Things to watch -- from the Saints' POV

Canal Street Chronicles took time out to discuss with us things he's looking for in Saturday's game against the Bengals.

The debut of QB Matt Baker in a Saints uniform. Drew Brees is expected to play most of the first quarter, Jamie Martin will play the second quarter and Baker will play most of the second half. The Saints just signed Baker in last week to compete with Tyler Palko and Jason Fife for the third-string quarterback position. And Sean Payton's decision to play Baker in this preseason game means that he's not just in camp to serve as an extra arm -- the Saints are giving him a legitimate opportunity to win the job.

Dovetailing with the last point, the Saints' receivers aginst the Bengals' secondary. For that matter, the Saints' secondary against the Bengals' receivers. I was at the Saints-Bengals game last season, and I witnessed the teams combine for 700+ passing yards. It seemed like both teams focused on upgrading their secondaries in the offseason, so it will be interesting to see the re-vamped units go against talented receiving corps. In particular, as a Saints blogger, I will be looking forward to seeing first round pick Robert Meachem, who should see some time with the first unit since starter Devery Henderson is injured (it would be great to see him head-to-head against Leon Hall). I'm also going to be watching CB Jason David and safety Roman Harper, neither of whom was on the field when the Saints met the Bengals last season -- David played for the Colts at the time and Harper's season was cut short by a torn ACL.

The Saints' run defense. In the afore mentioned Saints-Bengals game, Rudi Johnson ran for 111 yards. The Saints also had trouble stopping the Steelers' power running game in the Hall of Fame game, so this will give them another chance to go against a physical running back and line.

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