METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - There's not much, if anything, that can truly duplicate NFL game action. But a joint practice doesn't hurt, especially against the Texans. Their defense, full of elite players up front, gives the Saints a challenge unlike most.
"You see a different front," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. "They're a little bit more out of an odd defense. Week Two we're going to play New England, and they're going to be in a similar front. We're going to have to handle that. It's hard to replicate that in training camp with your own defense if that's not your scheme."
Even after facing the Browns in Preseason Week One and practicing against the Chargers in Week Two, Houston gives the black and gold their most competitive look. They're the only team the Saints will face this preseason that made a playoff run in 2016. Whether we see Drew Brees on Saturday night, though, remains anyone's guess.
"This, being the third preseason game, typically the one we play more, I expect us to (play)," says Brees. "We'll see how we do. A lot of how long we play is dependent upon how well we do. So we want to look good, and we want to be sharp."
There's still no official word on whether or not Adrian Peterson will play in against Houston. In fact, he hasn't seen preseason action since 2011. But still, if he does get a chance to go, Peterson says he looks forward to the challenge of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on the other side of the ball.
"They're a fierce defense," says Peterson. "But I love that. I love going against the best. Obviously, the Texans defense is right there in the top three. Having a guy like J.J. and Clowney and all the other contributors on that defense, we were able to get some great work today."
Brees even adds that in some cases, getting work in joint practices can be more beneficial than preseason games, but it's hard to imagine that he won't see at least one series against the Texans.