my .02

 

 

That is a pretty good analogy and would also explain what Payton meant when he stated that he didn't think any team would pay what Mickey wanted.  The other thing could have been that Sean was getting a feeling that Mickey wasn't taking any responsibility for the team performance and by asking for such high compensation for Payton, that it proved to Sean that Loomis wasn't putting the blame on him.  If Mickey thought the last few year's results were Sean's fault the compensation probably would have been a 2nd round pick at most and with the limited coaching talent that is out there, I don't see how a team wouldn't agree to that. The rumor that the compensation the Saints wanted was a 2nd round pick had to be a false report, my bet would be they wanted Gruden type of compensation.  

Regardless and despite my thought that the press conference certainly contained some spin control, I think Sean was being completely truthful when he was talking about how he felt regarding this team and the city of New Orleans.  I'm not certain what happened at what point, but there certainly seems to be something that reignited the fire inside of Sean Payton and I am excited as anything to see the results next year. 

Haplo and Brian Milici like this

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Sports is like any other business -- it comes down to managing people and their egos more than anything.

Loomis has been undervalued in that regard due to his financing expertise, but he's outstanding with the psychology of a team as is Payton.

Haplo likes this

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Sports is like any other business -- it comes down to managing people and their egos more than anything.

Loomis has been undervalued in that regard due to his financing expertise, but he's outstanding with the psychology of a team as is Payton.

This. What Loomis isn't good at is being an evaluator of talent especially on the defensive side of the ball. That's why bringing in Jeff Ireland was essential for the team's draft preparations. Loomis job should consist of handling the cap & all contract negotiations. Ireland needs to handle the scouting of all linemen & defensive players while Payton should have the most input on offensive skill player scouting & evaluations. Play to everyone's strengths & stay away from each other's weaknesses as much as possible just like putting together a great game plan going into a game on Sunday.

Richard, zeke187 and Brian Milici like this

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