joe horn talks smack to ATL
Horn's swagger doesn't flag as Falcons rematch nears
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Let's face it, we all admire swagger even while we're waiting for someone to slap it down.
We're warned against it. Trained to think that humble is better, but still we're fascinated by those brave enough or naive enough to flaunt fate and strut.
And this year, no one has perfected the swagger the way Joe Horn has.
Horn certainly has reason to be cocky. He has 55 receptions this season for 771 yards and five touchdowns. He's averaging over 14 yards a catch.
What's the old saying, it's no brag if you can do it? That's certainly Horn's motto.
With the Saints sitting at 7-2, he feels more than confident about his abilities and those of his teammates. So confident he didn't hesitate to break one of the biggest rules of football _ never say anything your opponents can use against you.
It's called bulletin board material. It's the stuff a player or coach says that goes up in the opponent's locker room and is used to fire them up.
Horn had no problem dissing the Atlanta Falcons before the Saints left to visit them.
``Atlanta is not the St. Louis Rams of old,'' Horn said. ``I don't know why people are trying to pump them up like they're the greatest team in the NFL. Michael Vick is making that team what it is. Everybody on that team and in that organization is riding on Michael Vick.''
Maybe down the road Vick can make the Falcons a Super Bowl contender, but not now, Horn said. Right now, Horn said, the Saints are the team on track to the big game, even though Atlanta beat them in the first matchup.
``They still lost three games and tied one and we're 7-2,'' Horn said.
When Horn and his teammates walked off the field in Carolina last week, they were already talking about Atlanta. They were mad, Horn said, feeling like they handed the Falcons the victory through their own mistakes.
``We had two or three turnovers and they capitalized on our mistakes,'' Horn said.
Horn started his comments about Atlanta right after the Saints loss to them, saying the Falcons weren't good enough to make it a big rivalry with New Orleans.
This week the Saints travel to Atlanta where the stadium has been sold out for this game since before the season. And unlike years past, when Saints fans would pack parts of the seats, this year it will be Falcon fans making noise and rooting on their team.
Still, Horn isn't worried about his comments or the way they may be used by the Falcons.
``No, because I can back up what I say,'' Horn said. ``I know how to play football. What I've got to say is not going to stop the way I perform.
``I'd let my team down if I said what I have to say and not produce on Sunday. I'm going to produce on Sunday.''
It's no brag if you do it. And so far, Horn has every right to strut. Saints fans just have to hope he doesn't get any of his swagger knocked out of him, and that he can keep talking tough right through the playoffs.
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