“I think it’s going to be Andy,” Saints head coach Dennis Allen said Friday afternoon, but it was clear later in the day that Andy Dalton will start in his first home game as Saints quarterback. That means 22 years of NFL experience, 12 for Dalton and 10 for Seattle quarterback Geno Smith, will be on display in the Superdome for the Saints-Seahawks game Sunday at noon.
The “Red Rifle” is 0-1 as Saints starter, as he replaced an injured Jameis Winston and started in London in a 28-25 loss to Minnesota.
“I think he’s getting better but like I said the most important thing is to get him healthy so we’re not riding that roller coaster every week,” Allen said about Winston on Friday. “That’ll be the plan moving forward. We’ll see where he’s at next week.”
There are a plethora of “firsts” for Andy Dalton as a Saint, and the most exciting one is that Sunday’s game will be his first alongside running back Alvin Kamara. It will also be his first time starting for the Saints in the Superdome, and who knows, maybe he will lead the “Who Dat” chant.
More good news. Dalton is building chemistry with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry:
“You want to have the chemistry. Obviously, they’ve had it here for a long time when Drew was here and everything but I think for me and where I’m at and with Pete and RC and just everybody that has an impact on the play calls is the open communication through it all. Things I like, things they like, what we’re thinking going into the next drive, series, whatever it may be. So, I think there’s something to that.”
Despite fumbling last week against the Vikings, Dalton knows the solution to the turnover problem:
“We have to do a better job of protecting the ball because it has had an impact on these games and we’ve been putting ourselves behind and not giving ourselves the best opportunity because we’ve turned the ball over.”
Simply put, the Saints have said all week that they need to do four things — eliminate penalties, limit offensive turnovers, create defensive turnovers, and take the time to recover from injuries.
Twelve players were listed on Friday’s Black and Gold Injury Report…