Vilma Keeping Saints Focused During NFL Lockout
- Saturday, June 11, 2011 5:30 PM
NEW ORLEANS, USA - Super Bowls cannot be won in the off season. But they can be lost. This the mantra of New Orleans Saints Middle Linebacker Jonathan Vilma as he and co-captain Quarterback Drew Brees keep their teams in shape for the expected season.
The National Football League (NFL) has been in lockout mode since the end of last season with the exemption of 48 hours during the NFL Draft in April. The lockout means there is no contact between ball clubs and players, coaches and their teams and no player is to use team property or NFL property.
The Super Bowl XLIV Champions are staying focused and Jonathan Vilma is a major factor. "Players around the league look at the lockout differently," Vilma told Mike Freeman of CBSSports. "Some see the lockout as a time to relax. Some see it as a time to heal from serious injury. Some see it as a time to party. We're definitely not in that last category."
"I feel pretty comfortable saying that almost every player on the Saints is in terrific shape. We could take the practice field tomorrow in full pads and be fine. This group of guys is in better shape than we were at this time when the Saints won the Super Bowl."
Freeman asked Vilma with no practices or contacts, how could this be so?
"Because we know this is a time when a player can slip through the cracks," he was quoted as saying. "You can get soft. You can say, 'I'm taking this week off. I'm partying tonight.' And pretty soon you're out of shape. No one on this team is doing that because of guys like Drew [Brees] and the leaders we have on this team. Everyone is working twice as hard because they don't want to relax a minute and get soft."
The last time the Saints were in the Super Bowl it was against another Haitian-American Pierre Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts. The two, although opposed during the 2010 Super Bowl are both united in helping the home country during the lockout.
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Source: CBS Sports