Just a little over one week of training camp will be in the books when the New Orleans Saints travel to Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio to face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, August 5 to kickoff the 2012 NFL preseason slate. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. CT for a contest nationally televised by the NFL Network, as well as locally on WVUE-8.
This will be the fifth preseason meeting between the two teams as well as the Saints' fifth appearance in the game that serves as the culmination of the Hall of Fame weekend. This will be New Orleans' first appearance in the Hall of Fame Game since 2007 and the first preseason meeting between the two clubs since 2008. The two teams last met in the regular season in 2010, when the Cardinals defeated the Saints 30-20 in Glendale, Ariz.
The Saints enter the 2012 season looking to build on one of the most successful seasons in franchise history which resulted in the Black and Gold tying the club's regular season record for wins with a 13-3 mark and shattering the NFL record books by setting several team and individual offensive NFL records. QB Drew Brees will lead an offense that returns 10 of 11 starters and that features weapons such as WR Marques Colston, TE Jimmy Graham and RBs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. Brees will work behind an offensive line anchored by T Jermon Bushrod and G Jahri Evans, which returns four-of-five starters from the 2011 season. While re-signing Colston to a long-term contract, the club also further fortified the line by adding G Ben Grubbs.
The Saints return seven starters from 2011 defensively, having made several moves to increase competition, especially in the club's front seven. The club was aggressive in free agency and made several key additons in DT Brodrick Bunkley and LBs Chris Chamberlain, David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton.
Sunday's contest will be nationally televised on the NFL Network (also can be seen on WVUE-8 in the New Orleans area) with Brad Nessler handling play-by-play, Mike Mayock as color analyst and Stacey Dales as sideline reporter. A national radio broadcast is on Westwood one. The game can also be heard throughout the Gulf Coast on the Saints Radio Network (870 AM or 105.3 FM serve as the flagship stations locally in the New Orleans area) with Jim Henderson handling play-by-play duties, Hokie Gajan serving as color analyst and Kristian Garic reporting from the Saints sidelines.