September 9, 2010

Saints open regular season tonight

Amid a newly-painted Superdome sidewall, a concert and a parade, hundreds of national and international press credentials and fans, the Saints open the NFL season tonight on prime time national television (NBC).

A brief 45-minute torrential rain shower doused the pre-game party in the afternoon in downtown New Orleans.  The NFL has Jackson Square cordoned off and transformed into a massive stage facing opposite the St. Louis Cathedral. 

Both sides of the upcoming labor strife, Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Union President DeMaurice Smith, will be in attendance tonight at the NFL's season-opening event.  The NFL Network aired a town hall meeting with Saints super fans on the Superdome turf last night, which aired after the premiere of NFL Films' award-winning series America's Game: The 2009 Saints.

New banners on display tonight: NFC South divisional Championship, National Football Conference Championship, and unveiled before the crowd, the Super Bowl XLIV championship.

Pre-game Notes:

Free agent DE Bobby McCray, released after preseason by the Saints, was worked out by the Oakland Raiders today.

Inactive for the Saints: LB Stanley Arnoux, newly-signed LB Danny Clark, utility offensive tackle Zach Strief, WR Adrian Arrington, and rookies DE Junior Galette, RB Chris Ivory, and TE Jimmy Graham.

MLB Jonathan Vilma, CB Tracy Porter and DT Anthony Hargrove, despite injuries will play.

Despite some talk to the contrary, Vikings CB Cedric Griffin is inactive, one of a few key injuries on the Vikings defense that include CB Chris Cook, who would have been a rookie starter if healthy. 

Asher Allen and Antoine Winfield will start at cornerback, with Lito Sheppard at nickelback, with Husain Abdullah and Tyrell Johnson starting at safety.

Also inactive for the Saints are Cook, DT Jimmy Kennedy, and rookies DE Cedric Griffen, QB Joe Webb, RB Toby Gerhart, G Chris DeGeare, TE Mickey Shuler.  Look for the Saints to blitz up the middle, injured C John Sullivan, who tackled Porter after Favre's last-second interception in the championship game, will start.

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