New Orleans Saints 2015 Preseason Schedule Announced
For Immediate Release: April 9, 2015
In their four-game 2015 preseason schedule, three of the New Orleans Saints’ opponents will be from the AFC, while all four posted winning records in 2014.
The Saints will kick off their 2015 preseason when they travel to face the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. This will be the second consecutive year that New Orleans will face Baltimore in the preseason. In addition to hosting the Ravens in a 22-13 preseason loss at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 28, 2014, the Saints later dropped a 34-27 home decision to Baltimore on November 24. This will be the first time the Saints play at the Ravens in the preseason. Baltimore holds a 2-0 advantage in the preseason series.
The following week, the Saints will host the New England Patriots in the home opener at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It will mark the first time that the Saints have hosted the Super Bowl XLIX Champions in the preseason since 1986 and the first time the Saints play a defending Super Bowl champion in the preseason since they played at the Patriots in 2005. New England holds a 6-4 edge in the preseason series.
New Orleans will then host the Houston Texans on Sunday, August 30 in a nationally televised contest on FOX. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CT. The Saints have posted a 4-3 preseason record against the Texans, having faced them in exhibitions in six consecutive years from 2008-13. The Saints are also scheduled to play the Texans in the regular season at NRG Park.
New Orleans will wrap up its preseason slate in Green Bay. The Saints and Packers have not faced each other in the preseason since 2004, a game which was also played at Lambeau Field. New Orleans defeated Green Bay 44-23 on October 26, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their last meeting. This year’s contest will be the ninth preseason meeting between the two teams, with the Packers holding a 6-2 edge.
Specific dates and times for the Baltimore, New England and Green Bay games will be announced at a later date.
Friday, March 20, 2015
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s Statement Regarding the Guilty Plea Announcement of Darren Sharper
(New Orleans, LA) – “This afternoon, Darren Sharper announced in open court that he had entered into a plea agreement with respect to pending charges in Louisiana as well as the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and the United States of America. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement negotiated between the defendant’s attorneys and Federal and state prosecutors, we expect that he will begin entering formal guilty pleas as soon as Monday and that he will be in Louisiana within the next 30 days to plead guilty to his pending state and Federal charges in New Orleans.
First, I want to thank the victims who have stood tall and remained very strong throughout this process. Throughout the prosecution of this matter, they have been disparaged by members of the public in media reports. I note, however, that the only concern of the victims in the New Orleans cases has been and remains the conviction of their attackers and have sought no attention or personal gain. This plea constitutes a complete vindication of these victims as well as their truthfulness. Furthermore, I request that the members of the media respect their privacy throughout this difficult process.
Second, I want to thank our Federal law enforcement partners for their cooperation in prosecuting this case – in particular, Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Attorney Kenneth Polite. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office recognizes that but for the efforts of the local FBI office and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana these convictions would not have been possible.
As this remains an open case, the District Attorney’s office will have no further comment on this issue.”
New Orleans Saints Running Back C.J. Spiller
Conference Call with Local Media
Friday, March 13, 2015
Opening Statement: “This is an exciting time for everyone that was involved. I am just looking forward to getting to know everyone. First off I want to thank Mr. Benson, Mickey Loomis, and Coach Payton for believing in me and giving me another opportunity to further my career as a New Orleans Saint. I am looking forward to getting to know my new teammates and also the community. Other than that, you guys can ask some questions.”
How many teams did you talk to before deciding on the Saints?
“I personally didn’t talk to anyone, my agent was in contact probably with all the teams that were reported. There was a lot of interest out there but different things happen. After going on my visit to New Orleans yesterday I felt very comfortable with everything and we were able to get something done. I am excited about that.”
Is it fair to mention your name in the same mold and style of players such as Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles?
“I’ve been following this offense very closely. We tried to do some similar stuff at Buffalo early on in my career. The way that they use their running backs in general is very intriguing. If you were in my position, you would be a fool not to visit or at least see how they could utilize your skillset, especially my type of skillset. I am looking forward to it, whatever my role may be. Anything that I can do to try and help the offense be successful and help the team be successful that is what you have to do. You have to put your ego aside because at the end of the day there’s only one thing that matters and that’s getting to the playoffs and trying and win a Super Bowl.”
Can you talk about maybe not being the featured back now that Mark Ingram re-signed with the Saints?
“Obviously I talked to Mark (Ingram) earlier today. I am very happy for him to have the chance to remain a Saint. I am excited about the chance to play alongside with him. We shared the same college coach with Coach Bert Burns. He was with me while I was at Clemson and, obviously, he went to Alabama. I kind of know how he has been coached and kind of have an idea of how his mentality is. He is excited about the opportunity but to you answer your question, I have kind of always been in a two back system probably since I started college. Whatever that role may be that is what I have to be willing to accept. You take advantage of your opportunities. That is the type of guy I’ve always been. I’ve always been the guy that takes advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. The more they let you do the better.”
Did the fact that the Saints made a lot of moves this week have anything to do with your decision one way or the other?
“No it didn’t, it didn’t play in any role. I had to do what was best for me and I had to come to an agreement that I felt comfortable with and not who was on the roster. Obviously losing great players like that it does hurt, but it also gives another opportunity to someone else to step up. We have to look forward to that challenge. As an offense that is what we are going to look forward to.”
Did you talk to Jairus Byrd during all of this?
“Yes, I am actually out here training with Jairus Byrd right now in California. We have been together about a week now. He is super excited about the opportunity to getting to play again. Obviously we played three years together in Buffalo so he is pretty much like family to me. We were able to get a great relationship while we were in Buffalo, now we get a chance to keep that relationship going. We both have the same mindset and that’s all about trying to get wins and getting the organization back into the playoffs. We are both excited about the opportunity to play with each other again.”
How would you describe your satisfaction with your career up to this point?
“There is always more out there. I have been very blessed up to this point. Obviously you want to try to have 1,000-yard seasons back to back but that is very hard. Then last year having the injury that kind of hurt but made me a better person. It put some things in perspective for me. It made me more mentally tough than I thought I was, but now I am back 100 percent and feel great. Like I said, my best years are yet to come. That is one of the things that I always try to realize, that the best is always yet to come, but at the same time it has been a wonderful ride these past five years and now I am looking forward to the future.”
How much does the fact that you haven’t been on a playoff team impact the organization you want to be with?
“It does, you can ask anybody that has been in the NFL would they want a chance to play in the playoffs, I am pretty sure 100 percent would say yes. That is what you play this game for. You do it to build relationships. You do it to win championships. It is so hard to do but you have to look forward to the challenge. Obviously I haven’t been able to play in the playoffs these previous five years but I am looking forward to the new challenge and coming to a great organization that has won a championship. They have the mentality that it takes to win another one. I am just trying to be a part of it. I am excited about the opportunity and I just want to thank Mr. Benson, Coach Payton and Mickey Loomis for giving me another opportunity and believing in me throughout this whole process.”
Was there any discussion about why they traded Jimmy Graham?
“That didn’t even come up at all. We didn’t get into any of that stuff. It wasn’t even on my mind when I was on my visit. The process was new to me so I wanted to try and soak up as much knowledge as I could and get a feel for anything so everything else I kind of blocked that out. Like I said, I felt comfortable after I left and here I am now, a New Orleans Saint.”
What are you going to do with your winter jacket?
“I’ll probably give to someone else. I have to go back to Buffalo to get all of my stuff so I’ll probably give it to one of the other running backs or give it to Goodwill because obviously I won’t need that down in New Orleans.”
When will you be in New Orleans starting to work out?
