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TallySaint 08-14-2005 09:22 AM

Tales From the Road - NFC South (

14. In New Orleans. I owe thanks to Jeff Duncan, Saints beat writer for the Times-Picayune, who directs me to two outstanding local restaurants, Mandina's and Liuzza's. Although after those meals, its possible Kris Jenkins no longer weighs twice as much as I do.

15. At Saints practice, Aaron Brooks runs a play-action pass that gets blown up by the pass rush before it can develop. An angry fan in full earshot of the field shouts "Sell the fake, Aaron!" Safe to say that after 16 interceptions touchdowns last year, and four straight years missing the playoffs, Brooks is off the locals' pedestal.

16. My second day arriving at the Saints practice facility, I pull into the parking lot just as the song Build Me Up Buttercup comes on the radio. I decide to listen to the entire song before going in. I think I'm starting to show signs of wear.

17. Anyone who just knows Joe Horn from his cell-phone celebration should have seen him signing autographs after the Saints' morning practice. He was one of the last players to leave, and left no request unheeded.

18. The Saints, with the goal of community outreach, hold an evening practice at Hahnville High, home of the state 5A football champs two years ago. The school, well into the country, has an algae covered pond on its property and I am told alligators live there. No one worries about the gators because the bayou kids all know how to act around them. In fact, the biggest alligator ever pulled from that pond -- longer than 7 feet -- was lured out and wrestled down by two students. No wonder Louisiana produces so many good football players.

19. I may just be thinking this because I'm visiting all these camps, but I see the NFC South as the toughest division in the NFC. They have at least two, and maybe three playoff teams.


chRxis 08-14-2005 11:24 AM

i agree totally with #15.... let's just say that if he doesn't lead us to the playoffs, we'll be leading him to the exit

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