New Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton have been around the NFL for a long time, but both are coming off less than stellar years.
Reid was fired by Philadelphia after 10 seasons, and Payton is returning to the sidelines since his year-long suspension from the Bountygate scandal. Nevertheless, both can start fresh as the Saints and Chiefs mark the beginning of their preseason on Friday night at the Superdome.
For Kansas City the focus will be on top draft pick tackle Eric Fisher, as well as tight end Travis Kelce and running back Knile Davis, as reported by the KC Star. Out of Central Michigan, Fisher reportedly already has the starting right tackle position locked down, while Davis can hopefully provide some relief to starting running back Jamaal Charles.
Recently traded for quarterback Alex Smith will play the first quarter, as will most of the starting offense. Passers Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Ricky Stanzie will each play a quarter in the same order.
While no one is probably happier about Payton’s return than Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the veteran passer probably won’t see more action than one series, if that. It will be more interesting to see if Luke McCown can take over the backup spot with Seneca Wallace reportedly suffering a groin injury.
The Saints also have some promising rookies to watch on Friday. The Times-Picayune pointed out cornerback Rod Sweeting and inside linebacker Kevin Reddick as top prospects to keep an eye on. Both could help a New Orleans defense that ranked 31st against the pass, and 32nd versus the rush last year.
The game kicks-off at 8 p.m. ET and a live online stream is available by subscription on the NFL’s official site here.
All of Kansas City can watch the game on KCTV, and New Orleans will be able to watch on WVUE Fox-8.
Betting Odds: New Orleans is favored by 3 points.
Over/Under: 36.5 points
Prediction: New Orleans 17, Kansas City 14