As the latest controversy involving the Saints takes center stage only three days before the 2012 draft, various Saints employees are going on the record to counter the information provided from unnamed sources to ESPN, which has reported that G.M. Mickey Loomis intercepted communications among opposing coaches from 2002 through 2004.
Hall of Fame (as of August) defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who has previously worked for the team under a coaching fellowship but now works as an advisor, disputes the contention.
“This is completely false,” Kennedy said, via comments forwarded to PFT by the Saints. “I have sat with Mickey for years, for multiple games and I can say that when Mickey gets up to go walk around during breaks or halftime, I put his earpiece in . . . it is WWL-AM radio. . . . I know this, because I have heard. Plain and simple.”
Also, director of college scouting Rick Reiprish sat next to Loomis in the booth during parts of the 2004 season. “This is completely untrue, there was never any kind of electronic device to listen in on any other booths, and this is certainly not something Mickey Loomis would engage in,” Reiprish said.
Former Saints employee Rick Mueller, who served as director of player personnel during the 2002 season, also says “there is no way this happened.”
Obviously, no one expects the Saints to admit it, if it’s true. Many will have trouble accepting anything the Saints say on the matter as truthful, given the multi-year pattern of denial regarding the bounty situation. But the Saints seem to be committed to aggressively pursuing their version of the events, and to force ESPN to put its cards on the table regarding the suggestion that Loomis was engaged in underhanded activities.
Regardless of how it turns out, the ultimate reality show has sprouted another unexpected story line.