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Fleur-de-Links: Saints Camp Day 21 - Texans Come to Town and Carl Nicks Gets Demoted

Looks like Carl Nicks spent the day in the dog house. He was demoted to the 2's as the coaches sent a clear message to him and the others that mental mistakes and errors won't be tolerated. This looks to be only a temporary move aimed at getting his attention. Team sloppiness has been so frequent that coaches have reportedly resorted to having players run laps whenever they drop passes or commit pre-snap infractions. Wake up, fellas. The season is almost here. 

Other notes include reports from the first day of joint practices with the Texans, Dave "The Baconator" Thomas stands out, the Shockmeister celebrates his birthday, and the never-ending saga of the old man from Mississippi who yells at clouds continues. Ya ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Well, the sequel to the sequel to the sequel is currently being filmed in Minnesota. Links, tweets, transcripts, and video after the jump.


drewbrees Just finished first practice against the Texans. Pretty good work for the first one.

JonVilma51 it was a good, physical practice today, i was glad to see all my boys from the "U!" doing their thing for the texans..

JeremyShockey Thx for all the birthday wishes!! Your the best Tweet FAM..

T_Porter22 RT @bobbymccray: Happy Birthday!!!! @JeremyShockey

bobbymccray Happy Birthday!!!! @JeremyShockey

bobbymccray RT @T_Porter22: Had a good team practice today vs the Texans..but not too many of the #whodats came out to support. What happened guys?

jeffduncantp Very true. Smallest crowd of camp. RT @T_Porter22: Had a good team practice vs Texans.but not too many of the #whodats came out to support.

Adam_Schefter So who in the office pool had 49ers RB Glen Coffee retiring before Brett Favre?

DougTatum RT @McClain_on_NFL: Andre Johnson gives a lot of credit to Saints WR coach Curtis Johnson for helping him be where he is.

HeathEvans Welcome back Brett Favre. Thurs night Sept 9th just got a lot more interesting! The Dome is gonna be rockin!!

jeffduncantp Terrence Metcalf started at left guard in place of Carl Nicks. It's only temporary, folks.

jeffduncantp Terrence Metcalf replaced Nicks in the starting line. It's only temporary. They're just sending him a message. But Nicks was clearly miffed.

GregBensel Coach Payton and his long time high school coach and mentor JR Bishop with NFL Films interview today

T_Porter22 Had a good team practice today vs the Texans..but not too many of the #whodats came out to support. What happened guys?

jeffduncantp New disciplinary measures for pre-snap infractions, dropped passes, etc. RT @DKDragon: @jeffduncantp Why was Hargrove running a lap earlier

jeffduncantp #Saints FS Darren Sharper just smiled when asked if he's concerned Malcolm Jenkins will beat him out for the starting job. "I'll be fine."

jeffduncantp #Saints FS Darren Sharper said today he hopes to return for the 9/2 exhibition game vs. Tenn, if not the reg. season opener vs. Minnesota.

jeffduncantp I asked Carl Nicks how they let him know he was on 2nd team. Nicks: "I don't want to get into that. You'll have to ask Coach (Aaron) Kromer"

jeffduncantp Saints are trying to light a fire under Carl Nicks. Demoted him to 2nd team today for morning practice and was not happy about it afterward.

jeffduncantp New Saints RB Ladell Betts is working for the first time today.

reggie_bush Big scrimmage today against the Houston Texans! Ready to go to work! Who dat!

alexbrown96 Good morning tweeters!!! Headed to practice where the Houston Texans are waiting to practice against the world champs !



New Orleans Saints are sending a message to guard Carl Nicks |
"It has to be one of two reasons, (either) they feel I'm not good enough any more or they feel the guy behind me is better," said an obviously miffed Nicks afterward. "You've got to ask coach about that."

Camp 2Dat: Houston Texans visit fight-free New Orleans Saints training camp
They may be the defending Super Bowl champions but the 2010 version of the Black and Gold certainly are not your battlin’ New Orleans Saints. In other words, there has been no "Brawlin’ in N’Awlins.’’

Saints Welcome Texans To Practice

New Orleans Saints RB Ladell Betts on the practice field Wednesday; LB Jonathan Casillas |
He worked out against Houston

Houston Texans visit New Orleans Saints for intra-squad practices today |
The Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints will kick off a series of three intra-squad practices today at the Saints' training facility in Metairie. The morning practice begins at 8:50 a.m. and is open to the public. The afternoon workout at 4:20 p.m. will be closed to the public Texans players told The Houston Chronicle on Tuesday that they're...

