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New Orleans Saints add Jeff Ireland to front office

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MOBILE, Ala. -- The reformation of Saints general manager Mickey Loomis' front office had a rocky start this week at the Senior Bowl after Loomis fired Rick Reiprish, a well-respected and long-time college scouting director, while he was at the Senior Bowl scouting for New Orleans.

Loomis, who just lost player personnel guru Ryan Pace to the Bears, is hoping that the addition of Jeff Ireland to his staff will go a little smoother.

"When we lost Ryan to Chicago, I felt like we needed to add some experience, an evaluator from outside the building, and I also felt it would be good for us to get some fresh ideas that meld with the things we've done," Loomis said.

Ireland, a former Dolphins general manager, has long-standing ties to Bill Parcells and, congruently, has a connection with current Saints head coach Sean Payton. Though Loomis reiterated that Ireland was his hire, he was hopeful the acquisition could work seamlessly.

"He'll be in charge of the college scouting process," Loomis said. "And obviously we'll tap into him and his experience in really all aspects of football operations."

Loomis said that he has not settled on a title for Ireland yet. He also declined to address the ongoing legal situation with linebacker Junior Galette, who was recently arrested and booked with simple battery involving domestic violence, a misdemeanor offense.

The timing of some of Loomis' maneuvers were a bit odd considering that scouting departments rarely undergo a significant change in direction after a majority of the leg work has already been done.

Loomis said he has not asked Ireland if he did independent scouting during his time away from football but isn't concerned about any bumps in the road.

"It's just part of the business," he said.

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