Fleur-de-Links: December 14, 2012

Kevin C. Cox

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Jimmy Graham has been playing through a wrist injury all season. Team may have to explain to league why he wasn't on injury reports.

TWEETS:

Hug your children and tell them you love them.Pray over your children day and night! My heart and prayers go out to those in Conn.

Just heard about the senseless shooting in Connecticut. Prayers up for lives lost and families torn... So sad

And this was our locker-room message this morning... Then we get that horrible news SMH

At a lost for words praying for comfort healing & guidance for those affected by the shootings in CT. No parent should have to bury a child

RT My heart goes out to those who experienced such a horrific event today...may they be blessed with the strength to carry on

I'm pretty upset about this tragedy man... It's KIDS!!.. Our future!! Gone over nothing.. I just can't imagine.. Send a prayer up!

Sending thoughts and prayers up to those affected by the shooting in Connecticut. I just don't get it. So so sad

Any reporter who sticks a microphone in a kids face should lose their job. How freakin distasteful are you? My God.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted in this terrible tragedy

My heart hurts, I know in this country we have the right to bear arms but something has to change! Just sickening. They are babies!

My heart and prayers go out to the kids and families in newtown,ct..SENSELESS crimes against innocent kids!! SMH

Glued to the news, heart and prayers goes out to the fams who've lost their loved ones in Newton, Ct

Ivory and Strief have been ruled OUT for Sunday

Killing anyone is terrible but how can u shoot kids!

What is wrong with people these days!

Vitt said Graham has been battling a wrist injury for at least much of the season. Hasn't been on injury report for wrist at all.

My heart and prayers pour out for those victims in that CT shooing and for all their loved ones...

My heart and prayers pour out for those victims in that CT shooing and for all their loved ones... One day there will be nothing but peace!

Details getting worse and worse. One of the saddest events and days in our lifetimes. Thoughts and prayers, over and over....

OC Carmichael says teams are double-teaming Graham off the line w/ lineman nudge and then linebacker. ...

Carmichael says of Graham, "His access into the route is not as clean as in the past."

The obvious excitement in these local reporters' voices at getting to cover a huge national story is a little off-putting

Vitt said Jenkins (Knee), White (Knee) and Brown (Knee) are OUT for Sunday

Vitt: Jenkins, Brown and White are out. Said they're still waiting on Strief and Ivory. Collins might have a chance to play.

Vitt says Brown, White, Jenkins, Strief and Ivory didn't practice Friday. Collins was limited.

Some days the cruelty of our world, and the pure evil that humans are capable of, is so sickening it could crush your soul.

Lord, watch over and protect us! Give us peace in our hearts!

New photos in the hallways of the facility

Prayers to all the families in Connecticut ... About the most revolting thing I've ever heard.

Very difficult for any public figure to win defamation suit,but Vilma 1st has to overcome preemption hurdle before we get to actual malice.

Vilma's latest filing in defamation suit now focuses almost entirely on RG's early claims that he placed bounty on Kurt Warner

Yes RT Black jerseys and black pants for Sunday uniforms?

My heart breaks for the families of those killed in Newtown, Conn. It is so senseless. I am angry, disgusted, but most of all extremely sad

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BUCS @ SAINTS:

Jimmy Graham has had an unreported wrist injury all season | ProFootballTalk
"It has been pretty bad since preseason," Graham said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "But I’m not the only one dealing with issues and dealing with injuries. I played through a lot of stuff and unfortunately, I’ve played every game this season pretty banged up but so has everyone else in this locker room."

Saints’ Strief, Jenkins among five ruled out for Sunday’s game | Black and Gold
Among those ruled out by Vitt were right tackle Zach Strief with an ankle injury, and free safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has a hamstring problem. Both players missed practice all week after they were hurt in last Sunday’s 52-27 loss to the New York Giants. Strief will be replaced in the starting lineup by William Robinson, while second-year pro Isa Abdul-Quddus will likely get the call for Jenkins. Also out are CB Corey White (knee), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring) and T Charles Brown (knee).

