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New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis says Falcons game will be 'real good test'

Posted Sep 3, 2013

Loomis spoke at the Quarterback Club's weekly meeting

It’s the right 53.

That’s not to suggest that there’s no possibility of change, particularly at the bottom of the roster, or if injury creates a need.

But Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said Tuesday he feels comfortable with the 53-man roster that New Orleans will enter the regular-season opener with Sunday against Atlanta in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“At the end of the day I believe we’ve got the right 53 players on the roster,” Loomis told the audience at the Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club.

“We’re ready to go.”

Loomis covered a range of subjects, beginning with the fact that the franchise had a good, routine, smooth offseason.

“No suspensions, no lockout, no protracted contract negotiations, no wire-tapping,” he said, smiling.

From there, he addressed the team’s two-pronged offseason goal of preparing the players and evaluating them.

“Evaluation is a really critical part of your job during preseason,” Loomis said. “You’ve got to get the right 53 players on your roster. We go by what we see.”

In large part, that explained why the Saints – who outwardly might not have appeared to be a team expecting a huge infusion of youth – will enter Sunday with 10 rookies on the roster, four drafted and six undrafted.

“We’re as excited about this class (of rookies) as we’ve been about any,” said Loomis, who credited the scouting staff and coaches for finding and developing the rookies who are expected to contribute this season.

Defensively, Loomis said that although the Saints primarily may line up in the 3-4 defensive front installed by new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, he believes the team will play a lot of four-man front, too.

“I like that we’ve recaptured the aggressive mentality (defensively),” he said.

Loomis actually had been scheduled to appear at the Quarterback Club meeting seven days earlier, but had to reschedule. Then, the team was negotiating a trade with San Francisco for 49ers outside linebacker Parys Haralson. Haralson was acquired for a conditional draft choice the day after Saints outside linebacker Will Smith, who converted to a standing position after playing defensive end the first nine years of his NFL career, had his season end because of a torn ACL. Smith is on injured reserve.

Tuesday, the GM was able to look ahead with a touch more surety, the 53-man roster intact, stocked with the players who’d earned their way onto the team.

Next stop, the season opener against the defending NFC South Division champion Falcons.

“Sunday will be a real good test for us,” Loomis said. “We’re not going to win or lose the Super Bowl (because of Sunday’s result), but it’ll be a real good test for us.”

 

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