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Fleur-de-Links: Friday, January 12

It’s Black and Gold Friday, y’all.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates after a victory over the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 NFC Wild Card playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
NEW ORLEANS, LA: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates after a victory over the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 NFC Wild Card playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Two days, two Fleur-de-Links. My confidence about this project is building. Maybe I can get FdL back into our regular posting schedule after all. Again, I’m totally open to suggestions of what the CSC community like to see included (player tweets, fantasy football articles, etc). For now, I’m trying to strike a solid ratio between tweets and articles specific to the Saints with content about the rest of the NFL (and sometimes local sports, like the New Orleans Pelicans, who are a disgrace. Why are you so lazy now, Boogie? Why are Jrue and Rondo the only guys who play like they give a damn?).

Today’s coolest stories and hottest takes:


Word on the Street

Friends Sean Payton, Mike Zimmer are ‘same guy’ in different packages - New Orleans Saints Blog- ESPN
They might appear to be different, but Payton and Zimmer share a bond on and off the field, along with a relentless intensity that drives their teams.

Saints’ monster offensive line poised to plow through the postseason -
No wonder Drew Brees was so comfortable dominating the Panthers last week.

Saints' Jordan aims to disappoint his dad's old fans | Pro32: Brett Martel
As much as Saints All-Pro Cam Jordan admires his father, Steve, and effusively praises the former Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl tight end, he hasn't been able to resist the urge to be his own man.

Hungry Thielen became star despite odds that weren't ever in his favor -
Once he arrived at Minnesota State, the Detroit lakes High School graduate began the process of elbowing his way through every obstacle that could hinder his future in football.

The Film Room: Cameron Jordan’s Wild (Card) Ride - Battle Red Blog
Matt Weston takes a look at Cameron Jordan’s Panther-splaying playoff game.

How the Minnesota Vikings built the NFL's No. 1 defense - NFL Nation- ESPN
Minnesota has been masterful in developing its defense with draft picks and free-agency signings under coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman.

New Orleans Saints' Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara are ultimate chess pieces | Pro Football Weekly
PFW's Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year catalyzed Saints' transformation

2018 NFL Divisional Round: 10 fast facts for Vikings vs. Saints | NFL | Sporting News
The Vikings were the better team in Week 1 dropping the Saints 29-19, but they also had Sam Bradford at quarterback and rookie Dalvin Cook as their starting running back. Both have since been lost for the season and those facts alone should let you know that game has no effect on Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game.

Brees looking for efficiency against the Vikings stingy D - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints
In the Saints first meeting against the Vikings in week one, a 29-19 loss, the Black and Gold's offense didn't get many opportunities to light up the scoreboard. The Saints had eight possessions in the contest, and only scored one touchdown.


NFL playoffs 2018: How much does postseason experience matter for QBs? -
Four of the most experienced postseason quarterbacks will face new kids on the block this weekend.

Film Room: Falcons Defense vs Rams Offense | Football Outsiders
When Dan Quinn was hired as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2015, he constantly repeated the same phrase that encapsulated his vision for the Falcons moving forward: "Fast and physical."

Eagles can beat the Falcons in spite of Nick Foles at QB. Here’s how. -
The Eagles are home underdogs to the Falcons in their Division Round playoff game. Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz explains how they can pull off the upset.

Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith on the playoffs: 'There's still work to be done' |
The 10-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills didn't just keep the Jaguars' playoff hopes alive. It also kept a tight-knit group together for at least one more week.

As Feeding Frenzy Continues Over Patriots Assistant Coaches, Remember None of Bill Belichick’s Assistants Have Won Much in the NFL | The Big Lead
Buyer beware with former Patriots coaches.

Patriots are great, sure, but they're also confirmed cheaters |
Come to think of it, Tom Brady sure threw it well vs. the Titans in minus-5 temps in 2004 ...

Agent's Take: 2017 NFL Contract Awards feature the good, the bad and the ugly -
Vikings loaded up on bargains like Case Keenum and Adam Thielen, while Adrian Peterson was an expensive experiment for the Saints; who was the season's biggest steal?

Senior Bowl Preview on Quarterbacks - NDT Scouting
NDT Scouting draft analyst Jon Ledyard previews each of the eight quarterbacks throwing at the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.

UCF LB Shaquem Griffin, NFL Draft prospect, accepts bid to Senior Bowl | NFL | Sporting News
One-handed UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin, one of the most intriguing NFL Draft prospects, will be taking his talents to one of the biggest platforms ahead of the NFL Combine.

A staggering amount of complacency from all sides is responsible for mediocrity enveloping the 2017-18 New Orleans Pelicans - The Bird Writes
The time has come for criticism. Swings between excellence and ineptitude have been often and wide, and worse, not enough seem to consistently give a damn.