|National Football League|
AP Pro32 comments about Saints
NEW YORK (AP) Comments on the New Orleans Saints by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 4): Saints may have $100 million QB (Drew Brees), but it remains to be seen how much play-caller (Sean Payton) will be missed.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 7): Yes, bounty scandal will be hard to overcome, but Drew Brees won't let Saints fall that far.
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 7): Despite all the turmoil, this team won 13 games year ago and still has one of NFL's elite QBs in Drew Brees. Saints will miss Sean Payton, however.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 8): As a team I'd rank them higher, but no head coach and suspended players push them down to this spot. However, don't be surprised if they are there at the end.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 9): Bounty scandal and resulting suspensions take Saints from top five to ninth. Drew Brees keeps them in top 10.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 9): Can't remember more tumultuous offseason for any franchise. Now Saints attempt to put bounty scandal behind them, task made easier with Drew Brees' long-term contract extension.
Chris Berman (ESPN, 9): Brees is 70 percent passer even with me coaching.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 10): Drew Brees so good he overcomes mess with Saints.
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 12): Despite the turmoil the Saints still could make the playoffs.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 15): Still have talent, but loss of head coach too much to overcome.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 16): Absence of Sean Payton and Carl Nicks cripples record-setting attack.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 18): Signing of Drew Brees to long-term contract extension is one of few good-news items this offseason for team that entered training camp covered by dark cloud from bounty scandal.
Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated July 31, 2012