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Mickey Loomis on Junior Galette’s legal situation: ‘I’m concerned about it’

MOBILE, Ala. — The New Orleans Saints are playing a waiting game in regards to Junior Galette’s legal troubles.

The team says it is taking the matter seriously and monitoring to see what facts emerge from the investigations, but have not sat down with the pass rusher to discuss the matter.

“I’m concerned about it, obviously,” general manager Mickey Loomis said. “We should all be concerned about it. That’s a serious matter. We’re going to wait until the legal system runs its course and the league obviously will do their investigation.”

Galette was arrested on Jan. 5 on suspicion of domestic violence after he and an associate were accused by a woman of attacking her at Galette’s home in Kenner . A police report released Tuesday states Galette and the second man, Terrance Banks, claim only Banks put his hands on a woman following an argument over cab money.

A week later, Banks was arrested on accusations of marijuana possession after being pulled over while driving Galette’s car.

Loomis refused to go into details when asked if Galette’s troubles would change the team’s views of the pass rusher.

“I don’t want to speculate on that,” Loomis said. “There’s so many variables in that. Obviously it’s a serious matter that we’re taking seriously. We got to let this run its course first.”

Galette finished the 2014 season with 10 sacks. He could face a six-game suspension under the terms of the NFL’s personal conduct policy for being involved with domestic violence.

Saints hire Jeff Ireland to serve in scouting department

MOBILE, Ala. — Saints general manager Mickey Loomis announced Wednesday the team has hired Jeff Ireland to join the scouting staff.

Loomis did not bestow a title on Ireland but acknowledged the move was in some regards to replace Ryan Pace, the former director of player personnel who left to become the general manager of the Chicago Bears.

Ireland will oversee the college scouting department after former director of college scouting Rick Reiprish was fired Tuesday afternoon at the Senior Bowl.  Loomis said Ireland will also have a hand in the pro scouting department.

More to come…

Source: Marques Colston has not discussed lowering salary with Saints

MOBILE, Ala. — If Marques Colston is willing to play for less money next season, he has not shared that news with the New Orleans Saints.

A league source told The Advocate that Colston and the Saints are yet to have discussions to lower his $7 million base salary for the 2015 season.

It’s not yet known how the saints will move forward with Colston. If the 31-year-old were to come back next season, it would almost certainly have to be a discounted rate. If a middle ground can be found, it’s almost certain New Orleans would welcome him back.

While Colston’s production declined last season, he still caught 59 passes for 902 yards with five touchdowns. And Colston has no illusions about how he performed, admitting late in the season that he felt he was part of the problem for the 7-9 Saints.

New Orleans is expected to be at least $20 million over the estimated 2015 salary cap before making any moves.

A look inside the Saints’ scouting process at the Senior Bowl

Note: Rick Reiprish shared some insight on how the Saints scout the Senior Bowl before being fired Tuesday. 

MOBILE, Ala. — Josh Harper sat on a couch in the fourth-floor lobby at a downtown hotel and tried to answer the questions as quickly and thoroughly and politely as they arrived.

What does your sister do? Where did she go to school? Are your parents still together? What do they do? Do your parents come to your games?

Everything and anything about him was fair game. After the session concluded, he moved through the lobby and was grabbed by a scout. Eventually, Harper makes his way to another room where he takes a test to determine personality traits. One player, perhaps facetiously, said he was asked if he saw himself more as a cat or a dog.

It seems like an exhaustive process, but if Harper is lucky, he’ll sit down with all 32 teams this week at the Senior Bowl and answer the same questions over and over. Some players spend time preparing for these interview sessions, they same way they do for practices that will be evaluated by all 32 teams. Harper did not prepare.

“I’m just being myself, trying to answer everything honestly,” the Fresno State wide receiver said. “They’re going to find everything out anyways. You might as well tell them.”

For every team outside of the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, who will be playing in the Super Bowl, Mobile, Alabama, which hosts the Senior Bowl, has become the epicenter of the NFL this week. Each team is represented here by a team of scouts and coaches, each hoping to get familiar with this year’s class of draft hopefuls.

