Fleur-de-Links: September 27, 2012

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Saints to wear black pants @ Green Bay. 0-4 record now certain.

TWEETS:

Kromer on impact of officials returning this week "We hope that our tempo and the tempo of the game is managed faster"

Busy days ahead Golf tourney tom Calling the ULM-Tulane game Sat. Break down the Saints game Sun night. Start two new contracts Mon. Blessed

Browns LB Scott Fujita still likely to meet with NFL officials Friday, though a source points out the situation is "fluid"

The Saints will wear white jerseys and black pants this Sunday

... This is 4th of the pre-discipline meetings for Bountygate guys. Commish likely to rule on Hargrove, Smith, Fujita, Vilma shortly after.

Barring any changes, and those have happened in this process, Scott Fujita will meet with Roger Goodell tomorrow on the bounty matter. ...

Watching Roger Goodell on refs settlement, I do see transparency & humility. I still question whether lockout was necessary.

It would have been nice to get Goodell address the league's statement supporting the MNF call. I'm sure that will happen.

Goodell admitted the deal got down around 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Anybody who thinks Goodell deserves a pay raise can go get f***ed.

Jonathan Vilma and his attorney Peter Ginsberg appeared before Magistrate Knowles and addressed the timing of discover…

I asked Goodell what he'd say to Packers who felt they got screwed, he responded that he's been in touch with a few of them.

I am terrified of this possibility RT : angrywhodat but wouldnt be just like the Saints to win @ GB...and get our hopes up

I move to nickname the Saints' Defense the "Marsh Fire" Soft, permeable, and always being burned.

. Can you imagine how annoying itd be if Saints 2 Lombardis were 2009 (KATRINA! BOUNTY!) & 2012 (FAKE REFS! DOESN'T COUNT!)? Guh

I think I'm there. The Saints won a Superbowl. I'm good for a while. Plus, maybe we'll get a pass rusher in the draft

I agree with Wang 100%. As I will every Thursday. It's gonna take a few more Sundays until Sundays stop pissing me off.

You'll never guess which shill thinks Roger Goodell deserves a raise:

Info on the officiating crew for tonight's game:

NFLPA: "Our workplace is safer with the return of our professional referees. We welcome our fellow Union members back on our field."

If deal ratified, game officials' salary will increase from avg of $149K per year in 2011 to $173K in 2013, rising to $205K by 2019.

2nd owner told me he believed ref deal "would've been done this week even if Monday night didn’t happen." But everyone acknowledges urgency.

Money text from Bills LB Kirk Morrison on the return of the refs: "Now the preseason is over and let the real season begin."

Hmmm will this be the first time real refs get interviewed after a game? 'emapressconference

Jon Stewart doesn't disappoint when he weighs in on the refs during 'The Daily Show.'

": WhoDatNation that missed it here's contact info for ESPN guy on "story": Barry.abrams@espn.com 860-248-1858" luv it

ESPN character study on will bring up dead body at his NY apt, I'd bet life savings on it. Feel another defamation suit coming!

Vilma was not involved or charged. In case didn't know what I was talking about with Vilma's condo murder, link:

From an NFLRA source: "They could have never taken scabs to Green Bay this weekend. Last night was THE deadline."

RT : Ed Hochuli told me as soon as he found out NFL deal was done, "I dropped down on the floor and started doing pushups."

RT NFL owner to me on Seahawk-Pack debacle: "That game reshaped everything...it shook me. I think it shook a lot of people."

Let's hope that 8 years of labor peace b/w NFL & refs is a little more peaceful than the first 1.5 years of labor peace b/w NFL & players.

When this deal is reviewed, as one exec checks in, many people will wonder why officials were locked out in first place.

Lost in the Vilma "character study" fallout is that is finally getting the widespread recognition he deserves.

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WEEK 4: SAINTS @ PACKERS:

Saints injury report stays pat ahead of Packers game | wwltv.com New Orleans
The Saints had no one new on Thursday’s injury report, good news ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Aaron Kromer Press Conference September 27 - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Join the NOLA.com/Times-Picayune Saints coverage team for live updates from New Orleans Saints Head Coach Aaron Kromer's press conference.

Packers’ Rodgers, Saints’ Brees refuse to blame replacement refs for bad starts | wwltv.com New Orleans
Two days after the Green Bay Packers lost to Seattle on one of the most bizarre endings in NFL history, quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t sound a player who had moved on quite yet.

Forecast: Why is the Saints defense so awful? | wwltv.com New Orleans
Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
Who or what is to blame for the Saints defensive disaster?

Could it be Steve Spagnuolo and his new plan? I mean we all grew tired of the Gregg Williams strategy of taking kerosene, matches, fireworks, a blitzing Roman Harper then hoping for the best, but maybe old Gregg had it right; the Saints defense is so devoid of talent or ability to run a complicated scheme let’s just set the house on fire to keep warm in the winter and hope for the best

Saints won’t ignore lessons from 0-3 start in preparation for Green Bay | wwltv.com New Orleans
New Orleans Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer has seen everything fans see so far this season. he turnovers. The penalties. The long runs given up on defense. The fourth-down conversions by opponents.

Officiating controversy lingers as Green Bay Packers prepare for New Orleans Saints - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: 'You learn in this league that every loss is difficult. It's even more when it shouldn't have been a loss.'

