Where: Kansas City, MO, Arrowhead Stadium
When: 7:30 pm, Central time
Listen to the Chiefs game online here.
The gut of the preseason is upon us as we will see most of the starters play through the 2nd quarter and likely a bit of the 3rd quarter. Brodie Croyle will start tonight, which he was supposed to even without Damon Huard aggravating a calf injury. Larry Johnson will not play tonight and that is just fine by me.
The offensive line is still the major question about this team IMO, so I will be keeping a close on eye on them the entire game. As Damion McIntosh's injury showed us, it will be important to watch the o-line backups as well. I hope Arena League WR Bobby Sippio gets some playing time tonight. Last week, I asked how effective Sippio would be but he didn't even end up playing, which was a mistake on my part. I believe he will see some time tonight though.
All eyes are still on QB Brodie Croyle. We'll see him on the field tonight for a good while and despite being a preseason game, I think we'll be able to come out of tonight's game with some solid observations about his playing ability.
Sunil from Canal Street Chronicles was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Saints.
Can you elaborate on Marques Colston's knee injury? How long do you expect him to sit out?
Colston may miss the rest of the preseason (he certainly won't play today) but right now he's not scheduled to miss any regular season time. His right knee began to bother him around the time of the Hall of Fame Game, something he attributes to the wear and tear of camp. It's already been MRI'd twice, and was shown to be structurally sound both times. It's not ideal, but Colston himself said that if this was a regular season game, he would be playing.
How have your 2007 draft picks been performing in camp and the preseason?
Unfortunately, like rookies. It's strange to say that, since so much of the Saints' 2006 success was built on their phenomenal draft class, a group that certainly didn't play like rookies. That class included Colston and Reggie Bush, of course, but also Roman Harper and Jahri Evans, both of whom started several games last season, and are already cornestones of their units. This year's first-round pick, Robert Meachem, has been slow to adapt to the pro game, not for a lack of effort, but because he's hit the usual rookie receiver wall, and has been slowed by his own knee injury. Third-round cornerback Usama Young is a guy to look out for: he's clearly the best athlete in the secondary, and will see extensive playing time.
Tell us why the Saints will be better/worse than 2006.
They will be better because their defense will be improved. The Saints' offense should be about the same; assuming everybody stays healthy, they should put up about 25 points per game. The defense should be much better, with the additions of MLB Brian Simmons, CB Jason David, SS Roman Harper (who missed most of last season with a knee injury), Immovable Object Kendrick Clancy, and Ballhawk Kevin Kaesviharn. Taken individually, Harper may be the only difference maker of the bunch. But combine all the pieces, and you've got a defense that -- across the board -- has more talent and depth than last year.