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Inside the game | NOLA.com
Saints are trying to end three-game losing streak

Wrist injury one of many reasons for Jimmy Graham's 'disappointing' season: First-and-10 | NOLA.com
Ten more observations heading into New Orleans Saints' Week 15 home date with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Drops remain an issue for New Orleans Saints pass catchers this season | NOLA.com
Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Saints are among the league leaders in dropped passes

Bucs notes: Saints TE Graham presents one more challenge | TBO.com
Saints QB Drew Brees shredded the Bucs for 377 yards and four touchdown passes in October, and he'll have an additional weapon at his disposal in Sunday's rematch.

Saints believe they've figured out kickoff coverage woes | wwltv.com New Orleans
"Certainly I am going to take responsibility for it because we put it on the field," McMahon said. "We tell our guys all the time, we are in this sucker together, there is no doubt about it. It wasn’t coached well enough and it certainly wasn’t executed and so it was just a disappointing performance."

Saints’ Vitt: Brees will play better when team plays better | Black and Gold

New Orleans Saints have been 'finishing weak' in fourth quarters this year: First-and-10 | NOLA.com
Saints have been outscored 43-6 over last six games in fourth quarter

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham says he's been nursing a wrist injury since training camp | NOLA.com
Five Saints players listed as out for Bucs game Sunday

Tickets still available for New Orleans Saints-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game Sunday | NOLA.com
Tickets can be purchased at ticket office, online, or by phone

Saints set to go into Sunday's Bucs game with only two offensive tackles | wwltv.com New Orleans
Five of the six players who have been listed on New Orleans’ injury report have been listed as out for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, including two offensive tackles, leaving the Saints dangerously thin at the position.

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BOUNTYFARCE:

Vitt fiery in his response to report that he told Williams to keep bounty program | wwltv.com New Orleans
"Let me say this," he said. "No. 1, in my testimony, I was never asked that question, whether or not that I wanted to keep a bounty program going. I was never asked that question. I was told that accusation was made and I volunteered at the time in front of commissioner Tagliabue to take a lie detector test that afternoon, to deny that allegation."

Roger Goodell's thought of increasing NFL playoff teams will work - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
Roger Goodell’s truly a mastermind when it comes to controlling the public conversation around his league and sculpting the media's headlines. Barely 24 hours after some scribes in the NFL working press started to question the motivation behind the since-overturned Bountygate suspensions he delivered in the spring, the commissioner floated the prospect of a 14- or 16-team NFL playoff at the league's owners meetings in Dallas. By Wednesday, the suspensions overturned by Paul Tagliabue vanished from the headlines.

Vilma urges judge to reject Goodell's bid to dismiss defamation lawsuit | wwltv.com New Orleans
"Williams has always told Goodell, and continues to state, that there was never any cash put up for a bounty on any player. It was `just talk."' Vilma's motion reads. "Nonetheless, Goodell irresponsibly chose to contend that Vilma walked around with $10,000 before the Cardinals game."

Magic is gone in relationship between Roger Goodell, New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com
Goodell not backing down from the discipline he imposed on the Saints

Jonathan Vilma takes aim at Mike Cerullo's credibility in latest legal filing | NOLA.com
Filing, according to report, said Payton had to take out police protection

Vitt denies involvement in bounty program | New Orleans Saints | The Sun Herald
METAIRIE, La. -- Saints interim coach Joe Vitt on Thursday denied a report that he stopped former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from halting a bounty program.

New Vilma filing targets alleged Warner bounty, Cerullo’s credibility | ProFootballTalk
Here’s the kicker from Ginsberg: "The Saints were so concerned about Cerullo’s stability, as Goodell also knew, that, when Cerullo was terminated, Saints head coach Sean Payton also was forced to obtain police protection at his house for fear that Cerullo would seek some type of retribution." (Cerullo has denied that he held a grudge against the team.)

Second scud? Cerullo letter to Tagliabue is leaked | ProFootballTalk
On Thursday afternoon, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt said that the leak of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' testimony to the media amounted to a "scud," presumably launched by the league office. Vitt predicted that another "scud" would be coming Thursday night.

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LAGNIAPPE:

New Orleans Saints seeking to finish tumultuous season strong | NOLA.com
Saints (5-8) host Buccaneers (6-7) on Sunday

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VIDEO:

Joe Vitt Interview 12/14/12
Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach Joe Vitt speaks with reporters after practice on Friday, December 14, 2012.

Pete Carmichael Interview 12/14/12
Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael speaks with reporters after practice on Friday, December 14, 2012.

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