The Saints’ exhibition games were finally released Wednesday afternoon.
Looks like the Saints' preseason schedule is set:— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) May 27, 2020
Week 1: at Rams, Friday, Aug. 14 at 9 p.m. CT
Week 2: at Steelers, Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. CT
Week 3: vs. Texans, Saturday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. CT
Week 4: vs. Dolphins, Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. CT
The Saints, with their many preseason headlines lock down four evening primetime slots through the exhibition schedule. This includes late 9PM central time kick off for their opener at the Los Angeles Rams. That will, of course, be a 7PM kickoff where they will be playing on the west coast in Los Angeles’ new SoFi Stadium, but will mean a late night for Saints fans along the Gulf Coast.
Los Angeles and California as a whole have been a little slower than other states in reopening facilities, still remaining closed up until “the first week of June, or so”, per Governor Gavin Newsom. Were that timeline to hold true, and were the preseason to start on time, there would be no hold up in Saints fans’ first opportunity to see Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston under center for the black and gold. If not, there is at least some good news for Rams “fans.”
As a reminder: The Rams’ policy if games are cancelled or played without spectators, home game ticket purchases via the Rams or Ticketmaster will be refunded within 30 days of announcement/decision.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) May 27, 2020
Other points of intrigue for Saints fans include the shuffle at the offensive interior, cornerback depth, and the development of newly drafted rookies and additions.
The Saints will hold an evening primetime slot for each game with the three remaining contests kicking off at 7PM central time. Those games will include traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers, before hosting popular preseason opponents the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins respectively. These evening slots will allow more national attention to the Saints quarterbacking talent.
The Saints would usually hold joint practices, often times with the Texans and Chargers (thus potentially the Rams.) But with the way this offseason is shaping up with understandably strike and changing safety protocols, it may necessitate another shift from the normal.
The preseason will also serve as the time the league takes a look at new rules they plan to implement this season or next, such as the soon-to-be voted upon onside kick alternative which would allow for an untimed 4th and 15 try from a team’s own 25 yard line. Unfortunately, the Sky Judge proposals have been pulled, but the NFL looks to be interested in testing other approaches to aid officials in increasing the accuracy of calls on the field.
Both “sky judge” proposals are being withdrawn prior to tomorrow’s virtual meeting on rule changes, sources say.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 27, 2020
Expect the NFL to still test some expanded booth-to-official communication system in the preseason. But no officiating personnel added for 2020.
Usually fans refer to the preseason as meaningless. Which in the grand scheme of things in regards to the playoffs and championships, it is. However, with all of the potential rule changes, roster competition, and simply the long-anticipated return of football, this preseason will be one of the most engaging. Not to mention of course, the highly anticipation showings by quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston. Hopefully, should all go well, Saints fans will get to see them duke it out in the second round (first being training camp) of the fight for life post-Brees.
Who throws more touchdowns in the preseason? Taysom or Jameis? Let us know in the comments! Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA.