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QBREES9 01-27-2012 11:48 AM

New Orleans Saints' Pro Bowl players take time to reflect on heartbreaking loss, look ahead to next season
 
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Hey, I'm still a young tight end, so I'm gonna catch balls from whoever's throwing them," Graham said via telephone. "But obviously, early in practice, Drew's only looking at me."

Graham, Brees and Saints offensive linemen Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans are all in Honolulu this week, preparing for Sunday's game between the NFC and AFC all-stars.

They're also trying to move on after their heartbreaking 36-32 playoff loss at San Francisco two weeks ago.

First-time Pro Bowlers Graham and Bushrod sounded genuinely happy as they described the "chill" atmosphere and "awesome" experience. And really, there's no better group therapy session available in their profession. They're in paradise, surrounded by friends and family, a handful of their Saints teammates and dozens of equally disappointed star players from around the NFL.

Players interact a little bit during the season, but Bushrod said they're much more intense on game days than they are during the Pro Bowl. Graham raved about getting to spend quality time with fellow NFC tight end Tony Gonzalez, saying that he's trying to "soak up" as much as he can from "the best ever to play the game."

Nevertheless, Graham admitted the "wounds are definitely still fresh" for him, especially because of the way the game against the 49ers ended.

"The ups and downs of that game, to score a touchdown with (1:37) remaining, then for them to score with less than 10 seconds left, it was just such a range of emotions," said Graham, who said he didn't watch any of the other playoff games afterward and tried to avoid the highlights and breakdowns of the teams still in the hunt as much as possible.

"It was still too fresh in my mind, so I tried as much as I could to avoid football," Graham said. "It's good to be out here to get my mind off it, though. And once we get back, I'll be right back in there watching film."


New Orleans Saints' Pro Bowl players take time to reflect on heartbreaking loss, look ahead to next season - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com

Rugby Saint II 01-27-2012 12:43 PM

Well, being in Hawaii should lessen the pain. Sunshine is good for the soul.


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