Saints Prepare for Preseason Opener - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Saints Prepare for Preseason Opener

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Saints coach Sean Payton says the NFL

lockout caused him to shorten the playbook for Friday night's

preseason opener against San Francisco.

The Saints have had only seven full practices since the league's

collective bargaining agreement was ratified last week, opening the

way for veteran free agents acquired after the lockout to get back

on the field.

That doesn't mean Payton expects a sloppy game. The coach says

the playbook is smaller because he didn't want to rush things, and

instead dictated a deliberate pace to make sure players got the

things they were working on right.

Despite the compressed timeframe, Payton says he still plans to

have most starters and backups get about the same playing time they

normally would in a first exhibition game.

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