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Fleur-de-Links: Saints News 2/12/13

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Your daily collection of New Orleans Saints news and opinion. TODAY'S HEADLINE: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new 3-4 defense.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Tweets

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Dope "@<a href="https://twitter.com/earth_pics">earth_pics</a>: Swimming pool theatre. <a href="http://t.co/eFKTdmKb" title="http://twitter.com/Earth_Pics/status/301440182954098689/photo/1">twitter.com/Earth_Pics/sta…</a>"</p>&mdash; Jermon Bushrod (@j_bushrod7475) <a href="https://twitter.com/j_bushrod7475/status/301444557923573761">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Happy Mardi Gras!!!</p>&mdash; Will Smith (@iWillSmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/iWillSmith/status/301434064169209858">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Happy Fat Tuesday y'all...there's no other city like New Orleans - great food, music &amp; culture <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23MardiGras2013">#MardiGras2013</a></p>&mdash; Pierre Thomas (@Pierre_Thomas) <a href="https://twitter.com/Pierre_Thomas/status/301423149629726720">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Johnny Knox still plans on playing in 2013 <a href="http://t.co/uffeJOet" title="http://wp.me/p14QSB-7hh3">wp.me/p14QSB-7hh3</a></p>&mdash; ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/301423016863223811">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The four Alabama football players arrested on robbery charges have been suspended indefinitely by the Crimson Tide: <a href="http://t.co/EZ1lBLEM" title="http://yhoo.it/159cx6H">yhoo.it/159cx6H</a></p>&mdash; Yahoo! Sports (@YahooSports) <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooSports/status/301422815075258369">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>When did retweeting compliments become more socially acceptable than draping oneself in velvet?</p>&mdash; ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/301407879850774528">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Wrestling's governing body plans an emergency campaign after being booted from the Olympics by the IOC: <a href="http://t.co/9tpSXIej" title="http://yhoo.it/11Efqh0">yhoo.it/11Efqh0</a> (@<a href="https://twitter.com/mrogersyahoo">mrogersyahoo</a>)</p>&mdash; Yahoo! Sports (@YahooSports) <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooSports/status/301397513502601216">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I don't know about you, but I can't think of a better way to wrap up Mardi Gras 2013 this evening than with a State of the Union address.</p>&mdash; Grandmaster Wang (@moosedenied) <a href="https://twitter.com/moosedenied/status/301386908800544769">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Baylen is training for the X Games early! I'm thinking Freestyle BMX <a href="http://t.co/m6OqStHy" title="http://twitter.com/drewbrees/status/301376121126154242/photo/1">twitter.com/drewbrees/stat…</a></p>&mdash; Drew Brees (@drewbrees) <a href="https://twitter.com/drewbrees/status/301376121126154242">February 12, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Who dat talkin' 'bout dem Saints?

Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense | NOLA.com
"I know this, and not having really spent any time with Rob prior to this process beginning, I did a lot of research on him and spoke to almost everybody that I know that's ever been with him and a ton of other people with different organizations," Payton said. "Number one, I know he's passionate about the game. I know he's very intelligent and players love playing for him.

Drew Brees: Sean Payton's return brings edge back to Saints - NFL - Sporting News
Get the latest NFL news, video updates, scores, schedules, standings and more on Sporting News.

Looking at the Saints' defensive snaps - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The Saints had 1,137 defensive plays. Lofton was on the field for a team-high 1,121 (98.59 percent) of those plays.

NFL mailbag - Big spending, subpar results - ESPN

Thanks to Drew Brees' contract and the addition of three free-agent linebackers, including Curtis Lofton, the Saints led the league with a $167 million payroll. Thrown off by the loss of their front-office leaders, the Saints finished 7-9.

Gregg Williams’ players, past and present, don’t hold bounty narrative against him | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports

From the blog Shutdown Corner: LOS ANGELES -- In the public eye and to various NFL administrators, Gregg Williams is very much the face of BountyGate, and all that is wrong with football today. But to his players past and present, the current defensive assistant …

Should the New Orleans Saints break the bank in free agency or the draft?

Now that the New Orleans Saints are set with Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator and the wheels are in motion towards the 2013 season, the only question mark will be where they make the biggest splash during the remainder of the offseason.

NFL Free Agency: New Orleans Saints need to re-sign Chris Ivory

The New Orleans Saints need to abandon the running back by committee approach and give RB Chris Ivory an opportunity to be the starter.

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Other NFL news

James Harrison won’t take pay cut to stay with Steelers | ProFootballTalk
James Harrison is willing to work with the Steelers to lower his salary cap number, but he’s not willing to take a pay cut just to stay with the team that drafted him and developed him.

Super Bowl on a Saturday? Bad weather in New Jersey next year could make it so | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
From the blog Shutdown Corner: Those of you pining for a Super Bowl Saturday may finally be in luck. According to a report in Sports Business Daily, the NFL is putting together a contingency plan for Super Bowl XLVIII should inclement weather hit Metlife Stadium … Continue reading →

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JaMarcus Russell keeps working toward getting back to the NFL | ProFootballTalk
The first pick in the 2007 draft continues to be serious about a 2013 comeback. Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group explains the efforts JaMarcus Russell is undertaking to get back to the NFL.

Widening field isn’t on Competition Committee’s agenda | ProFootballTalk
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Mark Dominik expects the Bucs to be big players in free agency | ProFootballTalk
Last year the Buccaneers made a big splash in free agency by signing the top wide receiver available, Vincent Jackson, and the top guard available, Carl Nicks.