Wake Up Sprinting: Saints Game Day

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Myles Simmons previews tonight's matchup against the New Orleans Saints, including the latest on who's in and out of commission.

For the first time in 2014, it’s game day, Rams fans. Your favorite team will kick off the preseason against the Saints tonight at the Edward Jones Dome. Here’s what you should know in preparation for tonight’s game.
1. Who won’t play
Head coach Jeff Fisher went through the status of a few veteran players on Tuesday afternoon for tonight’s contest. Fisher said that left tackle Jake Long definitely would not play. Quarterback Sam Bradford and centerScott Wells are also unlikely to see time on the field tonight, according to Fisher.
For New Orleans, quarterback Drew Brees is unlikely to play, given that he has not practiced for the last few days while recovering from an oblique strain. But Saints head coach Sean Payton has not explicitly ruled him out.
2. Work on your own stuff
Fisher said this week that there would be minimal game planning for tonight’s game. Instead, the team will work to keep things basic in order to acclimate younger players to the NFL.
“Young guys have to tackle, you have to do everything that is required of you on special teams, so games are important,” Fisher said. “You don’t try to out scheme people. You understand that, hey, we’re going to run and tackle and block and cover and do those kind of things.”
Tackling is particularly important, because it’s something the Rams don’t do during practice. Because of that, there might be a little bit of rust, but that’s what these games are for -- to knock it off. That said, with the physical nature of this week’s practices, these players look ready to go out and hit someone.
3. Who are the targets?
While Sam may be unlikely to play, his bevy of offensive weapons should see some significant time on the field. Fisher said wide receivers Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin would rotate through the first quarter to get both plenty of reps. Out for the first four games of the regular season, Stedman Bailey figures to get a good amount of snaps at wideout as well.
As for the running backs, Zac Stacy said Wednesday he was unsure of whether he’d play Friday or how much time he’d get. But Fisher said, “Obviously in a perfect world, each running back is going to get about six carries in this game if things go the way we expect them.”
4. Watch for the young guys
This will be the first live game action for all the Rams rookies, and because it’s the leading matchup, their snaps should be plentiful. From early impressions, first-round picks Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald should see the field plenty during the regular season. But for the late-round picks -- guys like E.J. Gaines, Garrett Gilbert, Christian Bryant, and Michael Sam -- it could be some of the only playing time they’ll have all season. Rams like these will be looking to make plays that stand out on game film.
5. Game time
Here's everything you need to know prior to tonight's 7:00 p.m. kickoff. For a list of local affiliates, click here. For those who live out of market, check out NFL Preseason Live for live and on-demand access to all preseason games for just $20.
Grab your popcorn and get ready for some football.