It has gotten to the point where I have stopped watching ESPN and NFL Network in fear of another breaking story is coming from the Saints’ front-office. With the recent allegations of Mickey Loomis, I think these stories are beginning to pile up and causing an even bigger distraction than the bounty scandal. But it’s not just Loomis: Its Tom Benson and Rita Benson-Leblanc. I read a report on NOLA.com written by Jeff Duncan that Benson-Leblanc was placed on unofficial administrative leave. Duncan also said that Tom Benson has been open about his frustrations with her. She is known around the Saints front-office for always delaying projects and doing very poor reports on the team with false information. Tom Benson has also made it well known that he will have someone in the family take over after he steps down, and Benson-Leblanc is the only family member in the Saints that has everyday operations. She is the Vice President of the Saints as of right now. If she can’t run her VP duties, I am scared for the future of this team.
With one Benson problem comes another. I am happy that Tom purchased the New Orleans Hornets, but I think it will be just another huge distraction. Although he is a tremendous businessman, I think that owning and running another mainstream sport will be too much for him to handle in his older age. No offense to Tom Benson, but at his age, people will start to slip memory and forget many things. Most of his time was dedicated to the Saints last year, and now its cut in half. He has to run two multi-million dollar teams, and has to run them equally if he wants both to be successful. This gives less time to give to the Saints, when at this moment in time, the Saints need Benson to be there more than ever.
I don’t believe for a second that these allegations against Mickey Loomis are true. The New Orleans FBI said that they are aware of the allegation, but can’t say anymore. If the report was true, why would the unknown source tell ESPN and not the NFL? The source just wants the Saints to be in the news again, and get the team distracted. It’s working. ESPN reported that there was a switch in Loomis’ box seats that could be enabled him to hear opposing offenses and defenses. Rick Mueller, who sat next to Loomis as every home ngame during the alleged period (2002-2004), said he cannot recall ever seeing Loomis with an earpiece and didn’t have the ability to talk with the coaches to reveal any information. Once again, I am not worried about this, or do I think in any way that this source is credible.
On the lighter side of Saints news, LB Jonathan Casillas signed his tender. I think this is great news for the Saints. This really helps the increasing depth of the linebackers and he is a great blitzer. Finally, the NFL draft starts tonight with first round coverage. The Saints don’t have a pick, and don’t expect them to trade into it with little ammunition.