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The Saints Offensive Line Wins the Madden Protectors Award for Week Nine

CINCINNATI, OH (November 9, 2011) – The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS remain on top of the NFC South due in large part to another strong performance by DREW BREES (Purdue) and his offensive line.  The Saints line provided great protection all day long, not allowing a single sack. The Saints were able to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home after coming off of a disappointing defeat in St. Louis.  The Saints running game totaled 195 yards on the ground featuring several contributors including CHRIS IVORY (Tiffin University), DARREN SPROLES (Kansas State), and PIERRE THOMAS (Illinois).  The Saints offensive line allowed plenty of time for Brees to extend his NFL record streak to 29 consecutive games with 20 or more pass completions. This impressive performance establishes the Saints offensive line as contenders, yet again, for the third annual Madden Protectors Award, presented by Prilosec OTC. The award honors the NFL's best offensive line and will be presented during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis. Past Madden Protectors Award recipients include the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2010) and the Saints (2009).

The Madden Protectors Award recognizes the fundamental role offensive linemen play in their teams' success by providing consistent and powerful protection day in and day out, just as Prilosec OTC can provide 24-hour heartburn protection when used as directed for 14 days.  For more information on the Madden Protectors Award presented by Prilosec OTC, visit .

The offensive line was much improved from last week with the return of starting right tackle ZACH STRIEF (Northwestern), who had missed the last five games due to injury.  The starting left tackle is JERMON BUSHROD (Towson) and the guards providing protection on the inside are CARL NICKS (Nebraska) and JAHRI EVANS (Bloomsburg).  BRIAN DE LA PUENTE (California) has done a tremendous job as starter at center after taking over the spot three weeks ago. In his third season with the Saints, offensive line coach AARON KROMER was responsible for preparing the players against the Buccaneers. The offensive line paved the way for Brees to complete 27 of 36 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, while Ivory, Sproles, and Thomas combined for 195 yards and a score.

"When a team finds a great balance between the run and pass, you start giving out credit, and that usually starts with the offensive line," said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN.

Other offensive lines from around the league delivering powerful protection during Week 9 play included the CHICAGO BEARS (372 total yards, 208 passing yards, 164 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 0 QB hit allowed, and 7/14 on 3rd down conversions), the HOUSTON TEXANS (380 total yards, 119 passing yards, 261 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed, 9/14 on 3rd down conversions), the ATLANTA FALCONS (432 total yards, 269 passing yards, 163 rushing yards, 1 sack allowed) and the NEW YORK GIANTS (361 total yards, 250 passing yards, 111 rushing yards, 0 sacks allowed).

NFL fans who want powerful 24-hour protection against frequent heartburn, or heartburn that occurs two or more days a week, can take a 14-day course of Prilosec OTC.*

  • It's possible when taking Prilosec OTC. Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn.

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PRILOSEC OTC® is the #1 Doctor recommended† and #1 Pharmacist recommended OTC acid reducer‡ for the treatment of frequent heartburn. PRILOSEC OTC is the #1 selling OTC heartburn medicine* on the market that can work for 24 hours with one pill a day by directly shutting down many acid pumps in your stomach when used as directed for 14 days for treating frequent heartburn. For more information about PRILOSEC OTC, visit PRILOSEC OTC is available over-the-counter through an alliance between P&G and AstraZeneca.

† Wolters Kluwer:  OTC Acid Reducer Category, through June 2011.
‡ Based on Pharmacy Times 2011 Survey.
* P&G calculation based in part on dollars sold reported by The Nielsen Company in the US market for the Stomach Remedies Category for the 12 month period ending the week of January 15, 2011.

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Formed in 1994, National Football League Players Inc. (NFL PLAYERS) is the exclusive licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. Representing more than 1,800 active and many memorable former NFL players, NFL PLAYERS "takes the helmets off" the players and facilitates the marketing of them as personalities as well as professional athletes. Through a sponsorship agreement between the organization and the NFL, players are integrated into NFL sponsor activation programs. In addition,, the company's official website, is part of the NFL Internet Network. Each year, NFL PLAYERS negotiates and facilitates extensive player marketing opportunities for players. NFL PLAYERS activities include retail licensing, corporate sponsorships and promotions, special events, radio and television projects, publishing and Internet. For more information, visit

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