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Unpopular Opinion: Saints should not play star players against Chargers

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CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 10: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the New Orleans Saints watches from the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Saints 20-14. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 10: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the New Orleans Saints watches from the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Saints 20-14. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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When you look at the Saints roster, you see a few big names. Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, and Cameron Jordan are the main ones that stand out. There are other big names as well, and many of the young players, like Marshon Lattimore, have a lot of hype surrounding them. But there are a ton of questions that still need to be answered for this team. For that, New Orleans should hold out their star players at least one more week.

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Drew Brees
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Drew Brees /

Saints fans and NFL fans around the world are wanting to see how Adrian Peterson fairs with the Saints after spending 10 seasons with Minnesota. His arrival has sparked debate about the offense and its potential to break re

cords this upcoming season. We know one thing for sure, as long as AP is healthy, he is going to see the field and be a play-maker.

Playing alongside Mark Ingram in the backfield is going to cause defenses to wear down, as both are physical runners that play with strength and an insane amount of speed for their size. It’s easy though, right? Load the box. Stop the run. But then, you’re leaving one-on-one coverage for the receivers and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

On the defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Cam Jordan looks to wreak havoc on the opposing teams quarterback’s once again. With improvements made to the defense, Jordan looks to have another strong season, as teams will have to account for players other than him. That will hopefully prevent double blocking on him, giving him more chances to shine. Sheldon Rankins is going to be relied on more this season as well. Losing Nick Fairley is tough, but Rankins has more than enough talent to take the load and step up.

All of these things are a definite though. We know all of these players are going to shine and stand out once the season starts. The offense will be just fine, and the defense will be improved, so long as all the players stay healthy.

But what if something devastating happens? What if more injuries occur? These are the exact questions that show why the team should rest the star players and play the backups. After all, that’s one of the main things the preseason is used for. Looking for talent to keep on the roster, and players that could make a mark on the team once the regular season rolls around.

There are several positions still up for grabs in New Orleans, though.

Perhaps the biggest question mark right now is the one at cornerback. After the misdiagnosis of Delvin Breaux, and potentially other players in recent years as well, the cornerback depth chart is a mystery. Rookie Marshon Lattimore looks to be playing well enough to earn a role in the defensive backfield, but how will the rest of the rotation play out? There are only a handful of slots available, and nobody seems to be standing out and making the decision an easy one.

The linebacker depth chart is also very much in question. Several players are competing not only for starting spots, but rotational spots in the lineup as well. The running back position also looks to be in changing fashion as well. Alvin Kamara will most likely join Peterson and Ingram in the backfield. Do the Saints keep another running back dressed for Sundays? Or do they cut ties with often disappointing Travaris Cadet?

Other battles

One of the last big remaining questions on the depth chart is the battle for the third string quarterback. Ryan Nassib and Garrett Grayson continue to battle it out for what will likely be the last quarterback on the roster. The other will likely be cut and signed to the practice squad.

Grayson looked slow and a little bit too panicked in the first preseason game, with his stats (11 for 16, 126 yards) being a little misleading. Ryan Nassib looked better in terms of composure. He also led the team to its only touchdown against the Browns and seemed to read his progressions much better than Grayson did.

The only way to really tell what most of these players fighting for a roster spot are made of is to give them game action. Practice is one thing, but a game is another. How did Allen Iverson put it? “We’re talking about practice…?”

Who Dats want a win

Saints fans are going to want to win, especially after losing 10 straight preseason games. What football fan doesn’t want their team to win? Preseason or not, wins are valued and give confidence to the team heading into the regular season.

What is also important, however, is finding the true gems – the players that can compete day in and day out and contribute on Sunday. New Orleans has a plethora of holes to fill and questions to answer. The only way to do that is to leave the known answers out, and try to fill in all the blanks.

It’s an unpopular opinion for fans and the media alike, but let the stars sit out one more game. Not only will it prevent potential injuries, but it also could help the team in the quest for the playoffs by finding one more talented player that can win you a ball game.

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