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The Saints began their 2011 preseason on a strong note, delivering a convincing 24-3 win over San Francisco at the Superdome on Aug. 12, but weren’t as sharp in last week’s road test against the seemingly-improved Houston Texans.

The Saints used their six-day sojourn away from the Louisiana humidity to hold long, intensive practices in Oxnard, forcing players to focus on their work by removing them from home. The coaching staff is using the extra time to install everything that would normally get done during pre-training camp workouts, trying to make up for the work lost to the NFL lockout.

The Saints will get their most valuable look yet at new backup safety Jonathon Amaya on Sunday night in Oakland. He’s expected to start in place of injured veteran Roman Harper against the Raiders.

Brees took some time out of his preparation to talk with XX Sports Radio in San Diego about a few topics including Darren Sproles, Tim Tebow, and training camp in Oxnard.

The bothersome knee was the same knee (left) he had surgery on last summer prior to his junior season at the University of Alabama. According to nola.com, Ingram’s left knee was placed in a flexible brace.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul, Minn., issued an order Friday that formally dismissed the antitrust lawsuit brought against the league on March 11 by a group of players headlined by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The lockout began the next day and lasted 4 1/2 months.

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Tags: Brady V. NFL Darren Sproles Drew Brees Jonathon Amaya Lance Moore Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints NFL Oakland Raiders Oxnard Roman Harper Tim Tebow

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