Who Dat Dish had the remarkable opportunity to sit down with NFL legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon.
Robert Gagnier: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us at WhoDatDish.com Mr. Moon.
Warren Moon: It’s my pleasure… I’m glad I could do it!
RG: You had great success in the CFL and NFL, winning five straight Grey Cups in the CFL and becoming a Hall of Fame QB in the NFL.
Needless to say, you know the QB position in and out. If you’re the GM of the Saints, where do you begin to surround Brees with the type of talent it will take for him to get back to another Super Bowl?
WM: Well I’m good friends with Mickey Loomis from our days back in Seattle and I think that he has truly tried to answer the defensive riddle down there over the years whether it be bringing in new defensive coordinator or players. So I too would start with the defense, but I would also try to put an emphasis on running the ball, which could take a lot of pressure off Brees. Their ability to run the ball would enable them to take time off the clock, shortening the length of the game which is crucial when you have a defense that has a tough time stopping anyone.
RG: How do the Patriots consistently compete for the Super Bowl, while other teams like the Browns, Lions, and others always rank near or at the bottom of the league, or somewhere in the middle of the pack?
WM: It all starts at the top. They do a great job from Bob Kraft the owner to their GM down to Belichick and his staff. The Patriots do a great job scouting players, and never seem to overpay a player. You never seem them pay huge contracts over an extended amount of time unless its Brady. And even Tom Brady has gone out of his way to help that organization by constantly restructuring his contract in a way so that their salary cap friendly most of the time. So the Patriots don’t mind not having the best players, rather, what they want are the players who are going to best fit their system. And when its time to pay them a ton of money they find a way to unload them and bring in the next batch of players who are willing to play for less.
So they do a great job of managing their salary cap and consistently find the right type of players who fit the Patriot scheme of things and their system. But again, it all starts at the top, from the owner on down to the player personnel coaches. They all consistently work on the same page thanks to Bob Kraft, and as a result the environment is one that players want to come to. But at the end of the day many components have to come together in unison to make it work, and for them it does.
RG: There was talk in New Orleans recently of Sean Payton looking at the ex-Brown QB Manziel. Would you give him a second shot if you were Payton and Co?
WM: I think every player deserves a second chance if he is willing to put the work in. If Mr. Manziel has become a better person and has worked on Johnny Manziel the human being before worrying about Johnny Manziel the player, he should get another chance. He showed us that he is a talented guy in college, and has shown glimpses of being good in limited action in the NFL. This country is all about second chances.
RG: It looks as though once again Oakland has lost the Raiders to another city, this time Vegas. If blame had to be assigned, where would you place it, considering its about as grey an area as it gets.
WM: There is a lot of blame to go around, starting with the city of Oakland because they weren’t able to put together a package to keep that team there. Some may see Mark Davis as having some blame, but his hands are tied. I know he wanted to stay in Oakland and did everything he could to stay there, but he is also a business man. He has a franchise that is worth over a billion dollars if put in the right situation so he has to look out for his franchise as well. The people who really suffer in these situations are the fans because they are the ones whose loyalty and passion have been in place for many, many years. Now in just over a year, three teams have left their former cities in search for greener pastures, the Rams, the Chargers, and now the Raiders. So in large part I blame the former cities due to their inability to crate the right financial package to keep these teams from leaving. Remember, these are businesses, and their owners are going to want to make the best possible deals from the respective franchises.
RG: Does the sheer amount of dollars and cents being shown to the athletes of today undermine their ability to stay loyal to any one franchise in your opinion?
WM: Just as the owners look at the sport as a business, the players have to do so as well. And they have a short window to play this game, so they have to make as much money as they possibly can. Every play out there may be their last, and when free agency first came into football back in ’88, you began to see player movement all over the place based on various opportunities such as playing time, loyalty to a given coach, etc. And so the dollars that they are making now is astronomical, but I am happy that the players are able to make this time of money, as long as they don’t forget who came before them, who made the sacrifices and who fought for this.
These young men need to take advantage of these rare opportunities , and be careful not to make poor decisions and get themselves in trouble off the field. Their brand is a business, just as the owners team brands are theirs. You have to look out for yourself because as soon as your performance drops off, most know they will be put on waivers. So get as much as you can, while you can.
RG: During your career in the NFL, you obviously came across the Saints on multiple occasion. Which Saint or Saints gave you the toughest time?
WM: That whole Dome Patrol man!
Whether it was Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, Vaughn Johnson or Sam Mills, they were beasts! You never knew where they all were at any one point in time because they could all blitz, were very smart, very physical, and were a disruptive force. They gave me problems every time I came into that Dome along with those Who Dat fans who were a loud and disruptive force well before Drew Bree’s arrived. They had a lot of lean days down there but they would still show up and make a lot of noise causing problems for many teams that came in that Dome. They have great fans in New Orleans, and that will always be!
RG: Warren, on behalf of the WDD website site editors and writers, we appreciate your time and willingness to dish to us.
WM: Hey I’m out here in Phoenix taking in some Final Four action and want to thank you for having me on the Dish.