The New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers open their 2011 preseason campaigns with a Friday night contest at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints are coming off a stunning upset to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round of the 2010 NFL playoffs and look to return to their Super Bowl form. The San Francisco 49ers begin a new era under rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh, who they wooed away from nearby Stanford University with a 5 year, $25 million contract.
Although the Saints are only recently removed from a Super Bowl victory, they have a fair amount of turnover. Both their first round picks, Cameron Jordan and Mark Ingram, will be competing for starting roles at left defensive end and running back, respectively. The Saints have also brought in DT Aubrayo Franklin, C Olin Kreutz, CB Fabian Washington, and RB Darren Sproles. They'll all be competing for either starting time or serious backup time.
Under Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke, the 49ers have quickly turned over upwards of eight or nine positions, including at least six defensive members of the defense. Considering the team was 6-10 a year ago, turnover is not surprising. The team has brought in WR Braylon Edwards, C Jonathan Goodwin, safeties Donte Whitner and Madieu Williams, and CB Carlos Rogers via free agency, and OLB Aldon Smith via the draft. Given the short amount of preparation due to the lockout, the 49ers will be a team to watch in the preseason to see how well they are installing their new offensive and defensive schemes.
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 12; 8:00pm ET
Location: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Saints: FOX 8
49ers: CBS 5
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Saints: 105.3 FM, 870 AM
49ers: KSAN 107.7 FM, KNBR 680/1050 AM