Saints Don't Want To Scrimmage With Steelers

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The coaches for the New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers had agreed to practice against each other this week, but the plan was scrapped when players objected. ``You can understand the players' point of view,'' Saints coach Jim Haslett said Saturday. ``A number of players were concerned about leaving their families at this time. ``It would have been good to work against another team and get the hitting in, but we'll be able to practice here next week.'' Each team has an open date next weekend, meaning a 21-day break. After owner Tom Benson and general manager Randy Mueller agreed to the proposal, Haslett suggested the idea to Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who also liked it. Haslett arranged to fly Monday to Pittsburgh on a chartered flight and work against the Steelers on Tuesday through Thursday. He also made hotel and other arrangements. But when Haslett asked the team about it Friday, a number of players objected. Haslett closed practices to the media Friday and Saturday and closed the locker room to postpractice interviews. Asked Friday what he told his team, Haslett said: ``I have an obligation as a coach, and I told them that they have an obligation to each other as teammates.''