For the Saints, general manager Mickey Loomis, and several other members of the team brass are in town. One person who is not with them is Ryan Pace, the former director of player personnel who recently left to become the Chicago Bears’ general manager. Former director of college scouting Rick Reiprish now joins him in exile after being fired Tuesday afternoon.

His absence will not change how the team goes about doing business. As is the case every year, each member of the scouting staff is assigned a positional group and will be tasked with interviewing each player in that group. The scouts will then watch the players practice and write reports based on what they see.

“Each scout will have a position to look at and then we’ll talk about them,” Reiprish said. “In general, we kind of look at our positions and the people we’ve seen through the year and kind follow up on them and see how they’re doing.”

At this point in the process, the members of the scouting staff have still not gotten together to compare notes or come to a consensus on a player. At this early stage, it’s about weeding out players as much as it as it is about figuring out who to take a closer look at.

But more than anything, it’s about becoming more familiar with this year’s class of seniors.

“We’re trying to get an equal look at everybody who is playing,” Reiprish said. “You never know when a guy is going to have a good day or play better than we thought he did or practice better than we saw them.”

Once the scouting combine is complete and teams put players through individual work outs, the scouting staff will begin to place grades on players, further whittle out those who fail to make the cut, and rank them ahead of the draft.

For the prospects, it’s a stressful time. They know every movement they make, from how they move on the field to their body language while practicing, is going to result in a plus or minus in a scout’s notebook. And how those pluses and minuses add up could determine their futures. Hopes, dreams, and fortunes are on the line.

It’s a week-long job interview with stakes higher than most have experienced.

“I think you probably prep for everything, especially the interview process,” USC linebacker Hayes Pullard said. “You just want to make sure you’re ready as much as you can. Same as you do for these practices, work on these position drills.”

Pullard admitted he tenses up whenever someone wants to interview him. Everything he’s worked for is coming down to these moments.

If he messes up somewhere, he knows he could end up in a pile of weeds.

Saints fire director of college scouting Rick Reiprish

MOBILE, Ala. — Rick Reiprish went from saying he’d welcome the opportunity to become the New Orleans Saints director of player personnel to informing reporters he’d been fired within the span of 24 hours.

After attending an event Tuesday morning as a member of the Saints scouting staff, Reiprish, who was New Orleans’ director of college scouting, left a Mobile, Alabama hotel with general manager Mickey Loomis and was informed that he was being let go.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise,” Reiprish said. “Since we’re down here at the Senior Bowl — a little bit.”

Reiprish joined the Saints in 2004 after spending several seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars director of player personnel. He becomes the third member of the scouting staff to leave the Saints after director of player personnel Ryan Pace and Josh Lucas left to join the Chicago Bears.

This news comes after reports swirled Tuesday morning linking the Saints to former Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland. ESPN reported earlier in the day that Ireland had been hired by the Saints to serve as a “college scout,” but a source told The Advocate that the deal was not done as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Ireland told multiple reporters at the Senior Bowl Tuesday morning that he met with the Saints and he was hopeful things would work out.

Reiprish attended the afternoon practice at the Senior Bowl and sat in the stands in a black hat, sunglasses, and a team-issued shirt with a Saints logo on the neck. He said he would stick around for another day before making arrangements to head home.

While he said he was proud of the work he’s done in New Orleans, Reiprish  said he was not ready to talk about his departure from the team.

“Let me absorb it for a  couple days, take the body shots, and see how you come back from it,” Reiprish said.

Loomis was at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday but declined a request for interview. He watched the morning practice from the stands with director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot and a handful of other scouts.

The news comes on the heels of a somewhat disappointing rookie class for the Saints. First-round pick Brandin Cooks put together a solid season, catching 53 passes for 550 yards, but the rest of the class underwhelmed.

Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, a second-round pick, logged only eight snaps on defense throughout the regular season, while fourth-round linebacker Khairi Fortt and sixth-round offensive lineman Tavon Rooks are no longer with the team.

The news seemingly came as a big surprise for Reiprish. On Tuesday night, standing in a hotel lobby, he told The Advocate he would “absolutely” love to become the Saints’ director of player personnel — a spot that came out when Pace left to become the general manager of the Chicago Bears.


