Saints Head Coach announces starters will play in first pre-season game

Saints Head Coach announces starters will play in first pre-season game
The New Orleans Saints will open their preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, and head coach Dennis Allen stated in his post-practice press conference today that the Saints starters will play to begin the preseason.

Some veterans may not see the field until their team's Week 1 regular season game, but Dennis Allen is adamant about getting his starters some playing experience before the regular season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

To be sure, all eyes will be on newcomer Derek Carr and how he directs the offense throughout the first few drives of the game. This is Carr's first season in New Orleans, and it's the first time Saints fans have felt confident in their starting quarterback since Brees' retirement.

Along with Carr, fans will see free agent signees Jamaal Williams, Nathan Shephard, and Khalil Sanders for the first time in a Saints suit. We'll also watch Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Alvin Kamara, and Jimmy Graham get their first game reps with Carr.

On the defensive side of the ball, one of the most exciting battles to watch will be on the perimeter, where Alontae Taylor and Paulson Adebo will compete for the number two cornerback slot. Both players had outstanding rookie seasons (Adebo in 2021 and Taylor in 2022) and will do all in their power to secure the CB2 berth.

Many fans will switch off the game once the starters are revealed, but there are so many compelling tales that go much deeper than the starters. All of this year's rookie class should see their first NFL action. On Sunday, Bryan Bresee, Isaiah Foskey, Kendre Miller, Jake Haener, Jordan Howden, Nick Saldivari, and A.T. Perry are expected to hear their names called for the first time. While several (Haener, Saldivari, Howden, Miller, and Perry) are unlikely to compete for the starting role, they will compete for rotational snaps in their rookie seasons.

Wide receivers are another position struggle that has occurred during camp and will continue into the preseason. Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Rashid Shaheed are all sure to make the 53-man roster, but that leaves three spaces open for the rest of the room. Tre'Quan Smith has been with the team for years and will almost certainly make the roster, but he'll have to beat out a lot of quality. James Washington, A.T. Perry, Keke Coutee, Bryan Edwards, Keith Kirkwood, Kawaan Baker, Shaq Davis, and Lynn Bowden will all compete for the final 2-3 WR spots, and there will be a lot of skill left over once the roster is reduced to 53.

Foster Moreau, Lonnie Johnson, Jonathan Abram, and maybe Kareem Hunt and Anthony Barr will all wear Saints uniforms for the first time on Sunday, depending on how their exercises with the team go.

There are a lot of storylines to keep an eye on in the Saints preseason opener, so keep watching even after the starters come out.
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