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Report: Atlanta Falcons' division rival New Orleans Saints may the next "Hard Knocks" team

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Fact: Sean Payton doesn't believe in Santa

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons' season on "Hard Knocks" wasn't ideal. For non-Falcons fans, it was actually pretty boring. I personally enjoyed the insider perspective on team meetings, personnel decisions, and how things tick at Flowery Branch. That said, it was the beginning of the end for former head coach Mike Smith. Unbeknownst to us, we were witnessing his downfall.

"Hard Knocks" isn't an inherently flawed concept. It does tend to exacerbate existing problems. And now it appears a fellow NFC South team may soon be the featured team.

The Saints are one of seven teams that can be forced to do it, under criteria the league developed several years ago. Only teams that: (1) have a new coach; (2) have been to the postseason in either of the last two years; or (3) have served as the Hard Knocks subject within the last 10 years can say no. This year, the teams that can't decline are the Saints, Bills, Bears, Jaguars, Raiders, Chargers, and Rams.

But wait, apparently the Saints may have an out. It's rumored that Payton will refuse to allow any filming of player cuts. (Basically he's going to act like the 3-year-old child that lives in his head.) So there's that.

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