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.
New Orleans Saints announce roster moves
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2015
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have re-signed inside linebacker Ramon Humber to a two-year contract, agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent cornerbackBrandon Browner on a three-year contract and traded guard Ben Grubbs to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Kansas City’s fifth round draft pick in 2015. The announcements were made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Humber, 27, originally signed with the Saints late in the 2010 season and has since been a significant part of the club’s special teams units as well as a valuable contributor to the linebacker corps. Voted by his teammates as a special teams captain, he played in 15 games with six starts for the Saints in 2014. The 5-foot-11, 232-pounder registered a career-high 51 tackles (42 solo), one sack and one pass defense and also ranked second on the club with 13 special teams stops. Overall, as a Saint, he’s played in 60 games with 12 starts and has posted 99 tackles (73 solo), 2.5 sacks, three passes defensed and 47 special teams stops.
Humber was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State. He played in every regular season and postseason game for the Colts as a rookie as they faced off against New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV. After playing two games for Indianapolis in 2010, he then joined the Saints late in the season. Overall in six NFL seasons, Humber has played in 78 games with 14 starts and has 122 tackles (84 solo), 2.5 sacks, three passes defensed, one fumble recovery and 66 special teams stops.
Browner, 6-4, 221 pounds, is a five-year NFL veteran who has played for the New England Patriots (2014), Seattle Seahawks (2011-13) Denver Broncos (2005) and the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders (2007-10). Browner played his collegiate football at Oregon State from 2002-04, where he started every game he played in for the Beavers.
Over the course of his five-year NFL career, Browner has started all 45 regular season games he’s appeared in and has registered 169 tackles (148 solo), 12 interception returns for 372 yards with two touchdowns, 52 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Browner signed with the Patriots in the 2014 offseason, opening all nine regular season contests he appeared in and posted 26 tackles (22 solo), a 32-yard interception return and six passes defensed for the Super Bowl XLIX champions. He then opened all three postseason games and made seven tackles (six solo) and one pass defensed.
Browner, a native of Sylmar, Calif., has been a member of the last two Super Bowl championship clubs as the Seahawks captured Super Bowl XLVIII. In his first full NFL season in 2011, Browner was selected to the Pro Bowl when he posted a team-high six interceptions with two touchdowns and defensed 23 passes.
Grubbs, an eight-year NFL veteran, signed with New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent in 2012. In three seasons with the Saints, he started all 48 regular season games and both postseason contests at left guard and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2013.
New Orleans Saints Agree to a Trade to Acquire C Max Unger and 2015 First Round Draft Pick From Seattle Seahawks In Exchange For TE Jimmy Graham and 2015 Fourth Round Draft Choice
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2015
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to a trade to acquire Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger and the Seahawks’ first round draft pick (31st overall) in 2015 in exchange for tight end Jimmy Graham and New Orleans’ fourth round draft choice in 2015 pending both players pass physicals.
The announcement was made by Saints’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
“First off, we would like to thank Jimmy for all that he has done for our organization for the last five seasons,” said Loomis. “He became a very productive tight end with our team. We wish Jimmy the best of luck in the future. We also want to welcome Max to our team. Max has been an instrumental Pro Bowl player with Seattle since being drafted in 2009 in the second round. In addition, with the first round draft pick, we will have the opportunity to impact our team for years to come.”
“Coming to us from a primary basketball background with limited experience in 2010, Jimmy immediately got to work in the weight room, on the practice field and in the playbook and quickly evolved into one of the top tight ends that I have ever coached, said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. “Decisions like these are always difficult and we wish Jimmy the best of luck. We’re excited to add Max to our offensive line. He is a tough, physical player where he blocked for one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL, he has been a solid contributor to Seattle’s success.”
Unger (6-5, 305 pounds), a second round draft pick of the Seahawks (49thoverall) in 2009 out of the University of Oregon, is a six-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection. He has started all 67 games he has appeared in for the Seahawks. In 2013, Unger started 13 regular season contests as well as all three postseason games and was voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl for the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions, while leading the charge for a ground game that was ranked fourth in the NFL. In 2014, Unger opened six games in the regular season and then returned from ankle and knee injuries to start all three postseason contests for Seattle, including Super Bowl XLIX.
Saints owner Tom Benson concluded a page-long letter to season ticket holders with his personal thanks for the love and support fans have shown he and his wife Gayle during the last few “difficult weeks.”
“Please know that the future success, continuity and stability of the New Orleans Saints and our Pelicans will always be our first priority and I can assure you I have never been more eager to pursue another championship for you and our great fans across the Gulf South and the world.”
– Tom Benson
Benson also announced there would be no increase in ticket prices this season.
Click HERE to read the full letter.
It’s a big day on WDSU. Our extensive Carnival Central coverage is on the air and continues through 3 p.m.
We’re live at locations across the New Orleans Metro area, including the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Poydras Street. That’s where Camille Whitworth, Arthur Hardy and I will be stationed for the duration.
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Happy Mardi Gras!
At the end of Super Bowl XLIV, as the clock ticked down to zero, WDSU sports anchor Fletcher Mackel, photographer Alvin Moore and I charged the field to interview players and I kept the iPhone rolling the whole time.
The video is unedited and runs six minutes and 30 seconds. It captures the emotion, excitement and enormity of the moment. And don’t miss the kiss planted on Reggie Bush by his then-girlfriend, Kim Kardashian.