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 METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Coming off his first Pro Bowl, defensive end Cameron Jordan feels even better about his upcoming fourth season with the New Orleans Saints.
For the first time since his junior year at California, he is working with a returning defensive coordinator - Rob Ryan.
''It hasn't happened to me in half a decade, so I'm really excited about it,'' Jordan said. ''I get to retain some knowledge this year. It's crazy. I'm going to become more knowledgeable about every play instead of some plays that you sort of skip over because you don't have time for it.''
He believes he'll ''become more knowledgeable about every play instead of some plays that you sort of skip over because you don't have time for it.''
If Jordan's head was spinning as he adapted to Ryan's hybrid 3-4 scheme last year, he didn't show it. HIs 12 1/2 sacks were the second most for any Saints player since Sean Payton became coach in 2006.
''It hasn't happened to me in half a decade, so I'm really excited about it,'' Jordan said. ''I get to retain some knowledge this year. It's crazy. I'm going to become more knowledgeable about every play instead of some plays that you sort of skip over because you don't have time for it.''
If Jordan's head was spinning as he adapted to Ryan's hybrid 3-4 scheme last year, he didn't show it. HIs 12 1/2 sacks were the second most for any Saints player since Sean Payton became coach in 2006, trailing only Will Smith's 13 in 2009. Jordan added four deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, building on his 2012 performance of eight sacks.
His progression is impressive considering the revolving door at defensive coordinator. California replaced Bob Gregory with Clancy Pendergast before his senior year. After the Saints took him with the 24th pick of the 2011 draft, he went through Gregg Williams, Steve Spagnuolo and Ryan in quick succession.
''I've been studying fast for the past five years,'' Jordan said, then joked: ''It might be hard for me to retain knowledge now. My long-term (memory) might be messed up.''
But it's not laughing matter that Jordan's happiness with the long-awaited continuity trumps his concern about the loss of veteran teammates. In a sign of how fast NFL rosters evolve, New Orleans has no defensive player left from its 2009 Super Bowl-winning season after releasing Smith, cornerback Jabari Greer and safety Roman Harper, and letting free agent safety Malcolm Jenkins leave for Philadelphia.
Only three defenders have a longer tenure with the Saints than Jordan - outside linebacker Junior Galette, cornerback Patrick Robinson and linebacker Ramon Humber, all of whom arrived in 2010.
''We'll definitely miss a couple of guys a lot, but we'll keep moving and pushing forward,'' Jordan said. ''Everybody started on the same page last year and a lot of guys are returning from that defense. We have a lot of talent to make even a farther advance than we did last year.''
Listed at 6-feet-4, 287 pounds, Jordan plans to keep the same playing weight this season. Same weight. Same coordinator. Continuity is the buzzword around him this summer.
''What I appreciate about him is the consistency of the level that he played at (last year),'' defensive line coach Bill Johnson said. ''We knew what we were going to get when we put him on the field. The scheme that Rob brought in has really matched his talents.''
Finally familiar with one system, Johnson's career arc figures to rise some more.
''He's unlocked a lot of potential, and yet there's probably still a good bit in there,'' Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief said. ''He learned I think who he is, and so now that he doesn't have to think about what he's doing, the better he will become.''
NOTES: In light of Brazil national soccer coach Luiz Felipe Scolari banning his players from having ''acrobatic sex'' during the World Cup, Payton was asked at the end of minicamp if he had a pregame policy on the subject. ''I'm for whatever we've been doing,'' he said. ''How's that?''... With the three-day minicamp over, the Saints will conduct three organized team activities next week as the offseason schedule continues.
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AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

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