Fleur-de-Links - Dec. 10th: Rams to Face Very Healthy Saints on Sunday

I can't remember the last time I've seen an injury report this short. Only backup OT Charles Brown is listed as questionable. Pierre Thomas and Julius Jones are listed as probable. Very good news indeed. Come on 10-3 for both the Saints and the Falcons! No need to remind me that I shouldn't expect much from the Panthers this week. A guy can dream can't he?

TWEETS:

JonVilma51 The colts owner is on twitter...wonder if we could get tom benson on it too, he's only 80yrs old lol

Official_Saints Saints Team Lunch Today: Oysters from Drago's Seafood Restaurant! http://twitpic.com/3eowt4

Official_Saints Coach Payton announced that RB Pierre Thomas is probable for Sunday.

Official_Saints Coach Payton said he knows the Superdome crowd can be louder than it has been. Let's go Saints fans, let's create that Domefield Advantage!

jgoody76 Thanks tweeps! Keep voting #finishstrong lol RT @Official_Saints: 8 Saints are currently in the NFC Top-5 Pro (cont) http://tl.gd/7e0mt8

jeffduncantp We've heard this before... But this time I think it's true RT @miketripletttp: PT says he's playin 4 #saints vs. #rams: http://bit.ly/feOMV6

dmcallister26 THe Catch 22 Foundation presents "Shop with a Jock" for the first time EVER in Hattiesburg Ms. Tks to my volunteers, USM, Subway&Waste Pro

Official_Saints The @NFLNetwork's Total Access show is going feature the Saints Friday tradition of eating Drago's Oysters tonight (6 pm CT)!

Official_Saints Also tonight, @SeanPaytonTV will have a new episode that includes a sit-down interview with Brees! Airs locally on FOX-8 at 10:30 pm

jgoody76 Prove them wrong tweeps lol RT @HeathEvans: New Orleans Saints aren't rocking the Pro Bowl vote | NOLA.com (cont) http://tl.gd/7e1mg1

Official_Saints RT @EYE_B_J9911: any outlet for us relocated Who Dats RT @Official_Saints @SeanPaytonTV - Interview will be posted online tomorrow.

 

PRACTICE REPORT:

New Orleans Saints tailback Pierre Thomas will play Sunday vs. St. Louis Rams | NOLA.com
Thomas is officially listed as probable

Ivory, Bush, Thomas vying for RB role with Saints
Pierre Thomas expects to return, uncertain of his role with Ivory thriving and Bush also back

New Orleans Saints bring in officials for practice to make 'point of emphasis' | NOLA.com
Payton and players said there weren't many specific rules that needed to be explained, but it is helpful for players to be able to talk with them between snaps about what they're looking for and what they see in certain situations.

 

RAMS @ SAINTS:

Saints' passing game clicking at right time - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Their fans like to say the New Orleans Saints are flying beneath the radar, but that’s simply not true.

New Orleans Saints see room for pass rush improvement | NOLA.com
"No, I don't think so," he (Alex Brown) said slowly when asked if he was satisfied with the team's pass rush this season. "I think, personally, I've been having trouble getting back there all year. I don't know what the problem is. I've definitely got to do better. I've got to pick up my game, and hopefully, it'll help our team. If I have to pick it up, I'm sure I will. I've got to figure out whatever is going on, what's going wrong. I've got to figure out a way to get back there in some way."

2theadvocate.com | Saints | MICKLES: 13-3 and on the road? It could be — Baton Rouge, LA
We’re getting to the point in the NFL season where media love to get ahead of themselves a little bit.

New Orleans NFL Super Bowl repeat remains within reach - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
It’s funny when you think about it. After all those years of being the "Aints" and underachieving, the Saints' 9-3 record is being picked apart the year after winning the Super Bowl. At any other point in franchise history, 9-3 would be celebrated. Now you have the skeptics and critics wondering if there’s enough offense, questioning the defense, thinking New Orleans cannot be considered elite and go deep in the playoffs.

Nixon ready for his chance with Rams
Signed by the Rams on Oct. 25, Nixon could get his first chance to earn his keep Sunday, when the Rams take on the Super Bowl-champion Saints in New Orleans. Nixon's roster spot previously was occupied by first-team strongside linebacker Na'il Diggs, who suffered a season-ending chest injury last Sunday at Arizona.

Rams face a rejuvenated Saints team
"We're running the ball a little bit more effectively than maybe earlier in the season and that's been a point of emphasis for us," coach Sean Payton said. "I think that's helped us."

