Kristian: Excitement building at Saints Camp ahead of opener vs. Atlanta
Counting the days: If you think you are counting down the minutes until Sunday, you’re not alone. The Saints players are as well. Several players are anxious for gameday, but they also understand there is still plenty of work to do before the Falcons come to town.
As for the injury front and availability of some recovering outside linebackers, Coach Sean Payton says Junior Galette is making progress.
“We will see. I think he is doing well. I anticipate him being ready to go," Payton said today.
Galette and Martez Wilson were listed as “full participation” for the second straight day.
Radio head: Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton will handle the defensive calls in the huddle in the opener against the Falcons. Lofton fulfilled the same role last season as the middle line backer. One player on both offense and defense have a radio receiver in their helment so that their coordinators can send the plays directly to them. On offense, this is obviously Drew Brees, and on defense, it will be Lofton's second year with handling this important duty.
“He is now the signal caller. He is now the guy who is playing 'Mike,'" Payton explained. "He is physical. He is a smart player. He brings that leadership to the room. A guy with experience and a guy that is a very good tackler. He is well built, so in that 3-4 front, you are playing someone over the guard that is uncovered, often times he is taking on a bigger lineman than maybe in a 4-3 scheme. He has handled that transition very well.”
Injury report: Two players missed practice today, Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and defensive end Glenn Foster, both with ankle injuries. Everyone else including WR Marques Colston took every repetition of team practice.
For the Falcons injury sheet, WR Roddy White was limited (ankle), and CB Asante Samuel (thigh) was also limited. However, nothing to much to read into here. I think White and Samuel both play for Atlanta against the Saints.