Conflicting reports emerge on Jeff Ireland joining Saints as college scout

The Saints might be adding a new face to their college staff.

ESPN reported Tuesday morning the team has hired former Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland to serve as a college scout. But later reports indicated a deal is not yet in place and Ireland has only met with the Saints and hopes to eventually join the team — a notion confirmed to The Advocate by a league source.

If the move goes through, it is not clear what role Ireland will fill with the Saints. If he joints the team, it will be another change for a staff that recently lost former director of player personnel Ryan Pace and scout Josh Lucas  to the Chicago Bears.

Rick Reiprish is the current director of college scouting. It is unclear if or how his role would change if Ireland joins the staff.


Rick Reiprish would ‘absolutely’ be interested in director of player personnel position

It’s not yet known how the Saints will replace former director of player personnel Ryan Pace, or if they will fill the position at all.

But if they do, director of college scouting Rick Reiprish said he would “absolutely” be interested in the job, noting the decision is not up to him.

“We’re just doing our job here,” he said. “Whatever happens, that’s a decision from up above.”

Reiprish has been with the Saints since 2004. Prior to that, he was with Jacksonville from 1994-2002.

The position came open earlier this month when Pace left to become the general manager of the Chicago Bears.

Reiprish said his duties have not changed since Pace left.

“We haven’t had a chance to visit with that yet,” Reiprish said. “Nothing’s changed as far as (the scouts) are concerned, because this is what we’d be doing this time of year.”

Mark Ingram added to Pro Bowl roster

Mark Ingram’s distant future is still uncertain. His immediate future will include a trip to Arizona.

With Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch unable to take part in the Pro Bowl due to Seattle advancing to the Super Bowl, the Saints announced Ingram would be taking his place.

The New Orleans running back rushed for 964 yards on 224 carries and nine touchdowns over 13 games — by far the best numbers of his four-year tenure with the Saints.

It’s unclear what the future holds for Ingram. He is set to reach free agency after New Orleans declined to pick up his fifth-year option last year. A league source said last week the team is yet to talk to Ingram about a new deal.

If Ingram is not brought back, it’s likely Khiry Robinson would assume a bigger role next season. The team would also look to add another player through free agency or the draft.

Ingram becomes the fourth player on the roster honored with Pro Bowl honors. Guard Jahri Evans and tight end Jimmy Graham made the team on the initial vote, but Evans withdrew due to an undisclosed injury.

Quarterback Drew Brees made the team as an alternate after Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pulled out of the game.

Saints scout Josh Lucas to join Ryan Pace’s staff in Chicago

Ryan Pace has raided the Saints’ staff for his consigliere.

Pace has hired New Orleans Saints area scout Josh Lucas to serve as his director of player personnel in Chicago, the Bears announced.

Lucas spent nine seasons with the Saints, first serving as a scouting assistant before being promoted to an area scout in 2007. His most recent post had him scouting players in the south for New Orleans.

Pace, who previously served as New Orleans’ director of player personnel, took over as the Chicago Bears’ general manager earlier this month. It is not clear how or if the Saints will replace Pace’s former role.

Lucas attended Harvard University and played safety for the football team from 1997-98. He broke into the NFL with Jacksonville Jaguars, where he worked in marketing from 2002-2004.

He joined the Saints in 2005 as a scouting assistant.

Brandin Cooks has begun catching passes, lifting weights

Brandin Cooks was disappointed when his rookie season ended prematurely due to a thumb injury.

He didn’t feel the injury was serious and told The Advocate he would have been able to play through the injury if he were on defense and not required to catch passes. Unfortunately for the New Orleans Seaints wide receiver, that’s the primary function of his job.

So he spent the final months of his rookie season attending meetings and watching his teammates play. However, Cooks told that he was cleared for action three weeks ago and has been catching passes and lifting weights.

Cooks also said he’s optimistic about his prospects for next season after catching 53 passes for 550 yards and three touchdowns.

“I’m completely confident in my abilities and there’s no question about it,” Cooks said. “This work that I’m going to put in during the offseason will be huge for next year. I can’t wait to get out there and be a playmaker.”