Rams scramble at linebacker
The Rams have had a revolving door at the weakside linebacker position since the Carolina game on Halloween. Beginning with that 20-10 victory over the Panthers, four Rams players started at the position over a five-game span.

Atogwe back, Bartell sits again
Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (shoulder) returned to practice Thursday, albeit on a limited basis. But cornerback Ron Bartell (neck) missed his second consecutive day as the St. Louis Rams continued preparations for Sunday's game against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

Bernie Bytes: Saints will attack Bradford
Unless the New Orleans dramatically shift from their normal strategy, the Rams and QB Sam Bradford will be under fire during Sunday's game at the Superdome. The Saints are a blitz-mad team under aggressive defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. It's safe to say that Bradford hasn't faced a team that blitzes as often as the Saints do.

Bradford pick perfectly clicks for resurgent Rams - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
The Rams were chronically bad, but they knew the quickest way back to respectability: finding a franchise quarterback. Sam Bradford has become that in a flash and reinforced the QB-first lesson, Clark Judge says.

2theadvocate.com | Saints | Saints' Meachem getting on track — Baton Rouge, LA
After a slower-than-usual start, the New Orleans Saints offense is starting to hit its stride — and so is speedy wide receiver Robert Meachem.

St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints preview capsule | NOLA.com
Streaks, stats and notes entering Sunday's game at the Superdome

Rams-Saints: Lessons from 2009 - Turf Show Times
The Saints won that game to go 9-0 for their eventual championship season. Reality settled back in on the Rams after that game. This year, the Saints are a very similar team, featuring many of the same players. Not so for the Rams.

Why are the St. Louis Rams so conservative? - Turf Show Times
An interesting analysis of the Rams offense.

Let's take a look at those Saints losses against the Browns and Cards - Turf Show Times
Looking back at those two losses it was pretty obvious to me that those teams were playing over their heads and needed some lucky breaks and/or trick plays to pull off those victories.

 

AROUND THE NFC SOUTH (Come on, Panthers! You can do it! You can do it!):

Final Word: NFC South - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Where’s the defense? A lot has been said about how New Orleans’ offense has come together, scoring 30 or more points in each of the last four games. That’s a great sign and this is a wonderful time of the year for that to happen. But, if the Saints really are going to make a run, their defense still needs to show some major improvement.

Checking the injuries that matter most - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Saints. Running back Pierre Thomas (ankle) is listed as probable and coach Sean Payton said he expects Thomas to play Sunday for the first time since he suffered the injury in the third game of the season. But I think the Saints will work Thomas in gradually, like they’ve been doing with Reggie Bush the last two weeks. If you have Chris Ivory on your fantasy team, he still is a good guy to start.

 

LAGNIAPPE:

NFL Playoff standings, updated 12.10.10 | NOLA.com
Indianapolis stays alive with the win against Tennessee on Thursday

A brand new day: 10 wins not a big deal for Saints | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
When Tom Benson hired Sean Payton to be the latest coach in the history of New Orleans Saints, the idea was to change the culture of the franchise.

Long December: Year’s final month hasn’t been kind to Saints | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
December will always be the dreariest month of the NFL’s regular season, what with the weather turning frightful and end of season injuries generally piling up.

New Orleans Saints aren't rocking the Pro Bowl vote | NOLA.com
Only fullback Heath Evans leads his positon so far in early fan voting

Saints never lost confidence in Hartley | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Eye on Black and Gold
"Honestly we weren’t at that point that maybe you guys were in regards to a change with him," Head Coach Sean Payton said. "We see too much and too many things that he’s doing well. He has too much leg talent and he’s produced in big spots for us."

New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley has been straightening out after early struggles | NOLA.com
"It's always (important) when things aren't going your way to be able to stay on that keel and just know things are going to turn around, things are going to get better, and just keep working and things will work out," Hartley said. "And I'm a believer in that, and right now were going out there and we're executing what we need to do."

New Orleans Saints safeties Darren Sharper and Roman Harper invite fans to help with rebuilding project | NOLA.com
New Orleans Saints safeties Darren Sharper and Roman Harper are encouraging fans to join them Friday and Saturday as they help complete the rebuilding of two homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

18-game NFL season would bring more pain than gain, former players say | NOLA.com
"I was one of the lucky ones," said the former LSU All-American, who played 11 seasons of professional football after winning the Heisman Trophy in 1959. "I had six heart bypasses, but I had zero operations tied to football injuries. I look at the game today, and I realize what they mean when they say the players are bigger, stronger, faster. You bet they are. That's why major injuries will only become more prevalent, why you'll have more Earl Campbells out there doing their best to walk after their playing days are over."

 

VIDEO:


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