Kristian: Saints "want to dominate the division"
Atlanta: The Saints had what they call a bonus day today as they turned their attention to the Atlanta Falcons. “It’s an important game because it’s the first game. It is the one in front of us,” Head Coach Sean Payton said after practice. “Obviously it is a division opponent, we kind of look at it that way (as) a team in your division, a team that played really well last year and had a fantastic season. It’s a tough challenge right to start so we are going to have to have a good work week and play really well.”
Payton did not give an injury report today, he's not required to until Wednesday.
Haralson impression: By all accounts, newly acquired OLB Parys Haralson has made a strong impression with the Saints after coming over in a trade last week with the 49ers. “He’s real solid. He is a quick study. He’s has picked up what we are doing and he is someone that you can tell he is a veteran who has played real good football. His impressions have been real strong," Payton said.
Haralson, Junior Galette, and Martez Wilson are the only three outside linebackers on the roster, and all three have not taken a snap for the Saints in the preseason. Haralson received a lot of playing time with San Francisco. Galette and Wilson both nursed injuries and missed the preseason. Both Galette and Wilson say they're ready to play "I'm definitely geeked up about this one, I am ready to play but at the end of the day it will be up to coach Payton" Galette said.
And, Galette wasn't done talking. He said the rivalry between New Orleans and Atlanta is one of the best in the league and the team understands the NFC south crown goes through the Falcons for now "WE want to dominate the division, that's our focus."
Rivalry: You can certainly feel the intensity in the locker room, now that the preseason is over and "Game Week" is here. Players openly admitted both teams don't like each other very much, and that's the way it should be. The Saints have dominated the Falcons since Payton's arrival in 2006. New Orleans is 10-2 vs. the Birds, not counting the 1 and 1 split last season in his exile. To borrow a line from former New York Jets LB Bart Scott, "Can't wait". The Saints and Falcons are going to be one of the highlights of the opening weekend. It should be a fun one, with zany moments mixed in between. I'm wondering when Rhoddy White is going to pop off at the mouth. Tick, tick, tick goes the clock.