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Shanle says Falcons were “classless” before game

Michael Turner, Curtis Lofton, Jabari Greer, Cameron Jordan, Jonathan Vilma

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) is stopped by New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50), cornerback Jabari Greer (33), defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and outside linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) in the second half of an NFL football game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)


The Falcons-Saints rivalry hasn’t been much of a rivalry lately, because the Falcons haven’t been doing much winning when they play the Saints. As it turns out, Atlanta’s latest loss to their NFC South rivals was fueled by Falcons’ antics coming before the opening kickoff.

Linebacker Scott Shanle tells Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that Falcons players were taunting a Saint who defected from Georgia to Louisiana during the offseason.

“They were talking [expletive] to our guy Curtis Lofton,” Shanle told Silver. “I couldn’t even understand them. They were just walking all over our drills trying to mess with him. [Linebacker Jonathan] Vilma went and told their coach it was classless and they didn’t even say anything. It set the tone for the day. It was classless and they got what they deserved.”

It wasn’t the only pregame chatter that got the Saints’ attention. Per multiple team sources, the Saturday night meeting included the latest installment of the “D-Block,” a locker room video that included at the 11 minute mark a nonsensical freestyle rap. Viewed more as comical than offensive, the Saints nevertheless got an extra kick from the goofy antics from a team that seemed to presumed it would show up and win -- even though the Falcons have beaten the Saints only twice since 2006.

As one team source told PFT, “That video would never be allowed nor would our players make a video like that in our locker room.”

By the way, the rematch comes later this month, on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.

We have a significant amount of anticipation for that specific occurrence.