Ladell Betts hoping to join the New Orleans Saints on the field soon |
He is still recovering from ACL surgery

Camp 2Dat: Running back Ladell Betts hits field for fist time with New Orleans Saints
The former Redskins, who will be 31 on Aug. 27, won’t play in the preseason game against Houston on Saturday in the Superdome.

Fights break out when tempers flare on the football field | Houston Texans Football | - Houston Chronicle
When the Texans practice with the New Orleans Saints two times today and once Thursday, tempers are expected to be short as they were the last two training camps when the two Gulf Coast teams came together.

Texans notes: Leaving on a bad note | Houston Texans Football | - Houston Chronicle
Keep up with Houston sports news, schedules, scores and stats.

New Orleans Saints backup TE David Thomas looks sharp Wednesday morning |
New Orleans Saints backup tightend David Thomas, whom the franchise signed to a new deal in the off-season, looked particularly sharp Wednesday morning as the team went through the first of three scheduled joint practices with the Houston Texans.

New Orleans Saints training camp updated schedule |
With the announcement that both of Saturday's New Orleans Saints training camp afternoon workout is at 3:15 p.m., here is the complete schedule as of Aug. 18.


Practice Observations: Texans' offense owns Saints' defense in 2-minute drill | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | | Eye on Black and Gold
For the second time Wednesday, the Saints and Texans practiced. WWL-TV's Bradley Handwerger filed this practice report.




New Orleans Saints get first look at the refurbished Superdome |
It was the first time back in the dome since the NFC Championship Game

Practice Observations: Drops stand out during practice | | WWL Sports
The Saints practiced inside the Superdome on Tuesday morning. WWL-TV reporter Bradley Handwerger was there and filed this practice report.

Saints add RB depth, sign Betts to one-year deal - NFL - Football
The New Orleans Saints have signed former Redskins running back Ladell Betts to a one-year deal.

Payton Wrap Up At Superdome
New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton met with the media following Tuesday morning's practice at the Louisiana Superdome. During his session, Payton discussed the acquisition of RB Ladell Betts, practicing at the Superdome and the progress of rookie CB Patrick Robinson

Betts Talks About Joining New Orleans

Betts Adds Depth To Saints Backfield
Betts joined his new teammates for a two-hour practice at the Superdome, but didn’t wear shoulder pads and was held out of team drills as he continues to work his way back from surgery last fall to repair torn left knee ligaments. Coach Sean Payton said Betts will not play against Houston on Saturday night in the Superdome.



Brett Favre says the lure of playing in another Super Bowl brought him back to Minnesota Vikings |
'I owe it to this organization to give it one more try'

Childress to N.O.: 'Hit (Favre) the right way' - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
Asked if the Saints were unduly hard on quarterback Brett Favre in last season’s NFC Championship Game, Childress had a pretty harsh response. “In my opinion, yeah,’’ Childress said.

Brett Favre fumbles latest NFL return
What a surprise! Brett Favre is going to play football again!

Favre return isn't a surprise for Saints - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Brett Favre has flown to Minnesota, but the New Orleans Saints are expecting him back in the Gulf Coast region Sept. 9.

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees says he never thought Brett Favre wouldn't play this year |
Brees has been thinking all along Favre would play

Brett Favre, ‘circus’ back in Minnesota -
Brett Favre is back. The 40-year-old quarterback returned to the Vikings camp in Eden Prairie, Minn., yesterday, arriving in a private jet with three teammates who were sent to Hattiesburg, Miss., to bring him back for one more shot at a Super Bowl. Favre got a ride to Vikings headquarters from...

Favre brings Vikings into Super Bowl hunt - NFL - Sporting News | Sports | Favre back in Minnesota — Baton Rouge, LA
Brett Favre's latest summer of indecision finally appears to be over.

Favre made up own mind about playing | | Hattiesburg American
Now the Minnesota Vikings (and any other NFL team – or CFL team – Brett Favre may wind up playing for in the future) know all they have to do to get him to join the team is to send the big guys down to Hattiesburg. Send the ones who weigh in at a combined total of nearly half a ton.

Favre to play: Shocking, right? -
He was always coming back to play. Did you ever doubt it? I don't care what he said about his injured ankle and the other things he used as excuses for not being with the Vikings. He was always going to play, and it was always going to be after two-a-day practices. The man knows what he's doing.

Brett Favre on his way back to the Minnesota Vikings? |
Favre has tweeted there will be "big news"


Childress to N.O.: 'Hit (Favre) the right way' - NFC South Blog - ESPN
Pat Y.'s NFC North friend Kevin Seifert just passed along some very interesting comments from Minnesota coach Brad Childress that were directed at the New Orleans Saints



MISCELLANEOUS: | Sports | Proving he's worthy — Baton Rouge, LA
No one has to tell New Orleans Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod, or his position coach, Aaron Kromer, about the significance or the timing of three joint practices with the Houston Texans today and Thursday.

