Welcome to training camp Day 1, the day a turbulent offseason becomes a thing of the past. OK, maybe that's too simplistic Jonathan Vilma is in Federal court suing the NFL, Sean Payton is not around because of a season-long suspension and the bounty thing will hover over the team for a bit.
To whet your appetite this afternoon, we bring back Saints Linkage, a links dump of Saints news from around the web. We'll try to hit this with at least a few links every day during training camp. Hit us up with a link if you think we've missed an important one.
Friend of WWLTV.com Pat Yasinskas wrote early this morning a bullet-point blog about what to look for while watching Saints training camp this year. I agree that the coaches need watching, especially in how they pace the sessions. I also agree that the linebacker position will provide much attention from everybody.
Brett Martel of the Associated Press, another FOWWLTV.com, writes that the Saints are confident despite the offseason issues.
Sheldon Mickles of the Baton Rouge (soon to be New Orleans) Advocate says the Saints will hit the practice field with the same goals in mind in spite of suspensions and contract holdouts. And while that might sound crazy, as we wrote about today, this team is poised to be able to attain several of their goals, including getting to the postseason.
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks believes the Saints will be fine on offense without Sean Payton. There's no question about that but the one area where I wonder if his absence will show up is in making new plays. Payton always had a way of coming up with some new wrinkle that teams hadn't been prepared for. What happens now?
Mike Triplett, FOWWLTV.com and resident media comedian, believes the Saints will repeat as NFC South champions in 2012. It's hard to argue his points.
James Varney, FOWWLTV.com (noticing a trend? We've got a lot of friends), gives us several position battles to look forward to watching this preseason. They include outside linebacker, kicker and the fourth receiver position.
CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Guerry Smith gives us four things to watch for during training camp.
From a fan's perspective, Mike Patton writes at Yahoo! Sports about the Saints beginning the season with an eight-game regular-season win streak.
Will Osgood at Bleacher Report writes about the six-most underrated offensive options for the Saints.
--Bradley Handwerger, WWLTV.com Sports Reporter