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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Saints are Super Loose

By Glenn Guilbeau
Gannett Louisiana

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Perhaps no other NFL team had more pressure on it entering the playoffs than did the New Orleans Saints after they lost their last three games of the regular season. But you would not have known it being around the team.
One day in the locker rooom before the 45-14 victory over Arizona, which many in the media picked to beat the Saints, several players wrapped a young manager type in tape and threw him in a tub of water. On another day, players were dashing around the locker room because one player decided to start spraying everyone with some type of aerosol can. Last week, tight end Jeremy Shockey joked that he accidentally cut his little toe off while clipping his toenails.
On Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day, several players gathered around a TV reporter and danced for the cameras. The players have been enjoying themself in South Beach, where their team hotel is located.
The Saints are in the Super Bowl for the first time and playing an Indianapolis team that just won the Super Bowl in this same city just three seasons ago. But the Saints are loose. They seem very happy to be here, and they are. But that does not mean they will not win the game Sunday night. The Colts have more Super Bowl experience obviously. Some two dozen players remain from their previous Super Bowl champion team. The Saints are also lucky to be here. They could have easily lost to Minnesota. Of course, had Minnesota won, it would also be labeled lucky considering how much it turned the ball over.
But none of this means the Saints will not play their best game on Sunday. Neither team should be tight, which should produce a great team. The Colts, having just won a Super Bowl, are not dealing with the Buffalo/Minnesota factor. They've won one already. They don't have to worry about going 0-for-Super Bowls. The Saints are 0-for-0 and there is no reason they will not be right back in the Super Bowl next year. It will not be a crime for the Saints to lose this game. So they should be as loose on the field as off.
There is no pressure on the Saints. Most of the pressure left when they destroyed Arizona. More pressure exited when they beat Minnesota and reached the Super Bowl, which is where the Saints should have ended up considering their 13-0 start.
Now, they're playing a recent Super Bowl champion with probably the best quarterback to ever play the game. The Saints are not expected to win, and that is a great situation to be in.
Not making my Super Bowl pick yet, however. You'll have to wait a few days. It's too early.


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