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Fleur-De-Links: Saturday, October 8


Official_Saints Comment on our "Saints at Panthers" event page to tell us where you are watching the game tomorrow!

JeffDuncanTP Sad to hear the news about Raiders owner Al Davis.

MCHammer Al Davis embodied the Spirit of Oakland ... Hard worker .. Blue collar, forward thinker.. against the grain ... We will miss you. #Salute

JeffDuncanTP RT @timkawakami To answer the question I've been asked many times: Al Davis' son Mark Davis inherits control of the Raiders.

kspainTP Just landing in charlotte ... hope to get in a run watch some college football & get ready 4 #saints v #panthers 2 morro

camjordan94  Off ta practice #leggo

moosedenied  Tomorrow's gameday menu is CRAZY Jewish!

JonVilma51 Lets go canes!

GregRomeus91  I guess u stick out when ur not wearing LSU attire on Gameday lol

GregRomeus91  Lol good question RT @GeigerGeiger: If there was no music videos, how do you think people would dress?

T_Porter22 "@breejustBcoolin@T_Porter22 I loveeee u t. Porterrrrrrrrr lol" love the fans' support

thomasmorstead On the @Official_Saints plane Prayin for safe travels Kickoff less than 24 hours away #whodat (HansDat note: He's praying for safe travels...? What the hell kind of plane are they flying on?) 

j_bushrod7475  Yea you can't be serious with this one lol "@jjposey22#PeopleWhoAreOverRated - Michael Jordan"

LHolderCBS LSU SID Michael Bonnette spent some time chatting to Tyrann Mathieu on the field. I'll assume it's about starting

JohnnyPatrick32  What's Louisville score (HansDat note: They almost didn't score in their 14-7 loss to UNC.)

drewbrees Off to Carolina to take on the Panthers. It would be a perfect weekend if both the Boilermakers & Saints get a victory. Who Dat & Boiler Up

JohnnyPatrick32  Bout to take off  watching fast five....

camjordan94  Situation ridiculous all I can say #shawtbusshawty #shawtbusshawty #shawtbusshawty #shawtbusshawty

camjordan94  Takin off I should b fist pumpin... Amped fo this game... Imma go Ron burgundy-esque stay classy new Orleans #whodat

ltorrence24  Shot out to the Rookies @JohnnyPatrick32 & @iamisa1 that "Bird" was delicious!!! I feel a nap coming on!

JohnnyPatrick32  "@ltorrence24: Shot out to the Rookies @JohnnyPatrick32 &@iamisa1 that "Bird" was delicious!!! I feel a nap coming on!" no problem....

GregRomeus91  Lol naw homie black & gold or blue & gold RT @jeremyjameyson:@GregRomeus91 Lol! Bro u need to go get some Purple and Gold. Ha

JasonLaCanfora We are remaining live on NFL Network all day, through Total Access tonite, paying homage to Al Davis and continuing coverage of his passing

MilneMalbrough  Why living in 2011 is awesome reason 789; The NFL Network covering Al Davis Death like presidential funeral.

JohnnyPatrick32  Made it....


From the Saints Sideline

New Orleans Saints' defense seeking more takeaways |
Mike Triplett - News and notes from Friday's practice.

Saints covering punts better | The Advocate
Brian Allee-Walsh - Through four games, the New Orleans Saints’ punt coverage unit has yielded yards grudgingly, seemingly inch by painstaking inch.

Improved pass rush evident | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - At or near the top of the New Orleans Saints’ priorities during the offseason was a desire to affect the opposing quarterback more after finishing the 2010 season with just 33 sacks.

Ex-Heisman winners to meet again | The Advocate
Much like the season-opening game between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, a meeting of the two most recent Super Bowl champs, there will be another significant matchup on Sunday.

Feelin' the Brees graphic: Game 4 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars |
Dan Swenson - An illustrated look at how Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints' top five offensive playmakers have performed through Game 4 and during their 23-10 victory over the Jacksonvile Jaguars last week.

