An industry source tells us that the New Orleans Saints declined multiple requests from the New York media to make specific players available for conference calls in the days preceding Sunday’s showdown between the 3-0 Saints and the 3-0 Jets.
Per the source, the Saints declined to produce quarterback Drew Brees, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, tight end Jeremy Shockey, receiver Marques Colston, and running back Reggie Bush.
The Saints, we’re told, said that each of the requested players were “unavailable.”
Instead, the Saints produced safety Darren Sharper, who’s far better suited to discuss Monday night’s Packers-Vikings game than the Saints-Jets contest, given that Sharper has spent three games with New Orleans. Following eight years in Green Bay and four in Minnesota.
Obviously, the Jets press corps isn’t pleased, especially since Vilma and Shockey have strong ties to New York City. Vilma previously played for the Jets, and Shockey played for the Giants; both were first-round picks, and both were traded to the Saints in 2008.
Teams commonly produce key players for conference call interviews with the media from the next opponent.
And, frankly, we’re surprised that the league office didn’t insist on the Saints giving up someone other than Sharper.