“I haven’t gotten anything regarding the offseason schedule yet, it’s still early in the process, trying to work on whenever I can come in and sign the deal and whatever the case may be, but as soon I get down the dates I’ll have a better feel for when for I’ll be that way because obviously I have to make that transition. So many things go into going to a new place, trying to find a new spot to live and doing all of those necessary things that some people don’t even think about that have to go into it. I’m looking forward to it, as soon as I can get there, I’m there. I still have some stuff I have to clear up on my end as far as making the transition.”
What is it going to be like to be on a team with a quarterback like Drew Brees?
“It’s going to be great. He’s a Pro Bowler, he’s a great quarterback. He’s going to challenge you and that’s something that I love, being challenge. He’s going to make sure you’re in the right position to be successful. It’s going to be awesome. I’m looking forward to it, seeing how he operates and how he practices. You kind of look at those guys from afar, the numbers that they put up on TV, but now I get to see first-hand how he goes about his business being a professional. I’ve been fortunate to have been around a bunch of great guys but now I have the chance to be around one of the best in the business, seeing how he prepares and things that I can just try to take and try to add to my game. I’m looking forward to that.”
New Orleans Saints Announce Roster Moves
For Immediate Release: March 13, 2015
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent running back C.J. Spiller on a four-year contract, traded wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for LB Dannell Ellerbe and Miami’s 2015 third round draft pick and have waived DB Corey White. The announcements were made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Spiller, 5-11, 200 pounds, is a five-year NFL veteran who was the ninth pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills out of Clemson. In five seasons in Buffalo, Spiller appeared in 70 games with 36 starts and carried 668 times for 3,321 yards (5.0 avg.) with 12 touchdowns. He caught 158 passes for 1,195 yards with six touchdowns. On special teams, but Spiller returned 16 punts for 302 yards (12.1 avg.) and has brought back 60 kickoffs for 1,463 yards (24.4 avg.) with two touchdowns.
In 2014, Spiller appeared in nine games with five starts for the Bills and carried 78 times for 300 yards, caught 19 passes for 125 yards with one touchdown and brought back 10 kickoffs for 306 yards (30.6 avg.) with one touchdown. He was sidelined for seven games with a collarbone injury.
Spiller, a native of Lake Butler, Fla., enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2012 when he played in all 16 games with nine starts and carried 207 times for 1,244 yards (6.0 avg.) with six touchdowns and also tallied 459 receiving yards on 43 catches with two scoring grabs. He finished third in the NFL in yards per carry, sixth in total yards from scrimmage (1,703) and eighth in rushing yards and was selected to the Pro Bowl.
At Clemson, Spiller led the Atlantic Coast Conference in all-purpose yards with 7,588 in his career, finishing second in NCAA Division I history and tied an all-time NCAA record with eight kickoff return touchdowns. As a senior in 2009, he became the first player in conference history with at least 1,000 yards rushing (1,212) and 500 receiving (503) in the same season.
Ellerbe (6-1, 245 pounds), is a six-year NFL veteran who was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009 out of Georgia and has played for the Ravens (2009-12) and the Dolphins (2013-14). He has appeared in 62 career games with 30 starts and has posted career totals of 273 tackles (203 solo), 6.5 sacks, three interceptions, nine passes defensed, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. He started Miami’s 2014 season opener before being placed on Injured Reserve.
Stills is a two-year NFL veteran who was selected by New Orleans in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft (144th overall). In two seasons, he’s appeared in 31 games with 16 starts and has recorded career totals of 95 receptions for 1,572 yards (16.5 avg.) and eight touchdowns. In 2014, he posted 63 grabs for a team-high 931 yards (14.8 avg.) and three touchdowns.
White is a three-year NFL veteran who was selected by New Orleans in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft (162nd overall). In three seasons, he played in 41 games with 19 starts and posted 128 tackles (104 solo), one sack, four interceptions, 19 passes defensed, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, seven special teams stops and one coverage forced fumble. In 2014, he appeared in 15 games and started nine at cornerback and finished with 54 tackles (46 solo), one sack, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one coverage stop.