Three things: Saints-49ers

August, 12, 2011
8/12/11
10:26
AM ET
Three things to watch for in New Orleans’ preseason opener against visiting San Francisco on Friday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Drew Brees. Normally, Brees is the last guy you have to worry about on the Saints. But he’s coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 22 interceptions and spent much of the offseason dealing with the labor situation. If Brees comes out and is sharp, it’s a good omen for the Saints.

The outside linebackers. The Saints have been working Scott Shanle on the weak side and Will Herring on the strong side through most of camp. But guys like Jonathan Casillas and Clint Ingram are still in the mix for starting jobs. How the linebackers perform in the preseason games will carry a lot of weight when the big decisions are made.

The debut of Mark Ingram. I doubt the Saints are going to flash too much of their rookie running back tonight. They want to save him for the regular season, but he’ll probably get a couple of carries and fans might be reminded of Deuce McAllister.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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