The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is expected to be even a little louder than usual when the Redskins travel there Sunday to take on the New Orleans Saints in both teams’ 2012 season openers.
In order to prepare for the noise, the Redskins coaching staff has had the team practice in the team’s indoor training facility this week and has been pumping crowd noise and music described at a “deafeningly-loud” level by at least one team member.
“It’s loud,” rookie guard Josh LeRibeus summarized Wednesday before practice. “It’s something else.”
LeRibeus has played in the Superdome before — his SMU team defeated Tulane 31-17 there in 2010 — but said there must’ve been only “a thousand people” there (Tulane had an announced crowd of 18,636 there that day, for what it’s worth).
“Nobody was there,” he said. “You could probably hear a pin drop. Going up against the Saints, I imagine, will be a little bit more pumped up.”
Though most season openers have an added sense of excitement attached to them, Sunday’s Redskins-Saints game, in particular, has added meaning: it’s the first regular-season game since several Saints players and coaches were suspended for their alleged roles in the “Bountygate” operation, which accused Saints defensive personnel of giving cash rewards to players who injured members of the opposing team.
The “Bountygate” story has created a media circus in New Orleans this offseason, something that several Redskins players acknowledged will give the Saints and their fans something to rally around come Sunday.
“I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of emotion at the game, especially [on] the fan’s side of things because they have had a rough offseason with what’s been going on with the ‘Bountygate’ and all of that,” outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “So I definitely think it will be loud at the dome, and I think the Saints will try to feed off that as much as they can.”
Defensive end Adam Carriker said the Redskins are also going to try to feed off that energy.
“That’s what I love, to be honest with you,” Carriker said. “That’s why you play this game – when the fans are into it, when it’s just an electric atmosphere. That’s why you play this game, to play in big games, play against teams like the Saints and good offenses.”
The Superdome will likely be at its loudest, however, when the Redskins are on offense. LeRibeus said working on the crowd noise in their own indoor training facility this week has given his team a good idea what that’ll be like.
“I mean, you’re going to have to know your stuff,” he said. “It’s going to be harder for the center to get out the calls to everybody. The biggest thing now is working on the silent count and all of that, because you’re not really going to be able to hear Robert [Griffin III] back there. Just doing those kinds of things and getting used to that – once you get the silent count, we’ll be good to go. Everyone’s going to be on top of their stuff.”
Tags: 2012 regular season, indoor training facility, new orleans saints, Superdome, washington redskins
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