Garic: Saints draft plan not dumb or dangerous


USA today columnist Nancy Armour contends in her latest publication that the Saints organization is 'dumb' and 'dangerous' for planning to set up their NFL Draft war room at the Dixie Brewing complex. 

Saints head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday, a limited number of team personnel would operate from the brewery after the league informed teams they couldn't conduct the draft at their own facilities.

This revelation drew the ire of some on social media along with Armour, who called the brewery, owned by Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, a “bar” and hinted that this decision sent the wrong message.

But the Saints plan to conduct the 2020 NFL Draft from that location isn’t dumb and is far from dangerous. 

The team’s doctors and medical staff approved the facility for the scouts and coaches to use. All guidelines relative to the CDC and the state are being followed including six feet of social distance with no more than six-to-seven people in the room, as Payton illustrated. 

The room is also in a corporate meeting space, isolated from the actual brewery, which is currently closed to the public and employees. The 80,000 square-foot facility, which held its grand opening in January, is located in a low-traffic area in New Orleans East, making it unlikely that a fan or two might stroll past the brewery hoping to catch a glimpse of the operation, as Armour suggested. 

Even so, the facility is also gated and the Saints use their own security team..meaning first responders won’t be called to deter uninvited visitors. Armour paints the picture that while the country is dealing with the impacts of a major pandemic, New Orleans is just doing its thing — going to a bar. 

That just isn’t the case. Clearly, the Saints have done a ton of research and are being responsible.