Brees: Saints can be better on offense - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The one thing I’ve noticed about Drew Brees the past couple years is that the New Orleans Saints quarterback never seems satisfied. 

Saints Camp Notebook: Offensive line keys squad's stellar attack
Quarterback Drew Brees and his cast of backs and receivers get the majority of headlines for the NFL's most productive offense, but it all starts up front.

Manitoba Saints march to flag football title | Football | Sports | Winnipeg Sun
Manitoba’s New Orleans Saints captured the Football Canada Under-15 Flag Football Canadian National Championship in Ottawa on the weekend. Not sure what this is.

Panthers gambling with position switch for Beason
Jon Beason has played in the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. He set a Carolina franchise record last year with 169 tackles, displaying the speed, aggressiveness and hard-hitting that have made him one of the NFL's top middle linebackers.

More tests for Eli Manning - New Orleans Saints -
The New York Giants are uncertain whether Eli Manning will be able to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Behind The Facemask: Sean Canfield
Fresh out of Oregon State, Sean Canfield looks to make the final roster for the Saints after being drafted in the 7th round. The California native started 24 games for the Beavers even though he suffered a serious shoulder injury during his sophomore year.

Zach Strief Foundation to Host BIG NIGHT OUT Gala
If you’re a fan of the Super Bowl XLIV Champions, you may be familiar with my work on the field. I’m Zach Strief, #64, Offensive Tackle for the New Orleans Saints. Since my NFL draft in 2006, I have had the unique opportunity to give back the great city of New Orleans through The Zach Strief Dream Big Foundation.

Camp 2Dat: Some members of World Champion Saints under-appreciated
Linebacker Scott Shanle is probably the most underappreciated Saint of all. He has had 100-plus tackles in three of his four seasons in New Orleans, and his versatility and value were demonstrated once again over the weekend when the Saints moved him from weakside linebacker to strongside.

Fantasy football preview: Breaking down the wide receivers |
Everyone needs them -- a look at the wide receivers



Coach Sean Payton Post Practice Media Session:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Opening Statement: "If the weather’s right we’ll stay outside for this afternoon’s practice. Plan B would be to go inside."

Did practice run a little shorter? "Compared to our normal schedule, which is 8:50, we started at 8:30."

Was this a good change of pace? "Once again, you have a different look. In that aspect of it, it always heightens the awareness of both teams."

Can you talk about Carl Nicks and Jermon Bushrod working with the second team? "We’re having to give a lot of guys a lot of reps. They took some snaps with the ones. We moved Charles (Brown) up some. We’ll keep rotating them. It’s nothing to read into."

What have you seen from Sean Canfield? "You’re limited based on just practice snaps. He only gets a few at the end of each period. It’s hard. He’s got a little ways to go. He’s smart. It will take some time."

Do you have any feelings about an extended regular season? "I’ve been asked that before and really have no strong opinion. In the end, the key will be how closely training camp would be affected and how many games you would need to get ready."

Could joint practices take the place of preseason games? "I don’t know if it would take the place of it, but you’d see more."

Will the starters play longer this week? "Yes. In week two they’ll play longer into the second quarter based on a snap count. Typically they play longer."


Drew Brees Post-Practice Media Session:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What was it like practicing against the Texans today?

"It’s the third year we have done this. I think both teams get a lot out of it. It’s an opportunity to compete against somebody other than yourself, get some new looks. Their defensive scheme is very different from what our Saints defensive scheme is. Our offense gets a brand new look with a lot of different things as well as our defense against their offense. I think both teams definitely benefit in that regard. You kind of see how you stack up against other teams in the league. It gives you a chance to study their personnel and game plan during the week. That makes it fun."

Was there any carry-over from the tension from last year?

"No. I think we are all at the stage now in camp where we’re trying to get better every day. Its football, its physical, it’s tough, it’s hot. Obviously, there are times where you’re battling through a play and tensions can rise. We’re all out here to get better. We all want to walk away from this experience with everybody healthy; feeling like we got something out of it and it wasn’t just a brawl. We got good work this morning and hopefully that will carry through over the next two practices."

There have been talks about shortening the preseason to two games and having 18 regular season games. Being the player representative, what are your thoughts on that?

"That has been thrown out as something that the owners want in the upcoming negotiations. There are a lot of things that would have to happen for that to occur. For us, as players, when you look at two extra games, especially when the season is so long at 16 games, what are the increased chances of a player getting seriously injured by having two more games that are very meaningful? Guys are already beat up at the end of a season, let alone if you tack on two more games. It’s a lot more than adding two more games or getting two more paychecks. How is this going affect our health or our longevity, our careers? There are a lot of things to take in to account, it’s not just about adding two more games and pay you two more paychecks. It takes a big toll on the body."

