What is the old saying about relationships? It's something like "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". Such would seem to be the case at New Orleans Saints training camp this week.

The Saints, as many NFL teams do, have invited a group of NFL officials to come be a part of this week's program. This gives the players a chance to practice under the watchful eyes of those who will be watching for rule violations, it gives the refs something too.

Justin Edmonds, Getty Images
Justin Edmonds, Getty Images

The officials get the chance to actually visit with players and explain not only changes that have been made to the rules in the offseason. But the officials will also explain what rules will be emphasized in games this year.

One of the rules that you can expect to hear a lot about when the NFL season begins is taunting. Believe it or not, the Saints know a thing or two about taunting.

If you don't recall those "scenes of the crime"

Yeah, that was a good one, oh no, wait, that wasn't good. It was good for the Saints. But then again there was this one too.

Somehow I don't think the NFL refs were at Saints camp to get pointers from C.J. Gardner-Johnson. I think they were there to explain to players such as him, how they will be watching all aspects of incidents that may or may not involve taunting.

I guess the league is defining the difference between taunting, trash-talking, and saying mean things that could hurt the other player's feelings. I thought this was football? A game played by tough men? Okay, maybe not.

Wild Card Round - Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Now for his part, C.J. Gardner-Johnson says he doesn't go into games looking to create "issues" with his comments. And he was penalized more than a few times over the course of last season. Gardner-Johnson did offer this nugget for opposing players. He says he might not come in ready to start the banter but he is more than happy to finish it.

The Saints hope that the visit by the refs will help them tune-up for Saturday's preseason-opening game against the Baltimore Ravens. That game can be heard in Acadiana on ESPN 1420. A reminder the NFL does not allow the radio station to stream the game online or via its app.

Speaking of rules that "don't make no sense", how many of these have you broken?

10 of Louisiana's Weirdest Laws


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