Coach Sean Payton said he’ll play his starters about 20 plays before looking at the second and third teamers when the Saints open their preseason schedule at 7 p.m. on Thursday against the Cardinals at Phoenix.
The Saints will hold out wide receiver Marques Colston, linebacker Jon Vilma, safety Josh Bullocks, defensive tackle Brian Young, running back Deuce McAllister, tight end Jeremy Shockey, Tracey Porter and wide receiver Devery Henderson. All are recovering from surgeries or training camp ailments.
The Saints coaches want to see what wide receivers Robert Meachem, Adrian Arrington, Lance Moore, Terrance Cooper and Skyler Green can do in a game. The Saints will keep either five or six wide receivers.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t giving many hints about how he’ll divide playing time against the Saints. Starters usually don’t play much in the opener. He’ll split time between starting quarterback Matt Leinart and backup Kurt Warner. Cardinals coaches don’t want to play Warner with the backup line. The starters probably won’t play more than three series. and that’s not a lot of plays to divide between two quarterbacks.
Wihisenhunt said on young players in the preseason, “A lot of times when they get into games, everything that they’ve learned up to that point, they somehow forget.”
Former LSU wide receiver Early Doucet has a hamstring pull and will miss the game for the Cardinals.
Reggie Bush will see action at running back and returning punts. Bush, who has a history of looking for the big gainer, said he has changed his thinking on trying to hit a “home run” on every play and sliding outside and looking for running room.
“I’d like to get nine or ten yards a carry, but I’m smarter this year and I realize that a four-yard run can be good sometimes. I’ve learned to appreciate a four-yard run and I’m not going to be disappointed if I only get four yards.”
The Saints have signed rookie defensive end Jeremy Geathers and released defensive tackle Tim McGill. Geathers, 6-2, 245, spent most of the offseason with the Saints before he was released before the start of training camp. He is the son of former Saints and NF: star Jumpy Geathers, who played for the Saints from 1984-89 before joining the Redskins. Jeremy was born in New Orleans.
The NFL and its 32 clubs have created a fan code to help promote a positive fan environment at NFL stadiums. The fan code of conduct is designed to set clear expectations and encourage a stadium environment that is enjoyable for all fans. Teams may add additional provisions to the standards on local circumstances or preferences.
“The stadium experience is critically important to the NFL (No Fun League), our clubs and fans and it will be a major focus this season,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a news release. “We are committed to improving the fan experience in every way we can from the time the fans arrive in the parking lot to when they depart the stadium. We want everyone to be able to come to our stadiums and enjoy the whole day.”
The code of conduct is intended to address behavior that detracts from the game day experience. Any fan in violation of these provisions will be subject to ejection without a refund and could lose ticket privileges for future games.
Fans are required to refrain from the following behaviors:
* Behavior that is unruly, disruptive or illegal in nature.
* Intoxication or other sings of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior.
* Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
* Interference with the progress of the game, including throwing objects onto the field.
* Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel.
* Verbal or physical harassment of opposing team fans.
Cardinals running back Edgerrin James gives advice to former LSU running back Joseph Addai of the Colts. Addai talks frequently with James, the Colts career rushing leader who signed with the Cardinals after Indy made no attempt to retain him.
“It’s more conversation, just what’s going on and stuff like that,: said Addia of his hook-ups with with James.
“I always tell him to take care of his body and continue to work on the little things,: said James. “Everything else is about life.”
“Seems like I was at LSU yesterday and now I’m going into my third year in the NFL,” said Addai. “And I’m enjoying it.”