METAIRIE — With no real game film to go on, the New Orleans Saints could have been limited in their approach to how they’ll defend Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in their regular-season opener Sunday.
But Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer said that’s not the case with Griffin, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner who will make his NFL debut against the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“You can go by what you have seen in college and what you have seen in the preseason,” Kromer said of Griffin, who was coveted as a dual pass-run threat when the Redskins made him the second pick of the draft this spring.
“Anytime there’s a new quarterback or a new player, a team wants to play him as much as they can in the preseason to get them used to playing at the NFL speed, and that’s what they have done. He’s gotten plenty of reps, so there is plenty to look at.”
As such, Kromer knows why the Redskins made a trade to jump up in the draft to land the former Baylor star.
“He took Baylor and made them into a powerhouse, which they hadn’t been in a long time,” he said. “When one guy can really change a program, and he has shown he can do it in college, there’s a good chance he can do it in the NFL.”
Kromer said he hasn’t thought much about having a win or a loss showing up next to his name in what will be his head coaching debut at any level.
“I am beyond that, to be honest, in my mind,” he said. “What is important is that we show up, do our job, and as a collective group do the best we can.
“I think that will be good enough,” Kromer added. “When we go back in the meeting room the next day, we all have to deal with the win or the loss. … I’m worried about what is in the best interest of the team.”
Wide receiver Marques Colston was the only Saints player to miss practice Wednesday as he was held out with a sore foot.
Kromer said Colston should be able to work Thursday and be ready to go Sunday along with three players who were limited in practice: cornerback Jabari Greer (sports hernia), middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle) and weakside linebacker David Hawthorne (knee).
Wide receiver Adrian Arrington (knee) had full participation Wednesday.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that strong safety Brandon Meriweather, who missed the last two preseason games with a knee injury, won’t play Sunday after spraining his knee in Monday’s practice.
That leaves the back end of the Redskins’ secondary extremely vulnerable because free safety Tanard Jackson was suspended indefinitely by the NFL last week.
Shanahan said second-year pro DeJon Gomes could fill in for Meriweather, while veteran Madieu Williams will start in Jackson’s spot.
Saints cornerback Marquis Johnson, who was put on injured reserve last week when the team trimmed its roster to 53 players, announced via his Twitter account that he had reached an injury settlement with the team.
Johnson suffered a knee injury midway through training camp and was limited at times because of swelling in the joint.
Former Saints tackle William Roaf, a recent inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, represented the franchise along with a “legend” from the 31 other teams during the 2012 NFL Kickoff Show on Wednesday night.
The legends participated in a ceremony unveiling the 2012 season flag for each team, which were designed by fans in the NFL Fan Flag Challenge.