Transcript of press conference by Mickey Loomis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Saints

Mickey Loomis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the New Orleans Saints

2021 training camp presented by SeatGeek

Press conference with local media

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

What can you tell us about the openness and the venue selection process? Who is working on this decision?

“The league office is obviously working on that with both clubs involved. There are a number of people involved in any decision, obviously. We will have an announcement at some point on what we’re going to do. . I don’t have it yet, but it will be coming, I’m sure. “

Is there a chance the home opener against Green Bay will be in New Orleans or has that been ruled out?

“I don’t know yet. Again, we’ll have an announcement today, hopefully. When that decision is final, we’ll let everyone know.”

Coach Payton mentioned that they are preparing to leave New Orleans for at least 4 weeks. Are there consolidated plans for where the team will be housed?

“Yes, we have a firm plan for the next week of preparation. We will do that here in Dallas. We have a place to practice and a place our team can stay. We will have an announcement for that later today as well. . “

What are the rules for opening at home? Does he have to be in an NFL stadium? What criteria are you looking at if you’re not playing in New Orleans?

“Well two or three things, I think it has to be in an NFL stadium. Due to league play and some other issues there has to be availability versus the home team. and any other event that might take place at these facilities. Each week I know that the league office has a number of venues that they have identified as open in disaster situations and that a team needs to move their game. at home. I think the league is really well prepared in terms of moving the game in such a short time. “

Would you say you are cautious about moving to a location to give Green Bay an edge on the field?

“Well, we pay attention to everything when it comes to preparing an opponent. The bottom line is we have to have a stadium ready for the NFL. There are so many variables that I don’t want to go into, but the the main thing is to have a suitable place to play that both teams have access to. “

What was the process for professional staff trying to fill the list away from New Orleans?

“It went pretty well. Our video and IT team did a great job of getting our technology to us. They got us all the movies and stuff that we normally have access to. Really, the only difference is the location. to be in separate offices, going through the lists and analyzing each guy individually, we’re all in the same room. I like it, actually. office doing your own assessments. It’s actually a decent process. “

Is the idea of ​​a Monday night game against Green Bay a possibility or will that game always be played on a Sunday?

“I think ideally it will be in the same time slot (9/12 at 3:25). These decisions are made collectively by the league and the clubs. We will have an announcement on that later today.”

Have you finalized plans to practice at TCU or are other options still available?

“We’re going to have an announcement on that later today. He’s definitely one of the best candidates for us (to practice). I expect that announcement to be in an hour or two. “

How will the next few days go for the football operations staff?

“I think the next few days will actually be similar to if we were in New Orleans. The players have a few days off. Our coaching staff have a few days off and will be preparing during that time as well. Our operations on staff are going to be working frantically on putting in place the technology and things we need to get ready for our game against the Green Bay Packers. “

How has your past experience in dealing with events like Hurricane Katrina helped you in an unprecedented time like this?

“We have a number of people in our building who were here when we evacuated for Katrina. We have also had to evacuate several times since that time, so we know the evacuation process and what we need to do. it went relatively well. I wouldn’t say it went well, but I think it went relatively well considering all the logistics that have to be handled in an event like this. “

What were the challenges for you during this time?

“Well, I think there are a lot of challenges. It’s just a mountain of stuff. The approach you have to take is to solve one problem at a time. One of the things that happens is that you have a number of people in the building with players and staff who have never been through this before. There is a little more uncertainty with them so we are doing our best to communicate with them on what we try to accomplish. We make sure we have an open line of communication if anyone has an individual problem that we need to resolve. I have to go through a lot of different things that I don’t have enough time to talk about here , but I think it’s just to make sure we’re communicating. something that we’re trying to do really well. “

What’s your reaction to teams like the Falcons and Ravens who donate to help with hurricane relief efforts?

“I think that’s one of the interesting things about our league. We’re competitors and we fight really hard on the pitch. We want to beat their brains out on the pitch just like they want to beat ours, but when there is a crisis, I feel like the NFL family is always the first to step in. I can’t tell you how many calls and texts I have received from people in the league offering a help, whether it’s financial, physical or offering words of encouragement and support. That’s one of the great things about the NFL. “

Obviously, the AT&T stadium can offer almost a home-like accommodation option, but if it’s not an available option, what unique hurdles are there in an almost all-road program?

“We don’t plan to play a full road schedule. We plan to play a lot of home games at home in the Superdome this year. That’s what we hope to do. I don’t think there is anything. too unique to play on the road in week 1 because we do it in weeks 2 and 3. The only unique thing is that we will start from here (Dallas) and prepare here (Dallas) in the week before the game. “

How does the process of potentially adding players work over the next few days? Is there space for testing?

“I don’t expect anything to be different, but if we need a try, we’ll send players to Dallas and train them on a local pitch. I don’t see it being much different, really. “

Did you say earlier that you expected to have an announcement about the opening today? Does that mean you’re about to lock something down?

“I said today for the second time. I don’t know if it will be today for sure. It isn’t coming from us, it will come from the league together with the teams involved. no. I said today though. I hope it’s today, but I don’t know if it will be today.

Obviously you’ve had a lot of challenges putting together this list with Drew Brees retiring and cutting $ 100 million due to the salary cap. What do you think of the squad you’ve put together with Jameis Winston in the hope of securing a fifth straight divisional title?

“I think we feel really good in our squad. We feel great because of the demonstrated ability of these guys with our squad. ‘training. I love the leadership and the game. we had quarterbacks with Jameis (Winston) and Taysom (Hill) having their roles. I feel good on our team. “

What is the morale of the organization at the moment?

“I think it’s really good. One thing that happens when you have adversity like this is you can be really focused. I feel like our staff and our team are really focused. We have a little break here. The uniqueness of not having a fourth preseason game this year and having to cancel our third preseason game (Hurricane Ida), I don’t mean it couldn’t have been. be better, but it’s good to have a few days to reset, catch your breath and prepare before heading into the regular season. “

How did the lack of a third preseason game affect the way you made your roster decisions and what do you think of your initial 53-man roster?

“I don’t know if that affected him. There is a small group of players that we would have liked to see more in one game circumstance. I can’t say that it really changed what our roster of 53 players was. reportedly “I like having preseason games and I think those are great opportunities for the guys to step up and show off their abilities. I feel bad for those guys who didn’t get this opportunity, but ultimately I don’t think it affected our initial roster of 53 players. “

Is Michael Thomas (PUP list) eligible to come back after week 6 off week?

Have you filed more exemption requests today than ever because of the high turnover of the list?

“These are due in about an hour. We haven’t put any on yet, but I expect we will be able to put some. I won’t say we will, but we are discussing them right now. that we have filed more complaints than usual. “

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