Saints getting ready for Tampa Bay this week

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, October 5, 2006

Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski will make his first NFL start Sunday when the Bucs travel to New Orleans to face the Saints. He replaces the injured Chris Sims.

• Through four regular season games, Bush, receiver Marques Colston, guard Jahri Evans and safety Roman Harper have played so regularly that veteran teammates like quarterback Drew Brees say they have stopped thinking of them as rookies.

Except for in one respect, that is.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“They still have to get the chicken for the guys and get the doughnuts and carry the pads in and all those things,” Brees said. “That’s still applicable for the young guys.”

• If things don’t go well for the Saints at home against Tampa Bay this week, the practice schedule won’t be the problem.

Last week, the Saints were taken out of their normal weekly routine coming off of a Monday night game. They lifted weights and watched film on Tuesday, which is their normal day off, then were given Wednesday off instead. They didn’t start preparations for last Sunday’s game at Carolina until the Thursday before.

This week, they were back on their regular schedule with Tuesday off and beginning preparations for the next opponent on Wednesday.

“The big thing with last week is anytime you have a short week and everything is condensed because you lose a day of practice. It’s kind of like you’re catching up all week long, whereas now, I think we’re back in our routine and we got a good Wednesday practice in just like tomorrow will be a good Thursday,” Brees said. “Everything’s back to normal and will be now for the rest of the season because everything’s on Sunday. We feel good about that routine. We’ve built up a nice little deal right now.”

• Wide receiver Devery Henderson was at practice on Wednesday but his status remains uncertain for the Saints’ return to the Superdome on Sunday. Officially, he was listed as questionable. Safety Brian Scott will not play because of a hamstring injury. The same goes for Curtis Deloatch, who recovered Steve Gleason’s blocked punt for a touchdown in the Saints’ 23-3 victory over Atlanta on Sept. 25. Deloatch hurt himself last Sunday at Carolina during kick coverage.