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.