McCarthy and Rodgers Discuss Sunday's Contest
Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke with the New Orleans media via conference call on Wednesday

Saints Nation: Scouting the Packers | September

Saints coach says team may not have handled distractions well | ProFootballTalk
Give Saints interim-to-the-interim coach Aaron Kromer credit. Not for coaching a team that went 13-3 last year to an 0-3 record, but for his keen analytical eye.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo, give us a blitz!: Letter | NOLA.com

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THE STREAK:

Unitas' son has bond with New Orleans as Brees chases father's TD streak record
"The thing that my dad would appreciate most about Drew doesn't have to do with football; it's about who Drew is as a person. He's a role model for today's youth, a family man, and humanitarian who cares for his community. My father would tell you these are the important things in life, not records in a book."

Saints QB Drew Brees approaching Johnny Unitas’ 52-year NFL record | wwltv.com New Orleans
For nearly three years, spanning four seasons, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been on a touchdown pass tear like few others in the history of the NFL.

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WITH REAL REFS BACK, PRESEASON NOW OVER, REGULAR SEASON BEGINS:

Ref who ruled Golden Tate touchdown still thinks it was the right call | ProFootballTalk
Unfortunately, in defending the call, Easley seemed to indicate that he still doesn’t understand the NFL’s rules on simultaneous possession.

Roger Goodell says Monday night fiasco pushed talks with refs - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says Monday night Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers fiasco pushed talks with refs. Roger Goodell says Monday night fiasco pushed talks with refs

NFL: Locked-out officials, league agree to deal in time Week 4 - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
NFL: Locked-out officials, league agree to deal in time Week 4. NFL: Locked-out officials, league agree to deal in time Week 4

What’s next for the replacements? | ProFootballTalk
Look for sports and news organizations to at least try to get these folks to talk. If none do, the message is clear: The NFL wisely purchased their silence preemptively.

NFLPA welcomes back the regular officials | ProFootballTalk
While players often sent inconsistent messages regarding their views on replacement officials, the NFL Players Association was clear and unambiguous. The union didn't want replacements, and the union wanted the regular officials to be returned to duty.

Goodell: "We’re sorry to have to put our fans through that" | ProFootballTalk
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell emphasized in a conference call with the national media Thursday that the short-term pain of replacement officials was worth the long-term gain of an eight-year deal with the NFLRA, while noting: "We're sorry to have to put our fans through that.

Roger Goodell "certain" that regular refs are "ready to go" | ProFootballTalk
There’s little doubt that Ed Hochuli stayed in shape during the lockout, but for the other 120 locked-out officials, that could be a concern.

Regular refs back; Goodell apologizes to fans - Yahoo! Sports
From Yahoo! Sports: NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL's regular officiating crews are back, and Commissioner Roger Goodell has apologized to the fans who fretted about the replacements the last three weeks.

NFL Referee Lockout is finally over; Who won? - Who Dat Dish
The outcry from Monday Night football brought the NFL and NFLRA back to the table to get a new deal done. Who won the most from this deal?

NFL and NFL Referees Association Reach Agreement on an 8-Year Collective Bargaining Agreement
Officials will be back on the field starting Thursday night

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BOUNTYFARCE:

ESPN Wanted To Do A "Character Study" On Jonathan Vilma, Who Then Conducted His Own
A word to you sports television producers out there: Be careful who you contact for certain segments, as sensitive info has a way of making its way back to the source, and the results may not be pretty. In this case, it's Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was none too happy to hear that Eric Barton, one of his former teammates with Jets, had been contacted by an ESPN producer looking for comment on a "character study TV feature" that is/might be/was slated to run on SportsCenter this weekend. Vilma was not happy with the gesture, so he posted a picture of the request on Twitter and proceeded to conduct his own character study with his followers.

Jonathan Vilma reveals that ESPN is working on 'character study' of New Orleans Saints linebacker, Gregg Williams - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Twitter post reveals ESPN producer's email address, phone number

Legal teams for New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set to meet Thursday - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
"To further the efforts to restore his good name, Vilma recently served discovery demands on Goodell and various third-parties," Ginsberg wrote in the opposing motion. "Goodell now seeks to delay having to answer for his misconduct by requesting a stay of discovery. Vilma complied with all statutory requirements in propounding his discovery demands and there is no basis to grant Goodell's motion to stay discovery."

Vilma posts phone number, email address of ESPN "character study" producer | ProFootballTalk
Last night, we explained that ESPN is preparing a "character study" of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and that ESPN Feature Producer Barry Abrams is sending letters to players in an effort to dig up some information.

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LAGNIAPPE:

moosedenied » Blog Archive » I may be goin’ to hell in a bucket, baby, but at least I’m enjoyin’ the ride…
Welp, it took the better part of three days for me to find a reason to stop punching myself in the crotch and find some semblance of a silver lining here. But I'll be damned if I didn't find one eventually.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Word of Muth: KC Uses Force
Football Outsiders is the internet home for Innovative Statistics and Intelligent Analysis of professional and college football. Our writers, lead by Aaron Schatz, also write Pro Football Prospectus.

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VIDEO:

Despite deal, Goodell takes big hit | Watch the video - Yahoo! Sports
Yahoo! Sports' Larry Beil on why Roger Goodell lost credibility during the lockout of NFL referees.

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