Is there a rivalry with the Texans?

"Because we are in pretty close proximity, you might say that we have an intermingling of fans between here and Houston. Houston is a place that a lot of people, post Katrina, took refuge. Some of those Who Dats have stayed in Houston. Maybe the fact that we are so close, and we probably have a carryover of the intermingling of fans between here and there, that may be what creates that rivalry.  These opportunities to practice against each other, the reason we are doing it is to help both of our teams get better. That’s the point."

Have you had a chance to look at the Texans’ secondary?

"As we go through these practices, I look at film. I look at the first preseason game, last year’s practices, all of those things to try to study up on their personnel a little bit. Just like during training camp when we are practicing against our guys, I study the players. I try to find the match-ups and who I want to attack no matter who is on the field. It just happens to be the Texans. So, I am studying their personnel and their young guys."

How do you feel about Ladell Betts and how he fits in to the team?

"Before he got here, I had never met Ladell Betts before. Everything that I have heard about him as a teammate and a player, and everything that I saw on film told me he was a solid football player and a solid locker room guy. I am glad he is on our team now. It’s unfortunate about the circumstances, with Lynell Hamilton going down allowing Ladell to come in. He’s a guy who can add a dimension and an element to our offense."

Is it a surprise to you that Brett Favre is back in Minnesota?


Did you expect that?

"Yes. The guy loves football. You just get the feeling that he is going to play as long as his body will allow him. That was the big issue, at least it seemed to be, was if his ankle was going to be 100%. If it is not at 100%, he doesn’t want to go out there at 80%. You want to be 100%. Certainly, I know what it’s like to go through offseasons with injuries. It’s frustrating and you just kind of wait for the thing to heal. A lot of times, it just takes time. It’s hard to be patient with something like that. For a guy like him, he loves the game and can still play at a high level. They have a great team, so I’m not surprised that he’s back."

Does it make the first regular season game any more interesting?

"Never in my mind did I assume that he was not going to be on the other side of the field. It was just my expectations I guess."

Some of the Vikings players said that Brett Favre was targeted. Are you ever concerned that you might be targeted like pitchers target players in baseball?

"It is what it is. The fact is when the guy on defense has a chance to take a shot on a quarterback legally, he’s going to do it. If he hits him illegally, he is either going to get a huge fine or a penalty and hurt his team. I don’t feel like our guys were cheap-shotting Brett at all. Were we trying to hit him and hit him hard? Yes. Absolutely. I am sure their defensive coaches were telling their defenders the same thing: if you get a shot at Brees, take it. I don’t think there was anything dirty about that. Brett stood in there and played a heck of a football game against us despite taking a lot of hits. Our defense was hitting him hard. I felt like it was all clean. It happened to be that on one of those hits, he suffered an ankle injury. I don’t think our guys did that on purpose."


Reggie Bush Post Practice Media Session:

Q: It seems like today’s practice wasn’t as physical as the Saints-Texans joint practices of the past. Would you agree? "You are right. It wasn’t as physical as it has normally been over the past few years. We will see. This afternoon we are not in shoulder pads. I don’t know about this afternoon but maybe tomorrow morning. You are right. The tempo today wasn’t as physical as it usually is." 

Q: Texans QB Matt Schaub said you guys have started to develop a rivalry – would you agree? "I think so. In a funny kind of a way, it has kind of turned in a rivalry. We were talking earlier about how the tempo wasn’t as physical as it usually is when we practice against them. We will see what happens later on."

Q: Is that because today wasn’t as hot as practice has been during training camp? "It could be the lack of heat (laughter). The heat usually gets guys irritated and feisty."

 Q: Were you talking to Danny Clark? "Yeah, Danny was here a few years ago (2006-07) and he is a great guy. I am definitely pulling for him. He is a great athlete and I am one of his fans."

Q: How do you think today’s joint practice went? "I think it gave us a chance to see different looks and a different defense for us. (Texans’ defense) is solid every year. Every time we play against them they are solid. They do a great job at stopping the run. All in all, it gives us a chance to compete against a different team. It gives us some different looks and gives guys a chance to compete who are trying to make the team."



Darren Sharper and Drew Brees on the Vikings charges of cheap shots

Jabari Greer on working against Houston receivers

Trindon Holliday is hoping to make the Texans

Saints center Jonathan Goodwin on Houston coming in this week
Saints and Texans work out Wednesday morning