Game Preview: Saints at Panthers |
Staff Report

Saints-Panthers Broadcast Information |
Staff Report


Carolina In My Mind

Panthers QB Cam Newton gets first look at NFC South rivals |
Ron Green, Jr. - Now that Cam Newton has been introduced to the NFL, it's time for him to meet the neighbors.

Saints' Sproles small but strong, Panthers say |
Joseph Person - Darren Sproles, the Saints' 5-foot-6, do-everything back, is tied with two other players as the NFL's shortest player.

Inside the Panthers: Panthers trying new kick returner |
Joe Person and Ron Green, Jr.

What to watch: Panthers vs. Saints |
Bryan Strickland

Williams always thinks pink |
Bryan Strickland

McDermott defends defense |
Bryan Strickland



New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Media Availability - Friday, October 07, 2011

Opening Statement:

"Zach Strief (knee) did not practice, he's out; Dave Thomas (concussion) did not practice, he's out; Martez Wilson (neck) was limited, he's doubtful. The following three players are all questionable: Devery Henderson (calf) was limited. Olin Kreutz (left knee) was limited, Will Herring (hamstring) was limited. And lastly Jon Vilma (knee) was limited, he's probable."

Can you talk about having four really good quarterbacks in the NFC South?
"It's interesting. I think pregame in Atlanta on Monday night last year, I think Demitroff and I were at midfield talking. At that time, I think conventional wisdom was Carolina was going to have an opportunity to get (Andrew) Luck if he was coming out, and he had mentioned Brees, and Matt Ryan, and (Josh) Freeman and his development. And then obviously with Luck staying they ended up with Cam (Newton) and very early on he's had the success and has quickly jumped probably ahead of people's expectations with his progress. They're all young and they're all going to be here for a long time and it's interesting how that happens. We've seen the growth of Matt Ryan right in front of our eyes and we've seen the growth of Freeman and I think currently we're all getting a chance to see it with Cam at an early stage."

As a fan of quarterbacks, is this division with these young quarterbacks going to be fun for the next few years?
"I think the division is as competitive as it's ever been. You see there have been certain rivalries develop but I think typically inside the division you can call it a rivalry or not, it's just an important game each week whether it's Atlanta, Tampa, Carolina, or the Saints. That same thing has existed in the NFC East historically and if you can pick a game, just match a game and you can say Cowboys-Redskins, that's a rivalry or Giants-Eagles. That same thing exists with certain divisions and generally some of those older divisions have some of those more storied rivalries. For instance, ours is a little bit newer with how it was changed but I think that's what makes this league so interesting."

Can you touch on Dave Thomas' progress?
"It's been a slow process. We're just going to be real cautious with it. Really it becomes something where with the correct protocol it's really not a decision we make anyway. He began to feel better though at the end of this week."


New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
Media Availability - Friday, October 07, 2011

Can you talk about the challenge of facing Cam Newton?
"He's a very good athlete playing the quarterback position. It's interesting how that position has changed over the course of years. We have one already in (Josh) Freeman in Tampa Bay. There are a lot of similarities with those guys on their ability to extend plays because they're big men. Even when you do get shots at them in the pocket or shots on them outside the pocket, they're able to bowl you over or able to shrug you off. I'm really impressed with that staff. I thought Ron (Rivera) put together a real strong staff over there. I have a lot of respect for the guys on both sides of the ball there. In a short time they've done a real good job of packaging plays for them and for him. We have our work cut out for us. If you really take a look at those games and every snap that the young man's taken, they've played Green Bay very, very well. They played Chicago last week really well. They played Arizona down to the wire and played well when they beat Jacksonville. They can create some tough matchups for us and we're going to have to play real well."

Are Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams overshadowed?
"I think they're overshadowed a little right now with the new staff coming in there and also with what Cam's come in and done. We have a lot of respect for those two backs. They're as good as any one-two punch in the league."

