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SmashMouth 09-17-2010 02:36 PM

New Orleans Saints have adjusted to abnormal scheduling
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The New Orleans Saints have had such a long stretch between their Sept. 9 season opener and their Monday night trip to San Francisco in Week 2 that many players have described it as a bonus "bye week."

Scott Threlkeld/The Times-Picayune
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said of the team's schedule, which includes a number of prime-time games: 'We've been there, we've done that, we know what to expect .'
But no one has been complaining after getting a much-needed chance to recharge their batteries following such a hectic start to the season.

As quarterback Drew Brees pointed out, teams normally get a three-day weekend after their final preseason game before switching into regular-season mode. The Saints and Minnesota Vikings, however, jumped right into preparations for their nationally televised Thursday night opener at the Superdome, which the Saints won 14-9.
"Typically those three days after camp are needed to refresh, mentally and physically. That break just got pushed back a week later," said Brees, who compared the atmosphere leading up to last week's game to what the Saints experienced in Miami seven months earlier.
"That Minnesota week almost felt like the Super Bowl week because of the media hype and blitz and everything, but just also because your routine gets totally thrown off. You almost have to create a whole new routine for that week."
Unusual schedules have become routine for the Saints.
Monday night's game will be their fifth consecutive prime-time game, dating to last season's playoff run.
The real adjustment may come next week when the Saints play a good old-fashioned noon game against Atlanta at the Superdome.

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