Jul 25, 2013 1:22 PM by AP(PHOTO COURTESY: MGN ONLINE)
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Although the bounty scandal is now behind Jonathan Vilma, so are nine punishing NFL seasons.
The Saints linebacker appreciates that many may wonder if he's lost a step after 870 tackles since turning pro, and after several left knee procedures the past two years. But the 31-year-old Vilma says his rehabilitation is complete, and he is in his best physical shape since 2010.
Last year, Vilma's suspension in the NFL's bounty probe banned him from Saints facilities most of the offseason and all of training camp before it was lifted on appeal. Vilma says that inhibited his rehabilitation, but that there were no such obstacles this offseason.
Vilma says he also expects new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's scheme to suit him because it's flexible enough to capitalize on players' strengths.