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Saints find normal offseason refreshing

Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - No scandals. No holdouts. No suspensions.

With the Saints only days from starting their last vacation until training camp opens in late July, they're relishing the sense of normalcy that has defined this offseason in New Orleans.

They talk of spirited and productive workouts in the weight room and on the field. They highlight the strong leadership provided by reinstated coach Sean Payton. And they express confidence that they have a real chance to quickly regain the status of contenders they held from 2009 through 2011 - before the NFL unleashed the findings of its bounty investigation and subsequent sanctions in 2012.

Payton acknowledges the club has had a good offseason, led by veterans determined to improve on last season's 7-9 mark. But the coach warns that much work remains.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

1 AUG 8 7:00pm CDT at Rams
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3 AUG 23 7:00pm CDT at Colts
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1 SEP 7 12:00pm CDT at Falcons
2 SEP 14 12:00pm CDT at Browns
3 SEP 21 12:00pm CDT Vikings
4 SEP 28 7:30pm CDT at Dallas
5 OCT 5 12:00pm CDT Tampa Bay
6 BYE
7 OCT 19 12:00pm CDT at Lions
8 OCT 26 7:30pm CDT Packers
9 OCT 30 7:25pm CDT at Panthers
10 NOV 9 12:00pm CDT 49ers
11 NOV 16 12:00pm CDT Bengals
12 NOV 24 7:30pm CDT Ravens
13 NOV 30 12:00pm CDT at Steelers
14 DEC 7 12:00pm CDT Panthers
15 DEC 15 7:30pm CDT at Bears
16 DEC 21 12:00pm CDT Falcons
17 DEC 28 12:00pm CDT at Buccaneers
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