Saints vs Jaguars

Saints vs Jaguars :: The New Orleans Saints will open their preseason slate on Thursday night when they travel on the road to Florida to square off against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Preseason games inspire conflicting responses in fans. Many are happy that football is back in any capacity after a long offseason winter, spring, and summer of going without the game for so long, while others are quick to point out that the games themselves are often boring and uninspiring as teams elect to sit out starters for much if not all of the contest.

But for coaches, the preseason is a very important time.

These games afford them an opportunity to see not only their veterans back in action against live opponents, but they also get a very important chance to see their rookies and other first year players on the field in their uniform and getting live reps in their playbook away from the highly controlled practice field.

Sean Payton has a lot on his plate as the Saints open their exhibition season.

Here are some players that you should watch in the game, on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

It’s finally here. The New Orleans Saints preseason is in full swing and we’ll finally get to see the Black and Gold in action this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Saints will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 9 in Jacksonville. Though it will very likely come with a Duval County-friendly slant, the Jaguars announced Tuesday they will be streaming their preseason games freely to fans abroad in the United Kingdom, Mexico, and within their own local media market. Fans in the New Orleans market and its local affiliates can catch the game on the usual FOX broadcast, or set a DVR for the NFL Network replay at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 12.

The Jaguars are one of the few real title contenders in the AFC and should present a good challenge out of the gate. Look for the Saints’ receiving corps to be tested by one of the most athletic back sevens in the NFL, though young stars like Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Myles Jack, and Telvin Smith probably won’t see much action in their preseason debut. LSU legend Leonard Fournette will probably suit up for the opening series, providing a good challenge for a New Orleans linebacker corps that’s been feeling itself lately.

There will be plenty to watch even if neither team plays their starting units much. It’s our first look at exciting rookies and free agent signees like Tre’Quan Smith, Rick Leonard, Cameron Meredith, and Demario Davis. Second-year Saints Alex Anzalone, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Alex Jenkins should get opportunities to knock the rust off, too. We probably shouldn’t expect much from first round draft pick Marcus Davenport as the team patiently works him back in from a pulled muscle, per the Advocate’s Nick Underhill. Kickoff can’t get here soon enough.

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