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Sharper says vets have advantage longer lockout goes

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By PFW staff

Saints FS Darren Sharper said Wednesday that he believes he and other veterans like himself could have a decided edge if the lockout curtails training camp or goes into the regular season.

"It's going to benefit older guys that have played the game and know how to play the game," Sharper said. "The thing that I'm looking forward to is, if it gets worked out and it's only a couple weeks of teams being able to prepare, especially offenses being able to prepare and get on timing, I think I'm going to have a great opportunity to take advantage of a lot of those missed, off-timed passes.

Sharper, a 14-year veteran, has played the past two seasons on one-year contracts for New Orleans. He had a Pro Bowl season in 2009 in helping the Saints win the Super Bowl, then suffered through an injury-shortened 2010 season. His preference is to return to New Orleans.

The five-time Pro Bowler, who turns 36 in early November, said he probably would retire if the lockout wipes out the entire 2010 season. 

"If there's no football in the fall, I'll have to start looking at other options — maybe some television, or whatever," he said. "But right now, my goal and my focus is playing football, and that's why I'm working out now to be ready for the season … if it starts."

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