Do you believe in spying a quarterback?
"We have a lot of concepts where we have to do that. We were kind of on the cutting edge of a lot of that for a few years. It depends on if that person deserves a spy. It also depends on the situation of the spy, but you will see certain teams that do it flat-out every snap. That's a wasted person. We pick our times."

Do you want to take advantage of the fact that this is an inexperienced quarterback who has turned the ball over several times?
"Yes, but I want to tell you this that they've done a good job with him as a staff. They limit those opportunities for you. They're well-coached. They do a real good job in what they ask him to do. They take a lot of the decisions out of his hands. They have an experienced offensive line and an experienced coaching staff. They have the attention of our entire football team. Our defense is impressed with what we've seen on film on what they've been able to do."

Can you discuss emphasis on takeaways in general?
"Last week we did a good job, had our hands on the ball, had four legitimate opportunities where we had our hands on the ball. Those things come in bunches. Another thing we're doing a real good job on is with our hits and contact on the quarterback, where these things are created. We need to get the ball out a little better, create some overthrows. We're touching the ball pretty well in the secondary. In order to be able to take the ball away you have to be really good around the ball. You need to maximize the opportunities to put your hands on the ball."

How much of Jim Johnson's approach do you see in Sean McDermott's defense?
"I've always studied other defenses. Ron Rivera, I love him. He comes from playing for Buddy Ryan. There's a synergy there between him and I. Sean, growing up in that system does a really good job and there are instances where I've seen a mixture of that kind of stuff. I have real good respect for him."

Has Cam Newton's decision-making accelerated?
"It's better than I would have given him credit for. I really do believe in what they've done in coaching, you can tell the young man accepts coaching, is eager to learn, will do whatever you ask him to do. Just from the preseason games into the regular season games, he improves everyday you go out on the field week-by-week, game-by-game. He's done very well."

What's it like being a coordinator in this division with the quality of quarterbacks?
"Hopefully for the rest of my career I'll go to places where I coach defense with one of those. It's easier when you have a Drew Brees on your side of the ball. This division happens to have these quarterbacks. It's exciting, yet nerve-wracking for a defense. You need to know that your on you're A game every single week because you have very good playmakers at that position. When you have playmakers at that position, it gives you a chance to play in postseason. This is a good division."

Was there any thought process going into drafting big players like Cam Jordan and Martez Wilson based on the presence of big quarterbacks like Josh Freeman and Cam Newton?
"No, people ask me what kinds of players I like. I like good players. They come in all sizes and shapes and fashions. We wanted to get a little bigger on the interior, just for the run and these two running backs and the big guy in Tampa Bay. We (our division) has big running backs. In that aspect, that decision was based on that position."

Has Jordan done well in stopping the run?
"He's done real well in all phases of the game and each week it's been fun to see him grasp more and more. He played very well last week. We gave him one of our weekly awards, which is called an attaboy."

How has Jo-Lonn Dunbar played?
"He's played very well. As I said they come in all sizes, shapes, fashions, forms. He can play all three positions, is a very good decision-maker. We all have warts and limitations through genetics, but he's a sharp, instinctive, tough football player and he can play more than one position. He helps us out a lot. He played well last week"



Experts: Only Saints win Sunday - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - The New Orleans Saints are the only NFC South team favored to win Sunday by ESPN’s panel of experts.

NFC South Week 5 programming notes - NFC South Blog |
HansDat note: Let the cries of umbrage begin!!! Pat Y. will be in Atlanta for the Falcons-Packers game, and not in Carolina for the Saints-Panters tilt...

Around the NFC South - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - Time for a Saturday morning look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Atlanta's William Moore fined $15,000 - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - Atlanta safety William Moore has been fined $15,000 by the National Football League for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Doug Baldwin in last Sunday's win against Seattle. 


V-Roll Roll Call