Saints prepare for refreshed Rams secondary
METAIRIE- After struggling to guard Michael Thomas when the Saints and Rams first met in week 9, Rams corner Marcus Peters will have some help this week.
Veteran defensive back Aqib Talib is expected to make an instant impact in the secondary this weekend.
Talib was unable to play with an injury during the Saints 45-35 win in November.
Even with him back on the field, the Saints don't feel that his presence changes how they will prepare.
"We got to play football. No matter who is out there. It could be Deion Sanders out there and we still have to go out there and play football," said wide out Ted Ginn Jr. "The personnel. The player. The Scheme. Whatever it is, we have to go out there and play football."
Coach Sean Payton has noticed a change in how the Rams secondary has looked since the teams last met.
"The last six or seven weeks we've seen a lot more zone from them and so that changes some of the route features, maybe some of the progressions or some of the things you want to do," said Payton. "They'll play a good share of man to man as well. We have to be smart. We have to recognize the coverage as best we can give the quarterback some early tells where he'll know what coverage it is."
Michael Thomas had another big performance against the Eagles last week, accounting for 171 yards, with 12 receptions and a touchdown.
With Thomas continuing to show why he is one of the best receivers in the NFL, expect him to be a target for the Rams defense.
"Mike had a tremendous game last time we played against them, so I'm sure they're going to be keyed in on Mike," said Smith. "It's just another opportunity for someone else to step up at receiver."
The Rams and Saints kickoff the NFC Championship at 2:05 on Sunday in the Super Dome.