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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-03


New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-03


New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-03
--Police in Long Island continue to investigate the double slaying last week of two Liberian immigrants in a vacant condominium owned by Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.


Investigators believe the two men, Sekou Sakor and Ansu Keita, may have been killed in retaliation for a fake money scam. Both were shot in the head at Vilma's Woodbury, N.Y., condo, which he hasn't lived in since he played with the New York Jets and has had up for sale.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Vilma was not at the condo at the time of the killings and "there's no indication he was involved." A lawyer for Vilma said his client "was as shocked as anyone" about the killings.

"Of course, he has absolutely nothing to do with this crime and will do everything possible to help the police solve it," Vilma's attorney, Michael Tein, told The Associated Press.

Police officials said investigators believe the victims may have been involved in a so-called "black money" scheme. Victims are sent e-mails saying they could receive $100 bills smuggled from overseas -- stained black to avoid detection -- if they purchase a special chemical to wash it off. What they wind getting is a pile of worthless paper.

--After holding training camp for the last three summers at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., the Saints will be staying at home this year.

The club recently announced that its Metairie training facility will be the site of training camp for the first time since 2005. The Saints held camp there from 2003-05 under former coach Jim Haslett.

But when Sean Payton became head coach in 2006, he preferred to take his team to a small-college atmosphere to bond and limit distractions players might encounter during that crucial time of the year. Camp is tentatively scheduled to begin either July 29 or 30.

"We look forward to holding training camp in our-state-of-the-art training facility," owner Tom Benson said in a statement. "The fans in New Orleans and in our entire region from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles, and from Biloxi to Pensacola, will have the ability to come out and watch our team get ready for what will be a very exciting season."

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said the three-year stay at Millsaps was "ideal" for what the Saints needed at that time.

But holding the camp in Metairie will provide the Saints with enough quality grass fields to work on and an indoor practice facility in case of bad weather, Loomis said. The team's final practice last summer at Millsaps had to be held in the school's tiny gymnasium because of torrential rain.

--The Saints learned their preseason foes for the upcoming season last week in addition to finding out where training camp will be held.

All four games of their exhibition games will be played against AFC opponents with the exact dates and times to be announced later.

The team will open the exhibition schedule the weekend of Aug. 13-17 against Cincinnati in the Superdome, then play their next two games on the road at Houston (Aug. 20-24) and Oakland (Aug. 27-31). They'll conclude preseason play at home against Miami (Sept. 3-4).

The NFL is expected to announce the regular-season schedule for all teams in the next couple of weeks.

--Team officials continued to shape their 2009 roster last week by re-signing third-string quarterback Joey Harrington, who was an unrestricted free agent, and free agent defensive tackle Rod Coleman.

Both players signed a one-year contract with a base salary of $745,000.

Harrington, who backed up Drew Brees and Mark Brunell last season, was signed when the team convened for the start of its off-season strength and conditioning program on March 30. Coleman, who's played nine seasons with Oakland and Atlanta, joined the team a day later.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel very good about that. I think everybody's itching to get back, I really do ... They like New Orleans. It's a great place to have a Super Bowl." -- Saints owner Tom Benson, on his organization and city of New Orleans putting in a bid to host the 2013 Super Bowl.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 3, 2009

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David Martin Name: David Martin
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