Last week, the Saints played their starters into the third quarter, so that was their ‘dress rehearsal’ game. Coupled with the fact the Saints kick off the NFL regular season next Thursday night, it makes sense they won’t play their starters much, if at all, tonight.
I touched base the other day with Andrew Juge of Saints Nation, Bloguin’s New Orleans Saints site, to ask a few questions about tonight’s game. I was hoping Drew Brees would play at least a little and give the Titans secondary a good test, or as much as you could expect in preseason, but Andrew (great name) said it wouldn’t happen.
Here’s what Andrew had to say:
“You are correct that the Saints will not play their starters much, if at all. Sean Payton has already said that Drew Brees, Darren Sharper, Tracy Porter, Jeremy Shockey and Will Smith will all be held out entirely. Jonathan Vilma was banged up in the last preseason game, so he’ll be held out too. Some of those guys are due to minor injuries, others are just as a precaution. Word out of Saints camp is that Patrick Ramsey will start and play the entire first half, and Chase Daniel will play the entire second half at QB. I think it’s fair to say that guys like Colston, Bush, and Pierre Thomas will all see a series or two at most, as well. They’re basically treating it as a non-game, other than using it to check out the fringe players to see who they want to keep on their final 53 man roster. It’s basically being treated as a last chance for the bubble players to show what they’ve got, because they’ll get tons of reps.That’s no disrespect to the Titans, just being realistic about the situation they face. Remember the Saints have their first game of the regular season next Thursday, so they won’t have the 8 day preparation like the Titans and other teams in the league… they’ve got 6 days to prepare for the Vikings. On a short week like that there’s just no way they’re going to risk injury to any of their key players. That Vikings game is going to be heated with bad blood, so they’ll want to be rested and ready for sure. Sorry for the bad news on Brees, but he won’t even see a snap.”
In response to his query, I told Andrew the Titans would use this game as their ‘dress rehearsal’ and would play their starters into the third quarter. He also asked a few other questions not related to tonight’s non-game and you can see my answers here.